Connect with us
Barry Berkman 'Block' and Gene Cousineau in season 2, episode 4 "What?!" - Pictured from left to right (L-R): Bill Hader and Henry Winkler - Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO Barry Berkman 'Block' and Gene Cousineau in season 2, episode 4 "What?!" - Pictured from left to right (L-R): Bill Hader and Henry Winkler - Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO

Barry

Barry season 2, episode 4 review: New series high point hits you hard

Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO

Published

on

HBO’s Barry shed light on PTSD awareness for veterans on tonight’s episode with brutal, lasting imagery that’ll stay with you long past the credit roll.

The following review contains spoilers for Barry season 2, episode 4 (“What?!”).

You could feel the permanent trauma dripping from the screen tonight when Barry revealed that he shot the wrong guy while on tour. “Barry stop! That’s not the guy! Are you insane, what is wrong with you? You psycho!” In one moment, his life and confident perception of himself as a ‘good person’ changed irreparably. There was no going back to fix what he’d done, no retake. Barry had taken the life of an innocent man with the intention to avenge his friend who’d been shot in the face.

Only the perceived assailant had not been the assailant at all… Rather, a civilian caught in the chaos of a war zone. In seconds, his positive intentions spelled the end of his entire military career. All over one mistake. A colossal mistake. One that nobody outside of the field would ever be able to look at him the same way again. Even the camaraderie between his mates had broken and they’d been there.

The entire scene of Barry recounting the tale to acting teacher/mentor Gene Cousineau was chilling, infinitely sobering. A reminder that some things in life, you can’t take back. No apology would ever be worthy. It’s no wonder Barry asked NoHo Hank earlier this season ‘if he thinks he’s evil,’ every part of Barry’s life is shaped by that moment. A series of dominos falling into a dark spiral, a black hole from which there is no return.

While military veterans recently lost The Punisher on Netflix, Barry’s depiction of post traumatic stress disorder is equally influential in society. A commendable job on a story viewers usually never hear, and can’t even begin to understand the strain of their emotional baggage in reality. Barry’s scenario of shooting the wrong guy is likely way more common than imaginable in the tense heat of battle.

A Twist for the record books

Not content to leave out the dark comedy ingredient that makes up the recipe of a Barry episode, the show brought on a massive twist. The show’s leading protagonist appeared to finally be in over his head tonight, incriminating himself in the process by spilling the truth about Detective Janice Moss to Monroe Fuches. Despite Fuches urging Barry never to contact him again for his own good, his protégé couldn’t resist and was soon apprehended by Detective Loach. It appeared it was all over for Barry, the entire double life was over.

His arrest was imminent, relationship soon to be left destitute, acting career never began and never will… When Detective Loach had a different idea. He simply wanted Barry to do a hit on his wife’s new boyfriend. “And all this goes away!” Bringing the hitman turned actor to utter the episode’s title, “What?!” Fade to black, and now no viewer can wait until the next episode! Grade A stuff.

Barry almost makes a civilian hit at the hotel

The tension felt in every scene between Sally, Sam, and Barry on tonight’s chapter kept the audience on the edge of their seat. First the nightmare trio dinner where it appeared Sally’s old feelings for Sam were resurfacing. After all the relationship never truly ended in words, just hit a lull. Then Sam and Barry exchanging words after he had witnessed their upcoming scene. Fury and confusion as Sally was invited to a hotel room by her ex, only to see why she escaped the relationship in the first place. Her vulnerability and attachment toward Sam still lingering but she left. In fear but she left.

During the whole exchange Block almost turned Berkman when another civilian hit almost took place on Sam. A non-job, no money involved, no boss. A personal decision that only didn’t take place because Sally was unexpectedly there. But what if she wasn’t? What if Gene wasn’t there to listen or Fuches? What then?

Barry season 2, episode 4 - 'What?!' Review:
9.1 Score
Lasting Visual9.5
Universal Appeal (No Prior Watching Required)9
Impact on Subconscious9
Societal Influence Potential (Outreach beyond series viewers)9

Catch up on the events of last week’s episode with The Natural Aristocrat’s Barry recap for “Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday” (season 2, episode 3).

Nir Regev is the founder of The Natural Aristocrat. You can directly contact him at nir.regev@thenaturalaristocrat.com for coverage consideration, interview opportunties, or general comments.

Advertisement
Comments

Barry

Barry Season 2 Finale recap: ‘berkman > block’ is darkest episode yet

Published

on

Barry Berkman Block walks off theatre stage - Pictured: Bill Hader - Screenshot / Photo Credit: HBO
Screenshot / Photo Credit: HBO

HBO’s Barry Season 2 Finale ‘berkman > block’ stood out as the show’s most savagely brutal episode ever while spotlighting why lies win over truth.

The following recap contains spoilers for Barry Season 2 Episode 8.

Barry’s Season 2 Finale ended on a chilling bang as Berkman ‘stole the light’ from Block akin to James McAvoy’s range of identities in Split. Monroe Fuches’ early realization he couldn’t pull the trigger even once was eerily juxtaposed to Barry taking life after life without remorse. Barry went on a complete rampage this episode to avenge Gene’s arrest, headshot after headshot… To the point, where it changed how you viewed him as a character. No longer was he just the happy-go-lucky Barry Block trying to desperately shed his old life to start a new one, ‘The Beast’ emerged.

One victim stood out during the anarchy, Mayrbek, a sniper Barry had personally trained on NoHo Hank’s behalf. Mayrbek had a rifle pointed on the door Barry was trying to kick down during his hunt for Fuches. The talented sniper smiled when Barry walked in, pure admiration, and did not think to shoot at all… Only to be greeted with a vicious shot to the head with no hesitation on Barry’s part.

Fuches has spoken episodes prior about helping Barry’s emotional state after his discharge from the army. Now, old habits are bubbling back to surface with no cap. Leaving Block in the past. In fact, at one point in this episode during a phone call with Gene’s son, Leo, Barry asks to go by Berkman instead of Block.

Old habits die hard

The rage Barry exhibited back overseas when he murdered a man and his girlfriend over his friend being shot, never was fixed at all. It was always lingering, ready to reemerge should a similar situation occur. Gene simply took his military friend’s place.

Once again, Barry Berkman took an innocent life in the sniper (Mayrbek) after losing his composure. A man who looked up to him, who courageously rescued NoHo Hank and the rest of the team last episode… Gone in an instant without a thought. Barry’s adjustment to non-military, civilian life was clearly never a successful transition. Ironically without Fuches at his side, Barry’s empathy has entirely deteriorated.

Fuches whispers in Gene’s ear, doesn’t shoot

The Season 2 Finale began with Barry Berkman arriving in time to discover a traumatized Gene Cousineau hunched over. Staring into the trunk containing the body of his murdered life love, Janice Moss. Police sirens were heard closing in, as both would be taken into custody. It would be shown Fuches couldn’t go through with taking Gene’s life but whispered something into his ear. That something wouldn’t be revealed till the end of the episode for a big time cliffhanger going into season 3.

Gene was a broken man for most of the episode, barely speaking. Detective Mae tried to goad him into admitting ‘he murdered’ Janice, trying to play good cop by saying, “It’s okay. Did she say she was leaving you?” but Gene said nothing. His claim of a PI (in Fuches) fell on deaf ears, as the name he’d be given was a fake. Gene would tell the police “She was the love of my life” before being officially put in jail for the murder of Janice Moss. The department believed that was Gene’s voice on the call Fuches had made. Gene was in no state to fight the claim back.

Barry would be let go, the police feeling that Gene had called him to be there with him after he confessed. None the wiser to the reality that it was Barry who was actually responsible for what happened to Moss. Barry left a voicemail to Fuches that he was a deadman, leading Fuches to go to NoHo Hank for assistance. In a classic NoHo Hank line, he told Fuches, “You’re a day late and a Ruble short my friend.” NoHo Hank told Fuches what he and Barry were going through shouldn’t be a big deal, they’re made to be a team. But Fuches felt he’d gone past the point of no return.

Fuches told Barry over the phone there’s still a way out. “You could still turn yourself in for Gene… No? Not so altruistic now, huh? This left a serious impact on Barry who was in turbulence all episode if he should turn himself in… But in the end he didn’t. In fact, he was saved by NoHo Hank’s “The Debt has been paid” pin being found in the trunk of Janice’s car. Which lead police to believe it unrelated to Barry or Gene but who Janice was investigating at the time… NoHo Hank’s group.

Cristobal / NoHo Hank standoff ends

Fuches took a chance and went outside of NoHo Hank’s compound to speak to Cristobal one-on-one. Hoping for a truce. Fuches’ words about puzzle pieces fitting together even during times of strife, resonated with Cristobal. Of course, Fuches inspiration was really inspired by his own spiraling relationship with his protégé.

Much to Esther’s chagrin, Cristobal and NoHo Hank would make up. The stand off was over thanks to Fuches and the group mostly celebrated outside of Esther’s men… Having no idea of the brutality that awaited them during Barry Berkman’s rage-induced, straight-lined ambush.

Sally Reed’s Lie conquered her Truth

Sally Reed’s theatre opening night was descending into all-out disappointment by the audience. They were ambivalent at best to the class’s show of truth. Finally, when Sally and Barry arrived on stage for the main event… The scene received a completely unexpected makeover, unknown to Barry. Sally had just slapped him before going on stage to get him into the role. After Barry said the opening lines as Sam about her dancing with someone else, Sally flipped the table herself. She told ‘Sam’ off on stage, portraying the ‘scenario’ she wished was truth, losing all reality. Barry walked off stage without word.

Sally was seen leaving in tears, the same for her agent Natalie Greer who felt she pressured Sally into it. For the first time, Sally didn’t consider herself an artist… Yet, the reverse happened, the audience loved the lie. The high profile members of her agency loved the lie. Fuches earlier comments to Barry about people loving Braveheart, were recalled when an audience member referenced Sally’s speech being like Braveheart. The truth Sally had desperately clinged to as an artist, didn’t matter one bit. She was bewildered as audience members surrounded her, complimenting a scene she thought was the end of her career.

Fuches was right after all, people don’t want the truth. As Jack Nicholson once said in A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth!” They want Braveheart.

A grand lie will always conquer raw truth. The lie wins because it typically comforts. Exemplified by a woman who told Sally, she had a friend “who went through a similar situation but did not have the courage to do what you just did. Truly inspiring!” Even though it bent the truth it was what audience members wanted to see, how they’d like reality to be.

Gene remembers what Fuches whispered

HBO’s Barry Season 2 Finale would conclude with Gene remembering what his mystery PI had whispered before vanishing… “Barry Berkman did this.” In one sentence, Fuches did more damage to Barry ‘Block’ than taking out Gene ever could…

Check out a review of Barry Season 2 Episode 7 “The Audition” and catch up on series news, reviews/recaps, and more in The Natural Aristocrat’s Barry category section!

Continue Reading

Barry

Barry star Bill Hader is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers tonight, May 14

Published

on

Bill Hader on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers during an episode airing on March 19, 2018 - Screenshot Photo Credit: NBC
Screenshot Photo Credit: NBC

HBO’s Barry Berkman ‘Block’ himself, Bill Hader, will be a featured guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers tonight (May 14, 2019).

Fans of HBO’s Barry have a reason to stay up late tonight, as series star Bill Hader will be the first guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Hader was last a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers back on March 19, 2018. Joining Hader will be actress Kathryn Newton [Big Little Lies] to promote Pokémon Detective Pikachu. The show will air on NBC at 12:35 a.m. ET (11:35 p.m. Central) and you can catch it online via NBC’s live stream or with a free seven-day trial at Fubo TV.

Bill Hader is making the late night rounds this week ahead of the season 2 finale in true Barry fashion. He was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday where did some celebrity impressions mid-interview. Fans who watched this week’s Barry episode still have that rendition of “You want some piiiieeeeee?” stuck in their heads!

Hader also appeared earlier that morning on Live with Kelly and Ryan and joked that ‘his daughter wasn’t a fan of his voice in Finding Dory.’ She literally stood up and left the theater according to Hader! “You didn’t tell me you were in this!”

The Barry lead star will also be a featured guest on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen this Thursday, May 16 along with Rachel Ray. Barry’s season 2 finale episode, aptly titled, “berkman/block” airs this Sunday, May 19 on HBO at 10 p.m. EST. The show has already been renewed for a season 3 by HBO.

Late Night with Seth Meyers featuring Bill Hader : Live Stream Details

Date: Friday, May 14
Start Time: 12:35 a.m. ET / 11:35 p.m. Central
TV Channel: NBC
Live Stream: Watch live on Fubo TV. Sign up now for a free seven-day trial. You can also watch on FOX’s official live stream

Bill Hader’s breakout HBO series was recently invited by Yoshinoya America CEO Dar Vasseghi to shoot an episode of Barry at their establishment. The invite, arriving in letter form, came as a response to a mention of ‘going for a Yoshinoya Beef Bowl’ by NoHo Hank during an early April episode.

Continue Reading

Barry

HBO’s Barry invited to shoot episode at Yoshinoya by CEO Dar Vasseghi

Published

on

Barry Berkman and NoHo Hank in Season 2, Episode 3: “Past = Present x Future Over Yesterday” - Pictured from left to right: Bill Hader and Anthony Carrigan - Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO
Photo Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / HBO

Barry director Hiro Murai posted an Instagram story of a thank you letter he received from Yoshinoya America CEO Dar Vasseghi inviting them to shoot there.

HBO Barry Director Hiro Murai received an intriguing offer from Yoshinoya America CEO Dar Vasseghi, after the Japanese fast-food chain’s beef bowl was mentioned during an episode. Murai, who’s directed four episodes of the series, was thanked for the ‘stunning’ inclusion and invited to shoot an episode on-location at Yoshinoya.

The letter, dated April 10, 2019, also thanked Barry executive story editor / writer Taofik Kolade (6 episodes). Credit to Reddit user BROWN-52 for first spotting it and taking a screenshot of Hiro Murai’s Instagram story for fans at Barry’s official Reddit page.

Between the unintentional ‘Starbucks’ product placement on Game of Thrones and now Yoshinoya on Barry, franchises might not need to pay an advertising fee anymore! Joking aside, utilizing Yoshinoya in the series could be mutually beneficial to both parties ala Better Call Saul’s fictional Los Pollos Hermanos. Plus, the ‘set’ for Yoshinoya is already ready made, no need to even rent the place.

Yoshioya responding to getting mentioned in Barry from r/Barry

Letter to Barry’s Hiro Murai and Taofik Kolade Text:

Dear Misters Murai and Kolade,

We were recently stunned to hear that your most recent episode of Barry began with the suggestion of a trip to Yoshinoya for a Beef Bowl. While we don’t know which of you is directly responsible for this line, we’d nevertheless like to thank you both.

We’re not sure whether the show is what it is because of Bill Hader’s unique comedic talent, or the fact that the concept of an “emotionally conflicted assassin taking an acting class” is inherently funny, or both, but we want you to know that we are big fans of the show.

Please accept some gift certificates for free bowls at Yoshinoya and feel free to share them if you are so inclined. We would like to further offer up one of our stores as a location for a shoot for one of your upcoming episodes. I think shooting at Yoshinoya would be a hit.

With gratitude,

Dar Vasseghi
Chief Executive Officer
Yoshinoya America

Be sure to read about Better Call Saul’s Patrick Fabian (Howard Hamlin) making his first-ever Barry cameo recently on Sally Reed’s TV/Film reel!

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2016-2019 TheNaturalAristocrat.com. All rights reserved. The Natural Aristocrat™ is a registered trademark of Live Game Deals LLC. TheNaturalAristocrat.com is owned and operated by Live Game Deals LLC. TheNaturalAristocrat.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.