Advance Review Score: 9.6 out of 10. Bill Hader, Sarah Goldberg and Stephen Root are the apex predators of the acting jungle in 2023. Pushing themselves to the absolute limits of raw emotional range in Barry Season 4 Episode 1 “yikes”. (And beyond in the rest of the season).
A strong contender for television’s best cast ensemble in 2023. There is not a single talent on HBO’s Barry not bringing their A++ acting game to the table.
This Barry Season 4 Episode 1 review contains minor scene descriptions of “yikes” for reviewing purposes. There are no spoilers or surprise reveals that could impact your watching experience of the premiere.
Imagine discovering the person you were dating was being arrested as a suspect for a high profile murder. Their face plastered all over the news, your phone sounding off in a maddening wave of messages from people you’ve never met. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
Sally Reed hyperventilates in front of her mother upon the realization in Barry’s Season 4 premiere. Feeling helpless, deceived, and pulled permanently into the gravitational pull of Barry Berkman’s abyss.
Freshly grabbed from LA’s walk of fame into the isolation of suburbia without preparation. An acting career that never was, shelved on ice before it ever had a chance.
Home is not where the heart is
Upon showing her parents ‘Joplin’, a familiar response arrives for Sally. A mother concerned only with how the series made her look to her Church friends… And a well meaning father who’s not in tune with what his daughter is going through.
Sally Reed is ill prepared for her return home. You can see it on her face when she is hugged by her father who suggests she work with him while an employee is on maternity leave.
Actress Sarah Goldberg’s eruption screaming in this scene is fantastic. Brutal and raw. From the quivering lips, to the tear struck, raging eyes.
The Barry Berkman / Monroe Fuches reunion
We find Barry Berkman lost and losing his last drops of sanity after Gene Cousineau’s betrayal. Barry wanders the prison yard, imagining Sally Reed on the steps practicing her lines. Seeing his old acting troupe and Mr. Cousineau enter the prison doors, but they’re not there. It’s a new form of PTSD for Barry.
In actuality, out of the prison doors, wanders Monroe Fuches.
While we won’t reveal the details of the conversation, it’s a major turning point. A startling moment for Monroe Fuches who’s caught completely off guard by Barry’s words. He can barely hold back the waterworks after Barry walks away. Complete vulnerability.
Barry proceeds to self-harm in more ways than one. He hits himself in a prison restroom, punching until his knuckles are imprinted in red on the white walls.
A security guard tries to calm him down, star struck by Barry, saying his mom always told him “You’re better than the worst thing you’ve done.” The guard tries to make Barry see that he’s not a ‘bad person’, he just may have done a ‘bad thing’.
In turn, this causes Barry to intentionally instigate the officer until he savagely beats him. Fuches finds Barry on the tiles of the bathroom floor, one eye shut, bruised beyond recognition.
Fuches embraces Barry and blames himself for “taking advantage of him” for the first time. Then tells Barry he ‘loves him’, shedding a mountain of tears.
The camera work of this scene is pitch perfect. Cinematography like a pulitzer winning photograph. Frankly, it could be Stephen Root’s best scene, acting wise, on the whole series.
These are the moments that stayed with us the most in tonight’s Barry Season 4 premiere episode. Earning Season 4 Episode 1 the review score of 9.6.
Where to watch Barry Season 4 Episode 1 tonight?
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