This Barry review contains spoilers.
Barry Episode 4
I have to imagine that one of the main appeals of acting is getting to be someone else for a while. If you’re struggling with personal issues or find yourself displeased with the person that you’ve become, acting allows you the outlet to try on a different life. It must be especially helpful for people who haven’t found themselves at all, like Barry. Having spent the entirety of his adult life in the military or acting deferential toward Fuches and their work, Barry doesn’t know who he is when he isn’t killing. Now acting, whether on-stage or in the company of new friends, will allow Barry to try on different personas. Is he the F-bomb dropping, macho posturing vet? The J.Crew wearing, L.A. socialite? If Barry allowed himself to stop code switching and conforming to every person and situation he finds himself in, he’d maybe be able to find out.
You can’t get comfortable in a new skin if you don’t leave it on for long enough. As Cousineau brutally points out to Barry after his bizarre beta male reading of Alec Baldwin’s famous “Coffee’s for Closers” speech from Glengarry Glen Ross, Barry is too deferential to everyone around him. It can be seen in the way that he passive aggressively tries to throw Chris’ friends out of the party, and even when he attempts to stand up and vocalize what he wants, like to Fuches at the driving range or to Sally while lying in her bed, he doesn’t stand firm enough and crumbles at the slightest blowback. Seemingly, Barry’s penchant for getting walked all over will now find him having to work with Chris’ loose cannon friend on the raid he doesn’t even want to do in the first place.
Well, I suppose there is an example in this episode where Barry isn’t completely deferential, but it doesn’t go the way that he hopes. After daydreaming his wedded, Hamm-eo (a Jon Hamm cameo) featuring future with Sally, Barry doesn’t take too kindly to seeing Sally rub up to a shamelessly big-timing, networking actor at the party. Egged on by his aggressive bros, Barry comes across as way too controlling and toxic and totally misreads his relationship with Sally. Like lots of socially awkward, inexperienced guys, Barry mistakes attention and affection for ownership, and after Sally was just exposed to the gross, sexually harassing mind games of her now former not-agent agent, she lets Barry have it. She hilariously points out his “weird-ass Tony Soprano move” and leaves with Zach Burrows. Sally may be self-absorbed, but she definitely shouldn’t have to deal with that shit.
Most of the comedy this week is supplied by the always fantastic Henry Winkler as Gene Cousineau. We get a peek at Cousineau’s life as a working actor and it’s just as pathetic as suspected. It further colors his behavior at the acting class, where he’s treated like a returning hero at the beginning of each class and uses his position of authority to take back some of the control and respect that he doesn’t get elsewhere in his life. His deluded ego allows him the courage to call up Detective Moss for a one-sided date, and his unearned confidence somehow is able to convince her to stay for the duration. Their bizarre, sexually charged conversation at the table, with Moss essentially getting off on the fantasy of beating the shit out of Cousineau, scored more laughter from me than from any other joke in any other episode.
Detective Moss’ budding relationship with Cousineau just spells more trouble for Barry. Moss’ droll Russian tech-expert cracks the code on the camera that recorded Barry killing the Chechens, but luckily his face is obscured. Still, Moss seems confident that she’ll be able to find someone to I.D. the figure, and Cousineau or someone at the class could be the people to do it. Barry is going to have more issues than just trying to act like someone else. He’s going to start wishing that he looked like someone else too.