Last week, the first two episodes of the final and fourth season of “Barry” were released, and they were intentionally depressing. Since Barry and Fuches were locked away in prison, everyone from Sally to NoHo Hank gave the impression that they were in a better place, at least mentally. But it eventually became clear that they weren’t. Sally was obviously processing the trauma of killing a human being who was out to kill her because of her association with Barry. Cousineau was returning to his slimy ways of getting attention. However, this time it was worse because he was doing it via Janice Moss’ death. NoHo Hank was oscillating between helping Barry and progressing with Cristobal in terms of rebuilding their empire through the sand mining business. Meanwhile, Fuches and Barry were struggling to decide if they were going to pay for their sins in jail or strike a deal with the F.B.I. and get out. While Fuches decided to protect Barry, one conversation with Sally motivated Barry to spill all the details about his life to the Feds, thereby causing both Fuches and NoHo Hank to turn against him.
Major Spoilers Ahead
NoHo Hank Gets A Warning From Batir
Episode 3 of “Barry” Season 4 opens with NoHo Hank and Cristobal beginning their sand mining business somewhere in California. The couple is visited by a mysterious gentleman called Toro, who is being played by none other than Guillermo del Toro. Apparently, he has been contacted by Hank for Barry’s assassination attempt. Toro says that Hank has nothing to worry about because he has assigned two of his best men for the job, whose side hustle is reviewing gadgets on their podcast. Hank and Toro have a little argument about the anonymity of the two assassins and the fact that most of the stuff that they promote on their podcast is bad. But Hank walks back on his opinion about them after noticing that Toro isn’t taking his criticisms all too well.
Buckner informs Cousineau and Tom Posorro that Barry has struck a deal with the Feds and is about to leave the prison. Cousineau realizes that as soon as that happens, Barry is going to try and kill him. Tom asks Buckner if they have a way to protect Cousineau because he is a very important witness. Buckner says that they usually explore that option if the witness is a former member of the military forces. When Cousineau says that Barry was formerly a marine, Buckner simply hopes that Cousineau is good with a gun. Cousineau confides in Tom about his one-man act in front of the Vanity Fair reporter, Lon O’Neil, where he tells everything about his relationship with Barry, and Tom is absolutely flabbergasted because who would do such a stupid thing?
We see Barry talking to the Feds, and he’s apparently planning to bring Sally into the F.B.I. ‘s witness protection program, which involves Sally giving up everything in her life. Barry assumes that Sally is going to agree to this because she said that she feels safe with him, which is a stretch, and I think even Barry knows that. Barry’s conversation with the Feds is interrupted by Lon, who informs him about the Cousineau interview and asks Barry whether he wants to tell his side of the story. Realizing that Cousineau’s account of what happened is going to lower his chances of getting out of the prison, Barry tells Lon to tell Cousineau to shut up. After briefly seeing Sally starting her acting teaching class, the episode returns to Lon going up to Jim Moss to talk about the Cousineau interview. And when Jim tells him to come to the garage for “a talk,” we know how it’s going to go down because we’ve seen a version of it with Cousineau in the hot seat.
After Fuches’ whole spiel about how he’s The Raven and that Barry is his associate and they want gang members for their gang, he has gone on the back foot because of Barry’s betrayal. The inmates are bullying him brutally and intentionally messing up his name to mock him. Fuches, who is watching “Yellowstone,” realizes that he is being treated like a fool for simply trusting Barry and being empathetic about his situation. So, he calls up NoHo Hank and tells him to do something about Barry because he can’t tolerate the humiliation. Hank assures him that Barry isn’t going to make it to the end of that day because Toro’s men, Nestor and Chuy Flores, are out to kill him.
As Hank goes back to his job, he sees Batir has infiltrated his business by pretending to be a worker there. Batir was last seen fleeing the scene when the Bolivians and the police simultaneously attacked the Chechens’ heroin plant. He has apparently won back the trust of his superiors, and he wants Hank to sever his ties with Cristobal. Hank says he’s not going to do that. Batir laughs at him and advises Hank to rethink his stance.
Barry Has A Falling Out With NoHo Hank
Barry is seen venting after learning about Cousineau’s interview. But he gets embarrassed after noticing that he isn’t the only one there; another inmate is standing in the arena with him. I think, at this particular moment, he starts to doubt the fact that he’s safe in the prison because Cousineau is out there giving out important details about Barry and his work. Talking about Cousineau, he and Tom break into Lon’s house to stop him from publishing the interview. As Cousineau deals with Lon’s wife, Tom throws Lon’s desktop monitor into the pool because he thinks that’s where the hard drive is. Cousineau learns that Lon has gone to Jim for his article, and that sends shivers down his spine. By the way, this whole sequence happens in a single, uncut take that lasts over 2 minutes. The staging, the pacing, and the slow movement of the camera are simply immaculate. Bill Hader and his team are amazing.
We cut back to Sally using Cousineau’s abusive techniques to get the right performance out of a student who hasn’t prepared for the class assignment. And although Sally tries to turn that into a teaching moment, the entire class calls her out for being a bad teacher. One of them even says that the fact that Cousineau’s techniques worked on Sally doesn’t mean that it’s a good method and that it’s going to work on everyone else. I’m sure that it’s probably coincidental, but two weeks ago, Vanity Fair released a video with an acting teacher, Jay Goldenberg, who critiqued the scene where Barry and Sally were preparing for the choking scene. Goldenberg said that pushing an actor to do something that they’re clearly uncomfortable with is the wrong way to go about it. He specifically said that Cousineau’s silent support of Sally’s attempts at provoking Barry is wrong and that no teacher should do that. And episode 4 of “Barry” pretty much confirms that that was the purpose of that scene, i.e., to show that Cousineau’s methods are wrong.
We go back to Barry, who is requesting Hank to stop Cousineau from speaking about them. In fact, he lies about Cousineau revealing important information about Cristobal and Hank in order to create an air of urgency around nabbing Cousineau. But since Hank has already switched sides, he calls out Barry for being a liar and for talking to the Feds. Given how Barry starts to stutter and throws nothing but expletives at Hank, it becomes clear that Barry has messed up big time. In the past, we have seen the two go back and forth regarding their relationship. However, despite trying to kill each other multiple times, they’ve continued to be friends. That said, Hank has gone into his “no-nonsense” mode with Barry, and I don’t think he’s going to mend his friendship with him. You can’t treat anyone like a fool for too long because, eventually, they’re going to catch onto it, and Hank has had enough.
Has Barry Messed Up His Deal With The Feds?
Cousineau shows up at Jim Moss’ house and is seen cleaning the trunk of his car, which is an ominous sign. He asks Jim if Lon has met him, and Jim immediately reminds him of his one-man show with Lon. As soon as he says that, Tom, who had brought Cousineau to Jim, just drives off. The hilarious detail in the scene is the metal scraping as he drives. I’m assuming that fearing what Jim is going to do next, Tom forgot to release the hand brake and just took off. And it’s understandable because Jim had told Cousineau to keep quiet about the ordeal with Barry and Janice. Cousineau had promised that he wasn’t going to talk about it because he’d be disrespecting Janice’s memory by mining her death for attention. But Cousineau still went ahead and blurted out everything to Lon, knowing full well what Jim was capable of. In an attempt to cool the situation down, Cousineau suggests that they go to Lon and ask him not to publish his article. Jim simply tells him that Lon has been taken care of.
When the episode cuts to Lon, we understand exactly what Jim means when he says that the reporter isn’t going to be reporting on anything anytime soon. He has clearly been dragged through the dirt or temporarily buried in it. Jim has confiscated all his belongings, especially the things that Lon needs to identify himself. And he has used some kind of brainwashing technique to make Lon talk only in German. According to Lon’s wife, Lon had no idea about the language prior to his session with Jim. But now he does. Another small detail is that in episode 2 of Season 4, and while talking to Barry in prison in today’s episode, Lon was a fan of Skittles. However, after Jim’s torture, he has gone from Skittles to Haribo Goldbears. I’m sure all this is supposed to be taken as a joke. However, the specificity with which “Barry” has chosen a cocky Vanity Fair reporter—who thinks he’s invincible because of his profession—to send the message that the power of the pen isn’t mightier than the sword anymore is interesting. I’ll keep it at that.
For a brief moment, we see that Sally’s students have left her class because of her abusive methods. But the student that she was being abusive to has stayed back since she thinks that Sally’s methods are beneficial for her. I don’t want to be reactionary and say that this is the show’s way of justifying Sally and Cousineau’s poor understanding of what acting is. Instead, I think Hader and his team are showing that inexperienced actors can make the mistake of not acting as a character and instead getting as traumatized as the character in order to do a scene. That said, it remains to be seen if this is going to be a wake-up call for Sally and whether she’s going to realize that she’s in the wrong or if she’s going to continue to be the next Cousineau.
The episode goes back to Fuches, who gets heavily influenced while watching “Rain Man.” I am assuming he sees himself in Dustin Hoffman’s character and Barry in Tom Cruise’s character, or maybe it’s the other way around. Anyway, the point is that “Rain Man” causes him to raise the alarm about a potential attack on Barry. But it’s too late, as Barry is taken away to yet another meeting with the Feds. Barry and the F.B.I. start talking about Sally and what’s going to happen in the witness protection program. However, Barry is distracted by a man standing in the background, looking at him with a shocked expression on his face while pools of sweat trickle down his forehead. As soon as this man—who’s being played by Fred Armisen, a long-time collaborator of Bill Hader from his S.N.L. days—looks up at the ceiling, Barry says that he’s there to kill him. Nobody believes him, including me, because it feels like Barry is just being paranoid. It turns out that the man is, in fact, an assassin. He’s one of Toro’s men, Nestor, and he attempts to use an exploding pen to kill Barry, which hilariously explodes in his hand and cuts off his fingers. As Nestor screams in pain, Chuy Flores shoots at the F.B.I. and a prison guard from the ceiling and then turns to shoot Barry. Although he hasn’t used a firearm in some time, Barry protects himself with a massive crest and then proceeds to take a gun lying on the ground and expertly shoot Chuy Flores.
At the end of episode 3 of “Barry” Season 4, the warden shows up, who’s being played by the great Richard Riehle, i.e., an actor with over 400 acting credits. And he asks about Berkman’s whereabouts. Well, the obvious answer to his question is that Barry has escaped through the place where Chuy Flores entered the prison. It’s not easy to break into a high-security prison like that. So, if there’s a ready-made exit route, it seems like a good idea to use it. However, is that going to benefit Barry? You see, his goodwill has been destroyed due to his association with the F.B.I. Therefore, anyone who used to respect him for his skills is going to look at him suspiciously since no one knows how much he has spilled to the Feds. Well, to be honest, on the outside, everyone (especially Hank) is going to try to kill him. That’s why there’s a good chance that Barry hasn’t escaped from prison and has merely distanced himself from the crime scene so that he isn’t accused of killing the Feds. Since Fuches has changed his mind, he can go back to his deal with Winograde. Unless the warden decides to finish off Nestor, Barry can interrogate him and learn more about Hank’s friendship with Toro. “Barry” Season 4 has officially kicked into high gear, so the next few weeks are going to be incredibly fun.