The life of a hitman is catching up to Barry (Bill Hader) and his new world of acting in the six episode of Barry. One can only imagine if you live a life of murder and missions it’s bound to leak into other portions of your life and it does in a big way in today’s episode.
The episode opens with Barry, Fuches (Stephen Root), and Taylor (Dale Pavinski), who are staking out a new mission involving a plane on an off the grid runway. Emily Heller writes this episode and bookends it nicely with this scene and the eventual mission at the end. Episode director Hiro Murai brings some intensity to the final scene, much like the raid of the last episode. He ends this episode on an incredibly dramatic beat. It seems like the more Barry wishes to leave the killing business, the more dangerous it gets.
In the middle, NoHo (Anthony Carrigan) and Goran (Glenn Fleshler) must deal with a goon of theirs who needs to “listen with your ears,” which ties into the episode title “Listen with your Ears, React With Your Face”. The latter part of the title is in reference to an acting scene with Sally (Sarah Goldberg) who the goon has eyes on killing so as to get revenge after Barry killed his brother. This show is very good at mixing in hilarious beats (NoHo tells the goon to get over his brother’s death already) and intense drama (Barry tells Sally he loves her in a heartbreakingly cold moment while they act) which culminates into a shootout you won’t see coming.
A lot of this episode, however, is filled with dead ends, false starts, and setup. Sally, for instance, gets an entire scene where she convinces Cousineau (Henry Winkler) to be Macbeth. The scene runs a bit long and doesn’t add much beyond reaffirming Sally’s motivation to do more. A large portion of the episode focuses on Barry trying to convince Taylor to replace him as Fuches’ hitman, but even this is laid on too thick and could have been streamlined, especially with how the episode ends. The shortness of the episode doesn’t allow Detective Moss’ (Paula Newsome) arc in the episode to breathe, going from letting her follow her heart to being thrust right back into investigating the class.
This episode serves as a pivot to most of the plot points, effectively shutting the door on elements that were given too much time to marinate. It does, however, end on a pulse-pounding dramatic beat that’ll have you at the edge of your seat.