The midseason episode pushes many plots in new directions.
Episode 4 of Barry changes directions for characters, sets up new threats, and moves the needle in entertaining ways. This show has been incredibly good at packing a lot of punch into each 30 or so minute episode and that continues with the opening pre-title scene.
It all starts with Barry (Bill Hader) the morning after spending the night with Sally (Sarah Goldberg). She’s in the process of “helping” Barry by setting up a Facebook account for him. Not a great idea considering part of his hitman job is laying low. Doing something that’s not in your best interest for a woman you like is something most guys can relate to, and it’s what sets into motion a major headache for Barry.
Barry has been out of the dating business, hell he’s been out of the friendship business, for way too long. That becomes very evident in this episode when he has too many drinks and ends up saying and doing the wrong things. This is spurred by Sally in the opening of the episode. She asks Barry to leave after their one-night stand in a surprisingly curt way. Barry thinks it’s more than sleeping together, the poor guy, which is what sparks his outrage later when he catches her talking to a Justin Bieber-looking actor.
Cousineau (Henry Winkler) is a bit of a romantic, which is made evident when he takes out lead detective Moss (Paula Newsome), who happens to be working on the case where Barry is the culprit. Winkler is incredibly genuine in this scene as he tries to impress Moss. He might be a bit of a clown, but Winkler plays it like a Casanova. She’s there for business, but Newsome plays the part exceptionally well, showing us she likes Winkler’s affection, but she’s also very serious about her job. It’s a dynamic worth watching as it develops over the season.
Meanwhile, while Cousineau is making inroads with women, Barry is ruining them. Barry attends a party where his acting friends are holed up and ends up having too many drinks and pays the price. He also invites an old military friend over which brings his old life into his new. Thanks a lot for that Facebook account, Sally! After Barry has a few beers it’s interesting to see how Hader plays Barry as he’s no longer calm and shy, but swears like a sailor and has a lot more swagger. It’s possible he’s just drunk, but Hader plays it in a way that alludes to how Barry may have been a very different person and his more frail demeanor is a reaction to the life of a hitman.
Fuches (Stephen Root) plays the gambit and further ruins the party for Barry by threatening his new world of actors. There’s a predator and prey thing going on with multiple characters in this show and it’s quite clear Barry can be either one depending on the situation. In this case he’s the prey after Barry puts his foot down about quitting and Fuches will have none of that. Sally strikes out at Barry too after he pushes her about being exclusive. Given Barry’s daydreams, it’s obvious he thinks it’s a lot more than a fling, which is sad, but also understandable given how closed off he’s been from the world for so long. Given the bullshit Sally has to deal with via her agent and the shittiness of auditions you can’t blame her desire to strike out, though. The most dramatic and intense episode yet.
The episode ends with a lot of loose ends, but in the best of ways. I can’t get enough of this show and how impactful it is in such a small package. It balances reality quite well with funny character acting in a way that shows this is a show with staying power.