Episode 2 Reestablishes the Signature Blend Between Comedy and Drama
In final week’s season premiere of Barry, we noticed the HBO collection enter maybe its darkest section but, with Invoice Hader’s title character indiscriminately murdering a number of individuals with none remorse, hesitation, or ethical battle. His performing profession stalled and his skilled life crumbling round him, he’s returned to contract killing, dividing his time between murdering and coach-loafing. Whereas he struggles to search out course in his life, Gene tries to kill him, just for Barry to show the tables on his outdated performing trainer, practically murdering him earlier than Barry “has an thought,” maybe saving Gene’s life — the principle focus of the season’s second episode, “Limonada.”
Within the opening moments of “Limonada,” Barry’s thought to avoid wasting Gene is revealed: he plans on getting Gene an performing gig on Sally’s present, reviving Gene’s personal failing profession. When he brings the thought as much as Sally at her present’s workplaces, Sally reveals to him that she had already tried securing Gene a job, however that his poor status in Hollywood and eccentric character has just about blacklisted him from each main tv studio on the town. Pissed off, Barry breaks down in anger in entrance of Sally and her staff, backing her right into a wall and screaming at her that they should do extra for Gene — one thing that Barry “wants” to do so as “to dwell.”
Driving round city looking for Gene’s work, Barry stumbles onto an audition in a police procedural collection, securing a job for himself whereas additionally negotiating that Gene seems as a background further within the episode. Elated, he unlocks the trunk that Gene has been locked in for the previous day, solely to search out that Gene has escaped into the close by suburbs. Giving chase, Barry finally meets Gene again at his son’s home, silently threatening Gene’s household with a view to maintain him quiet, and informing Gene in regards to the duo’s function within the police collection.
In the meantime, Hank’s lover and former rival, Cristobal, is shocked to search out that his father-in-law, Fernando (Miguel Sandoval), has arrived on the town, bringing with him an enormous group of elite Bolivian mob members to remove Hank and completely purge the Chechens from Los Angeles. Conflicted over the place his loyalties lie, Cristobal privately advises Hank to run for his life, saving him and his males from an organized mass hit from the Bolivians, and primarily breaking apart with Hank consequently.
For such a somber and sometimes instances extremely critical episode, “Limonada” looks as if a return to type for Barry, balancing its bleak ambiance with the collection’ signature mix of light-hearted and darkish humor — one thing that was noticeably lacking within the virtually humorless season premiere, “forgiving jeff.”
One of many strongest and most original traits Barry has is its means to inject nearly SNL-levels of comedy into its in any other case critical plotline, and in “Limonada,” we see that trait reintroduced, coming into play a number of instances all through the episode, undercutting the tensity of 1 scene and permitting for a small chortle while you least count on it.
Significantly noticeable examples of this may be discovered when Cristobal breaks up with Hank — the digicam lingering on Hank’s heartbroken face for a comically lengthy stretch of time as we hear Cristobal loudly strolling away, moving into his automobile, beginning it up, and listening to a blaring sports activities radio broadcast as he drives away (one thing that looks as if a gag straight out of Household Man or The Simpsons). Or later, there’s the hilariously surprising scene throughout Gene’s escape from Barry. As he races via suburban backyards, we see two girls within the midst of their very own breakup inside a home, with the principle explanation for their romantic points stemming from the truth that one companion has too many canine (within the background, we see Gene being mauled by not less than 20 completely different canine, a extremely unique parody of the traditional “rottweiler within the yard” cliche we’ve seen in dozens of flicks and TV reveals prior).
Whereas descriptions of such scenes could seem a tad ridiculous at first, clashing with the general seriousness of the episode, the collection’ humor stays arguably the strongest function of Barry — the comedic moments making the drama that rather more sobering, giving viewers a much-needed little bit of reduction from all that depth.
Nevertheless, for all of the comedian parts you will discover in “Limonada,” the episode nonetheless incorporates some poignant or emotional moments as effectively, paying homage to the downbeat tone of “forgiving jeff.” The principle storyline involving Barry’s quest to avoid wasting Gene’s profession — finally, the one approach that he believes he’ll be capable of redeem himself for killing Janice — could seem noble and a step in the direction of his redemption, however is definitely proof of his personal gradual path in the direction of irredeemable amorality.
It’s value mentioning that Barry does certainly love Gene — one thing that Invoice Hader himself confirmed when discussing the episode. As Gene factors out to him, Gene is the individual answerable for Barry turning his life round, serving to him get into performing, and overcoming his previous traumas within the conflict (as Gene places it, “Not solely did I educate you to turn into a superb actor, I taught you to be a superb human being”), and Barry is perpetually grateful for him due to that.
Nevertheless, Gene’s try to kill Barry has locked them in some type of bizarre stalemate: both Barry kills Gene, stopping anybody else from ever studying the reality about his felony previous, or Gene accepts Barry’s assist to jumpstart his profession. In Barry’s thoughts, serving to Gene land a job is a approach of paying Gene again for Janice’s homicide, with Barry believing that Gene will (hopefully) be grateful in the direction of Barry consequently, and by some means overlook all of the ache Barry brought about him.
In fact, that is all a whole delusion on Barry’s half, nearly definitely stemming from his already doubtful psychological state — one thing we noticed in “forgiving jeff,” when Barry randomly begins hallucinating visions of bullet wounds in individuals’s heads. As he tells Sally in the course of his breakdown at her workplace, he isn’t actually making an attempt to assist Gene — not on a private, emotional, or profound degree. He simply mistakenly believes that serving to Gene’s profession will by some means redeem himself in Gene’s eyes, mending their relationship and serving to Barry overcome his personal despair.
Barry needs so badly to be a superb individual — despite all of the horrible issues he’s performed — and he hopes that by getting Gene to acknowledge his good deeds that it’s going to right any wrongdoings he’s responsible of committing.
As a result of Barry loves Gene a lot, he holds an unbelievable quantity of weight on Gene’s evaluation of him: If Gene thinks Barry is a foul individual, Barry should be a foul individual. If Gene says “I really like you, Barry,” as Barry pressures him to do within the ultimate moments of the episode, that will imply Gene (in Barry’s eyes) forgives him and is grateful for Barry’s efforts in reigniting his profession, making him a superb individual by proxy.
Satirically, that is juxtaposed with Barry threatening to kill Gene’s household — his son and grandson — ought to he step out of line and name the police, warning Gene to just accept his assist or endure the implications.
All of that is simply additional proof of Barry’s more and more unstable psychological state — his gradual Walter White descent into full amorality. (Though it’s unknown whether or not this risk is a bluff on Barry’s half — one thing to scare Gene into remaining complacent — or whether or not Barry is definitely promising Gene he’ll kill his household if he acts out once more.)
Except for the episode’s most important storyline involving Barry and Gene, we’re additionally starting to see some deep-seated issues for Sally in her skilled life as a showrunner and in her relationship with Barry. As talked about above, Barry has a nervous breakdown in entrance of Sally at her workplace, angrily lashing out at her in entrance of her complete manufacturing staff — probably the most tense, uncomfortable scenes in Barry to date, and one which queued Sally into the type of individual Barry secretly is.
If that weren’t sufficient, Sally additionally begins going through mounting stress from studio executives, who bump her collection as much as a better launch date with a view to keep away from launching concurrently with a sitcom that has a earlier premise to Sally’s personal present.
Although this requires her to resume her deal with the present — giving it her undivided consideration in order that she’s in a position to make her due date — Sally returns house, selecting up a pleasant pasta dinner for Barry, setting his place with a contemporary beer and gifting a brand new online game distant management, anxiously awaiting his arrival house.
Sally’s arc all through this episode is a troubling one. We all know that she suffered from home abuse by the hands of an outdated boyfriend, Sam, and right here, plainly she’s reverting again to her extra culpable self, instinctively feeling that she’s within the fallacious when her Barry lashes out, going out of her strategy to attempt to make it as much as him consequently.
To Sally, Barry’s breakdown wasn’t an argument and even Barry bursting out in irrational anger. She actually feels she was within the fallacious and that Barry was in the proper, and that she deserved being yelled at. It’s a deeply regarding growth of their relationship — one the place Barry could also be slowly turning into the perpetrator of home abuse towards Sally, and one which reveals Sally’s wrestle to maneuver previous her personal previous trauma and forge a life for herself in the beginning.
It’s tough to say the place the occasions of Barry will head from right here, but it surely’s plain to see that this third season — although solely two episodes in — is maybe probably the most downbeat and miserable season of Barry to date, one characterised by mounting psychological unease in virtually each main character (aside from the newly-introduced Fernando — performed by the sensible and effortlessly humorous Sandoval — who gives a lot of the humor for the episode).
Will Barry and Gene’s function on the police collection redeem Barry? Is he previous redemption solely?
We’ll should tune in subsequent Sunday to search out out.
Barry airs weekly on HBO and HBO Max, each Sunday at 10 pm EST.
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Picture Credit score: HBO Max.