‘Barry’ Season 4 Episode 4 Review: ‘It Takes a Psycho’ – Spoilers
Tragedies have an episode full of people getting what they want before things go wrong.
(Editor’s note: Included in the following review spoilers for “Barry” Season 4 Episode 4, “It Takes a Pscyho.”)
Open Mike Eagle’s 2020 album “Anime, Trauma, and Divorce” has a great track: “The Black Mirror episode.” details a couple who decided to split up after watching the Netflix show together. When Eagle (who confirmed the song is largely autobiographical) he sings and shouts the one-line refrain “The ‘Black Mirror’ episode ruined the marriage,” you believe what he says and sense the dark, absurd edge of the truth behind it.
It has the same feel as ‘It Takes a Psycho’. “Barry” Season 4 Episode 4 is full of people running from relationships that seem to work and running towards ones that seem doomed. People get what they want and find that what they got is broken from within. It’s half an hour of finely crafted misery that has become “Barry’s” calling card.
“Barry” slowly deconstructs the idea of partnership — Hank (Anthony Carrigan) and Cristobal (Michael Irby) are the latest in a series of self-deluding betrayals by people who, out of ignorance, or arrogance, or a fundamental misunderstanding of what binds them together, jeopardize some of their most precious relationships. .
It looked like they might be the two people who would escape Barry’s (Bill Hader) vortex with their lives and dreams. (For a while in New Mexico, it looked like they already had it.) But a fateful trip to the top of their newly acquired sand silo changes the outlook for their business and their lives together. A session of selfies and sand angels turns into a mass execution after Hank flips a switch and sends Bong’s entire support team to drown in the very product they were hired to protect. Cristobal catches them because of the little camera movement, sound design and sensory deprivation that triggers the panic attack.
Even before the scene, Hank’s eyes show that something has changed. Carrigan has always been so precise in showing the blank stare of someone who knows trouble is on the horizon. Sensing a threat from Barry, Hank makes a secret deal with his old Chechen colleagues to replace his current crew of karaoke-loving henchmen for protection and control of the Los Angeles smuggling operation.
Cristobal manages to survive being accidentally caught up in the plan, but rescuing him only leads to more problems. He doesn’t even have time to wash the sand off his face before he realizes that Hank was the orchestrator of the band’s hit. By the time they get back to their place to host Andrei (Michael Ironside) and his crew, things are broken. Hank went Full Barry, and instead of being deeply flawed and outwardly friendly, he fully embraced the mindset of strength above all else.
When Cristobal tries to leave, Hank does everything he can to convince Cristobal to stay. When that doesn’t work, Hank is faced with the panicked realization that Cristobal isn’t just walking out of their partnership, he’s going to die. Regardless of whether Cristobal shares the same realization or not, the farewell ends in tragedy.
“Barry” Season 4 once again highlights one of its themes: love used in desperation can be a nasty weapon in itself. Andrei believes as much, if not more, that Hank and Cristobal love each other than Hank does when he says “I love you” and tries to get Cristobal to stay. This final Hank/Cristobal fight is vicious because of the speed with which the two separate before either of them notices. It ends with Hank sobbing, drowning out the sound of gunshots just outside. (A subtle and brutal costume design option to dress Andrei’s henchman in clothes similar enough to Cristobal’s, so for a moment it looks like everyone averted disaster.) The front door closes, and in a matter of minutes, both men meet a fate worse than to drown in construction grade silicate.
Sally (Sarah Goldberg) also gets everything she wants, while underestimating the physical and psychological cost. For the second time in as many weeks, “Barry” calls on Best Picture director, this time Sian Heder (“CODA”), for another round of insider looks at the industry. MCU spoofs abound in the comedy world these days, and while Taofik Kolade’s script adds a distinct angle to the “indie director meets franchise behemoth” conveyor belt, the scope of this spoof project is more designed to showcase Sally’s last efforts. full context.
Sally demolishing Kristen (Ellyn James) in the acting department in last week’s episode didn’t end her career; was invited to shoot the blockbuster franchise “Mega Girls”. (It’s probably no coincidence that Kristen’s costume is as much Queen Maeve from “The Boys” as it is from the film set in Themyscira.) When Kristen takes her words in the monologue that sent her to Sally in the first one. location, his new instructor steps in with some… unusual support. When sensory memories don’t do the trick, Sally shoves Kristen’s monologue in her face before spinning around and finishing the sentences directly for Heder. The director is stunned before damning Sally with faint praise: “If I could have it that get out of there that.”
It’s more than the insensitive nature of the industry when it refers to actresses as objects, or that Kristen’s agent later told Sally that there were other roles she would “fit” for. Actor-director Hader articulates director-actor Heder by literally moving his hand past the camera. Sally wanted to be a star, but now she is literally a physical obstacle to the more valuable performer and the face behind it.
Last season, Sally received a major rejection from network TV; this minor rejection in the blockbuster world is Sally’s last straw. When Barry Marley emerges from Sally’s kitchen, he doesn’t need to hear an apology. He’s ready for the two of them to leave town.
The messy, blunt policing in “It Takes a Psycho” includes LAPD cars crashing into each other outside Gene’s (Henry Winkler) house and an inept raid on Dave and Buster. Compare each new location with the careful patience of Jim Moss (Robert Wisdom) and wait for traces of Barry in the homes of his former friends. He waits for Barry’s return in the same way that Hader directs this season: persistently, purposefully, and presents each character’s waking nightmare unadornedly, ruthlessly. Amidst a sea of daring character swings and catastrophic consequences, Jim’s particular revenge suddenly seems the most competent.
Meanwhile, the cries of Fuches (Stephen Root) echo through the prison and he is punished in return for trying to sound the alarm about the plot to kill Barry. Gene, a self-proclaimed sitting duck at the Big Bear lodge, arms himself and believes Barry is destined to return to one of his crime scenes. This anxiety results in her shooting her son Leo (Andrew Leeds), who was trying to bring her comfort food all the way from the Valley. More kindness paid with pain.
After focusing on Barry’s psyche for the first three episodes, “It Takes a Psycho” is an episode-long misdirection. Barry is hardly there, but he casts a long shadow, especially in that his manipulative ways have been transferred to Hank. (The final farewell to Cristobal has awful echoes of Barry trying to keep Sally in his life.) But “Barry” is fine even without Barry.
Until, in a baffling episodic twist, it’s him. It begins as a rehash of Barry’s daydreams from earlier in the season, with a young boy running away from the fight and retreating to a home in the middle of an empty field. Barry and Sally are waiting inside. The revelation that they are in that unidentified, remote location is shocking, but not exactly surprising. If this isolated house really is their future and not another glimpse into Barry’s subconscious, then this is another example of someone getting what they say they want and feeling pretty disappointed with the results. The only course of action now is to wait and see if the pattern of misery takes hold.
“Barry” Season 4 airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO.
Register: Stay up to date with the latest movie and TV news! Subscribe to our email newsletter here.