Barry Episode 5: A Barry Divided Cannot Stand

This past Sunday’s new episode of “Barry” saw our quirky anti-hero face escalating drama. After his former marine buddy stopped by a party and brought along another friend, Taylor, Barry finds himself between a rock and a hard place. Despite being a blockhead former marine, Taylor can do math. Tons of cash plus new laptop equals Barry does something illegal I want in on too. On that premise, Barry is pressured into bringing Taylor with him to take out a Bolivian stash house/base of operations for the Chechens.

At this point Barry faces a moral dilemma almost as vexing as whether or not to kill his new acting buddy in the first episode. Fuches says that Taylor knows too much and is a liability, so when they finishing killing the Bolivians, Barry should just take him out too. Barry protests that he may be a hothead but he’s a marine, and “we only kill bad guys” (even though he is after all a paid killer and not a member of the Avengers). This parallels an onstage discussion in his acting class about the ethics of murder, both in and out of war.

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What works for me is that this is kind of a dark comedy. People are being shot left and right, but you have jovial, enigmatic, even goofy characters in the mobsters and others. Barry experiences actual torment. In some ways, it’s like seeing Star Trek’s Data, or any robot for that matter, try to acquire emotions. Here we have a monotone, vanilla personality character who has always kept his head down and obeyed orders start to question the nature of his profession and existence. I also find both amusing and curious Barry’s daydreams of a life where he has become a successful actor married to his classmate and one night stand Sally. It was funny seeing him at a barbecue with Jon Hamm, but it’s funnier seeing him call his son Denzel.

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Stay tuned as things will likely get even more chaotic as Detective Moss, who was somehow inexplicably actually attracted to acting coach Gene Cousineau, continues to obsess over finding Ryan’s murderer and may eventually close in on Barry.

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