Barry – Season 4 Episode 4 “it takes a psycho” Recap & Review

it takes a psycho

Barry Berkman has escaped prison and police have flooded the streets of LA as episode 4 of Barry season 4 begins. There is panic all around and Fuches, who was seen shouting “murder” before it happened by everyone, is beaten black and blue.

The police seem to think he is the one who ordered the hit and knows where Barry is currently. Gene has been placed in a cabin in the woods until the mess is sorted out. Jim is after Barry but a cop pleads with him not to “kill Barry” if Jim finds him before them. Jim is not making any promises as of now.

The police have stationed units outside Gene’s house, outside his cabin in the woods, at NoHo Hank’s HQs, and also with Sally. To ease tensions, Hank and Cristobal decide to throw an R&R for the Chinese and Guatemalans.

Sally is with Kristen, her student from the last episode, on the site of Mega Girls and she’s overwhelmed by the huge set. More importantly, she spots Sian Heder, the brilliant mind behind the film CODA. Sally is a fan – like us – and approaches her. Funnily enough, Sian laments working on this kitschy pot-boiler after such an inspiring work of art.

Kristen fluffs her lines and Sally goes after her to reinforce Kristen’s confidence. Tom, Gene’s agent, finally gets service and informs Gene that Barry has escaped. Hearing the news sends Gene into hysterics and he scampers around on the lookout for his assassin. Sally, Sian, and Kristen’s agent Mark, chase after Kristen. Sally shows her how to perform the scene, winning plaudits from Sian. Now, she must eke it out of Kristen to finish the scene.

Instead of going to the real HQs, the SWAT teams burst into the place where the meeting took place between the Chinese and Guatemalans. At the real HQ, Hank kills all the leaders from the two groups in a weird quicksand drowning moment. Cristobal is almost killed too but Hank timely saves his life. Actually, Hank had agreed to take Batir’s deal and the Chechen goons then kill all the members of the two groups to take over the operation. Cristobal inevitably feels betrayed by Hank.

Fuches strangely wins the respect of the other inmates by not telling the police about Barry. In the most bizarre and heartbreaking scene of this season, Gene shoots his own son, Leo, as he had brought Gene’s favourite stuff from Coral Tree Coffee, thinking it was Barry.

Sally is propositioned by Mark to become Kristen’s acting coach and her client to get her career back on track.¬†She says she will think about it, before being vexed as Kristen breaks the news about Barry breaking out of prison to her. Andrei hands over the keys to the Chechens’ LA operation to Hank. He now has an army of Chechens to flourish their business but Cristobal is unhappy. He is heartbroken and shocked over Hank’s cold-bloodedness.

Hank tries to ground his explanation in two things: firstly, the Chechens threatening Hank to stop the sand operation or die, and secondly, to be the ultimate crime lord in LA. Cristobal says he wanted the business to be legitimate but Hank calls him “naive.”

Cristobal announces their separation, as he wants to go away and never speak to Hank again. Hank is threatening at first but he soon realizes what would happen to Cristobal if he tried to walk away. When Cristobal refuses to listen, Hank comes back inside with a resigned look. He breaks down into tears until he hears the door.

That is when he calms and collects himself, as a Chechen goon (who looked remarkably like Cristobal in the hazy background) walks in and says “It had to be done.” Cristobal’s lifeless body lies beside his car and Hank bids him goodbye.

Jim sits outside Sally’s home. She arrives there and calls out for Barry in the house. He shows up and tries apologizing but Sally cuts him off. “Let’s go,” Sally says determinedly. “Really?” replies Barry in a squeaky, confused voice, trying to understand why Sally has said this.

The final scene this week is surreal. John, the little kid we have been seeing this season, is actually not Barry. He has a fight with his brother Travis and is asked to go home, which is right there on the field. John opens the fridge to find bottles of champagne and cans of beer with a half-eaten doughnut. Behind, we see grown-up Sally and Barry – John and Travis’ parents.

The Episode Review

I have mixed feelings about the choices made for certain characters in this episode. Hank and Cristobal’s romance played out like a Greek tragedy with shades of euphoria, betrayal, and hardened metamorphosis. Cristobal received an unceremonious death, one that he did not deserve and Hank ossified as a human being, deservedly becoming a Chechen crime lord. But is that what he really wanted? Is that the direction his character was headed this entire time? I am not sure.

There is a sense of betrayal as a viewer watching this drastic change. Even though Barry has always used the drastic jumps in the story quite well, this one with Hank feels cold-blooded. Leo Cousineau, of whom we haven’t seen much, also died an ironic death at the hands of his own father. Wait till that news is broken to Gene for the “real drama” to unfold.

But even that felt out of place. It was too “hard” a decision on a relatively unknown character, but who seemed like a good guy. Was Hank’s speech to Cristobal at the end about “difficult decisions” an allegory of the writers’ room? Episode 4 of Barry had some hard, confounding outcomes for the viewer.

It makes things difficult for the characters in this season, but Sally and Barry had a somewhat positive endnote. It was a huge surprise and given how desperate Sally was to get back on track, this too seems abrupt. Well, I am reserving judgment about how everything plays out but though the show is creatively masterful, this episode in particular felt a little vain.

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You can read our full season review for Barry season 4 here!


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