By now in Season 2 of BARRY, we have Barry staring down the metaphorical barrel at Sally’s abusive ex-boyfriend. If there’s ever been someone killable, it’s this guy, forcing Barry, yet again, to let his battling lives intersect. Previously, it was his personal life dating the officer trying to take down his professional life, so to speak. This time, Barry has personal motives to kill.

I am sometimes squeamish about using Sally’s trauma as a vehicle for Barry’s story, but, from my perspective, Sally’s trauma graduates in the later episodes from a punch line on the self absorption of the “LA type,” to a very real portrayal of a woman trying to heal and use her trauma how she sees fit.

BARRY Season 2 gives us a version of the Rashomon technique (notably used in Star Wars: The Last Jedi; the technique of showing different perspectives/ longer versions of flashback scenes as time goes on to tell more of the story). Like the Rashomon, BARRY‘s flashback scenes and storytelling, by Barry and Sally, keep getting extended to showcase different information as the show goes on. Sally leans into her version of events with her abusive ex, and Barry continues to paint different, though all real, versions of the events of his deployment. You start by being annoyed at Sally’s self-obsessed version of events and the exploitation of her grief and then realize that it’s that grief that makes her unable to tell her story any other way. Each time we learn more about Sally’s story, we learn more about her, and we manage to learn even more about Barry.

The show and it’s notable scenes remain so incredibly choreographed. They find the perfect way to showcase something scary and serious with an obvious hint of comedy.  The Episode 5 opening is a work of art and the one-shot sequence could battle against all of the long shot greats like the hallway fight in Daredevil. This scene is flawlessly choreographed and directed in such a way that makes it gritty, realistic, and funny, while Barry goes toe to toe with a more than worthy target. It will be one of those scenes revisited and talked about on top 10 lists for a long time. And that little girl Lily, played by Jessie Giacomazzi, needs to be cast in a horror movie before day’s end.

Bill Hader in BARRY

While some scenes are well choreographed for dark comedy, others are purely artful.  Barry’s flashback scenes remain stunning.  The choreography of these scenes paint such a picture of Barry’s perspective and why he places his loyalty where he does. In Fuchs.

The thing about Episode 5 that stays with me is that nothing happened.  Many a long-running series has had one of these episodes where absolutely nothing happens to move the plot along, and yet there is so much on display.  Like other famous episodes before it, Episode 5 could have been a standalone short film, and I am already looking forward to re-watching it.

I was somewhat fearful at the bottom of Episode 4 that Barry, like many a character before him, was given far too convenient of a way out of his unfathomable problem, but BARRY set me up. BARRY doesn’t give you easy ways out, it tricks you with them.

Barry’s tragedy remains on display when it comes to how little those closest to him seem to care.  In a more subtle way, Sally remains self-absorbed, leaning on Barry to be a literal prop, and more directly, Fuchs only caring about Barry’s kill count, even though he was almost beaten to death and is begging for help. Again, the dark comedy is on full display as Fuchs comedically sloppily tries to put a broken Barry back together with glue, showcasing how little he cares for Barry and how much more interested he is in self-preservation to Barry’s detriment.

BARRY is as messy as a crime drama while remaining as funny as the best comedies while staying as tragic and unglamorous as real life. BARRY airs on Sundays at 7:20pm/10:30pm (ET/PT).

Lindsay Traves
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