Barry, Episode 4: “Commit… to YOU”

Oof, my heart broke for Barry this episode. Sally clearly does not return his affections and Barry, who I assume hasn’t had anything resembling a human relationship in years aside from Fuches, reads too much and invests too much into their one-night stand. (Note he continues to daydream about a life with her even after she’s sent him on his way.)

I’m starting to understand why Sally isn’t much of an actor or hasn’t gotten anywhere; she’s too self-absorbed, her complete inability to notice or attend to Barry’s feelings in any way– to merely use him to make herself feel better– a sign of that. Of course, I’m not without sympathy or empathy for her; that scene in the agent’s office was just brutal, and a reminder of just what type of scumbags you can meet working in the entertainment industry. The audition was also, unfortunately, a sad reminder of Sally’s naivete and need to cling to any shred of a sign she’s going to make it– I don’t mean in the sense of not anticipating the predatory quid pro quo the agent was offering, but in the sense of treating a “hip-pocketing” as real representation, something she’s done since the first episode.

Barry tries to connect with Sally; Sally is apparently uninterested, and while she is probably on some level transferring her frustrations and feelings about the audition and the agent onto him at the party, her dismissiveness the morning after seems to indicate that it’s not just that. Barry falls on his face with the attempted gift of a laptop, something he decides to do upon taking Gene’s advice to live his life for himself to heart. (And then falls on his face worse when he tries to get possessive of Sally after she’s flirting with someone else.)

The laptop gift is prompted by maybe the funniest scene of the episode: Barry doing the Blake monologue from Glengarry Glen Ross. Barry has obviously never seen Glengarry Glen Ross, and probably not any David Mamet, and maybe not any movie ever, and it’s a hilarious misunderstanding of what the character and scene are about. Gene calls him out on this: “I wanted to see if you could play someone with balls.” He sees through Barry; he sees that Barry has been the tool of other people his whole life, someone who does what other people want him to do. (Even his attempts to answer Gene are colored by that attitude.) Gene pushes him and pushes him to prove he means it, prove he wants to be in this class– and we cut to Barry confronting Fuches at the driving range. “There’s a lot of things I want to do, but you don’t care about any of that!” Take out a stash house all by myself? Oh yeah, let’s have Barry do it. He’s fucking Jason Bourne!”

Fuches shrugs it off, and later confronts Barry at Natalie’s party. Fuches calls him out for lying to him about not taking the acting class; he also calls Barry out for being sloppy. (“You really let me have it today, so I thought, ‘Well, Barry seems upset about something.’ So I got worried, and I followed you here. And you know what, you didn’t notice, which surprised me, because I thought ‘Well, Barry would notice, I mean, if someone’s following him, that’s kind of his job.'”) Fuches reminds Barry to not let the acting get in the way of the job. Barry promises him it won’t. Of course, it already has.

When you’re a serious criminal, you can’t really keep one foot in that and one foot in normal life. Barry lets Sally talk him into setting up a Facebook account, where he connects with a fellow Marine he once knew who lives in Los Angeles, Chris. Chris invites Barry to get a beer with him and two other Marines, Barry invites them to the party instead, and after they get kicked out because the other two (Taylor and Vaughn) start wrestling in the middle of the party, the four Marines make plans to get drunk at Dodger Stadium.

Taylor rides with Barry and quickly figures out his secret. Now he wants in. This can’t be good.

STRAY BULLETS

  • Fuches knew what he was doing more than I picked up last episode. “Yeah, he decided he’d rather off himself than talk to me. I pulled a major mindfuck on him.”
  • Also time to praise Stephen Root’s performance again; he really gets how Fuches knows exactly what to convey with the right words spoken in the right place at the right time in the right tone of voice. Writing down the quotes doesn’t nearly do the performance justice.
  • Sally to Barry about Facebook: “You want to be found, don’t you?” Barry’s reaction is that of someone who does not want to be found.
  • I didn’t cover Gene’s hilarious date with Detective Moss, arranged under the pretense of having new information for her. The most relevant information: Ryan was a bad actor. Also, Gene seems to genuinely win her over over the course of the evening, thanks to promises of great chicken, genital kicking, and lessons in crying on command.
  • That said, Gene’s closer is a classic: “Oh, Janice.” “What?” “Well, you’re the detective, and I got the confession, m’lady.”
  • Natalie keeps bragging about having Zach Burrows at her party, who is apparently playing the live-action-to-be-shrunken-down-and-voiced-by-a-child motion-capture model for the new Pinocchio. This constitutes a big deal among the struggling, wannabe actors, and Natalie’s bragging and everyone else’s response to it, like so many other aspects of the show, are a reminder of the superficial, desperate, and transactional nature of so many people and relationships in Hollywood.
  • Also hilarious how that Natalie doesn’t even try to hide that she knows Zach from AA (or perhaps NA) and that Barry still doesn’t pick up on it.
  • Sasha talking to Zach: “So I guess I have technically had my first audition, but it was just, like, in North Hollywood, in this guy’s apartment, and he was just like, ‘Dance.'”
  • The technician the LAPD brought in to brute-force the locked camera gets the job done– and while they can’t identify the man shooting the Chechens themselves, they’re pretty confident anyone who knows him can. (It is a tall, tense-shouldered guy, clearly.)
  • And speaking of: No Chechens this week! We spent more time with the actors, so it makes sense, but even so, I was surprised– Glenn Fleshler and Anthony Carrigan are credited in every episode.

Your thoughts?