Barry S4E4 Breakdown: Darkness, But Is There a Dawn?

“It Takes a Psycho”

Hank and Cristobal throw their men a party
Photograph by Merrick Morton/HBO

Sometimes television can rip your heart out. Final seasons of shows like Six Feet Under, LOST, Breaking Bad and The Sopranos all had pivotal episodes in their final seasons that made us wonder if there was any hope to come. There’s darkness, but will there be a dawn? History has shown us that sometimes in television, especially in the best of shows, endings aren’t always happy. Barry S4E4, entitled “It Takes a Psycho,” was downright devastating. We’re going to enter heavy spoiler territory here so if you aren’t caught up, you’ve been warned.

The Death of Us

Last week we saw the Chechens return to the story, delivering a message to Hank that it was time to return to working with his people. It seemed like Hank was going to rebuff that offer and stick on his path with Cristobal to build their own utopia, a crime family that crossed borders and didn’t look down on their sexual orientation.

That assumption was incorrect though. Hank and Cristobal sent up a celebration for their men, with food, booze and women, which was followed by Hank inviting everyone to see the sand. It turned out to be a trap designed to kill the men. Cristobal was not intended to be stuck in the collapsing sand pit with the men but his delayed exit gave us a brilliant fake out of a death. Hank saved him here, lulling is into a sense of false security.

Cristobal had every right to feel betrayed by Hank planning with his former peers behind his back. Hank gave up on their dreams, killed their men in cold blood and positioned himself into a place of power, the guy that the Chechen mobsters would trust. Despite Hank’s assurances that it would be them together running LA, Cristobal couldn’t move past the hurt and betrayal.

Hank stares ahead from the arm of a chair
Photograph by Merrick Morton/HBO

Watching Cristobal walk out on Hank in Barry S4E4 was heartbreaking, but not as heartbreaking as Hank telling him that he couldn’t leave because he knew too much. He left anyway and we watch Hank sob on his couch when a figure enters the house dressed like Cristobal. After the fake-out death earlier, director Bill Hader played with our emotions as we thought everyone’s favorite lovers were about to talk it out. But they weren’t. The man dressed like Cristobal had killed him outside the home and was coming in to tell Hank.

Hank has traded the love of his life for the control of LA. Maybe not directly but that’s how the math breaks down in the end. Cristobal is dead, the man Hank has been side by side with for a long time now. Hank is alone, knowing that Barry, his former friend, wants him dead. Hank is safe but what is his grief going to look like? How does Hank process the death of the man he loves? How does he react? Does he give further into the darkness and violence? Does he have a moment of clarity about the choices he’s made? We’ve seen the darkness with Hank but is there a dawn still to come?

Then There’s Gene

Jim Moss sent Gene into hiding at the same cabin his daughter / Gene’s girlfriend was killed at. Which is cruel enough, forcing Gene to be there. To relive those feelings, all alone and isolated from everyone. But that’s Jim and on the other end of this, I’m sure in Jim’s mind he thinks that Gene would be the better for it, in addition to not being able to talk to anyone else.

When the news hits that Barry has escaped prison, everyone reacts. Gene is terrified and finds a gun to sit with. I did question if Barry would consider going to the cabin to tie up loose ends or if he would consider it to be too hot of a location. But Barry would not be the visitor that Gene, pistol in hand, would get. His son, who has already been through a lot in this life, brought Gene carry out from a cafe he mentioned previously. Gene, waking from a dead sleep, overreacted and shot at the door when he heard noise. Gene’s son lay there shot, bleeding out, whether he lives or dies unknown at the end of Barry S4E4.

Gene, despite all of his flaws, has been through a lot. His son has been through a lot. Now they’re both paying a truly grim price. There’s a lot of darkness here. Hard to say if there will be a dawn. How do you recover from something like this? For Gene, if his son dies here, this could be a fate worse than death for him. Fingers will be pointed at Barry, making forgiveness most likely impossible.

Gene receives disturbing news on the phone
Photograph by Merrick Morton/HBO

Coach Sally

Sally as an acting coach was painful to watch. Perhaps much like how Hollywood truly is, artists are sidelined while those with less skill and talent shine in projects artists turn their noses up at. But Sally was trying, knowing she needed to make a good impression here to secure herself future work.

Perhaps my favorite part of this whole episode was Sally’s reaction to the news that Barry had escaped. In that moment, Sally made a choice. She knew what her future looked like. She knew what freedom looked like.

In some ways, Barry is perhaps about the life we have, the life we dream of, and ultimately rejecting both versions, finding an escape that becomes our dream, after we discover that our own dream isn’t what we thought it would be. Sally dreamed of being an actress, escaping her small town. Barry dreamed of acting instead of killing. They both got that dream, made it come true and are now looking for an exit ramp on the highway of life.

Which brings me to the “flash forward” we’ve seen playing out. The episode ends with Barry and Sally, older, like previously seen at the wedding. They have a child who runs in the house and grabs a beer. They’re in the middle of nowhere but seem happy. Is this a glimpse of the future? We know Sally and Barry are running off together. Or is this what could’ve been? A delusion of grandeur?

Bright Spots

Despite Hank and Gene becoming more tragic than ever and Sally prepared to run away with the newly escaped Barry, all was not dark. The rehabilitation of Fuches continues. The guys in prison respect him for not flipping on Barry. They see how he’s been beat down. They see that he’s taking his beating and still not talking. They respect him and he’s seeing that now.

The final season of Barry has been dark and it’s getting darker but Fuches is the one bright spot. Will he continue to reform and move towards a better future? Hard to say but with all this darkness, it’s been nice to see some daylight.

Written by Andrew Grevas

Andrew is the Founder / Editor in Chief of 25YL. He’s engaged with 2 sons, a staunch defender of the series finales for both Lost & The Sopranos and watched Twin Peaks at the age of 5 during its original run, which explains a lot about his personality.

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