Barry – s02 ep02 – “The Power Of No” – REVIEW

I’m in love with this show. Bill Hader never fails to surprise and amaze me. Henry Winkler gives such a hilarious performance, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen.

In the previous episode, we saw Barry recalling his first kill in Afghanistan and at the beginning of this one, we witness how much it still haunts him.

He’s in a car with Hank (my babe), planning to kill Esther, the leader of the Burmese mafia.

This episode shines an even brighter light on the complete disillusionment of those around Barry and the disinterest in what he is going through. It’s all about self-interest and self-preservation.

Barry is like a fragile and yet deadly child, who is damaged, broken by PTSD and his own guilt. He just wants to change, be a good person and ease the turmoil in his conscience.

He distances himself from Fuches and he tries to do it with Hank as well. And yet he surrounds himself with shallow and self-absorbed people, whose concept of reality is distorted and empty. The only care about “the craft” and their own ego.

He just wanted somebody not to take advantage of him, someone to reassure him he is a good person, despite all the killing.

Barry himself has a strange concept of his own life, of his job and his relationships. And the more the show progresses, the more his conscience flares up, making him reevaluating his decisions.

Barry goes to class and of course, Gene has exploited the telling of problems in Afghanistan by making it into an acting exercise: everybody has to talk about the experience that made them who they are: their parents getting a divorce, being bitten by a dog and other stupid stuff.

E: Well, he was in a war.

N: So lucky…

Gene: Yes, Barry was blessed with being able to witness the atrocities of war. Absolutely. I bet you all wish you could be in the …. with him.

They take it lightly! They put it on the same level as being bitten by a dog! They take his demos to “make it about ourselves, for a change!”. I loved this line.


Adding this line in an episode that underlines the selfishness of the characters was perfect.

Barry wants to switch topic, of course, and Gene does not. He doesn’t want to talk about being in the war. As the story that defines him, he wants it to be about meeting Gene and the teacher immediately changes his opinion. It’s all about the ego again.

And Sally’s performances in all those failed pilots were hilarious. SO. BAD.

The cop who has connected the dots between Fuches and Barry is not backing down, determined to find out what happened to his former partner Janice. He interrogates Fuches and he makes up so many obvious lies! It was so OVER THE TOP! And to be honest, the evidence was incriminating.

Going back to Barry, we see the arsenal of weapons he’s hiding under his mattress and for a moment I thought: “Really? Under the mattress? Isn’t that a bit obvious?!”

Gene goes to visit his estranged son whom he apparently abandoned when he was little.

Gene: I did what every great actor does. I improvised!

Leo: You left.

Gene: You wanna you leave them wanting more, not less!

This man is a failure in every sense of the world. He has a gigantic ego and grand hopes for himself, but he still goes to auditions for single lines in a show and doesn’t have a relationship with his son.

But according to him, he’s the best. He makes his students idolize him because that’s the only praise he’s going to receive.

But what an amazing character and I mean… Henry Winkler KILLS IT.

It’s Sally’s turn to share her experience and she complains she gets jobs until Gene forces her to share her dark secrets, about being in an abusive marriage and feeling weak.

I loved Bill performance in this scene. He looks to tormented and guilty. Barry wants to be a good person but it’s all a façade.

But in spite of that, he goes to the Burmese’s monastery and he tries to kill Esther, just like Hank wanted him to.

But he can’t. He can’t pull the trigger.

After stumbling into a room full of mobsters, getting shot at and having an accident, he goes back home and he sees Fuches, waiting for him.

But guess what? Fuches is working with the LAPD to frame him.


I didn’t think Fuches would betray Barry like this, but in this self-centered episode, I should not have been surprised.

Honorable Mentions

Barry and Hank discussing the best way to shoot Esther so he can retrieve the bloody pullet and show it to Hank’s family. And it’s such a light-hearted discussion, that makes Hank hungry. It’s so dark!!!

“That’s a guy? He kinda looks gender liquid to me” – AHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

The background noises in crescendo when Barry tries to kill Esther created a tense and disorienting atmosphere that captivated me. Hiro Murai, who directed this episode and most of Donald Glover’s Atlanta, is an absolute genius.

What are your thoughts on the episode? I want more of Hank! Please!!!

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