‘Barry’ Episode 4: NoHo Hank Has Crossed the Point of No Return
NoHo Hank, the lovable gangster played by Anthony Carrigan, has always been a source of comic relief in the dark HBO Max comedy Barry. However, Hank has been showing us a newer, darker side in season 4—and things reached a breaking point in episode 4, “It Takes a Pyscho.”
At the beginning of season 4, things seem to be going great for Hank and his boyfriend, Cristobal. After rescuing Cristobal from his homophobic wife, the couple move to the desert, where they decide to open a legitimate business selling sand. However, Hank’s ambitions—and the whims of the Chechen elders—get in the way of their idyllic lifestyle. On the elders’ orders, Hank has all of his and Cristobal’s men killed. Cristobal is appalled at Hank’s ruthlessness, and after the elders grant Hank complete dominion over Los Angeles’s organized crime world, Cristobal tells Hank than he’s leaving.
What follows is one of the most heartbreaking scenes in all of Barry. Hank tries to tell Cristobal not to go. In fact, he tells him several times that he knows too much. Anyone who’s ever seen a gangster movie knows what that means: the Chechens will absolutely, 100% kill Cristobal if he walks away from Hank’s protection. Cristobal surely knows that—in fact, you can see the understanding in his eyes—but he chooses to go anyway. Hank has become utterly hateful to him.
Hank goes back inside and, in one of Carrigan’s most gripping performances, begins to sob. A minute later, one of the Chechens comes in to tell him the deed is done. Hank looks outside, and sure enough, Cristobal is dead.
Barry has gone to some pretty dark places in its three and a half seasons, but Hank and Cristobal’s love story was one of the bright spots of the series. Remember that surreal rescue scene in season 3? Their embrace when they were reunited? We were all rooting for Christobal and Hank.
So what does “It Takes a Psycho” mean for Hank’s character moving forward? After putting a hit on Barry and having his men killed in the sand pit, Hank has shown that his character is undergoing some deep, disturbing changes. In letting Cristobal get killed, Hank has crossed a threshold that I can’t see him ever returning from.
(featured image: HBO Max)
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