In which Barry tries to see if he can get out that damn’d spot…
Right from the jump we get a ton of red flags about Taylor: He’s remarkably indiscreet with his voicemails, Chris can’t really vouch for him (and each new anecdote or bit of information about him is a red flag), and later, when they’re planning the raid, he’s seemingly not paying attention to what Barry’s saying at all.
The raid is going forward, despite the murder investigation, thanks to some smooth talk by Fuches. Goran wants to pull out because of the heat from the criminal investigation into Ryan’s murder. Noho Hank’s lipstick cam footage has brought the investigation to Goran’s door, as the police showed up to ask if he knew the escaped man. (And oh yeah, as Goran reminds us and Barry confirms, that’s an insane and idiotic thing to bring to a hit.)
It’s also brought the investigation a little closer to Barry, as Detective Moss shows the grainy picture to the class; nobody can identify Barry (“photos usually have a head and face”), but she still questions the three tallest actors in the class who could conceivably match the body type– Eric, Jermaine, and, of course, Barry.
Barry, fortunately, has an alibi– Barry the auto parts salesman went out for dinner with a co-worker, Frank Ewing, “from the corporate office in Texas,” and then they met “a guy from a manufacturing plant,” Ramón Diaz, for drinks. And we see a wonderful bit of acting when National Treasure Stephen Root handles the situation (“Box phone! Box phone!”) and first answers a burner as Frank, then a different one as Ramón, complete with not-great accent. It works, at least for now: Moss thinks she missed something in the investigation, but she’s not sure what. Her instincts tell her not to take the actors’ portraits off the wall of suspects, though, and she later stops by Gene’s house for an unannounced night visit.
Meanwhile, the casting for the Shakespeare scenes is announced; Barry, Sally, and Natalie are doing the “Out, out, damned spot!” scene from MacBeth, which is bad news for Sally for two reasons: One, she wants to keep some distance from Barry, citing his “toxic masculinity.” Two, she doesn’t want to play Lady MacBeth again, but she’s overestimated herself– Natalie is playing Lady MacBeth, and she’s playing the gentlewoman. (Barry is the doctor.)
After they perform, Sally says the scene’s not working; it’s pretty clear what she means is that she should be Lady MacBeth. Natalie calls her out on this, and again, when the class (sans Barry) is at a bar, Sally is suggesting he should apologize for getting angry, saying she’s thinking of the group– and that’s when the rest of the class calls her out again, not only for sleeping with Zach last episode (Natalie threw the party and invited him, and had been talking about it for months) but for several other transgressions we haven’t seen. Sally increasingly seems like a person who hides her selfishness behind the language of inclusivity, and the rest of the class is catching on.
Speaking of the scene, the class is discussing what it’s about, that the spot, of course, represents the stain on Lady MacBeth’s soul from being a killer, one she’ll never get out. The class begins to discuss that MacBeth is even worse; Lady MacBeth ordered the killing, but MacBeth carried it out. Naturally, Barry takes umbrage to this point of view, eventually blowing up on the class that they don’t know what it’s like to be in that situation. (We know he’s really talking about being a killer for hire, of course, but on the surface, he’s talking about his combat experience, and they think so too.) Barry then storms out during the acting exercises. He’s thinking about the job. He’s told Fuches that Taylor knows about the Bolivians and wants in; Fuches has ordered him to take Taylor out. Barry doesn’t want to do that to a fellow Marine, but Fuches seemingly gets it to sink in with repetition: “You know Taylor has to die, right?”
But Barry’s determined to get that spot out. So even after Taylor isn’t paying attention to Barry’s plans before the raid, and even after Taylor goes full Leeroy Jenkins (yes, he even yells “LEEEEEEEROY JENKINS!!”) but still proves his mettle, slaughtering all the remaining Bolivians after Barry is knocked out, Barry decides his loyalty to the Marines– and to Taylor specifically for having his back– and to whatever might be left of his soul is greater than the instructions from Fuches.
Barry doesn’t do the job. And we end on him bringing Taylor into the fold. Things are about to get complicated.
STRAY BULLET POINTS
- Chris’ red flags about Taylor: He’s the only guy who ever got kicked out of a group to help Marines reintegrate into society, he broke a guy’s jaw for spilling a drink on Chris, and Chris’ wife doesn’t want him hanging out with him.
- Jermaine thinks Eric killed Ryan. So close.
- We meet the Chechens at what appears to be Goran’s daughter’s gymnastics class.
- I love Barry’s complete lack of sympathy for Noho Hank. “I’m serious, too. He should kill you. You brought a lipstick cam to a hit… fucking idiot.”
- “You know what they’re gonna say? They’re gonna say you wear pissy pants.”
- The scene in the hotel room after Barry tells Fuches about Taylor had me cracking up, first with Fuches repeating “FUCK!” in the shower, and then with Barry’s initial response to Fuches telling him to kill Taylor after the raid: “So, what, we just take out whoever threatens us? That’s… toxic masculinity.” “What the fuck is that?” “It– it doesn’t matter. It– it’s not what we do, okay?”
- “Do you remember your training? You take out who you’re told, when you’re told, and you leave arbitration to the fucking pearly gates!”
- Absolutely hilarious when Gene not-even-stealthily worked in the brag about having Detective Moss’ phone number.
- I didn’t talk much about the raid, but it was expertly paced and staged, with the way the quiet hangs a sense of portent over everything, interrupted by the occasional bursts of gunfire, the distant noises of the rest of the Bolivians reacting, and eventually giving way to the massive firefight.
- That poor kid with the groceries. I guess even being a low-level errand boy for a criminal organization has its downsides.
- “I feel like Shakespeare whiffed it on this one.”