Review: Barry, "you're charming" | Season 4, Episode 3
In which podcasters make for poor assassins...
If you’d told me at the beginning of the show’s run that NoHo Hank would end up as one of the few moral voices in an insane world… well, I probably would’ve nodded, because I tend to trust people. But I don’t know if I would’ve actually believed it. The character seemed like a one note joke at the start, his depth more suggested by Anthony Carrigan’s wonderful performance than by the writing itself. Even the joke was an obvious one: hey, it’s a nice guy in a room full of killers, and he’s got his heart set on managing a small business somewhere. A good joke, sure, but if I’d gone in without any advance knowledge, I would’ve assumed Hank would wind up dead by the end of the season. Or maybe he wouldn’t even be granted the drama of an onscreen demise; maybe he would’ve just dropped off the scene as Barry’s focus shifted elsewhere.
Instead, his role on the series has only grown–he’s been a core member of the ensemble since season two, and his current relationship with Cristobal is one of the few non-toxic relationships we spend time with. Oh yes, and he also has a decent sense of morality; while he can be just as self-serving as anyone else, Hank at least tries to stand up for the people he cares about. And when he decides he can no longer support those people–like he does when Barry calls him from prison in tonight’s episode–he’s crystal clear about it. Hank was being serious when he called Barry “evil” a while back, but it was an affectionate label, a sort of honesty-between-friends moment. But since learning that Barry plans to turn rat to the feds, Hank has done some extremely quick re-assessing. You could say his speech about Barry’s real nature is a little self-serving, given that Hank has already given the go-ahead on killing his former buddy; but it’s not like anything Hank says isn’t true.