The last two seasons of “Barry” have been full of rock-bottom moments like this one, as Barry steadily alienates every person who ever loved or cared about him. By the time NoHo Hank and Barry call it quits, the last nail in the coffin of Barry’s humanity seems to have already been hammered in, and Hank’s just throwing dirt on his grave. Still, there’s something quietly heartbreaking about the dissolution of the pair’s relationship. It feels not only like a loss for these characters (particularly Hank), but also like the show, which by now is more tragic than comic, is finally letting go of one of its funniest and most enduring dynamics.
Barry and Hank have both come a long way since they first met, although it’s mostly been for worse. In the early days of the series, before Hank’s sexuality was confirmed when he pulled an enemies-to-lovers arc with Cristobal (Michael Irby), his relationship with Barry was more like a starstruck crush than a full-blown friendship. The humor in the pair’s relationship came largely from Hank’s insistence that Barry was the coolest, best guy ever, all while Barry failed to live up to the hype or even reciprocate Hank’s enthusiasm. So much has happened in the intervening years that it’s easy to forget that Hank used to seem sweet on Barry, but it all comes back to us now, in this scene where Carrigan plays Hank as deeply hurt.