Noho Hank's New Romance Is the Best Part of 'Barry'

In the Season 3 premiere of 'Barry,' at least one person is happy.

noho hank

Barry has returned to HBO's Sunday nights and everyone on the (somehow still very funny) series is pretty miserable. The titular hitman-slash-actor played by Bill Hader has returned to assassin work, coldly killing people for money. His girlfriend Sally (Sarah Goldberg) has her own TV show, but she's a mess of anxiety trying to girlboss her way into a career based on her own history with abuse. Fuches (Stephen Root) has been banished to a farm in deep Chechnya. Pompous acting teacher Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) has become numb after learning that Barry was the one who murdered his detective girlfriend.

But there's at least one person who seems to be having at least something of a good time: Our beloved Chechen gangster Noho Hank, who has not only managed to get interrogated by the police—a career goal—but has also finally found love. Noho Hank is now officially an item with his Bolivian counterpart Cristobal (Michael Irby).

The relationship reveal is both charming and a little menacing. Hank walks into a beautiful home, which we see first through security camera footage. Is he casing the joint or settling in? There are wine glasses on the coffee table and a rose sandwiched between them. He walks into the bathroom, opens the shower, and startles a sudsy Cristobal. Hank starts chatting about nailing the interrogation and then gets undressed and hops in. The next thing we know Hank and Cristobal are snuggling in bed. Sure, Barry both killed a lot of their buddies, but at least they found love.

This development doesn't come out of nowhere. Hank and Cristobal have always had a thing. Last season, when Barry offers to help Noho Hank train his guys and he figures he could take over the Burmese mafia, he decides to go 50/50 with Cristobal even though he could very easily just take the whole thing for himself. He even does a cute little dance when considering the idea of splitting control. Later, in the Season 2 finale, when Hank and Cristobal make up after their spat—just before Barry shoots up the monastery—their hug is, well, intense. Cristobal even starts to slightly straddle Hank in front of all their cronies.

What was implied is now certain: Hank and Cristobal are a couple, and when they are not doing crimes they are living a sweet life where they drink choco-lattes and eat popcorn in bed watching YouTube videos. And I, for one, am rooting for them and their dream of owning real estate in Santa Fe.

It's hard to find people to actually celebrate on Barry. Barry's hopes of rehabilitation have been shattered. He may still have the acting bug, but he's a cold-blooded killer through and through. His relationship with Sally is deeply toxic. When he comes to her set to bring her flowers, he imagines her with a bullet through the head. She, meanwhile, is so wrapped up in her series that she can't see how menacing her boyfriend has become. Noho Hank and Cristobal's situation looks downright healthy compared to what Barry and Sally are going through. Despite the fact that they are both career criminals, Hank and Cristobal have a good thing going based on mutual respect.

Look, Hank and Cristobal are not going to have an easy road ahead. They are in a dangerous business and are keeping their romance hidden. But they are the only two people on this show who are being honest with themselves, and I would love for them to spend the rest of their lives in blissful domesticity. Knowing this show, that definitely won't happen, but still, it's nice to think about.

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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.