Below we continue our guide into Keith Barry’s Deception. Read on for an episode guide and review of the program titled Cops & Robbers, originally aired on June 8, 2011 (6/8/11) on the Discovery Channel.
Deception starts with Mr. Barry claiming to be able to read minds “through the transfer of electric shock.” What did that mean? He went to a police station and had a cop think of a random word. The officer tased him (yes, with a taser) and guessed that the cop was thinking of the word “bicycle.” It’s an edgy start, but completely inconsistent with his psychological mind reading persona.
The intro served as the basis for the episode’s theme: law enforcement, and applying Keith Barry’s abilities to the line of duty. The next segment was done with five police officers, standing in for criminals sneaking weapons into a prison. Each cop selected a weapon from a table with Keith Barry turned away, hid it on his person, and Keith was able to successfully guess which officer had which weapon concealed. Intermittently he tells of how to look for physical tells on people. Some of the information is legitimate, but it remains to be seen if it has anything to do with what he actually did in the routine.
After that, Keith Barry did a trick with a forensic artist. He sat down, claiming that he could influence her to draw a predisposed face by forcing her with non-verbal psychological cues. The girl begins to draw a face at random, and it matches very closely to a person sitting in another room. This trick was by far the most impressive in the whole program, possibly in the whole series thus far. Very good.
After that, Keith joins a SWAT sniper. He has the shooter fire three rounds at a target on a range, having predicted beforehand what areas the cop will hit. All predictions match accurately. At this point, you begin you realize that Keith Barry is over-using the words “What if I told you.” He uses it in every segment. It gets annoying quickly.
After that, he approaches an officer at a desk and has him take ten bullets out of an ammo clip. The cop puts the bullets into his pocket, and randomly pulls out a number of bullets out of his pocket, holding them in his closed hand. He guesses correctly twice. After that, Keith Barry has a random number of bullets in his hand, and the officer guesses correctly.
And next, irony. He attacks psychics for taking advantage of cops by claiming to use their powers to help the officers. Isn’t that exactly the same claim Keith Barry started the program with?
He follows that story with a routine with three file clerks in a police station. He has them think of an imaginary crime, and shows them a file that he placed on a table before starting. The file is of a case that actually happened, with the details of the case matching the volunteer’s made-up information.
For the finale, Keith Barry shows how his “skills as a mentalist can be used in solving crimes.” He asks an ex-convict with a past in grand theft auto to steal Keith Barry’s car. He gives the keys of a vintage car to the man and asks him to hide it anywhere in the city, saying that if Keith Barry can’t find it in an hour, the car is the volunteer’s. He interrogates the man and his friend, using a giant map of the city to gauge their responses. He has two officers in a police cruiser looking for the car based on the interrogation. Of course they find the car and return it, with just seconds to spare.
Three episodes in, the show is seeming very repetitive, even stale. Same story, different episode: Keith Barry can do what you can’t; Keith Barry uses his ‘powers’ on a new victim. It’s not about your entertainment, Deception is about granting you the honor of observing Keith Barry’s abilities.
Conceited and narcissistic? Possibly.
But more troubling is that he claims his powers can help law enforcement. The fact is that the methods shown in the routine could not help law enforcement if used as he did. Tricks don’t solve crimes, and the psychology used by Mr. Barry is not as he makes it seem: it’s supposed to be entertainment. To claim that it can be groundbreaking for law enforcement is irresponsible and marginally unethical.