When you first heard that the main character of HBO’s Barry, played by Saturday Night Live star Bill Hader, is a hitman who wants to become an actor, you probably laughed a little. From a pretty neutral point of view, that’s a funny idea that has a lot of “fish-out-of-water” potential. But it didn’t take long for them to figure out that Barry would be different. Hader would not only be in this show, but he would also write, produce, and direct it. This would make it different from anything else on TV. And now that there have been three full seasons, Barry can be as tense, scary, well-made, and yes, funny as anything else you’ve ever seen on TV.
It’s also a show whose 30 minute episodes don’t waste much time. Hader has said that he thinks of each season as a four-hour movie with its eight episodes. Because HBO gives him so much freedom, he can develop his characters and move the story in a unique way that makes Barry different from anything else.
The Following Story Contains Spoilers for the Season 3 Finale of Hbo’s Barry.
Barry (Hader) is no longer in Gene Cousineau’s (Henry Winkler) acting class by Season 3. In fact, no one is in Gene’s acting class anymore, because the class has ended because of what Barry did in Seasons 1 and 2. Sally (Sarah Goldberg), on the other hand, has written and starred in her own show, only to lose it in the end because of things she couldn’t change.
NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) and fellow crime boss Cristobal (Michael Irby) have the healthiest relationship on the show, but the show won’t let that be so easy either. Monroe Fuches (Stephen Root), the person most responsible for turning Barry into the monster killing machine he is now, spends some of his time plotting evil things and some of his time living quietly on the run. It was clear that these characters had arcs that were not just sketched out, but were beautifully drawn.
We’ve come to a head by the end of the Season. Albert (James Hiroyuki Liao), a friend of Barry’s from when they were both in the Marines, is now working with the FBI to look into the murder of Janice Moss. He figures out that Barry was involved. But Barry saved his life. He knows he’s a good person, so he lets him go, starting now. This last part was, of course, about how Barry couldn’t stop making the same mistakes in his own life. And that cycle ends up costing him, because Gene sets Barry up at the end of the season, and Barry is caught by a SWAT team in the house of Janice’s dad, Jim Moss, right before he pulls the trigger again.
Will Barry Be Back for the Fourth Season?
Will! In May, HBO made a smart move by announcing that the show would be back for a fourth season and that Hader would direct all eight episodes. If they hadn’t said that, it would have been easy to think that the end of Season 3 was the end. With Barry in jail and justice done for Janice Moss’s murder by both Gene and her father, it would be a good time to end the show.
We also see NoHo Hank keep his relationship with Cristobal by finally doing his first violent act. Sally’s downward spiral continues when she kills the attacker who almost killed her just moments before. Fuches, despite all of his plotting and soul-searching, gets off relatively easy by going to prison and taking on the name “Raven.”
But Bill Hader has said he still has more to say. In an interview with Vulture, he explained why he kept the season’s killer alive until the end:
Well, dying is the end of the story, but I thought there would be more. A guy can only get away with this for so long. I know that when I watch TV shows, I sometimes think, “They’re trying to keep the show going, but it’s getting silly.” I think he would get caught because of this. He’s not Walter White or Jason Bourne. He is not very smart. He is a very stupid person.
He really is a very stupid guy. When we watch well-written TV, we sometimes forget that the people we’re watching aren’t always the ones we should be rooting for. Was Barry’s life a complete failure? Yes. Did a broken system cause him to turn out the way he did? Yes. But he is not without fault. In Season 4, which may be the last, we’ll see if Hader can find him any kind of redemption.
What Will Happen in Season 4 of Barry?
So, that’s an interesting question. Barry has been caught and is likely to be charged with killing Janice, trying to kill Jim, Janice’s father, and maybe even more crimes. Barry might be going to a lawyer and, presumably, looking for an insanity defense.
But he also seems like the kind of character who wouldn’t have much to say for himself at this point. As we saw in the desert when he fought Albert, he is completely broken. He is aware of what he has done and who he has become.
Hank and Cristobal will probably be talking about what happened at the end of the season in NoHo, and Fuches is probably still in jail even though there isn’t much evidence against him. Sally has gone back to her hometown of Joplin, Missouri, after her public breakdown and first murder.
One person who is doing well at last? After Janice was killed, Gene finally got the justice he had been looking for. After looking at himself and realizing what a jerk he’s been for so many years, he’s tried to make things right with his family and old friends, like Joe Mantegna and a director whose career he ruined. Gene’s life is going well, which Barry seems to think is a sign of bad things to come.
Who Will Be in Season 4 of Barry?
The story will continue after Barry goes to prison, and we’ll probably see a big name actor cast as a Better Call Saul-style low-rent public defender or defense attorney, since Barry won’t be able to afford anything better.
Gene will almost certainly be a big part of that main storyline, so Henry Winkler will return to the role that finally won him an Emmy. Since this is also Barry, there’s no way that fan-favorite NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) will be left behind. Sally’s (Sarah Goldberg) story is a little harder to guess, but she and Barry are pretty close, so we’ll definitely find out what happens. Fuches, played by Stephen Root, will also always be a part of the show, at least until he finally bites it.