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Bill Hader Promises Barry Will Come to a 'Satisfying' End

Hader is directing every episode of the series’s final season, which premieres on April 16.
  • Bill Hader in Barry (Photo: HBO)
    Bill Hader in Barry (Photo: HBO)

    Bill Hader is ready to say goodbye to Barry. Henry Winkler and Anthony Carrigan have hinted at it, but Hader has officially confirmed to Variety that Season 4 will bring the HBO comedy to a close. The eight-episode final season will premiere on HBO and HBO Max on April 14. In a press release, Hader said “It’s been an amazing journey making this show, and it’s bittersweet that the story has come to its natural conclusion."

    In many ways, Season 3 of Barry could have been its last, and Hader tells Variety that many questioned why he was working on Season 4. Not only did Barry Berkman’s crimes catch up to him on screen, ending with the character being taken away in handcuffs while surrounded by the LAPD SWAT team, but it also showcased some of Hader’s career-best work as an actor and directorhe just won his third DGA Award for his work on the Season 3 episode “710N.” Why not go out on top?

    According to Hader, Seasons 3 and 4 were first conceived as one big season, with Season 3 serving as the setup to what Hader and Amy Gravitt, the executive vice president of HBO comedy programming, both call a “satisfying” end.

    A teaser released by HBO shows Barry locked up and on the phone with Gene Cousineau (Winkler). Barry’s hallucinating Gene, Sally Reed (Sarah Goldberg), and Monroe Fuches (Stephen Root) in the prison yard, hinting at some surreal elements coming into play. Elsewhere we see Sally walking onto a set, Gene holding a gun, and NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) shakily sipping on something. Barry is threatening someone’s life, but we don’t yet know whose — at this point anyone could be the cause of his rage.

    “What happens in Season 4 is structurally radical in some ways, but it made sense for what I think the characters needed to go through, and what I think the whole show is always kind of headed towards,” Hader tells Variety. “You realize, well, we could pad a lot of stuff, and just make story. But if we’re going forward, it ends in Season 4.”

    Hader is directing all eight episodes of the show’s final season, in part to “make things easier for everybody,” because Hader’s vision for each episode in seasons past was so specific that he was overwhelming directors with his suggestions and changes. Now he’s fully in charge to end the show exactly as he imagined, and is currently in the process of editing the final episode together and coordinating reshoots to make sure the audience sees the story’s conclusion as clearly as he does.

    Season 4 of Barry premieres April 16 on HBO and HBO Max. Seasons 1 through 3 are now streaming on HBO Max. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: Barry, HBO, Anthony Carrigan, Bill Hader, Henry Winkler, Sarah Goldberg, Stephen Root