Bill Hader Wasn't Certain Barry Season 4 Would Be The End Of The Series

After three hilarious but harrowing seasons of murder, HBO's pitch-black dramedy "Barry" is sadly reaching the end of its run. The series' titular hitman/amateur actor is finally in jail, an event that feels like it could be the conclusion of any other show. But this is "Barry" we're talking about, and there's one more season to see how far Barry Berkman will descend into his own personal hell. Interestingly, co-creator, director, writer, and star Bill Hader didn't actually make the decision to end the series until plotting out season 4 with the other writers and realizing that there was nowhere else for the story to go.

Hader, alongside co-creator Alec Berg, didn't map out the four-season run from the very beginning. Rather, the pair revised script plans multiple times, a remarkable feat considering how tightly interwoven the series is. According to Variety, Hader and Berg wrote season 4 during the pandemic lockdown in 2020 before filming had even begun on season 3, then went back and revised season 3. That was before the two decided to finally end the series while returning to work on the fourth season.

A structurally radical end

Hader knew that "the story naturally ends after season 4," as he told Amy Gravitt, the executive vice president of HBO's comedy programming, but that doesn't mean he set out knowing the journey would finish there. On the contrary, he let the writing process for season 4 happen naturally, even exploring a plotline that was eventually abandoned before ultimately arriving at the idea that season 4 should truly be the end, according to The Wrap. In the Variety interview, Hader called season 4 "structurally radical in some ways," but also a logical endpoint: " 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."

Season 3 certainly ended in a subversively definitive way. The entire series has seen the villainous protagonist trying to cover up his crimes and leave the life of assassin Barry Berkman to become actor Barry Block, but the law finally catches up with him and his malevolent secrets are out. "I mean, a lot of people after last season were like, 'Why are you doing another season? It should have just ended,'" Hader recalled. Still, "there's so many things unsaid," especially involving Barry's relationships with the other characters that, thankfully for fans of prestige television, one more season is necessary for the final act of this nightmarish theater.

"Barry" season 4 premieres this Sunday night on HBO.