Bill Hader’s decision to end Barry after the upcoming season 4 is the right choice. In the ruthless world of television, a show can be a massive cultural hit, but failing to deliver on its ending may tarnish its reputation permanently. Even great TV shows can go on for too long, to the point where they have exhausted their storylines and the ending loses meaning. Other times, TV shows try to rush a conclusion, and end up leaving viewers wishing there was more. TV shows seem to be growing more mindful of this, with shows like Succession, Ted Lasso, and, of course, Barry, all concluding after their upcoming seasons.
Barry offered a healthy dose of surreal, dark comedy in its first three seasons. Bill Hader is exceptional as Barry Berkman, and truly embraces the character both as the show’s star and as a writer. Barry season 3 saw its titular character delve into a darkness that audiences had not seen from him yet, with Barry’s decisions eventually leading to his arrest. The Barry season 4 trailer shows Barry in prison, coping with the events that have transpired and planning his next move in this final run.
Barry Could’ve Run Past Season 4 (But Didn’t Need To)
In the process of writing Barry season 4, Bill Hader and co-creator Alec Berg realized that “a very clear ending presented itself,” according to Hader (via Variety). Barry has always been very interpersonal, centered more around detailed character studies and its rich themes than its action sequences and violence, as one might expect from a drama about a hit man. Barry kept its cast small and focused, allowing attention to stay on its main characters rather than continuously expanding. For this reason, ending the Barry TV show at a point that presents itself naturally, rather than deliberately seeking a way to continue, is the right call.
With three seasons and 24 episodes of Barry so far, the show has stayed concise with its storytelling. Had Barry continued to expand on its world of bizarre hit men and crime bosses, it could have been a source of entertainment for years to come. Because of its acute nature, it works best for Barry to neatly end with the conclusion of its main character’s arcs. Bill Hader admits that he did not necessarily need to end Barry by any constraint of the studio, but he thought it would work best and HBO trusted him with the decision.
Why Barry Could Continue Even If Season 4 Is The Last Season
In the modern world of television and entertainment, very few things ever really, truly, end. It has become increasingly common in recent years for popular TV shows to receive follow-up stories, whether it be prequel, sequel, or spinoff, either in the form of spinoff TV shows, or as movie releases. With shows ranging from Luther to Teen Wolf getting spinoff films in 2023, and Peaky Blinders on the horizon, never say never to the idea of more Barry adventures in the future.
Albeit without Bill Hader as its star, Barry does lend itself well to a potential continuation. The HBO TV series has crafted such a rich and elaborate world, there is opportunity for exploration beyond just the titular character. As with the likes of Better Call Saul, expanding upon side characters can be very rewarding, if done correctly, and Barry could take that path after season 4 ends.
MORE: Barry Season 3 Ending Explained (In Detail)