[Spoilers for the Season 1 finale of Barry below.]
Barry, HBO's dramedy about a hitman who wants to be an actor but can't escape his life of violence, ended its first season in a very dark place. Barry (Bill Hader), having already murdered his Marine friend Chris (Chris Marquette) to keep him from turning himself into the police over their roles in the gunfight with the Bolivian cartel members, got even further away from his self-justified delusion of only killing "bad guys." During a weekend away with his now-girlfriend Sally (Sarah Goldberg), their acting teacher friend Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) and Gene's girlfriend Det. Moss (Paula Newsome), Moss confirmed that Barry killed Ryan Madison (Tyler Jacob Moore), who he followed into Gene's acting class in the first place. After a confrontation in which Moss told Barry that she was going to arrest him, he killed her and hid her body, then quietly got back into bed with Sally as she slept peacefully, telling himself once again that he's turning over a new leaf "starting now."
It was a devastating ending for the comedy that descended further and further into dramatic territory the longer it went on. The ending is so dark, in fact, that some critics (not this one) are wondering how the hell creators Bill Hader and Alec Berg will ever make this show funny again when it returns for Season 2.
This is not a concern of Henry Winkler's. "How these two men put these two shows together into 28 minutes I will never know," he tells TV Guide, "and I don't doubt them for one moment. As we are talking right now, they are sitting in a room in L.A. with five other writers literally asking questions like 'so what happens now? What happens if? What do we do if? How do we handle this?' And out will come eight unbelievable scripts like it did the first time."
As for his character Gene, Winkler hopes he goes "in front of the camera for each of the eight episodes." He has no idea what the future holds for Gene Cousineau beyond him continuing to teach his class and not get acting jobs.
Presumably, though, he'll also have to deal with the unexplained disappearance of the woman he loves. He may even start to suspect that Barry had something to do with it.
Barry has already proven that it can do comedy and drama equally well, and its fans have no problem processing the tonal shifts that happen scene to scene. The bigger question is whether or not Noho Hank (Anthony Carrigan) will be back. That's what we're concerned about at the moment.
Barry returns to HBO for Season 2 next year.