The penultimate episode of Barry Season 2 ended on a shocking cliffhanger, with assassination broker Fuches (Stephen Root) pointing a gun at the back of Gene Cousineau's (Henry Winkler) head. Fuches found where Barry (Bill Hader) stashed Gene's girlfriend Det. Moss' (Paula Newsome) body after murdering her in the Season 1 finale to preserve his murderous secret identity. Posing as a private detective with a break in the case, Fuches took Gene into the woods to show him Moss' body as an act of revenge against Barry for turning against him. While Gene was hypnotized in horror at what he saw in the trunk of Moss' car, Fuches called the police and pretended to be Gene confessing to the murder, then prepared to shoot him to make it look like a suicide. Meanwhile, Barry walked out of his feature (no, movie) audition with director Jay Roach to chase down Fuches before he reveals the truth about who Barry is to his beloved acting teacher Gene.
Bill Hader, who also executive-produces the show, sat down with TV Guide to answer the episode's most burning question: How could he put Hollywood's nicest guy, Henry Winkler, in that position?
"It just shook out that way," Hader said with a laugh. "We knew kind of early on that we wanted Fuches to take Cousineau out to Janice's body. That was a thing we always wanted to write towards." It made a lot of sense with the "spiteful anger" Fuches was carrying in that moment to have the next step in his plan be to put the gun to Gene's head. But they didn't know exactly what the next beat after that would be. "We tend to do that a lot on this show, where we write ourselves into a corner and go 'Well...we'll figure it out, I guess.'"
And will what they figured out be as devastating as the Season 1 finale, which set Barry back to square one in his attempts to change from a cold-blooded killer to a good guy? Hader says "Yeah!"
"I directed the last episode, and it was hard, because you're trying to wrap up a lot of the storylines or see where they're going to be progressing, and we just have a lot of characters for a 30-minute show," he said. "So you're trying to service all these things. But Episode 8 is dark." We've seen the episode, and it's dark both figuratively and literally. Put another way, Barry's internal darkness gets externalized in a really striking way.
And as for what happens to Gene, you'll have to tune in for Barry's Season 2 finale Sunday, May 19 at 10:20/9:20c (after the Game of Thrones series finale) on HBO to find out.