Bill Hader breaks down the opening scene of ‘Barry’ season 3 premiere

Bill Hader in 'Barry' Season 3
Photo by Merrick Morton/HBO

Season 3 of HBO Max’s dark comedy Barry premiered on April 24 and received critical acclaim.

Written by Bill Hader and Alec Berg, the new season hit the ground running after a three-year hiatus, upping the ante by delving deeper into the complex nature of its protagonist. 

The opening scene depicts a dialogue between Barry (Hader) and Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler). Carefully choreographed and filmed in a single shot, it is a veritable masterclass in visual storytelling. Unsurprisingly, the premiere episode of Barry earned a perfect score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Multi-hyphenate Hader, who is also the star, director, co-creator, and co-showrunner of the show, told The Wrap what was at the heart of the episode it’s “essentially Barry killing the very idea of forgiveness.”

Hader explained that a previous iteration of the opening scene depicted Barry’s encounter with a man looking for a hired gun to assassinate his wife. Upon accepting the contract and a sum of money from the man, Barry turns on him and shoots him. Barry is then shown in a car reversing out of the parking lot and calling the man’s wife to confirm that he has killed her husband.

The first concept was a no-go because Hader said it did not embody the overarching theme of the new season. He went back to the drawing board and re-wrote it. The final version showed the two men meeting and forgiving each other, only for Barry to turn around and shoot his rival.

All episodes of Barry are available to stream on HBO Max.