Cousineau Makes a Fatal Mistake newsusface

In case last week’s episode of Succession wasn’t enough of an emotional gut-punch, HBO has decided to offer up more gripping storylines right alongside it, with new episodes of Barry. Yes, now Succession and Barry will be airing their fourth and final seasons back-to-back through May. Sundays are now our cry nights. Or will they be our therapy? Perhaps our evenings to have watch parties?

There’s nothing to celebrate about in the Season 4 premiere of Barry, titled “yikes”—except the fact that NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) and Cristobal (Michael Irby) have finally achieved their “happily ever after.” Hopefully. In the world of Barry, no one is safe. This even includes Barry (Bill Hader) himself, as he’s ended up in prison, after former acting coach Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler) ratted him out to the feds last season for killing Cousineau’s girlfriend, police officer Janice Moss (Paula Newsome).

Narcing on Barry really gave Cousineau a new lease on life, especially brightening up the washed-up actor’s stage career. Thanks to his role in the arrest of Barry, Cousineau makes headlines—his is a wild story of a teacher and his murderous apprentice, and all the nosy folks in Hollywood want the scoop. Vanity Fair has been busting down Cousineau’s door, in fact. Hell, if this were a real story, I’d probably be tasked with showing up at Gene Cousineau’s front porch too. Hollywood Wannabe Turns Into Murderous Villain, Imprisoned by Former Acting Teacher—this headline has a nice ring to it.

Alas, Cousineau would never give me the interview, because he’s agreed to give no one the interview, a deal he strikes with Janice’s vengeful father Jim Moss (Robert Wisdom). If they do, there’s a slim shot that Barry can use their words against them and get out on parole. Instead, they have to keep quiet and close to the chest. For Jim, this is no problem. For loud-mouthed, fame-hungry Cousineau, though? This is the challenge of a lifetime. It’s a struggle even bigger than apprehending Barry.

Meanwhile, halfway across the country in Joplin, Missouri, Sally (Sarah Goldberg) reads those headlines to discover Barry was a murderer all along. Those violent outbursts? They were all a part of a larger thread involving his destructive side hustle. While some may be comforted to learn this news while at home, surrounded by family and other loved ones, Sally’s screams and sobs are met with no support from her careless (yet hysterical) mother (Romy Rosemont). Worse: Her father (Michael Dempsey) has replaced all the whimsical decorations from her childhood bedroom, where she’s staying, with mounted heads of hares, geese, and other woodland creatures. How inviting!

Seeing Sally back home in Joplin provides an extra layer of context to her TV show of the same name from back in Season 3, which crashed and burned after it premiered on an algorithm-based streaming service. Though the story was deemed autobiographical, as Sally rewatches the drama side-by-side with her parents, they pick apart every minute detail in the storyline. Sure, Sally’s parents are an absolute hoot. But it also goes to show that Sally was really willing to throw her integrity away for fame, acting success, and ultimately, happiness. Now, with nowhere to turn after that explosive “entitled c*nt” video, is fame still her desire?

While everyone’s separated—minus Barry and Fuches (Stephen Root), who are together in prison—there seems to be a solid throughline between Sally, Barry, and Cousineau’s storylines, with each one entangled in this ongoing PR mess. Hank and Cristobal are the only two that appear to have survived the end of third season unscathed. And thank goodness, because they needed a break! Now, the couple live in an isolated home in the middle of the desert—where, unbelievably, there’s a huge sand shortage. We catch up with Hank and Cristobal at home, where they think there might be a business idea somewhere in that, since sand is needed to make homes in the desert.

After checking in on nearly everyone, we return to Cousineau. Astonishingly, by this point in the episode, he has still kept his mouth shut. It’s a feat, really. But old habits die hard, and in the final scene of the episode, he shoots a call to that Vanity Fair reporter (a great role for Mulholland Drive’s Patrick Fischler). Cousineau can offer him the whole story, uninterrupted, just once, at a secure location. This is surely a huge mistake, but hey, I’m happy for that Vanity Fair reporter. He didn’t have to do a lot—and the Pulitzer is on its way.

This is likely a big misstep for poor Cousineau, though—all for the glory of seeing his name in print of a Vanity Fair magazine. Not only is he endangering himself by publicizing his story about Barry, who can now use any of Cousineau’s words against him in trial, but he’s also throwing his tight relationship with Jim Moss into question, by betraying their oath to steer clear of the press. Cousineau is now in a place where both his enemy and his partner—Barry and Jim—are against him. We’ll just have to wait and see what, exactly, he leaks to the press.

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