One crucial moment of the show’s final episode almost didn’t make it in — when Barry stands in Cousineau’s apartment, just seconds before being shot, and comes to the conclusion that he should turn himself in. In fact, in an alternate version of the episode, Barry was the one who pinned his crimes on Cousineau in the first place. In an “early, early version,” the ex-hitman “was much more involved” in framing his former acting teacher, Hader revealed to The Wrap.
“It was a whole thing where Jim Moss finally catches him and it’s like Barry out-maneuvers Jim Moss in this interrogation battle,” the series co-creator explained. “He tells him the truth about what happened but says he was manipulated. Basically, the movie that you see at the end, in an earlier draft, Barry tells Jim Moss that is what happened.”
This wasn’t the only iteration of events Hader had considered. In an even earlier version of the script, the writer drew a direct connection between Barry’s false confession to Moss and the skills he’d learned from Cousineau in acting class. “He’s using his acting,” the “Saturday Night Live” alum said.
In most renditions of the script, Barry had no plans to face the music. It was actually not until a week before the scene was shot that Hader even had the idea. “[I]t just came to me right then, I was like, ‘Oh, he should be turning himself in,’ and [our producer] started laughing,” Hader recounted. “She said, ‘Oh my God, yeah, he turns himself in, and if Cousineau had just waited two seconds…’”
But even in a world where Barry “out-maneuvers” Jim and Cousineau, he still doesn’t get away scot-free. Cousineau was killing him either way, but in an earlier iteration, Barry wasn’t the acting teacher’s only victim.