Perhaps the most contentious relationship in Gene’s life is that of his son. His son (Andrew Leeds) was separated from him for much of his life as he pursued an acting career, but miraculously grew into an emotionally mature adult without the help of his father. He and Gene have healed a lot in the last two seasons, but all that work can be destroyed in a single instant.
Cousineau is distraught with paranoia after Barry’s arrest. He fears reprisals from Barry, but it’s more likely his own fault for blackmailing the killer and talking to the reporter that really haunts him. Whatever the reason, his fear drives him to a cabin in the woods. Forgetting that he asked his son to bring him an expensive take-out, he mistakes his own son for an intruder and shoots her.
Gene’s guilty, self-centered conscience led him into the woods, convinced him someone was after him, and pulled the trigger on his son. It may have been a mistake, but it’s hard to see Gene’s morality, or his family happy about him, reeling from this.
“I have a metaphor that Gene is that kind of bug that skirts the surface of the water, never gets wet,” Winkler told Inverse. “So he’s in a well and he flies towards the sun and lands on the rocks around the well, and then his wing breaks off and he falls back into the well, and I don’t know if he drowned or not.”
He may aim to do the right thing, but his ego eternally drags him into amorality. The “Barry” characters seem to become even more entrenched in toxic cycles in season 4. Could Gene break his pattern before the series ends?
“Barry” airs on HBO and HBO Max every Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.