Netflix's Ozark: Here's What We Need From The Final Season
With Ozark Season 3 behind us, we're looking ahead.
Netflix's Ozark may have just wrapped up its third season, but Season 4 is on the horizon. The streaming service announced that Season 4 will be expanded to 14 episodes for the final installment. And after watching Season 3, we have some thoughts about the show's future.
Ozark follows the Byrde family, including Marty (Jason Bateman, who also executive produces the series and directs some episodes) and Wendy (Laura Linney), and their kids, Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) and Jonah (Skylar Gaertner), on their quest to establish a profitable criminal enterprise in the Ozarks region of Missouri. It's kind of like reverse Breaking Bad: Initially a modest criminal, Marty gradually changes his tune and begins trying to extricate his family from a complex crime web that involves Mexican cartels, the Kansas City mob, psychotic poppy farmers, and more.
Warning: Ozark Season 3 spoilers ahead.
Season 3 saw the Byrdes get in ever deeper with the cartel, with the FBI sniffing around daily at their riverboat casino. Ruth (Julia Garner) grew more disillusioned with the Byrdes before cutting ties entirely, while Darlene (Lisa Emery) somehow won Ruth's loyalty and that of her cousins, Wyatt and Three. At the end of the season, Darlene and the Langmores struck a deal with the KC mob, Wendy turned her brother Ben (Tom Pelphrey) into the cartel to be killed, and the Byrdes witnessed Navarro murder Helen Pierce in front of their eyes.
It's all great setup for Ozark Season 4, which, while not yet officially announced, will surely see the Byrdes "burrow right into the center" of Navarro's operation, as Marty put it.
Here are some more things we want out of Ozark's next season.
Are you caught up on the latest show to attempt the Breaking Bad formula, this time on Netflix? Let us know what you think about Ozark in the comments below.
1. Justice for Sam
Poor Sam (Kevin L. Johnson) has been involved with the Byrde family since Season 1, when Wendy began working with him at his family real estate business. In Season 3, they took full advantage of the poor guy's naive and trusting nature, making him an unwitting accomplice to their money laundering--and eventually deliberately throwing him to the FBI in order to continue stringing Special Agent Miller along. Hopefully that backfires in Season 4 and Sam sticks up for himself for once.
2. Marty and Wendy flipping on the cartel
Marty and Wendy have repeatedly seen exactly what Navarro is capable of, most recently in Season 3's final scene, when he had his longtime lawyer Helen Pierce murdered in front of their eyes. Marty's current thinking is that they need to make themselves as essential as possible to avoid the same fate, but that moment may have woken him up to the fact that they'll never actually be safe working for him. Hopefully in Season 4 they get out of this situation somehow.
3. An explanation
That Season 3 scene was shocking, but one thing we want out of Season 4 is an explanation. Sure, Navarro is clearly a psycho, but why exactly did he casually kill his longtime lawyer? Did he somehow find out about her plan to fake Marty's confession to the FBI? Did he simply grow fed up with her constant conniving against the Byrdes? Did he learn that Erin found out about her mother's cartel job? Speaking of which--
4. Erin to get her due
Erin Pierce (Madison Thompson) had a rough time in Season 3, first getting dragged to the Ozarks by her mother, Helen, and later finding out some hard truths thanks to Ben's outburst. Unfortunately, Navarro decided at the end of the season that Helen needed to die; given what we know about how the cartel head operates, it's likely he'll have her daughter killed as well, if he has any hint whatsoever that she knows the truth about her mother's employment. But we're hoping Erin won't simply be killed offscreen (or worse, never mentioned again). She might even do something drastic like go to the authorities with what she knows, and subsequently get put in witness protection--which is maybe the best outcome we can hope for.
5. Jonah needs a win
Marty and Wendy's son, Jonah, has been largely a background player throughout most of the series, and he rarely gets any wins. Sure, he got to kiss a girl in Season 3, which is definitely a big deal for a 14-year-old kid. But we'd like to see some sort of bigger win for Jonah in Season 4--maybe his cryptocurrency schemes, which have been alluded to throughout Season 3, could pay off in a big way?
6. The FBI to close in
When the FBI showed up to audit the casino at the start of Season 3, it seemed like they would finally close in on the Byrdes' massive money laundering scheme. But Special Agent Maya Miller (Jessica Frances Dukes) mostly just circled Marty like an annoying fly, never able to act in a meaningful way. In Season 4 the FBI needs to amp up the pressure on the Byrdes in order to keep the storyline's tension up.
7. Ruth to stand on her own
As Ruth pointed out this season, she was doing crimes with her family long before Marty Byrde showed up and threw the Ozarks into chaos. Having quit the Byrdes, Ruth had an opportunity to stand on her own toward Season 3's conclusion, but it seems she's choosing instead to take up with Darlene, who has her cousin Wyatt in her thrall. However, in Season 4 and beyond, it would be great to see Ruth strike out for herself.
8. Darlene to effing die
Darlene has been a thorn in the Byrdes' side since Season 1, and while it seemed for a while like she was growing ever more unhinged, the end of Season 3 saw her capably navigating the Ozarks' criminal underworld and ensuring her and the Langmores' success for the near future. But thanks to Lisa Emery's deranged performance, Darlene is at her best when she's off her rocker. Here's hoping she goes out with a spectacular bang in Ozark Season 4.
9. The KC mob to get what they deserve
There hasn't really been a single redeeming factor for the Kansas City mob on Ozark. They're a bunch of thugs without any likable qualities, and it was a victory for Marty when he cut ties with them in Season 3, even if it came at the cost of Ruth getting the snot beat out of her. Darlene paid them back in part when she "shot Frank Jr.'s pecker off" at the season's end, but we hope the mob gets what's coming to them on a large scale in Ozark Season 4.
10. Mom and Dad stop fighting
Wendy and Marty have been at one another's throats as often as not since way back in Season 1. That came to a head when each found out that the other was bribing their therapist in Season 3. But we're tired of seeing them fight. With the obstacles and adversaries they're facing, it would be great to see the Byrdes united in Season 4.
11. Go a different way from Breaking Bad
Ozark sometimes has a tough time extricating itself from Breaking Bad's shadow. Both shows are about white collar nincompoops gradually growing criminal empires (basically). Ozark has done a great job setting itself apart from its predecessor, but as the series heads into a potential fourth season, the future endgame might start to take shape (Breaking Bad lasted five seasons total). We're hoping Ozark manages to carve its own path and end differently from Breaking Bad, which saw its central family torn apart and Walt on the run.
We don't know what's going to happen to the Byrdes in the future, but we're confident it's going to be good TV.
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