REVIEW: ‘Ozark’ Season 4 Part 1

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Ozark Season 4 - But Why Tho

Ozark season 4 is finally making its triumphant return to Netflix after two years away from the streaming service due to COVID interruptions. The Netflix original series has been a hit for many of its fans, featuring the talents of Jason Bateman, and Laura Linney as the undaunted Marty and Wendy Byrde.

Created by Bill Dubuque, and Mark WilliamsOzark follows the Byrde family as they launder money for the Navarro cartel in a frantic bid to stay alive as they fall deeper, and deeper into a hole they can’t get out of. After the wild events of season 3 with the crushing events between Wendy and her brother Ben, the FBI investigation putting pressure on the casino operation, and the explosive season finale cliffhanger that left Marty and Wendy deep into cartel territory covered in someone else’s brain spatter. It was one of the biggest, untamed pieces of television I’ve had the pleasure of watching.

As if that cliffhanger wasn’t absolutely unbearable, leaving us gasping for more, the show, and the world, was hit by the pandemic halting everything. Fear not, Ozark fans as we finally get to dive into Season 4 Part 1 which picks up immediately following the events the past season. Now that Helen has been removed from service, Navarro (Felix Solis) holds Marty and Wendy in the highest of regards and things are looking up for the cartel leader, but powerful men are never satisfied for long. The kingpin has a big ask, one that may be even out of reach of the infamous Byrde’s. Omar Navarro wants out of the cartel, and he wants to be able to live in the US as a free man. He promises that if Marty and Wendy can get him out, then he’ll release them of all their obligations.

There it is. After three seasons, the Byrde family has their out, their light at the end of the tunnel. Long-term observers of the show however are well aware that nothing ever goes according to plan as there are various land mines set up to make this difficult task, even more complex. Part 1 consists of 7 episodes, with part 2 bringing us the remaining 7 episodes to close off the series finale.

This is where the show succeeds is down to the intricacies of the plot itself, and the superb performances of the characters attached to them. Linney and Bateman were born for these roles, and to this day I’ve not seen either of them deliver such emphatically impactful performances. Wendy’s character has really bloomed and taken agency of her destiny in the most frightening perspective. Rather than shying away from the immense pressure of what their family is trying to accomplish, she’s fully leaned into it. This season, however, has seen her tip the scale in a way she may not be able to come back from, as she fights to free her family from tyranny, yet how much of her morality is she willing to part with in order to gain back that privilege. Standing in Wendy’s way though, are a few barricades.

Those barricades, or land mines, for season 4, provide that particular spice of chaos whenever these characters arrive on screen. In the previous season, that title has belonged to the tornado of destruction known as Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery) who seems to relish playing the villain. Honestly, I adore a good villain, especially one without much redeeming quality who savors their part in the carnage, and Emery is more than up to task. Darlene’s particular brand of mayhem is exponentially increased which only thickens the plot.

In spite of this, we’re blessed with some newcomers in this category, as Navarro’s nephew, Javi (Alfonso Herrera), and a private investigator by the name of Mel Sattem (Adam Rothenberg) enter the mix. Javi is a power-hungry, and a sharp man with eyes on the thrown of the cartel business, while Mel has been hired by Helen’s husband to track her down and force her to sign the paper to finalize their divorce.

Added to the wonders of the performances of the character list, and labyrinth of the plot, Ozark Season 4 Part 1 also is able to post some utterly stupendous cinematography. This has been a common theme throughout the series, and the location itself really facilitates the stunning visuals. I just love the contrast of how you’ve got these astonishing houses, and staggering lakefront views, yet all around the area is this corrupt underbelly of crime-filled with heroin, death, and laundered money. Yet, it all pairs so well together.

The plot of the Ozark season 4 part 1 thrives on having everything slightly within reach, and at the same time going awry every time. The fourth season continues this trend and rapidly expands upon it. Family ties are tested, loyalties are stretched, and the body count continues to climb. Ozark is the very epitome of white-knuckled seedy drama, with truly wonderful performances that will leave you wanting more, while also silenced at what you just witnessed. Just remember, this season, no one gets out clean, and we’ve still got part 2 to wrap everything up!

Ozark season 4 part 1 is available now exclusively on Netflix, with part 2 coming later.


Ozark Season 4 Part 1
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

The plot of the Ozark season 4 part 1 thrives on having everything slightly within reach, and at the same time going awry every time. The fourth season continues this trend and rapidly expands upon it. Family ties are tested, loyalties are stretched, and the body count continues to climb. Ozark is the very epitome of white knuckled seedy drama, with truly wonderful performances that will leave you wanting more, while also silenced at what you just witnessed. Just remember, this season, no one gets out clean, and we’ve still got part 2 to wrap everything up!

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