- Nate Adams
'Ozark' S4 Part 2 review: Brilliant series goes out on emotionally resonant note (spoiler free)
Courtesy of Netflix
Trying to guess the outcome in the final episodes of “Ozark” will prove futile, because anybody who watches or obsesses over the series understands the saga around the Byrde’s always yields a fair amount of twists and turns and these last seven episodes are no different. Granted, as is custom with finales to beloved series,’ the outcome could draw a fair amount of criticism and dissection. It’s one that’ll leave viewers hanging on the final frame, left to reevaluate and ponder the entirety of what came before. But what worked for me, might seem anti-climatic to others. In all, it’s a fulfilling end to one of Netflix's best original scripted shows and the performances couldn’t be more pitch perfect.
It might stumble through the motions to arrive at its fitting conclusion, but the ride to get there is a tightrope act of deception, and last minute bids as Marty and Wendy use all their assets and resources to try and go clean. Viewers will remember the end of season four part one all too well and early episodes of the second half don’t stifle that momentum, with more than a few shockers thrown in to let audiences know the showrunners aren’t messing around. Jason Bateman and Laura Linny remain steadfast in their roles, juggling a variety of emotions and character driven decisions that unravel, in true “Ozark” fashion, like the walls are caving in. The question becomes, will Marty and Wendy be able to talk themselves out of the conundrums they find themselves in? Will they finally reach a breaking point?
Considering this is the end of the line (barring any last minute spin-offs or prequels to fill Netflix’s coffers), there’s an added emphasis on the connective tissues that not only binds the Byrde’s but the entire “Ozark'' community. There’s tense family drama brewing between Wendy and her father (played again by Richard Thomas) and kids, Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) and Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz), plus the untangling of part one’s cliffhanger with Ruth’s (Julia Garner, still putting everyone on reflex) spiteful vendetta against Javi (Alfonso Herrera) for executing Wyatt. Meanwhile, cartel kingpin Omar Navarro (Felix Solis), holed up in prison after a botched raid, has aspirations of continuing his FBI informant work alongside Marty and Wendy, but of course other characters and motivations come into play that certainly throw a wrench in most of these plans.
Showrunner Chris Mundy keeps the season moving steadily which does offer closures to certain circumstances while presenting new moral and ethical dilemmas. I can already sense the ambiguity might cause a ripple in the “Ozark” fandom, but isn’t that why we’ve stayed invested all these years? Those looking for all the answers might not find what they’re looking for in these final episodes, though I can’t deny the last episode (which was directed by Batemen and runs 74-minutes) is some of the most suspenseful television I’ve ever seen (I had to pull my nails out of my arm rest). How it ends might not matter in the long run, so much as how we remember its legacy.
I was happy to go along for the ride.
OZARK SEASON 4 PART TWO debuts on Netflix Friday, April 29th.