After unwillingly finding themselves at the mercy of the cartel, moving to the swampy suburbs as a key cog in a drug ring and the owners of an actual casino, the Byrde family’s get out from their unlikely path as criminal masterminds is finally in sight.
Ozark season 4 has arrived, or at least half of it, and Marty, Wendy and their children Charlotte and Jonah are close to returning to their lives in Chicago. Or at least that’s the unreachable dream.
Following on from the blood bath of the season three final, it’s a new chapter for Marty and Wendy which begins by picking out bits of their former lawyer Helen Pierce out of their hair after she was shot by the Navarro cartel after, against her better judgment, the Byrdes proved to be far more valuable.
Of course, her disappearance was never going to go unnoticed for long and, naturally, the Byrde family are among the first people interrogated by a private investigator hired by Helen’s husband.
Although, that’s hardly even makes the list of their concerns.
Omar Navarro is looking to get out of the cartel himself, but his loose cannon of a nephew Javi Elizonndro is looking ahead to take over his uncle’s cartel and has absolutely no obligation to keep the Byrde family on side or even alive at all – and they know it.
What’s more their family is falling apart.
After learning that Wendy turned her brother Ben over to the cartel, realising he’s a liability who would likely get them all killed, Jonah has washed his hands of his parents and instead proving his loyalty to Ruth – now ruling her own money laundering business with her cousin Wyatt and his now lover Darlene.
Ruth’s allegiance to the Byrde family has been totally decimated and is now looking dead set to build her own empire, and why shouldn’t she? She’s got the drive and brawn to blow the Byrdes away.
But perhaps the most exciting development, and unexpected, is the evolution of Charlotte.
When Ozark began and the Byrdes reluctantly followed Marty on his path to become number one money launderer for the world’s most dangerous drug lords, Wendy was a back seat passenger – and a reluctant one at that.
Easily the most fascinating development throughout Ozark has been watching her take charge, more often than not proving herself a greater asset to both her family and the cartel than Marty.
In season four, Charlotte clearly shares her mother’s determination and cunning nature, finally stepping up as a major player for the Byrde family, proving to be an invaluable asset to steer attention away from Helen’s murder, keeping Ruth in check, or at least trying to, and becoming fully equipped to serve as her parents’ go-to.
If anything, it’s just a shame her growth comes so close to the end but the build up to Ozark’s swan song still feels perfectly timed.
Across one of the best ensemble casts on television right now, Julia Garner has been a total revelation and once again as Ozark bows out Ruth is the most captivating force throughout.
Since the very beginning of Ozark, Ruth has been an astonishing character to follow and in the last chapter of the show it’s clear she is the presence fans are going to miss the most, and rightly so.
Ozark has easily become one of the most celebrated but equally criminally underrated shows on Netflix, hardly held in the same esteem both by critics or viewing figures as juggernauts such as Stranger Things and The Witcher.
Despite Emmy wins and a devoted fan base, too many have slept on what is easily one of the best crime drams in recent memory, of which there has been many.
While season four part one naturally is merely laying the foundation for Ozark’s end game, there are already plenty of twists and major developments setting up a finale bound to be a fist-in-mouth ride right until the very end.
The Byrde family’s end may be in sight but fine chance if everyone they love gets out of this mess alive.
Ozark season 4 part 1 is available to stream on Netflix from Friday.
Credit: Original article published here.