Review of Netflix Original ‘Ozark’

From the beginning, the Netflix original series Ozark has been a high stakes and entertaining crime drama that takes its viewers on a wild ride with a money-laundering family on the run, the Byrdes. Created by Bill Dubuque, Mark Williams, and directed by showrunner Chris Mund, an intricate storyline is constructed placing the Byrde family in a knotted web of money laundering that leaves them cornered with nowhere to go.

The main character Marty Byrde, played by Jason Bateman, and his wife Wendy, played by Laura Linney, give viewers a lively and combative power-hungry couple that has practically struck a deal with the devil when they agree to launder money for a Mexican drug cartel. While they are steadily suffocating under the insurmountable level of debt, this core married couple seen as dead folks walking with targets always on their heads, portray a believable and compelling character set that could potentially have them around for many more than just three seasons.

            Season 1 of Ozark sucked viewers in by familiarizing them with Marty and the family then surging them with a level of shock that would indefinitely create a lasting and intriguing effect, ensuring they came back for more of the story. With a stellar performance by the cast and viewer’s fascination for the illegal business itself, Ozark blended action with fear and used bits of violence and tragedy to turn it into an entertaining thriller.

Season 2 of Ozark establishes the family into a centrally located home in Missouri that almost makes the once immediate peril of the story seem too content to simply allow them to buy more time. Many essential characters to the story are introduced in season 2 and a lot of emotional tension among these characters is unraveled, making it essential information to the Byrde family’s journey. Marty and Wendy’s children take on much more defined roles in this season as well. They are shown growing up and truly understanding what their parents are involved in, which sparks their involvement out of family loyalty.

Season 3 was released on March 27 with a fresh set of 10 new episodes. This season begins about where the previous season left off, with Marty and Wendy’s ever perilous descent as a married couple and currently growing struggle as “business partners.”  While both are family-oriented and try to do what they individually view as best for the group, their opposing instincts clash with a mixture of delusion, selflessness, and persistent panic. The two consistently battle it out, trying to decipher who knows best and consistently thinking that they have personally found the efficient route to safety. Season 3 focuses less on the couples’ delusions and more on their plans to action.

While the previous seasons have focused primarily on Marty and almost make you feel as if he is facing the business head-on, season 3 puts Wendy directly in the spotlight. The FBI makes an encroaching appearance that adds depth to the war within the situation and expands the focus from primarily being Marty and the cartel. When a second cartel war is introduced into the story it makes the outcome unpredictable and the opportunity endless. At this point, Marty and Wendy are at the mercy of whichever way the wind might blow, no matter how smart their strategies may seem. Ozark is driven by a lot of decision making that transitions into immediate conflict and continuous drama. Season 3 also depicts the cartel and their ruthless actions far more than any other season has, giving a face to the ominous drug lord of the story, Omar Navarro (Felix Solis). This season keeps the audience on their toes while consistently dialing up the pressure of the plot. The mood induced by the murky lakeside water is incomparable as to how it sets the tone. Overall, season 3 of Ozark is a perilous, game-changing chapter that calls Marty and Wendy to action in an anticipated way that has not fully been exhausted until now. This season leaves viewers questioning whether their family will make it out of the lake alive, and if so, where will they go from there

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