Ozark Season 4 Part 1 Review: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney's Byrdes get murkier than ever as the endgame begins
Ozark Season 4 Part 1 promises that the day of reckoning is arriving for the Byrdes. Read Pinkvilla's review of the series below.
Ozark Season 4 Part 1
Ozark Season 4 Cast: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner
Ozark Creators: Bill Dubuque, Mark Williams
Streaming Platform: Netflix
Ozark Season 4 Part 1 Stars: 3.5/5
Even as Ozark may be put into the same category as that of Breaking Bad and Narcos, while the show may not be as perfect as these benchmark shows, there's no denying that it's not a passable one when it comes to the crime drama genre. With each season, the show has built up its storyline cleverly enough to have a fan base invested in it. As the show returns for its fourth and final season, the stakes are higher and showdowns are grittier between its characters as they begin their journey towards the end and it does not look like a happy one.
If you have followed Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) from the first season of the show, you will realise that they have turned greyer by the season in terms of their deeds and it will truly be surprising if they get away with so much of it at the end of it all. With no happy ending for Marty and Wendy in sight towards the finale of the show, the first part of the last season of the show seems to be building up towards their eventual doom.
The fourth season of the show picks up immediately after Omar Navarro shot dead Helen Pierce in the season three finale, leaving Marty and Wendy as direct reports to the cartel boss. Navarro (Felix Solis) has a big task for Marty and Wendy as he wants them to strike a deal with the FBI to provide him free access to the US if he becomes an asset without any arrest. His nephew Javi (Alfonso Herrera ), on the other hand, is becoming a bigger threat that Marty and Wendy are yet to comprehend. In the meantime, the Snells are gearing up to get back into the business of smuggling heroin and Marty's former aide, Ruth (Julia Garner) has now joined Darlene (Lisa Emery) and Wyatt (Charlie Tahan) for the same. Ruth is still reeling from Ben's death and holds Wendy responsible for it.
The fourth season of Ozark also has a major focus on the Byrde kids, particularly Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) who is turning into his dad Marty when it comes to being quick and clever with the money laundering but is unaware how he may be being played by Ruth to help destroy his own family in the way. Charlotte ( Sofia Hublitz) on the other hand seems to be speaking the same language as her mother when it comes to understanding the politics of the world.
Ozark has been one show that has been pieced together season after season with such care that you feel like you have practically seen these characters descend to levels lower than you ever expected in lieu of power and money. While Batman's Marty continues to try to sweet talk his way out of situations whilst not fully realising the consequences of it, it's his partner Wendy (Linney) whose straightforwardness and shrewd behaviour that I would credit to be the reason why the Byrde family is where it is currently. One of the show's most interesting points possibly has been Marty and Wendy's relationship and how the couple's contrasting ways often have worked in their favour. Although with the final season, it's evident that it's not just Marty and Wendy but every other cartel owner and the Kansas City mob are trying to find a firm ground as big shifts are expected in the finale.
The first part of the final season sets up perfectly the journey towards an explosive finale and its beginning can be seen in the seventh (finale) episode of the season's Part 1. If you hadn't realised the amount of threat that Javi is going to pose in the final season of the show, you will begin to get a glimpse of it in Part 1 and it's not going to be easy. For a spoiler-free review, I'm not going to mention the major twist that happens towards the end of Part 1 of Season 4 but let's just say, the makers want to make sure that you realise the road to the finale is not going to be an easy one and this may be the sign of it. One can also determine from how Part 1 ends that it's going to be a Ruth show all the way in the final seven episodes of the Ozark's grand ending.
In terms of performances, Ozark continues to have a cast that at many points outperforms the script. Bateman brings his amazing comedic flair to perfectly convey the dark humour that the story processes. As for Laura Linney, it's a performance that seems faultless at best. As Wendy, Linney exudes a sense of power that is so impressive not to mention how this season she gets some brilliant scenes to truly showcase it. Another expected Emmy winner following the final season of the show will be Julia Garner. Garner conveys through Ruth the right amount of desperation that has been a result of how isolated she feels following Ben's death. Julia showcases Ruth's hurtful emotional state taking on a vengeful role with immense talent. Alfonso Herrera as Javi is also the one to watch out for in this season.
Despite the performances and the intricately written plot of the show, many viewers in the past have spoken about the show's slow-burner quality and its long-drawn episodes as a setback for it. Although I believe it works well in favour for the show to set up its nasty stakes at a slower pace. If there's one thing although that does seem out of place for the show at many points, it would be its background score.
All in all, Ozark's fourth season's Part 1 ended on a rather explosive note, thus leaving us excited to see what lies ahead in the big finale. The finale of the series is expected to show us how each Byrde family member may contribute to their eventual doom and we can't wait to see it.