Entertainment

Ozark, Season 4 Recap, Part 2: Event TV that’s unbearably tense and obliquely poignant

If the premise of Netflix’s hit crime drama, ozark, seemed simple — a soft-spoken financial adviser moves to rural Missouri to launder $500 million in Mexican drug cartel funds — then the execution was anything but. The story of the Byrdes, Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney), has taken them from victim to perpetrator and back again and again. “A middle-class family clinging to life” may have been the elevator pitch, but that elevator now contains more bloodshed than its counterpart at the Overlook Hotel.

As things in this, the last chapter of the ozark Saga, new supremo Javi (Alfonso Herrera Rodriguez) has just murdered local heroin producer Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery) and her young husband Wyatt Langmore (Charlie Tahan). It is the latter murder that will prove more consequential, lighting the blue music paper for a tale of revenge and its ramifications. Wyatt’s cousin (and Marty’s estranged protege) Ruth (invent Anna‘s Julia Garner) is on her way to Chicago, apparently ready to start an all-out war to get some justice for one of the few people in the world whose company she can stand. “Sorry,” Javi had said as he leveled his gun at Wyatt, “whoever you are.” This simple act of mindless psychopathy—an attempt to tie up loose ends—dooms the whole deal. Marty warns Ruth not to attack Javi: “Everything we’ve worked for just falls apart.” “Welcome to my fucking world,” she replies flatly.

As the story of ozark As the family evolved, the two central families – the Byrdes and the Langmores – became increasingly intertwined. The Byrdes wanted to get rich; the Langmores wanted to get out of poverty. In the end, neither prevails — but it’s clear that the natives of the Lake of the Ozarks paid a much higher price. Call it plot armor, or just plain old-fashioned pro-employee socioeconomic bias, but the unity of the Byrde family is – for now – intact. Ruth, on the other hand, has no one. “You’re building a whole life that should be ours,” she whispers to the ghost of her murdered cousin as the Byrdes plot a return to the big city.

Meanwhile, Marty is still crawling. Missing the seat of his pants has been his default mode since he first unfolded this pamphlet for the Ozarks retreat. The toll of running North America’s largest laundromat weighs heavily on him, as do the unresolvable strains of his marriage. If he realized long ago that he couldn’t trust Wendy, she still has the ability to surprise him. “Why did you choose everyone else over your family?” she asks him. “You’re so desperate to be the good guy.” But time and the rising death toll stand in the way of Marty’s attempts to become a better man. As he returns south of the border, the Byrdes’ options become fewer and fewer. The fate that awaited him when he offered to launder half a billion dollars in five years is catching up to him. Reviewing a show’s performances in its fourth and final season is a bit like awarding the Booker Prize to the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Pritzker to Stonehenge. Still, Bateman and Linney capture their characters’ moral ambiguity with controlled precision, while Garner has grown into the show’s most accomplished performer — and its dramatic heart.

At its inception, ozark has often been unfavorably compared to breaking Bad. It’s hard to believe there wasn’t a degree of cynicism behind the commissioning, but over the seasons the show has developed its own distinctive timbre. The murky waters of the Midwest are somehow less grueling than the scorching New Mexico sun. Also, the creative sensibility is more blockbuster: realism in character development is preferred over realism in plot devices. It all builds to a pressure cooker of a final season where the cumulative misjudgments of generations of Byrdes and Langmores hang over the narrative, like Walter White’s lung scan. Maybe in the years to come ozark will be reviewed without reference to it Breaking Bad, but not yet. If Marty and Ruth feel like Walter and Jesse, then they too deserve a shine of fame to go out in. The result is an ending that’s unbearably tense, obliquely poignant, and some of the best event TV we’ve seen on a streaming service.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/reviews/ozark-season-4-netflix-jason-bateman-b2067617.html Ozark, Season 4 Recap, Part 2: Event TV that’s unbearably tense and obliquely poignant

JOE HERNANDEZ

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