I think I held my breath for much of the 2-minute, 11-second trailer Netflix released on Tuesday ahead of Ozark season four, part two.
If you kept your cool while watching Ruth appear to shoot cartel kingpin Omar Navarro’s nephew Javi; while watching Marty Byrde wrestle in a quiet, anguished moment with Wendy over what they’ve done to Ruth Langmore over the course of this show; the sight of Marty, having decamped to Mexico to stand at the head of the table in Navarro’s compound; Ruth angrily flipping off a car in the rain; a sniper; stacks of money; the two Byrde kids who are clearly way too comfortable with all this …
Well, congratulations. You have a steelier disposition than I do. At any rate, we’ll talk more below about the significance of this trailer. This is probably the last one we’ll get for Ozark, a show that’s been on Netflix for almost five years now, if you can believe that. Nevertheless, the end is nigh. The debut of the final batch of episodes is a little less than one month away. And I still think Netflix is going to give us one of the biggest deaths in the history of the streaming giant’s original series.
Ozark season 4 part 2 trailer
“I’m just sick of having blood on my hands, Wendy.”
Those are the first words we hear Marty Byrde — the desperate, brilliant, ruthless accountant played so masterfully by Jason Bateman across four seasons — utter in the new trailer. Which goes on to set up the final set of episodes so perfectly. The trailer brings just the right notes of tension and chaos to keep everyone guessing about the coming resolution to the whole bloody, shambolic, zero-sum-game criminal enterprise that Marty and his wife Wendy Byrde, played by Laura Linney, are running.
Somewhere in the Venn Diagram intersect between Byrde Inc., the Navarro cartel, and the FBI lawmen and women that are closing in, lies what will no doubt be an epic, and (probably) satisfying conclusion to this saga. A saga that began, remember, with Marty on his knees, pleading for his life, before latching on to a Hail Mary idea.
The Ozarks. Laundering money. Please don’t shoot me, just give me a chance.
Is season 4 of Ozark the last season?
The seven episodes that arrive on Netflix on April 29 are it. The end of the Ozark story — and, oh man, is there a lot to wrap up still. Although, I’m not sure that anyone would complain if Netflix took one look at its global Top 10 chart for this week and decided to give Julia Garner a spinoff series or movie at the end of this. Along the lines of the fantastic Breaking Bad standalone movie from Netflix that focused on Jesse (El Camino).
Garner also is the main star of Inventing Anna, a series that’s been on one of Netflix’s global Top 10 lists for seven weeks now. Clearly, viewers love the actress, and Ozark fans also can’t get enough of the pint-sized spitfire with curly golden hair and an unmatched skill for the angrily delivered, curse-filled zinger.
Seven more episodes with Ruth Langmore won’t be enough.
“Sometimes people make decisions, s**t happens, and we gotta act accordingly”
Meanwhile, I stand by what I wrote in February. And the just-released trailer for the second part of Ozark season four only affirms it for me:
Sorry, Marty or Ruth. One of you has to die.
As I argued at the time: No way can both of them get away with surviving, and viewers still feel like the show reached a satisfying conclusion. No — for Ozark to avoid the trap of reaching for a Hollywood ending, I’d put the odds pretty high that one or both of them dies. Either of which might go down as the biggest Netflix death since maybe Money Heist’s Tokyo.
I know which one I’m hoping for. Please, oh please, give Ruth that Jesse-style Breaking Bad ending, where he got to finally drive off after the dust had settled. Leaving behind the life of crime he’d been pulled into, more or less free and clear. Plus, there’s a sense that Ruth doesn’t actually deserve a lot of what’s happened to her. Whereas, as much as anyone might be rooting for Marty Byrde, it sort of feels like he likewise doesn’t deserve to get away with everything, free and clear.
Earlier in the series, there was a great moment where Marty coldly deconstructs the idea of money for someone. All money is, really, is the sum total of a person’s choices.
Free as a Byrde
Speaking of choices: Anyone who’s honest with themself must surely amid that there’s no big reset button waiting for Marty at the end of all his choices. To push such a button and become free of the cartel, the FBI, and everything else, essentially starting over, would be to cheat the audience and bypass the explosive finale that’s waiting for us. Seven episodes from now.
“This is the best show on Netflix,” reads a comment someone left about the new trailer on YouTube. “Being able to keep us right on the edge of our seats for this long is incredible. Utmost respect for Jason Bateman and the rest of the team.”
That’s all true, of course, but the fact of the matter remains. For Ozark to stick the landing, Marty Byrde must die.
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