Ozark Season 3 raises the stakes like never before, with characters transforming to new heights and a time bomb lurking from underneath.
This review of Netflix’s Ozark season 3 contains no spoilers.
I was a later bloomer with Ozark. And when I dived into a binge, naively watching chapter after chapter, I was taken back by the sheer depth and direction of the story. Ozark confirmed my belief that while Netflix offer plenty of duds, the platform is consistently producing golden TV that will be remembered.
And with Ozark Season 3, I almost expected the series to finally show its bad hand at the poker table. I was waiting for the story to fold, with the characters collapsing into a nonsensical state within a convoluted, too-ambitious plot. But alas, Season 3 proved to be as good, if not better than its predecessors. It did not whimper with the third season syndrome, pathetically bowing down to its older siblings. Instead, it acts as the third child with less strict parents but with plenty to do. The production team have evidently put their work in Season 3.
And like its predecessors, Ozark Season 3 has this impactful ability to look into a character’s soul. There is no “hero” and even good intentions can lead to villainous consequences. But the third instalment deepens the character’s thought process like thickening treacle, prompting the audience to question their moral compass and wonder what the endpoint of their ambitious goals will be. It’s difficult to predict what the characters will do in Season 3 and that makes the tension a truly invigorating experience.
Ozark Season 3 resumes from its predecessor with the stakes higher than ever. Season 2 left with a hint that Wendy had ultra-ambitions that conflicted with her risk-averse husband Marty. Season 3 tests that scenario, furthering the dynamic between them, putting their marriage through an acid test and consequently presenting a power struggle like nothing before, while an ever-lurking Helen acts as a conduit to the cartel.
But with big dreams and the byline of “keeping the family safe”, there’s always a spanner in the works. Ozark Season 3 introduces a character who is a game-changer. The character adds to the uncertainty and provides an overall sense that Bryde Enterprises is going to collapse at any given moment. Sometimes new characters can barely breathe in a well-established series, but Ozark does not fail to add a new dimension.
Of course, as usual, outside of the Byrde family you do have Ruth, who continues to be absorbing. Her transformation from little girl to strip club manager to a casino operator has been incredible to watch, especially as she convinces the audience that’s she stronger than most. Her trauma and recent experiences are now more important than ever in Season 3.
Overall, Ozark Season 3 is an unforgettable experience. Its heaviness in the direction consumes rather than bores and it is easy to wonder how they will be able to sustain this momentum for seasons to come. The Netflix series produces another sublime hit.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.