Ozark season 4, part 1 review – the Byrde family experience a whole new landscape

January 20, 2022
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Reviews
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Ozark is en route to finishing an exemplary series excellently.

This review of Netflix’s Ozark season 4, part 1, does not contain spoilers.

I remember reading a comment for the YouTube trailer for Ozark season 4, part 1, that made me chuckle. Someone suggested that they cannot wait for season 4 because “it will be good, because it’s Ozark.” When a series becomes so reliable, it becomes an event that feels inevitable and comforting. And it’s no surprise that Ozark is heralded as an alternative to Breaking Bad (or better). There’s an argument that could easily stray that it is better, but we can serve that for drunken debates at house parties.

Ozark season 4 is the juiciest predicament yet. Not only does this signal the end of the story, but it brings the Byrde family to the top of the food chain; after their brave encounter at the end of season 3, they now have a direct line to the cartel boss Omar Navarro. It’s difficult to describe our feelings when Omar blew the brains out of Helen Pierce. What an outrageous, spine-chilling end to a superb season. We were left shaken and suffering from cold turkey by incredible and brave writing.

Season 4 entwines the ironies of power. Summarising Marty and Wendy Byrde is tricky, but they are indeed walking contradictions. The first part of the final season sees them grow that contradiction in the most outrageous sense, as the couple became the new Helen, navigating the war in the Ozarks while also playing a double role with the FBI and the cartel. The story’s scope is broader than ever, allowing anything and everything to happen.

But with the scope widened, the writing could have easily turned to audacious belief systems. Fortunately, Ozark continues to honor its superb direction and Emmy award-winning dialogue. With each season growing this universe, the story has managed to remain grounded, bringing back the story’s strengths; the chaotic life of Ruth and the swindling nature of Darlene. At its roots, despite the change in landscape, Ozark does its best to remain its best for the audience.

And there’s undoubtedly an endgame feel to the narrative. This is the last chance for the Byrde family to find the freedom they supposedly lust for. Still, as cheesy as it sounds, “with great power comes great responsibility,” and season 4 certainly taglines that with a swiveling moral compass. The story forces the audience to wonder what these characters actually deserve. There’s this notion that “life is life,” which does not exactly need to be fair.

Season 4 surprisingly brings in a few new characters that are integral to the story. It’s always a risk to bring major roles so late into the plot, but the patient writing means that new cast members slot in relatively quickly.

And like in previous seasons, Ozark still has this habit of catching you off guard. One can be watching an episode believing it’s just a plot builder, only for there to be a shocking revelation near the end. There are a few moments like this in season 4, and we expect there to be a few more in part 2.

However, we need to air caution to the wind. This is only part one after all, but so far, Ozark is en route to finishing an exemplary series excellently. And that’s what the fans expect, especially when the story expects so much patience from the viewer.

What did you think of Netflix’s Ozark season 4, part 1? Comment below.

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