HomeTelevisionOzark Season 4 Review: A Worthwhile Wait of Netflix's Greatest Show

Ozark Season 4 Review: A Worthwhile Wait of Netflix’s Greatest Show

Photo Credit/Courtesy Of Netflix © 2021

It was worth the wait. Just like Succession coming back after production delays, the latest batch of Ozark is a reminder of just what prestige TV can be. In the case of the seven episodes in Part One of season four — the date for part two is TBA — the familial and generational conflicts are brought to new heights by an all-star ensemble.

But that’s expected for a show that’s been showered with Emmy nominations. If there’s one flaw to pick at, this review could be applied to every season. It’s more of the same. That’s what fans wanted, though, right? 

The cast remains impeccable. The guest directors are prime (including the wonderful Robin Wright jumping behind the camera for the last two episodes). And the stakes continue to ramp up for the Byrdes, now on the edge of freedom from their trail of blood-covered money.

After years of working for the Navarro cartel, Marty and Wendy look like they’re about to get out from under what is now an international conflict that could continue for years. Between their meetings with the FBI and Navarro’s larger presence, the show hasn’t really reached the same stakes. And after six episodes, it seems to be resolved just how it should be for the Byrdes. Yet, there’s something missing; until the last act of the finale.

What was Jason Bateman and Laura Linney’s vehicle, it’s now set up to be Julia Garner’s moment.

Coming off an Emmy win from the past two seasons, Garner is no doubt a star. And she’ll no doubt be competing in the supporting actress category again, but the closing scenes leading up to the season’s intermission put her in the driver’s seat both literally and figuratively. Nothing on the show before, not even Bateman’s constant charisma or Linney’s brilliant devolution have controlled the screen as Garner does in these last minutes.

But more than her screen presence, it’s the crescendo of Ruth’s story and the Byrdes’ arc that will make the wait feel longer for Part Two. Just when the stakes seemed to be resolved or at least lessened on a global level, and putting the focus back on the Byrdes as a family, there’s a paradigm shift that ramps all of those stakes back up with Ruth as the center of attention. 

That could be a bit of a bait and switch, though. This season so far has had a couple of plot developments that end in a quick gunshot, and the twists run rampant. So there’s absolutely no guarantee this show ends as you’d think, but the path is certainly set and it’s absolutely thrilling that Ruth is now completely unleashed. 

While Marty and Wendy share a brief moment of intimacy in the first scene — something that has been absent from their business/marriage — and Jonah and Charlotte have shown to be the most emotionally vulnerable and genuine of the Byrde family, this season really puts in perspective how unflinchingly brave, heartbroken, and courageous Ruth is and is arguably the heart of the show.

Everything works as it should. There are a few moments where the plot might get a little ahead of itself, but in all, the course is always corrected and puts everyone in their prime. 

Overall Grade: 9.5/10

Ozark Season 4 Part 1 is now streaming on Netflix.


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