Ozark returns to Netflix with possibly it’s best season yet! It’s exhilarating, intense and puts its characters through bigger and more brutal tests than ever.
After the successful opening over the riverboat casino, Marty and Wendy Byrde (Jason Bateman and Laura Linney) are now faced with the need to expand their money laundering empire with the only feasible option, buy out the rival casinos along the river. This doesn’t come easy as tensions build between the Byrde’s and the Kansas City mob, the Mexican cartels and a new FBI agent watching their every move from inside the casino. However, when Wendy’s younger and troubled brother unexpectedly arrives, the struggle of running the business becomes more apparent as he brings his troubles to the Ozark’s with him.
Ozark is one of those rare shows that genuinely feels like the stakes increase each season without feeling too far-fetched. Everything that happens to each character in the show feels like the natural progression of the story, and that’s why it’s such a fascinating show to watch!
Season 3 opens with a literal blast, as we see cartel violence increasing in Mexico, causing concern for the Byrde’s as their operation increases exponentially. This is the catalyst for Wendy to become our main player this season, taking control and being a complete bad ass while doing it. There’s no denying Laura Linney’s portrayal of Wendy previously has been powerful, but she really shines through this season, boasting a commanding performance throughout. This is paired perfectly with Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer), the cartel ‘lawyer’ who is now an integral part in the Byrde’s money laundering scheme. McTeer’s performance is just as intimidating this time around, making you feel incredibly uneasy when you know how much control she has!
Bateman is great as usual as Marty, and Marty has one of the more intense arcs this season as a man who just can’t seem to catch a break. We also get to dive deeper into the personal side of Ruth Langmore’s life which gives fascinating insight behind her tough exterior. Ruth started out this show as a character that I would get easily frustrated by, and now she is easily one of my favourites, which is a testament to the fantastic writing of Ozark.
With many directors from previous episodes returning, the beautiful cinematography is once again in the forefront, every frame demanding the audience to look deeper into what the story is trying to say. All the little details of seeing shots of how people react to news, discover a new secret or get brutally executed is all captured with a sense of the constant looming dread this show is known for.
There is no disappointment to be had in Ozark season 3. It emulates what the show has done well before, and forgive the casino pun, but doubles down on these factors to create an extremely binge-able watch during quarantine!