“We’re close. We’re SO close.” – Wendy Byrde’s putatively reassuring mantra in “Ozark,” which is almost always a sign the family is in more trouble than ever.
The only true spoiler I’ll offer about the series finale of the almost always brilliant, darkly funny and twist-filled dysfunctional-family crime drama “Ozark” is we do NOT get a scene in which Marty and Wendy Byrde and their young son await the arrival of the older daughter while seated in a diner and enjoying a basket of onion rings while Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” plays on the jukebox.
That’s off the table. Everything else you can possibly conceive is in play. Suffice to say that in keeping with the pitch-black tone of this instant classic Netflix series throughout its 44-episode run, punches are never pulled, old scores rarely go unsettled and there are consequences for your actions. Revenge is a dish best served when you least expect it.
Seven episodes available Friday on Netflix
That narrows it down to about 1,465 possibilities. Enjoy!
Four months after Netflix delivered the first half of the 14-chapter final season, the streaming giant is dropping the final seven episodes on Friday, and if you’ve been a hardcore fan from the start, there’s little chance your final binge won’t take you all the way to the finale in one big viewing gulp. The stakes are higher than ever—and yes, sometimes repetitively familiar and excessively melodramatic—as Chicago transplants Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman), Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) and their now mature-beyond-their-years children Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) and Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) survive by any means necessary in the blood-soaked waters of Lake of the Ozarks and alternate between fraying at the edges on a Shakespearean level and vowing to stick together as they face a myriad of obstacles blocking their path to freedom and safety, including:
- FBI agent Maya Miller (Jessica Frances Duke), who has had it with Marty’s duplicitous machinations and is no longer interested in brokering a deal guaranteeing the Byrdes’ safety.
- Wendy’s estranged father Nathan (Richard Thomas, doing Emmy-level work), a born-again holy roller who swoops into town and marshals a campaign to find out what happened to Wendy’s missing brother, Ben (Tom Pelphrey).
- Former Chicago cop turned private investigator Mel Satten (Adam Rothenberg), who is convinced Ben is dead and the Byrdes are responsible for it.
- Former cartel boss Omar Navarro (Felix Solis) and his perhaps even more ruthless and cunning sister, Camila (Veronica Falcón), who are either allies or sworn enemies to the Byrdes, depending upon how certain circumstances play out.
- The fiery and cunning and mercurial yet somehow always sympathetic Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner), who was once Marty’s trusted ally and still might have a soft spot for him—or is she determined to take his casino, squelch his money-laundering operation and feed him to the feds or the cartel, whichever gets to him first?
As they have throughout the series, Jason Bateman and Laura Linney continue to deliver some of the finest work of their respective careers, while Garner remains the supernova standout in the universally excellent, extended supporting cast. Over the course of four seasons, “Ozark” hit a few road bumps but never stalled out, not for one single episode. The finale keeps that streak alive.