5 years of money-laundering ends at Ozark

Iftekharul Islam | Saturday, 21 May 2022

Ozark comes to an end after the part two premiere of season four, concluding the series running since 2017. 

When the show first premiered back then, nobody thought a drama about money laundering could go this far. But here we are, witnessing the Byrde family going through the immense struggle to attain a safe future and live happily ever after leaving behind the past. 

Marty Byrde, the Byrde family patriarch, is a Chicago-based financial advisor covertly laundering money for an infamous Mexican cartel. Marty’s world gets upside down when he and his business partner Bruce are accused of skimming cartel money, both getting marked for execution. 

To save the lives of his and his family, Marty makes a last-minute attempt to lie about a better future of laundering at the Lake of Ozarks, which succeeds. 

Since then, Marty’s journey has been all about finding ways to save the family by laundering for the cartel while dealing with local criminals and crime rings in the process.

Marty gets to deal with criminals ranging from the local criminals Langmore family to the rival members of the cartel he works for. They choose their fate with consequences, though it would seem that they had better choices if they listened to Marty’s advice.

However, Marty’s concern also includes the law enforcers who want to see him behind bars. He is always on edge, never losing his composure and showing weakness to his enemies lest they kill him and his whole family. 

His wife Wendy is always there for him, although their relationship looks transactional rather than a typical husband-wife relationship. She is only seen as supportive of Marty at first, but as the story progresses, she becomes a mob-like figure who will go to any extent to save her family. Laura Linney does a fantastic job portraying this role.

The Byrde siblings cannot be overlooked. Jonah, the youngest Byrde member, was a timid nerd boy as a child but was mature enough to understand the intricacies of his father’s doings. 

As he ages in the later seasons, he is shown to be an expert in helping his father and even taking up guns while the family gets into dire situations. 

Charlotte, the eldest sibling, was a happy-go-lucky teenager at first. But she shows a great deal of maturity when she decides to stay with her family through the ordeal instead of running away.

Though the show introduces many adversaries who want to stop Marty or come into mutually beneficial understandings, one character that stands out is Ruth Langmore. 

Looking for a better future and putting behind her criminal family, she gets involved in the Byrde’s laundering scheme. But little did she know that it would cost her whole family, making her hungry for revenge instead of thinking of the future. 

Ruth shows a great amount of ruthlessness when in need, even killing a cartel’s top lieutenant for revenge. Julia Garner plays a phenomenal role in portraying the character, earning her two primetime Emmy awards.

Jason Bateman did a remarkable job directing the show and portraying Marty Byrde. His performance won him multiple Emmy awards as actor and director, a rare feat. 

Nevertheless, Ozark is a slow-burning crime drama with a lesson for the show’s characters - always listen to Marty.

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