Any time you think your family drama might be getting too contentious, switch on an episode of Ozark and I guarantee you’ll feel better. The Byrde family boasts Godfather-level dysfunction, as evidenced by the money-laundering, short-term estrangements, and, uh, murder that prop up the plot.
As a Missourian, born and raised, I can’t say this hit Netflix series is a ringing endorsement of my home state, but it sure makes for riveting television. We now know a “super-sized” season 4 is on the way, which is good because things have gotten extra knotty lately. Here’s what we know about the Byrdes’ next chapter, and how their story might detangle itself before the big finale.
Season 4 will be Ozark’s final season.
On June 30, Netflix officially announced Ozark would return for a fourth and final season, exploring the Byrde family’s final steps through the criminal underworld after leaving their cheery Chicago suburb behind. They’re now intimately acquainted with cartel boss Navarro—perhaps too acquainted—and, after all they’ve sacrificed to get here, they’ll finally have to discover if it was worth it.
“We’re so happy Netflix recognized the importance of giving Ozark more time to end the Byrdes’ saga right. It’s been such a great adventure for all of us — both on screen and off — so we’re thrilled to get the chance to bring it home in the most fulfilling way possible,” showrunner Chris Mundy told Deadline.
The fourth installment will be split into two parts.
Deadline reported the series will be longer this time around, with 14 total episodes split into two seven-episode parts. We’re not sure exactly what this means for the narrative’s organization, but we guess we’ll witness something like a cable network’s mid-season finale, later followed by the “real” finale. In other words, expect more than a few gut-punches throughout.
The main cast will return.
We’ve already said goodbye to a few main characters (sorry, Helen), but Deadline promises most of your favorite faces will return. Jason Bateman will reprise his role as Marty Byrde, along with Laura Linney as Wendy Byrde, Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore, Sofia Hublitz as Charlotte Byrde, Skylar Gaertner as Jonah Bryde, Charlie Tahan as Wyatt Langmore, and Lisa Emery as Darlene Snell.
Production is set to begin in November.
Bateman told IndieWire the gang hopes to get back together by November 9. “Everything is moving well toward that, and we’re very confident in the guidelines and protocols we’re going to be following,” he said. “We’ve got tons of consultants, [and] we’re learning a lot from other productions.”
But that doesn’t mean the fourth season will be a quick and easy wrap. It’s unlikely we’ll see another chapter for the Byrdes until mid-to-late 2021. “I think the fastest we can turn around a full season, from starting the writes room to having Netflix push it out, is basically 12 months,” Bateman told Collider. “There’s just no way to do it any quicker.”
The fourth season will focus, at least in part, on wrapping up Ruth’s narrative arc.
Even I can’t fake a Missouri accent as deep as Ruth Langmore’s, but what makes her character so captivating is how that rough, abrasive speech contrasts with her petite stature, blonde curls, and tender heart (buried somewhere behind all that shit-talking). Now that she’s officially turned against the Byrdes and joined the Snell heroine operation, we could see her descend deeper into darkness—or maybe carve a path that’s all her own.
Mundy told EW in a recent interview that he thinks season 4 “will be about whether or not Ruth [Garner] really can create something of her own that she wants and is sustainable, or if she wants something else. And I think it will be about if the Byrdes can turn the biggest mistake of their lives into this huge advantage, and how much will karma catch up with them if they do?”
Bateman knows how things will end for the Byrdes.
But don’t expect him to drop any hints. In an interview with IndieWire, the actor said, “I do know where everything is going to end. The specifics leading up to it, I didn’t really grind [Mundy] on. But I was interested in the big question he has the opportunity to answer: Are they going to get away with it, or are they going to pay a bill? What does he want to message to the audience about the consequences of what the Byrdes have done – or lack thereof? We had some great conversations about that, and he’s got really good ideas about that. Specifically, what kind of happens at the end of the last episode: I know, and it’s great.”
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