The end is nigh!
Money is not peace of mind, knowing that part two of the final season of Ozark is coming sooner than expected is. The final seven episodes of the Netflix crime juggernaut will be hitting the streamer on April 29th, courtesy of an announcement made by Netflix on Wednesday. As per The Hollywood Reporter’s coverage of the announcement, this is a somewhat surprising move.
The surprise surrounding the announcement of the return of Ozark comes from the time between Parts 1 and 2 for season four. The April 29th premiere of Part 2 comes just approximately four months from the January 21st premiere of Part 1. Many believed that the decision to split the season in two was to gain maximum Emmy Awards recognition; release Part 1 in the consideration period for one year’s awards, and release the other in the next. However, Part 2 of Ozark Season 4 comes within the same consideration timeframe as Part 1. For those wondering, the consideration period for the upcoming 74th edition of the annual Emmy Awards runs from June 1st 2021 to May 31st 2022. Perhaps the splitting of the final season was just a ploy from Netflix to increase anticipation for the show’s home run of seven episodes? To peak that anticipation ever so slightly, Netflix accompanied their announcement with a sneak peek trailer of what is to come.
In an interview with The Wrap, Ozark showrunner Chris Mundy went into detail behind the actual reason for splitting Season four in two. It turns out, it was all a bid to compromise between not overstaying their welcome with a fifth season and lending enough time to complete the Ozark story. “We always thought five [seasons] was the outside number,” Mundy said of figuring out when to end the series. “It just felt like after that – we didn’t want to repeat ourselves, we didn’t want the show to feel like it was continuing because it was a TV show and it had to continue. So really the decision has always been between is it four [seasons] or is it five [seasons], and then Netflix hit upon the idea of saying, ‘We’ll do four but we’ll make it long and split it in this way,’ and that felt perfect.”
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Mundy went on to describe how he sees Ozark’s conclusion and hints at what to expect for money launderers Marty and Wendy Byrde (Jason Bateman and Laura Linney) along with their partner in crime Ruth (Julia Garner). “I always want closure,” he said. “I don’t want to feel messed with. I want to feel like, ‘OK, that was the end.’ So, hopefully, people will feel closure by the end — whether they like it or not, I don’t know. In terms of tone, we’re going deeper into the family and their bonds. Is family the ultimate bond? Is friendship? Is marriage? At what point is it almost unhealthy to stay, even if you love somebody? We’re going to delve into that with Marty and Wendy. Hopefully, the back half will still be fun and exciting, but also really emotional for the Byrdes and Ruth.”
By Chris Mundy’s word, it seems that there will be plenty for Ozark fans to chew on through these final seven episodes. Lead actor Jason Bateman also had his say on the show’s finale. Speaking to Indiewire, the actor spoke on his findings when he pressed showrunner Mundy for clues on how the show would end; “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.”
A ringing endorsement from the show’s star then and Ozark’s showrunner confirms fans will find closure with the show’s ending. These are all positive messages that will surely be reassuring to fans. It certainly has a lot to live up to, with critics in general agreement that Part 1 of Season 4 was peak television content. In particular, the performances from the show’s leads have come in for wide applause. With seven episodes to go and time to wait until the release date on the 29th of April, it is merely speculation time from here on in. Will the Bryde’s make it to the stories end with a peaceful resolution, or will they meet their demise?