Screenshot of Ozark

‘Ozark’ Season 3 Watches a Family Further Deteriorate

With thousands of fans anticipating its release, this popular Netflix drama is now on its third season. But does it hold up as well as the previous ones?

Ozark” has become one of the most watched shows on Netflix, remaining in the Top 10 since the release of Season 3 in late March.

The first 10-episode season was released back in July 2017. I remember that it appeared under Netflix’s tabs for both new releases and recommended series. At first, I was skeptical about “Ozark.” I’ve watched comedies that feature Jason Bateman, so it was odd to see him in a serious suspense role.

After watching the very first episode, I learned to watch before I judged. Every episode had different characters that brought new conflicts for the Byrde to maneuver around. It had me on the edge of my seat, waiting for what Marty and the rest of his family would do next while trying to survive as a family in the Ozark.


Marty Byrde is an ordinary white-collar worker. He sits in his office with clients, discussing potential deals. The problem is Marty’s attention is more focused on the video evidence of his wife’s affair than the actual deals going on.

From there, more lies and tension begin to surface. It is found out that Marty and his business partner launder for a powerful Mexican drug cartel. His partner, however, tries to steal without the cartel knowing. Del, a crime lord for the gang, confronts the duo and kills Marty’s business partner. At that point, Marty is forced to choose between becoming close with a powerful Mexican crime syndicate or dying like his partner. Del then allows Marty to live if he and his family move to the Ozark to make up for the lost money and launder it without any police suspicion.

Moving to a new area forces the Byrde family to share their lies and secrets, relying on one another to help keep themselves under the radar. However, lies begin to pile up as time goes by. And deception becomes necessary as FBI agents come, questioning the family’s motives for leaving Chicago.

Never-ending Conflicts

Every conflict that arises is caused by the deception of others. Relationships between characters are founded on trust but turn to deceit in order to survive a little longer.

At the beginning of Season 3, tension amongst the Byrdes begins to heighten. Marty and Wendy’s marriage begins to deteriorate further as discussions of plans are brought up. They are pitted against each other for what to do next — fighting between family safety and political status as war arises for Navarro’s cartel in Mexico. Wendy then forms a work relationship with Helen, a lawyer for the cartel, to help her new plan of laundering come into fruition. Marty, on the other hand, wants to avoid laundering to continue surveillance for any impending threats from federal agents, sabotaging Wendy’s plan whenever possible.

Constantly tugging and pulling between the two sides demonstrate a flimsy foundation on what is left of their marriage. They deceive one another to do what they believe is right and set the other up for failure. Their lack of trust, however, becomes evident to everyone close to them including Navarro and FBI agent Maya Miller.

How long will Marty and Wendy last while deceiving each other? Why was Marty kidnapped by Navarro? Who else is lying? Who is going to die next?

Would I Recommend It?

Ozark is a highly addictive drama series that grows on a foundation of deception. Every character is willing to deceive and kill to get what they desire. Relationships become more complex and it makes it hard to distinguish between truth and lies.

But is it worth the watch? Absolutely.

Jason Bateman’s role as Marty Byrde in “Ozark” is not only convincing, but riveting. As a viewer, you’re drawn into the mindset of Marty as he works to stay alive and fulfill his job without getting unwanted attention. You can see and feel the tension of every situation and become attached to all the characters regardless of what they’ve done. People can be unpredictable. If you’re like me, you won’t be able to keep still while watching.

Every conflict that arises builds off previous situations, crafting a complex storyline with unforeseen outcomes; everything is unpredictable. The suspenseful mysteries of the show are what will keep you glued to the screen. If you watch their body language and listen carefully, you might be able to predict what happens next. But, like I said, everything is very unpredictable in a positive way.

Predictions for Future Seasons

Season 3 of “Ozark” ends with major changes for the characters. First, Wendy’s brother, Ben, confesses to Helen and Erin, her daughter, about the illegal actions Helen has done and gets himself killed by Nelson, Helen’s enforcer. Ruth, still mourning over the death of Ben, leaves the Byrde family and goes to work with Wyatt and Darlene to start up a drug ring. Helen tries to betray the Byrdes by striking a deal for Marty to go against Navarro. Her action, however, backfires and results in her being shot in the head upon arriving to Navarro’s home. Navarro then hugs Marty and Wendy, announcing their new beginning.

Future seasons of “Ozark” will focus on the war between the Byrdes and every other major character; it’s the family against the rest. The relationship with Navarro will bring Marty and Wendy further into the cartel, making it harder for them to get out of the business entirely. As the bond is strengthened, the pressure will build up for the Byrde family and slowly tear them apart. Ruth will also be a major focus for future episodes. Throughout the entire series thus far, Ruth has been taking orders rather than giving them. Removing herself from the Byrdes is her way of gaining independence and the ability to take charge.

What will happen when the two sides are pitted against one another? Who will win? Who will die next?

With lots of questions up in the air, answers can be hard to gather. Everyone just must wait patiently until Season 4 comes out.

Janella Tibbetts, Framingham State University

Writer Profile

Janella Tibbetts

Framingham State University
English with Concentration in Creative Writing

Just a girl who loves to write and live life to the fullest.

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