“Ozark: Season 4, Part 1” Review

Story posted February 3, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Ethan Hetrick.

For a job that requires one to clean money, things get surprisingly messy.

Part one of the final season of “Ozark” just released on Netflix.

Ozark is created by the duo who created “The Accountant”, Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams. The basic plot is the Byrde family flees to the Ozarks to launder money for Omar Navarro’s (Felix Solis) cartel.

A quick recap of the previous seasons: The first season is about learning the Ozarks and how to launder money there without the town also trying to kill the Byrde family. Slowly, the rest of the family gets more involved in the drug business.

Wendy Byrde, played by Laura Linney, is on the more the political side and the people-person out of her and Marty. Marty Byrde, played by Jason Bateman, is the money launderer and genius schemer that is trying to get the family out of the cartel.

Jonah Byrde, played by Skylar Gaertner, learns how to launder just like his dad. Charlotte Byrde, played by Sofia Hublitz, tries to keep peace throughout the family.

Season two had the Byrde family, working under the supervision of Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer), build a casino, launder money and acquire wealth. The Byrde family started dismantling too.

Season three had a power battle between Marty and Wendy proving who is more valuable to Pierce while creating a charity. Eventually, it led to a battle between the Byrde’s and Pierce to work for Navarro.

Wendy’s mentally ill brother Ben (Tom Pelphrey) was in the mix too. Wendy eventually had Ben killed but, more importantly, the third season ended with Navarro shooting the untouchable Pierce in front of the Byrde’s letting them know they’re dealing with him now.

Other noticeable characters for this season are Julia Garner’s Ruth Langmore who learned the drug business from Marty as an on/off ally of the family, Lisa Emery’s Darlene Snell, who runs a rival heroine business in the Ozarks, Jessica Frances’ Duke’s righteous Agent Miller, Alfonso Herrera’s Javi Elizonndro who is the unstable nephew of Navarro and lastly Adam Rothenberg as PI Mel Settem who is looking for Helen Pierce.

“Ozark” season four picks up right where season three left off. The surprise death of Helen Pierce; and that won’t be the only noticeable death because it’s the last season and no one is safe.

The show opens with the Byrde family driving and getting in a car crash, which has no impact on the rest of the season but something worth remembering for Part 2.

Cutting back to the family at Navarro’s for a party, they meet Javi, who makes it clear that he doesn’t like the Byrdes and wishes Pierce was still alive. At the same party, Navarro informs the Byrdes that Javi is gunning for his job, but Javi is sloppy and unstable, which leads to the main plot of “Ozark: Season 4, Part 1.” Navarro is having the Byrdes get him immunity from his crimes so he can walk away from the business.

If they do this, the Brydes are finally free.

Back in the Ozarks, Marty and Wendy start scheming. Jonah shows his anger about his Uncle Ben’s death and in an act of retaliation and trying to leave the family he goes and launders money for Darlene, but more specifically Ruth, who is now seen becoming a business partner in Darlene’s heroine operation.

With Jonah rejecting the family, it leads to Wendy trying to pull him closer to the family, refusing to let him go. This causes all sorts of issues for the family. Charlotte is left trying to maintain peace between Jonah and their mom, while also trying to acquire their mom’s favoritism.

The Brydes crack a scheme to buy rehab facilities by supplying them drugs to help their foundation and gain political allies so the local government goes through them, which results in them eventually being able to have Navarro on their local government land so he can be free there.

Javi comes down to the Ozarks to oversee the drug deliveries to the rehab facilities. They also killed the local corrupt sheriff causing more tension between Darlene and the Cartel.

Meanwhile, The Byrdes start getting Navarro meetings with Maya so he can build trust with the FBI so he can get a pardon. To do this, he gives Maya every truck that is transporting illegal goods to the US, including Javi’s drug trucks.
Javi starts trying to capture the rat in the cartel and shuts down all the cartel cars.

Meanwhile, Darlene can’t sell her heroine since the KC mob pulled out of a deal with her. She also gets the KC mob’s son to do errands for her which causes disdain between her and the KC mob.

Darlene also comes to disputes with Ruth and the Byrdes because she doesn’t like their way of doing things and becomes angrier and more of a thorn in the side of everyone, to the point where in a meeting she kills the KC mob’s boss out of rage leading to new leadership in the mob.

Eventually, Navarro builds enough trust with the FBI that they cut him a deal that if he works for them for five years, he’s free, but he must also give up Javi. Navarro agrees.

On his way out, he gets arrested by Maya, unhappy with the deal. Now, Javi is in charge and blames the Byrdes.

With his new powers he kills Darlene and Charlie Tahan’s Wyatt, Ruth’s cousin, and Darlene’s husband. When Ruth finds Wyatt dead and Jonah reveals Javi was the killer Ruth will stop at nothing to kill him. And unless Navarro walks free and takes over again the Byrdes won’t be free and safe.

Overall, the season is great and filled with intensity and fear of not knowing what will happen next. Part 2 is something to look out for later this year.


Ethan Hetrick is a first-year communications major. To contact him email eth5186@psu.edu