It has been some time since we bid farewell to the gripping crime saga that is Ozark. With a trail of blood, suspense, and shocking demises spanning forty-four episodes, from realtor Liz’s tragic fate to the final moments of PI Mel Sattem.
Over five years and four electrifying seasons, Ozark has not only secured numerous awards, including two Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series, but has also carved an indelible mark in the hearts of its viewers.
Ozark, the brainchild of Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams, stands as a Netflix original crime drama masterpiece. Produced by MRC Television and Aggregate Films, this series embarks on the turbulent journey of Marty and Wendy Byrde, a husband-wife duo, who relocate their family to the seemingly tranquil Lake of the Ozarks, only to become entangled in a dangerous web of money laundering.
Helmed by the skilled hands of Jason Bateman, the show’s director, executive producer, and a pivotal character himself, Ozark quickly rose in prominence.
On April 29, 2022, Ozark’s fourth season concluded with the release of the final episode, “A Hard Way to Go.” The lingering suspense left fans hanging on the edge, eager for Season 5 to provide answers.
With Netflix often nurturing its shows, the anticipation for renewal was palpable. After all, Ozark had mastered the art of cliffhangers. But the question is, did the show meet the same fate as its characters often did?
Ozark Season 5: Cancelled
Regrettably, Ozark’s path concludes on a rather somber note, with Season 5 officially cancelled. This news, though disheartening, comes with reasons that shed light on the decision. The call to conclude the series was not abrupt; Deadline had reported it on June 30, 2020.
Hence, it becomes evident that the show’s creators had long foreseen its termination upon reaching a critical juncture, as seen in the Season 4 finale.
Delving deeper into the ‘why’ behind Ozark’s cancellation, a pivotal interview with Chris Mundy, the showrunner, provides insight. Mundy, in a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, shared, “I always want closure. 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.” This desire for a satisfying conclusion is what drove the decision to cap the show at its fourth season.
A Natural Conclusion
Mundy’s sentiment resonates strongly with the ethos of Ozark. Unlike many shows that stretch their narratives thin, Ozark sought a well-crafted, organic ending. The danger-infused escapades of the Byrdes, while captivating, were also walking a tightrope.
Jason Bateman explained,
“If you keep going on that pitch for a whole lot longer, you’re going to go over the cliff, or up over the peak of the mountain and you end up jumping the shark.”
The notion of maintaining the show’s integrity and avoiding stagnation was pivotal. Bateman’s observation further clarifies,
“So, given the intelligence of Marty Byrde and Wendy Byrde, if they keep going at this pitch for much longer, they’re either going to be killed or put in jail.”
As the show came to its crescendo, the creators’ vision was steadfast. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Mundy reiterated,
“[Netflix] has an appreciation for letting things run the right amount of time for them, and creatively. I know for us, creatively, we didn’t think it would go past five.”
The Plot of Season 4
A quick retrospective of Ozark’s fourth season rekindles the memories. With a gripping premise, the season was divided into two parts, each comprising seven episodes. Marty and Wendy Byrde’s tumultuous journey continued, tackling new challenges and navigating through treacherous waters.
The story arc for Season 4 saw the Byrde family confronting their past and plotting their futures amidst adversity. As the plot unraveled, the family’s confrontations with crime syndicates, cartels, and law enforcement grew fiercer. In a remarkable twist, the culmination of the series revealed a poignant “final bid for freedom.”
The series’ standout performances were a testament to its success. The main cast included Jason Bateman as Martin “Marty” Byrde, Laura Linney as Wendy Byrde, Sofia Hublitz as Charlotte Byrde, Skylar Gaertner as Jonah Byrde, Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore, and more. Their dedication brought the characters to life, enriching the show’s impact.
While the doors of Ozark have closed, a faint glimmer of hope remains. Jason Bateman’s comments suggest a willingness to return to the world he helped craft. He expressed, “A return would certainly not be out of the question… And we had that with ‘Ozark.’ So I’d do it again in a second, because what we had just doesn’t happen often.”