(Credit: Netflix)

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Netflix's ‘Ozark’ season 4: A riveting start to the Byrde downfall

'Ozark'- Chris Mundy, Jason Bateman
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Witnessing the “beginning of the end of the Byrdes” in the fourth season of Netflix’s Ozark has been exciting and fulfilling. With its slow-burner episodes, the seven-episode first volume of the series sets the premise for a grand and explosive finale.

With its emphasis on dangerous drug cartels, insane money laundering and the power of family, with the four Byrdes at the centre of it, Ozark has reigned supreme as one of the best crime shows on Netflix. Its complicated and riveting narratives have engrossed audiences who have been blown away by the initial volume of the endgame. 

Starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Sofia Hublitz, Julia Garner, Felix Solis, Alfonso Herrera, Skylar Gaertner, Charlie Tahan, Lisa Emery and more, Ozark season four picks up right from the end of the third season finale where Helen Pierce is shot dead by Omar Navarro, ensuring the Byrde couple become his direct reports. They are entrusted with dealing with the FBI that can warrant the drug kingpin, as he constantly feels the ruthless ambition exuded by his nephew, Javi. Although the Byrdes are not very sure of Javi’s intentions, by the end of the first volume, his vicious plans become very clear.

Marty’s former aide, Ruth, who still holds Wendy responsible for Ben’s death, joins the Snell cartel, namely Wyatt and Darlene, to smuggle drugs yet again. The Byrde children are exact mirror images of their parents. While Wendy Bryde, cold and calculative, is the living embodiment of Lady Macbeth with her vaulting ambitions and political schemes, her daughter Charlotte seems well-versed in the language of politics and the ways of the world. Jonah Byrde, the youngest, seems to have a penchant for money laundering – much like his father – and displays insane talent at will. 

The fourth season indicates the fated ending the Byrdes will face. With every progressing season, fans grew warier of the Byrdes as they started getting way deeper into the mess and showcasing their morally grey conscience. From Marty trying to coax people via saccharine words to Wendy’s straightforward brutal nature, their completely opposite natures seem to be in sync and work well for the family. However, over the seven seasons, filled with action and violence and mind games, it becomes increasingly clear that downfall is pretty near for the Byrdes. 

Over the four seasons, the series portrays a harrowing image of how money transforms the Byrde family and the second volume of the fourth season will most likely deal with their devastating end. The Byrdes can no longer redeem themselves in the fans’ eyes due to the nuanced and dynamic arc created by the writers for each character. 

The final volume will finally tie the loose ends together and bid goodbye to this criminal-masterminding family who has thrived on money, power and corruption till now. The question remains, will Marty Byrde figure out a way to get himself and his family out of the vicious clutches of the underbelly, once and for all? Only part two can tell!