Ozark. Season 4. Part 1. Quick Review. Sugestive Spoilers

Here is another case of returning to a show having covered a previous season. The decision to cover season three of Ozark when it was released was due to its massive leap upwards in terms of quality. This is somewhat unprecedented in the streaming era ( Especially on Netflix.) Two more seasons given this author’s new investment within the show would have been ideal. That being said this new fan was still pleased to see the show get renewed for an extended final season. The first half debuted two weeks before this writer was due to go on holiday. If you had told this watcher two years earlier that Ozark of all Netflix shows would eventually become an extremely high priority watch he would have honestly been a bit bemused. The question is do these seven episodes keep up the momentum established by the terrific last season?
Definitely but with a couple of small caveats. There’s no denying that last seasons soft reboot and utilisation of a much stronger supporting cast helps viewers engage given that the narrative Is an immediate continuation from the end of the last season All of the surviving cast are back along with new villains and other potential thorns in the Byrde family’s side. It’s engrossing stuff with the typically strong performances from the main cast present and correct. If anything the show has now fallen into the trap other massive Netflix hits fall foul of. Layering new characters and plots on top of the existing main cast in a way that’s still incredibly engaging. That said if this show wasn’t being made for streaming a much stricter editor would have left the various side plots on the cutting room floor. Given the somewhat sluggish pacing of the first two seasons having too many plots is still something of a huge step up. Watching this half-season and seeing the show evolving in the way it has constantly reminded me of how bland the Snells initially were as villains. Or how much the show in the past cut away to needless Langmore family drama. There are still elements of meat and potatoes crime drama here. Thankfully the show as it exists at this point in its run is a much more confident and assured version of itself. Well, the midseason finale indulges somewhat in the tendency of the narrative for attempted shot deaths that you can see coming a mile off. A series of events transpire that effectively is a signpost too“ these characters are getting killed off.” That said it remains brutally gripping stuff. A stunning final scene sets up The series end game perfectly. Here’s hoping the ending can stick the landing.
The first half of Ozarks 4th season might not be as perfectly formed as the huge improvement that came with season 3. It’s a lot more sprawling and feels like moving pieces around to set up a hopefully very effective conclusion That said it’s still a huge glow up over the first two seasons. It is still very engaging throughout and across the board. As with any half-season, there’s an argument that it can only be judged to an extent without the second half. As with this batch of episodes, the second half of the season remains eagerly anticipated by this writer.

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