As in previous seasons, Ozark may show Marty as the lead, but in reality, it is the women of the show who make it what it is.
|Creator(s)||Bill Dubuque, Mark Williams|
|Genre(s)||Crime, Drama, Thriller|
|Agent Miller||Jessica Frances Dukes|
|Agent Evans||McKinley Belcher III|
|Frank Sr.||John Bedford Lloyd|
|Frank Jr.||Joseph Sikora|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
Season Plot Synopsis
In season 3 of “Ozark,” we continue on the trajectory set forth in the beginning. Meaning, as men fall due to arrogance or incompetence, women rise. This is seen as Wendy makes headway with Omar Navarro and finds herself almost rivaling Helen’s influence. Also, as a new FBI agent, Agent Miller, steps in, Agent Evans finds himself, once again, on the ropes as he seeks vengeance for his former lover. And while history does repeat itself, in the form of Ruth finding herself tortured because she isn’t as respected or cherished as Marty leads her to believe, with every time she is sent to the ground, she comes out stronger. And it seems her goal of learning the ropes to possibly not need Marty may have finally come. The question is, what will she do with all she has learned, and who will she work for?
What Must Also Be Noted
- Based on being told Jonah is roughly 3 years younger than Charlotte, and him being 14 now, with Charlotte being 15 in season 1, that would mean Charlotte is 17 and approximately 2 years have passed since the show began.
Wendy Bossing Up – 85
There is much to be said about the two female leads of this show and how far they have come during the series. Especially what of it we see this season for Wendy, as it really shows you what her character has that others lack: Emotional Intelligence.
Marty, as established when working with Bruce, lacks people skills. Helen, while a brilliant lawyer, lacks emotional intelligence, and Ruth is a pitbull who is mostly bark, on the rare occasion bit, and shows her belly to very few. Wendy, on the other hand, she understands sympathy, empathy, leading with a gentle touch, playing good cop, if you will, but will switch up on you.
This is shown by the way she handles Anita and her husband, and even Ben. Wendy, like a boss I’m sure you’ve experienced, will try to work with you, bend to a certain degree, before they remind you of the authority they have. And even when Wendy is humbled, you never lose this feeling that she is in control. If anything, like when she has to be more callous than she would like, any rebuking she receives is, at essence, a redirection. A lesson which usually leads to her roaring back and more formidable than ever.
Darlene’s Resurgence – 89
For most of the show, Darlene has been chipped away at and mostly made out to be Jacob’s crazy wife. However, with him killed off last season, so came the question of what could or would happen to Darlene? Would she be next to die, or would she toe the line considering the only thing she had left for leverage was her land?
Well, like Wendy, she was shown to be someone not to underestimate. But, while Wendy wielded her fancy degree, her emotional intelligence, and her position in society, Darlene used her network. Heck, through her relationship with Wyatt, she was allowed to evolve in ways we didn’t really see with Jacob. Maybe because mortality has now come to Darlene’s mind, as well as legacy. After all, whether in her 50s or beyond, Darlene won’t live forever, and someone has to take care of Zeke in case anything goes down.
Plus, as shown when we initially met Darlene, what she mainly wanted was family. Hence her longing for a baby to mold and with Zeke, her finding bliss. Mind you, she’ll still f*** up a person without a second thought, but I think season 3 exposed us to a Darlene who felt less of a need to be on the offense for a good defense and could just live her life. Perhaps giving us some idea of how things were before Marty shook things up.
Ruth – 88
While Ruth’s relationship with Ben felt rushed, it seems the goal here was showing a softer side to Ruth. Especially when you consider her relationship to Marty. For with Cade gone, and Marty the closest thing to a stable father figure she has ever had, it really hits you how their relationship has changed. I mean, in season 1, she was planning to kill him, and in season 3 of “Ozark,” when he comes back from Mexico, she rushes into his arms and holds him.
Yet, it seems this season is about Ruth learning to stand on her own. Marty has provided her the tools to be more and do more than most with the Langmore family name have done, and due to that, she now has less of a dependence on him. And it seems with realizing her loyalty to Marty was based on want and commitment, not need, that shifted things. Thus taking us from 19-year-old Ruth, this scrappy girl with a chip on her shoulder, to Ruth becoming a woman. One who still isn’t one to f*** with, but after better treatment from Marty, later Ben, than she has received for most of her life, it seems the form of arrested development she was under got broken. Leading her to a whole new chapter of life, which will include Darlene and being reunited with her cousin Wyatt.
The Navarro x Lagunas Cartel – 84
Despite the Navarro x Lagunas war more so presenting shock value than anything else, you had to appreciate a reminder of what Marty was supporting. After all, it is easy to get wrapped up in his and Wendy’s drama and forget they are a small part of a much larger organization. But, with seeing Omar on the losing side, it really puts into perspective how Marty and Wendy have gotten lucky thus far. Yet, if Omar fell, there would be the chance they’d died soon after rather than be free.
The Setup For Season 4 – 90
It isn’t clear how many seasons “Ozark” could go on for, but as discussed in the latest episode of “Getting Ignorant With It” below, they can do at least two. Consider this: After Marty burning nearly every bridge he ever built, from Frank to Ruth, it means he, Wendy, and their family, are increasingly backed into a corner. Which, honestly, is when this show is at its best. Not when everything is under control, but the panic button has been hit, and creative problem solving is required.
But, with that said, it seems in the next season, there is a need to address that dreamed of exit plan from the cartel, going legit, and handling Darlene. All of which won’t be easy, but will certainly be entertaining to watch.
Frank Jr. & Erin – 65
The kids of two of the most formidable characters were introduced, and I was left with a resounding: Why? Granted, did they contribute to the story? Barely. Frank Jr. creates the last straw for Ruth when it comes to working with Marty and Erin? Well, at one time, it seemed like she’d be the person to show a softer side to Helen, since she is her daughter, but instead, we got reminded of how annoying Charlotte was in season 1. Ultimately making both characters feel like a waste of screen time considering their contribution was minimal, in the case of Erin and a simple catalyst, in the case of Frank Jr.
On The Fence
Ben – 75
Considering how Ben was part of Wendy’s development in season 2, at least the episode that led to her opening up about her past, the fact he rushed in and was quickly ushered out was disappointing. Though, one could add the speed of him and Ruth getting together, and how they handled his mental illness also seemed botched at times. Mind you, the performance itself was good, but considering most characters have been given time to grow and unfurl, Ben being treated like this was his third or second season on the show was unsavory.
The FBI – 73
While Agent Miller tried to return some prestige to the FBI, after Agent Evans and Agent Petty made them into a joke, being that she was paired with Marty, she flailed a little bit. Especially as Marty tried to unsuccessfully turn her and only ended up, repeatedly, getting her in trouble to the point of nearly getting her fired. And while they pseudo-makeup towards the end, by that point, the FBI seemed like a necessary evil on the show than major players to worry about.
Marty – 76
In many ways, Marty is a necessary evil, just like the FBI. Marty knowing how to launder money is the base of this show, and everyone benefits from what Marty does and his inability to speak to people without offending them. This is why seeing him fail is often more interesting to watch than seeing him succeed. A strange thing to say for the person who is the lead character, but as noted when we first started covering this show, Marty isn’t much of a draw. He is the Trojan Horse which allows Ruth, Wendy, Helen, Darlene, and others to exist and shine.
Charlotte and Jonah – 74
Charlotte and Jonah take huge steps back this season, as neither one really has much to say or do. Note: It was cute to watch Charlotte be there for her brother, unlike her parents, but outside of sticking up for her brother, nurturing him, and trying to keep Erin from losing her virginity to an ass****, she didn’t do much.
However, with Jonah, we’re reminded how close he always seems to murdering someone. Lest we forget, he has always been a bit weird, now has somewhat decent weapons training, and has long wanted to get into the criminal organization stuff. Be it handling the money or being the first one to pick up any kind of gun you can imagine and shoot. So, considering he nearly killed Helen and he keeps losing people he gets close to, season 4 for Jonah is definitely going to be one he likely explodes.
Rating: Positive (Watch This)
Previously, we would say we suffered through scenes with Marty in order to experience the greatness of Ruth’s arc, Wendy’s growth, and Helen’s presence. In season 3 of “Ozark,” it seemed like the show started to realize who the real draws were here and how to make it so the men in their lives were more so supporting characters or catalyst for their next moves, than stars. And with that, “Ozark” shined in ways that makes the rather lengthy gap between season 2 and 3 worth it.