In October 2018, Netflix renewed Ozark for a third season. The excellent crime drama has carved out a niche for itself on the streaming platform, with many observers believing it's arguably the best crime drama to hit TV since Breaking Bad. The show has shown audiences a whole new side of star Jason Bateman, who has mostly been known for comedy, and Laura Linney has won rave reviews for her portrayal of the morally murky Wendy Byrde.
This article will look at 10 questions we need to be answered in the forthcoming third season of Ozark.
10 HOW FAR WILL WENDY CONTINUE DOWN HER DARK PATH?
While the audience's introduction into the dark world of Ozark was through Jason Bateman's Marty Byrde, a money launderer for a dangerous Mexican drug cartel, the series has shown that an aptitude for criminality exists in Marty's wife Wendy, too. Played brilliantly by Laura Linney, Wendy gradually exerted control over the Byrde's criminal enterprises in season two, and it all built up to her making a decision that will change her forever.
She tacitly ordered the death of Cade Langmore, the local criminal who had become too overt in his threats to Wendy and her family, and he wound up being murdered by a hitman. Wendy also made the decision that the family will be staying in the Ozarks without consulting Marty, whose whole purpose in season two was to facilitate a way for them to flee to the Gold Coast. How much further down this dark path will Wendy travel in season three?
9 WHAT WILL MARTY DO ABOUT FRANK COSGROVE AND THE KANSAS CITY MAFIA?
Marty spent season two doing everything he could to get the Lake Of The Ozarks casino up and running, thereby giving the area a lucrative business that he could feasibly launder the cartel's cash through. However, his plan was fraught with pitfalls at every turn, and along the way, he angered Frank Cosgrove, a leader in the Kansas City mob. Frank responded by having one of his henchmen blow Marty's office up during the season two finale.
Presumably, we'll see Marty get this message at the start of season three and become fully aware of just how much he's upset another group of very dangerous people. We need to know what Marty plans to do about Cosgrove because he has enough to worry about without a vengeful mob boss to think about, too!
8 WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH DARLENE SNELL AND MASON'S BABY?
One of the biggest surprises in season two was when the unhinged Darlene Snell, played to twitchy perfection by Lisa Emery, murdered her beloved husband Jacob (Peter Mullan). The Snells had lost their land to Marty's casino—land that had been in their family for generations. Darlene was not happy about this, and when Jacob tried to strike a deal with Marty, she decided he had to go.
This led to Darlene attempting to heal her emotional wounds (and ease her guilt) by taking baby Zeke, son of local Pastor Mason Young. She bullied Marty into handing the baby over to her, but Wendy made it very clear that this would not stand and that she would find a way to get Zeke back. There are sure to be fireworks between Wendy and Darlene in season three.
7 HOW WILL MARTY AND WENDY'S MARRIAGE SURVIVE CHARLES AND RACHEL?
Episode one of Ozark saw Wendy Byrde already engaged in an extra-marital affair with Gary Silverberg (until he was thrown off a high-rise balcony), so it's obvious that the Byrdes' marriage has been on shaky ground right from the start. However, over the course of the two series, Marty and Wendy had seemingly become closer, mostly due to being put in an untenable situation where they had to do whatever they could to protect their children and themselves.
But in season two, Charles Wilkes, a wealthy businessman and political donor, came into Wendy's orbit, and in a weak moment, Marty kissed Rachel Garrison, the owner of the Blue Cat hotel, whose life he had ruined by laundering money through her business. How will their marriage cope going forward?
6 HOW LONG WILL HELEN/THE CARTEL BE CONTENT TO STAY OUT OF THE BYRDES' BUSINESS?
In the season two finale, Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer), the cartel's Chicago-based representative who had been stationed in the Ozarks to keep a watchful eye on the Byrdes, tells them that she is going back to the windy city. The casino has successfully opened, Cade Langmore is dead, the Snells aren't an issue anymore, and Wendy seems to have proven to Helen that she is someone the cartel can trust.
But how long will this trust really last? Will the cartel truly be content to stay so hands-off if the Kansas City Mafia starts attacking the Byrdes? And even though they trust Wendy, there's always been a certain question mark over Marty's loyalty. How long until the cartel decides Helen needs to be a quietly intimidating presence in Marty's life again?
5 WILL RUTH LANGMORE BE AN ALLY OR AN ENEMY GOING FORWARD?
Marty's relationship with Ruth Langmore has always been one of the most interesting aspects of the show. Ruth worked her way into a position of close trust and was an important part of Marty's operation, but the revelation that she once tried to kill him might continue to throw a spanner in the works as time goes on. Ruth's relationship with her abusive criminal father Cade was also a big element of season two, and she proved that she had the guts to kill him when she fired a warning shot at him after he attacked Charlotte, Marty's daughter.
But, when Ruth found out Cade had been killed by someone else and gave his corpse a kiss-on-the-lips goodbye, it became clear her feelings about her father were more complicated than simple hate. It's obvious that the Byrdes had a hand in his death, so we need to know how Ruth will react to that knowledge. Will she be an enemy or an ally going forward?
4 WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH RUTH AND WYATT LANGMORE'S RELATIONSHIP?
Ruth's strongest familial bond is undoubtedly with her cousin Wyatt (Charlie Tahan). Throughout the show, it is shown that Wyatt has an intelligence that belies his family's social standing and criminal history, and in season two, a recurring plot is about him applying to college.
When he finally gets an acceptance letter, Ruth is determined that he has to go in order to keep him away from the Langmore life of crime, but he's not sure he wants to go. He then finds out that Ruth killed Russ and Boyd (Wyatt's father and uncle), using the same electrocution method she attempted on Marty, when she suspected Russ was an FBI informant. The last we saw of Wyatt was him driving away in anger at these revelations, leaving a devastated Ruth behind.
3 HOW WILL CHARLOTTE AND JONAH COPE WITH THE EVENTS OF SEASON TWO?
Charlotte and Jonah Byrde have had a rough time in the first two seasons of the show. From their entire lives being uprooted when the family abruptly moved to the Ozarks, to their gradual inclusion in the criminal side of the 'family business,' to upsetting physical run-ins with the likes of Cade Langmore and Darlene Snell, it's no wonder both teens have shown signs of strain.
Jonah developed a close bond with Buddy, the Byrdes' terminally-ill tenant (and former mob member of some sort), and with him passing away, it will be interesting to see how Jonah reacts. Charlotte even spent a portion of season two looking into the legalities of emancipating herself from her parents (and who can blame her?). Will she continue pursuing that path in season three?
2 WHO ELSE WILL COME FOR A PIECE OF THE PIE WITH THE CASINO UP AND RUNNING?
Season two finished with the Lake Of The Ozarks casino officially opening and the Byrdes posing for press photographs in front of it. Marty and Wendy got their wish, by hook or crook, but now they are in very different places emotionally, with Wendy adapting to her life of crime and Marty trying desperately to get the family out of it.
The cartel's money will be run through the casino, but the non-union workers used to build it mean the Kansas City mob will now be coming for Marty. Will they try and force their way into the business in order to get a cut? What will Charles Wilkes want, having helped the Byrdes seal the deal with the gaming commissioners? And what other nefarious characters will show up, wanting a piece of the casino pie?
1 IS MARTY HEADING TOWARD A MENTAL BREAKDOWN?
Marty Byrde's character arc over the two seasons of the show has been fascinating. In the beginning, we saw him come up with a plan to launder money in the Ozarks on the spot, right as he was about to be killed by the cartel. He then had to figure out a way to actually do what he had promised, and that began an ever-tightening noose around his family's neck.
With stress at every turn, Marty simply did everything he could to keep his family alive, consequences be damned for everyone else he was hurting. But in season two, after the death of Mason Young, we saw Marty at the end of his rope, pushed to the very limit emotionally. With his wife now flourishing as a criminal and his daughter resenting him, how much more can Marty take before he's pushed over the edge?