Ozark sets the standard for detestable heroes

by Gordon Shelly

Comeuppance — that is what I would like to see for the Byrde family in the Netflix produced final season of Ozark.

This is a show that has built its entire foundation on dislikeable characters – truly, truly despicable human beings.  The Byrde family, from top to bottom, has little to no redeeming values.

Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) is a schemer, always looking for the next best thing, pretending do what he does for his family, but really, it is self-indulgence. Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) makes Lady Macbeth look like a Disney princess in her ongoing quest for power.

The heads of the Byrde family stomp, crush, and decimate everyone in their paths, without forgiveness, retribution, repercussion, or apparent emotional impact of any sort. They pull in their friends, their family, the people near them, and continue to do so in this final season.

They pull their own children further into the Byrde-abyss and look for an any-means-necessary approach to achieve their goals.

In these final episodes of Ozark, the Byrdes dig in deeper with the Cartel, they attempt to manipulate the FBI, and they continue to crush anyone who looks for redemption.

The Byrdes are horrible people and they continue to rise above the notion that good will triumph, but instead it thrives on the concept of the good guys finishing last — dead last in most cases, literally.

This is a show that I didn’t want to watch. I wanted to tune out after the first three episodes, then I wanted to stop after the first season, but I just couldn’t. the writing is great, the production value superb, and the acting is on another level.

Bateman and Linney carry this series from start to finish and make these two characters as engrossing as can be.

With the series wrapping up, while I am ultimately dissatisfied with the outcome, like so many of the other characters of Ozark, I am happy to finally have the Byrde family out of my life entirely.

Gordon’s Grade: B+