September 29, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Ozark “A Hard Way To Go”

Series Finale.

Well…that was if nothing else, appropriate for this series.

If anything, the series went out as a series of reminders.  After so many episodes showing Wendy’s general awfulness, a situation where I routinely said here that I wanted her to be punished in some way while also saying I know full well that Marty is no saint, this episode makes that clear when Marty makes several moves completely on his own that are every bit as nasty and rotten as any his wife has pulled, causing more than one person to ask if whatever he’s doing is Wendy’s idea.  People don’t expect it from Marty, but it happened all the same.

Camila, likewise, shows she’s every bit as ruthless as her ultimately doomed brother.

Ruth, well, she gets some nice showcases, but she isn’t destined to survive the series with Camila gunning for her.  Still, the show’s writing always knew who Ruth was as a character.  She can be relied upon to get the kids to Wendy, mostly by getting Nathan drunk, getting him to confess he only wants the kids to get at Wendy, and he is every bit the abusive father she said he was, one who will have no problem taking the rod to his grandchildren.  The only thing left to do is get him to tell Jonah and Charlotte that, and any other show might have had Ruth just use her smartphone to record Nathan’s words and play ’em back later.  But this is Ozark, so she’ll just pull a gun and threaten to shoot Nathan’s balls off if he doesn’t.

And then, confronted by an armed Camila, not only will she admit to killing Camil’s murderous son, she’ll basically dare Camila to pull the trigger in the bluntest language possible.  If anything, the one moment in the entire episode that didn’t work was a single shot of the bullet hitting Ruth because, for some reason, it looked like it hit her in slow motion.

However, if I wanted the Byrdes punished, I think I got it indirectly.  Marty and Wendy know Ruth is going to die, and they would normally scramble to fix things and keep her alive.  Ruth may not be all that innocent, but she likewise isn’t as bad as other people, and the Byrdes are somewhat protective of her.  The problem is Camila has more or less cut them off, and one of the ways to maybe fix things by leaving Omar in charge won’t work because Wendy just had to poke one last bear.

The icing on the proverbial cake is, even though Jonah and Charlotte are back in the fold, it is Jonah that ruins any thoughts of a happy family life going forward when he commits an act of murder (probably) to protect the family.  So, any thought that the Byrdes could escape that life is effectively over as Jonah finally uses Chekov’s shotgun on Mel Sattern (again, probably).  This wasn’t the life Wendy and Marty wanted for their kids, and there were fears early in the series that Jonah may have been something of a budding sociopath who seemed likely to actually kill someone with that gun.  Well, he did.  The life the Byrdes led helped make their son a murderer.  Their best efforts didn’t keep Ruth alive.  They can’t have everything, and even if they aren’t going to prison, they sure as hell didn’t get away scot free.

So, really, I don’t think this could have ended better.  They at least touched base with most every memorable character, even remembering Ruth had another living cousin.  It looks like many of the characters got what they deserved with a handful of exceptions, many of them will at least learn to live with their decisions and actions, and in the end, well, nothing really fixed because this was a nasty world that didn’t get any better just because Marty and Wendy Byrde managed to extract themselves from a drug cartel.

10 out of 10 Langmore sneers.

Anyway, I need something new for Thursdays now.  Well, something else is coming to a close in the coming months.  I might as well get on the phone because I Better Call Saul.

I started this one once, but never got far because…well, I’ll explain that next Thursday.

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