Which of the deaths from this season will have the most significant impact on the story going forward?
Mundy: In terms of the significance, I actually think it'll be Mason's. It really was the emotional linchpin of the season for us. We talked about the season going from this place of Marty being completely able to compartmentalize everything and Wendy being much more emotional about things, to, after that death, Wendy being able to compartmentalize and Marty, suddenly, not being able to compartmentalize. So it had a huge impact on the season, but as for the way we think of the Byrdes going forward, Mason's death is also the one that's going to echo the longest.
Wendy's switch was thrilling to watch. What does her future look like in the Ozarks?
Mundy: Last season, we worked so hard to try to organically, over 10 episodes, bring her relationship with Marty back together -- because it started in pretty much the worst place a relationship could start. Similarly, as we were plotting her shift this season, we really wanted to make sure we laid it out right over 10 episodes. It's a tricky thing because you never know if you're going too slow, if you're going too fast, if you've earned it. But that was the biggest challenge we had. I think the key to understanding Wendy now is that her stated goal is still going to be, "Get out of the Ozarks." But is she actually being honest with herself? And is she actually happy here? Does she want to stay and establish an economic and political foothold? The key for her is she needs to start understanding herself a little bit better.
What about Marty?
Mundy: Marty, too. For us, as writers and viewers, we'll be trying to figure out if they're going to keep growing together or growing apart. I think his goal is definitely still going to be to get the family out of the Ozarks. As we delve into the marriage more next year -- to me, the show is always about the family and the marriage first -- and see that suddenly Marty's goal, which was always a shared goal, is just his, solo, well, how can he talk about that? How can he try to do it? If he and Wendy are operating kind of on the same page, but not completely, it gets trickier. At least a lot more emotionally complex.
On a practical level, all these changes and deaths make room for lots of new characters. Who can we expect to meet?
Mundy: Obviously, there will be the new people that we have to deal with in law enforcement, on some level, that we haven't met yet. There will be people in the inner workings of the casino that we haven't met yet. And there's any number of people who can get close to the marriage in certain ways that we'd love to bring in. I don't think we'll overwhelm people with new faces, but there's definitely going to be a few significant ones.
We almost did it this year, but Wendy's brother -- who we've talked about on the show before, but haven't met -- could possibly come into the mix. We don't know yet what he does, but he's had a significant mental illness in the past. Wendy first talked about him in Season 1, when she was worried that something might be wrong with Jonah. And then again this year, when she was talking to the dead senator's wife about depression. He's just somebody who was a major force in Wendy's younger years. Again, I can't say with certainty that he'll show up next year, but I do think that in the life of the series, at some point, he definitely will.
I'm excited to see more of the Kansas City mob as well. Why did they blow up Marty's office at the end of the season? Hadn't they already sent their message?
Mundy: In a lot of ways, they didn't really send a message in their first ambush. They just kind of waved their finger and gave a warning. We really thought of it like, as one thing was starting, they were trying to let Marty know how quickly they could end everything else. So it was intentionally timed with the casino ceremony to make sure their first office visit wasn't a hollow threat.
Last year, you told us Season 2 was going to be about the Byrdes owning their new lives. What will be the thematic direction for Season 3?
Mundy: I think in a lot of ways it's that same thing, but more in tune with the marriage -- even more than the crime side of it. Seasons 1 and 2 were of one piece, and by nature of the way Season 1 ended, we had to start Season 2 right in the same moment. We have the ability to shake things up now and start a new chapter with Season 3. You can even think of seasons 3 and 4 as one piece. The good news in that is I think we can really go some place tonally different in the next year.