Everything We Know About the Fourth & Final Season of 'Ozark'
The hit Netflix series is wrapping up with an expanded final season.
Note: Major spoilers for Netflix's Ozark up through the Season 3 finale will follow. Click away now if you don't want the show ruined for you.
There's no easy way out for the money-laundering Byrde family on Ozark. The Netflix crime thriller about a Chicago family forced to move to the Missouri Ozarks to launder money for a Mexican cartel is one of the streaming service's best originals, and the show, which stars Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, reached new heights with its better-than-ever third season that garnered 18 Emmy nominations in 2020, including one of which Julia Garner took home for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
While it took almost a year and a half for the show to follow up on its second installment, considering all of the jaw-dropping moments and that final bloodshed shot of the season, fans have been waiting for more. Here's everything we know about Season 4, its final installment, of Ozark so far.
Is there going to be a Season 4 of Ozark?In late June 2020, Netflix announced Ozark would be back for a fourth season, dropping one of its classic cryptic black-and-white videos on social media. It was inevitable the incredibly popular and acclaimed series would be green-lit for a fourth season, but what was surprising about the renewal was that it confirmed that this would be the final season of the series. Of course, good things can't last forever and nobody would want for the show to turn into watching the Byrdes either on the run for years or rotting away in jail. Netflix wrote that the show is "going out with a bang," though, so whatever is in store for the final chapter of Marty and Wendy's operation, you can bet it'll be good.
When will Season 4 of Ozark premiere?It looks like we'll be headed back down to Missouri soon. Actress Robin Wright, who is directing at least one episode this season, shared an on-set update on Instagram in May 2021. Based on her video, it appears as of late May, the series is still filming. It shouldn't be long before they wrap up, though. The cast and crew have actually been shooting since November 2020. It makes sense that production is taking a little while, considering the additional COVID-19 protocols they have to adhere to and the fact that this is an extra long season (more on that below), but it's reasonable to expect shooting to be done in the near future. The show will then just have to go through post-production before it hits Netflix. So it seems feasible that we'll be checking in with the Byrdes and their nefarious associates sometime this year—the first slate of episodes potentially arriving sometime this fall.
How many episodes will there be in Ozark Season 4?Seasons 1-3 featured 10 installments, but this time around, you'll be able to tune into even more dark, moody episodes. Along with the confirmation of a Season 4, Netflix also announced that it would expand to 14 episodes in order to wrap everything up. The final season will be broken up into two parts, similar to the approach of acclaimed series like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men have taken in the past.
According to IMDb, the title of the first episode has already been released. You won't be able to parse too much information from it, though. It's called "The Beginning of the End," which makes sense, since this is the final season. Although, it is possible that it refers to a quote from Navarro in which he said, "This is a beginning," at the end of Season 3. Could it mean the beginning of the end of the Byrdes' operation? Fans may as well start theorizing at least a little bit.
Who in the cast is returning?Since the show is based entirely around Marty and Wendy Byrde's operation, Jason Bateman and Laura Linney will be back. That also means Marty and Wendy's children, Charlotte and Jonah, played by Sofia Hublitz and Skylar Gaertner, are also givens to return. Outside of the Byrdes, characters like Ruth (Julia Garner) and Wyatt Langmore (Charlie Tahan), Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery), and now Omar Navarro (Felix Solis) and Special Agent Maya Miller (Jessica Frances Dukes) are all key to the plot, so we'll be seeing more of them, as well. Definitely expect to see quite a bit more of Navarro, actually, as Deadline reported Solis has been upped to a series regular. That goes for Jim Rattelsdorf, businessman Charles Wilkes' right-hand man, too, as actor Damian Young is also now slated as a series regular.
Tom Pelphrey, who played Wendy's brother Ben and shook things up last season when he became aware of what his sister was up to, will almost certainly won't be back, given that he was killed (although that hasn't stopped theorists from speculating he might still be alive because his death wasn't shown on screen). Janet McTeer, who played Helen, is also likely out, as she was shot to death in that jaw-dropping final moment, but she could conceivably return for an episode. She's absolutely dead, and Ozark definitely isn't a supernatural series, so it's not like she'll be haunting Wendy—but they have done a flashback episode before, so perhaps there could be one featuring Helen's past to offer more insight on Navarro. Of course, it's all up in the air, so right now just assume you'll be seeing the mainstays again next season.
Are there any new cast members?It may be the final season of Ozark, but that doesn't mean we've been acquainted with all of the heinous individuals facing off with or puppeteering the Byrdes. In November 2020, Netflix announced a whole slew of new faces set to appear in Season 4. New cast members include Alfonso Herrera (The Exorcist, Sense8) and Adam Rothenberg (Castle Rock, Ripper Street), who will appear as series regulars, and Bruno Bichir (Narcos, Party of Five), CC Castillo (Outer Banks), and stage actress Katrina Lenk (The Band's Visit) who have been billed as recurring additions.
The new faces not only fill out the Navarro crime family that the Byrdes are now in deep with, but the law enforcement they'll be up against. According to Deadline, Herrera is playing Javi Elizonndro, "a member of the Navarro family who walks a fine line between playing the obedient lieutenant and scheming to take over his uncle’s cartel," and Bichir is taking on Navarro's priest who he sees as a confidant. On the other side of the law, Rothenberg is taking on Mel Sattem, a former cop who now works as a private investigator and is relentless in his detective work, and CC Castillo will portray a Missouri sheriff named Leigh Guerrero.
At this point it's unclear how or to what benefit, but it seems like the Byrdes are going to form some alliances with more people in power. Broadway alum Katrina Lenk is playing Clare Shaw, a power-hungry CEO of a biopharmaceutical company—so while we might not get to hear her singing pipes, she'll be bringing the drama and Marty might need assistance from her in some capacity. The same goes for a character played by Bruce Davison (X-Men), who Deadline reported was joining the cast in February 2021. Davison is said to take on Randall Schafer, a retired Illinois senator who "is accustomed to doing things his way," but can be won over if he's convinced with "the right price." Given Wendy's political history, it seems likely that she'll reach out to him for some kind of influence.
Another newbie to the cast is Eric Ladin (The Right Stuff), who is slated to appear in the reoccurring role of Kerry, billed as, "the kind of guy you like but can’t stand." His character supposedly loves to party and "is always looking for the next trend," which often gets him into trouble. Based on that description, he sounds like a local—and now that Ruth's single, perhaps they'll have a good time together and he could get in too deep with whatever she has up her sleeve. Regardless, as another insufferable character, he sounds like he'll fit right in with the Ozark gang.
What will Ozark Season 4 be about?You may remember that right after cartel leader Omar Navarro shot and killed Helen as soon as she and the Byrdes arrived at his home in Mexico, he devilishly said, "This is a beginning." So, while Wendy and Marty may never have had their teeth sunk so deep into their scheme—Wendy working closely with Navarro and Marty trying to convince the FBI to take down Navarro's rivals—it sounds like they're about to face a whole new set of terrors in their now very close relationship to the cartel boss.
In speaking to Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Chris Mundy explained exactly what that "beginning" is. He said, "Marty kind of said it in the speech that he gives to try and get Wendy out of bed, which is that we have to burrow all the way into the center of this thing. To us, it's that. It's, you're a vital part of this enterprise now and you're completely on his radar, to the point where he's commingling his or someone else's blood with yours, you're sharing in that. And so, for better or worse, you're completely in this game, and now it's yours to see if you have another play left in you."
He also explained that Navarro killed Helen instead of Marty and Wendy because not only did they get their casino up and running, but "... in Navarro’s mind, [the Byrde's] claim that they have the FBI on their side and can swing the power of the US government in the intervention in the drug war against their rivals, that’s something virtually no one else can do." So, that relationship dynamic, plus the fact that Marty has been in contact with FBI agents even against Agent Maya Miller's requests as she grows more impatient herself, will all likely percolate in the next season.
Mundy also added, "I think it will be about whether or not Ruth really can create something of her own that she wants and is sustainable, or if she wants something else. And I think it will be about if the Byrdes can they turn the biggest mistake of their lives into this huge advantage, and how much will karma catch up with them if they do?" That being said, Ruth did seem keen on forming a partnership with the Snells now that Wyatt and Darlene are (literally) in bed with one another and she's realizing that she may never feel a part of the Byrde family, so it's possible a locals vs outsider plot could unfold, too.
Regardless, it sounds like there's no backing out for anybody until this thing really reaches a head, be it with the cartel or the law enforcement.