"They're going to go out with a bang."
With these words, Netflix announced the final season of its celebrated thriller series Ozark – and social media went wild.
The Emmy-winning Netflix Original stars Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, and tells the story of Marty Byrde (Bateman), a talented financial adviser who gets roped into laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel.
He drags his wife, Wendy (Linney), and their two children, Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) and Jonah (Skylar Gaertner), from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where they plan to open a casino.
With the conclusion of the third season in March, there was much speculation over how many further seasons the show would be around for.
Bateman himself warned fans earlier this year that the series could soon reach its conclusion.
In an interview at the time, he said the show would run “three seasons, four seasons, five seasons, something like that".
So it seems fitting that the fourth season will be an expanded 14-episode final showdown.
The news was highly anticipated by fans, who quickly set social media alight, asking over its release date, and why it was reaching its conclusion so soon.
After all, over the course of its three seasons, the series had won favour with fans and critics alike.
Beware, spoilers below.
Season one was full of shocking twists and turns, brutal murders and fascinating insights into the murky underworld of “washing” money. It was gripping and unpredictable, and highly praised. Season two slowed down somewhat, as Marty and Wendy buried themselves deeper into the hole of corruption they’d rather hesitantly dug. It lent itself more to character development than action, as screen time was given to other, lesser-known characters, and the Byrdes saw out their plan to take over the casino. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as the first. Importantly, however, the end of it left us with a glimpse of what Wendy is truly capable of.
Season three takes the best of both previous instalments and gives us healthy doses of action, unpredictability and character development. It starts six months after the Byrdes acquire their casino, the Missouri Belle, which is now up and running. The first half of the show is about the breakdown of Marty and Wendy’s marriage, as they attend couple’s counselling (as promised to Charlotte in season two, when she tried to emancipate herself) and basically betray each other at every turn.
Season four, however, only comes with this brief synopsis: “The new season will mark the final chapter in the Byrde family’s journey from suburban Chicago life to their criminal enterprise in the Ozarks.”