Netflix's 'Ozark' ends as a thrilling, yet disappointing take on a criminal family

It is an odd thing, to write an appreciation for a series when you're not entirely sure if it is a great television show.

And yet, here I am, dissecting the complicated legacy of Netflix's Ozark, which drops its final seven episodes on the streamer today.

I've been a fan of the show since its very first episode in 2017, when Jason Bateman offered a compelling and resonant portrait of a man under serious pressure:

Marty Byrde, a financial manager and secret money launderer for a Mexican drug cartel is forced to move...

...his family to the Ozarks after his business partner tries ripping off their boss and gets killed for his trouble.

But now that we are near the end of that journey, it's likely Ozark will be remembered more as a clever thrill ride

a captivating collection of showcase scenes for a cadre of superior actors – than a series with a coherent message.

And that's a shame, because the difference between good and great for this series can be measured in the way it has morphed from an...Heading 1

ntriguing character study into a series of escalating and increasingly outlandish threats to a family sinking into a morass of criminality. Kinda like

intriguing character study into a series of escalating and increasingly outlandish threats to a family sinking into a morass of criminality. Kinda like

Marty's mission early on was to launder $500 million in five years, to prove he was indispensable to the cartel and uninvolved with his partner's skimming.

When the show first began, his kids were clueless about what their father really did for a living and his wife Wendy,