Spoilers for Ozark season 1 incoming.
While everyone else was bingeing the much anticipated second season of Stranger Things last week I was finally finishing one of Netflix’s other hit shows: Ozark. I’m late to the party I know but my love for Ozark came quite late on. Initially it seemed to be too close to Breaking Bad but as the first season progressed the show blossomed into something more original with its own tone and pace. The series proved big with audiences and a second season has already been commissioned and will return to the streaming platform next year. Therefore below I’ve listed my hopes for a second season of money laundering, family drama and that cold blue camera filter they film everything with.
Retribution for Del
The feature-length finale of season 1 changed the game for the future of the show by bringing Jacob and Del together in a joint project to aid both of their drug empires. And then Del gets shot in the face by Jacob’s wife. It’s a shocking moment and I just hope it has repercussions in season 2. Jacob claims the cartel that Del worked for will just send “another Mexican” to replace Del and I’m worried that’s just what they’ll do. Sure, we need a face for the cartel in the Ozarks and I want to see this joint venture of a floating casino come into effect but Del’s death should not just be glossed over in the first episode and ignored like Jacob suggests; the key to good drama is consequences and Jacob and Marty should be made to pay for what happened.
The eighth episode of season 1 gave us a break from the norm with a flashback episode, titled Kaleidoscope, which focused on how the Byrde family became involved with the Mexican cartel. Kaleidoscope proved to be the perfect name for the episode as the narrative was non-linear and the stories folded back on themselves with interesting reveals. The episode was an experiment and in some ways it failed; Agent Petty’s storyline with his drug addicted mother was just unnecessary, the reveal of Wendy’s lost child was obvious and the episode placement wasn’t great. However, I do feel there is potential in this style of flashback episode and I would be interested in seeing another in season 2. It could focus on the Langmores as we see how Cade ended up in prison and Russ having to hide his sexuality, we could see how Jacob began his drug empire and maybe even do something with Rachel.
Give Charlotte something to do
Ozark season 1 was very much about the transition from the Byrde family being successful city dwellers to living in a much smaller rural community (and the fact they could be killed or arrested at any minute). Charlotte is the primary focus in representing the hardships of such a change as she rebels, attempts to run away and comes close to killing herself just to feel alive once again. However, the finale cements that the family have now agreed and chosen to stay in the Ozarks with Marty so next season can’t fall back on the same ground without undermining what the first season built. Wendy is involved in the main criminal plot and her relationship with Marty will continue to develop and I’m sure Jonah’s storyline in season 2 will continue to explore his dark obsessions but this leaves Charlotte fairy rudderless. She needs to be developed further than the wayward teen now that wayward is no longer an option; my hope is that they pair her with Ruth next season and draw her further into the criminal elements of the show.
Marty kills Mason
Marty isn’t a bad guy, just someone who got too greedy after the misplaced thought that more money would make his and his family’s lives happier. He gets pushed into corners in season 1 and becomes a much more morally ambiguous character by the end, having to deal with criminals and lie to associates to save his life. Marty should be pushed even further into the anti-hero territory in season 2 and Mason could be the way to do so. We last see Mason mourning the death of his wife and seemingly drowning his new-born son only to change his mind and baptise the child instead. This change reveals Mason has discovered a new purpose and I believe that is to get revenge on those who tore his life (and wife) apart for their own gain: Jacob and Marty. Now Mason won’t go full-on Punisher, he’s a man of God after all, but I believe he will try to bring down Marty and Jacob’s operation (maybe with the help of Agent Petty) which will force Marty to have to make the ultimate choice to save his and his family’s livelihood: kill Mason and become one of the murders he has served for years.
Agent Petty catches a break
Oh, Agent Petty. He spends a whole season fishing and seducing Russ Langmore to use him in his plot to catch Marty in the act of money laundering only for an electrically charged dock to ruin everything. We’ve all been there. Described as a psychopath early on in the show by his FBI (and ex-romantic) partner it is hard to disagree as he bends laws and manipulates people on his quest which turns out to be fruitless. His final scene of the first season is soap opera level ridiculous as he destroys his hotel room in unintentionally funny slow motion. While he can’t succeed fully in his plots against Marty because then the show would end (or be radically different) I do want him to catch a break in season 2. I just don’t want Ozark to turn into House of Cards where we have had an investigation into the lead character for 5 seasons now without it paying off.
What are your hopes for the second season of Ozark? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about TV, movies and videogames on Twitter @kylebrrtt.