It’s been almost two weeks since Ozark’s final episodes debuted on Netflix
You’re probably still trying to wrap your head around the fact that after everything they did, and everyone they ruined, the Byrdes are still intact… even Wendy.
If you’re disappointed, it’s because you thought the family couldn’t possibly escape all the carnage they brought to the Ozarks unscathed, but you should have learned by now that Ozark always surprises and what we think is going to happen next never does.
Besides, the Byrde’s fate was teased in episode 1 of season 4 with the car crash and later in the final installment, when we saw no one was seriously injured. It could have been surmised before the end of the final episode that this family is unbreakable.
“I think the car accident is a physical manifestation of their invincibility and that carries with them to the end of the show, to the last scene when they get out but they’re not getting out in the way that they had hoped for, nor the way that they planned,” Sofia Hublitz, who plays Charlotte Byrde on Ozark, told me. “But I love that ending so much because it’s not exactly happy but it’s not sad because you want to root for them even if it seems a little messed up, you want them to win and you want them to kind of get this bad guy to them.”
In the very last scene of the show, private investigator Mel Sattem (Adam Rothenberg), has foiled the Byrde’s operation and coverup of Wendy’s brother’s murder, only to be shot by Jonah.
“I mean, Mel’s not really a villain to the audience but he’s a villain to the Byrde family,” Hublitz said. “And there’s something kind of radical and that feels sort of justifying, the fact that they get out because they’ve got over the sort of insurmountable obstacle which is this guy that’s trying to bring them down. So I don’t know; I like it.”
It was also surprising to see Ozark’s main antagonist, Omar Navarro (Felix Solis) make it all the way to the show’s final episode before meeting his maker in the middle of it. Omar was killed by a hired gun, no doubt sent by his sister Camila, who at first presented him with the illusion of escape and freedom.
“I think that the one thing that I wanted to make sure that I did was just focus on what the actual moment needed to be and not how it was going to be perceived and how it was going to be sort of taken in and analyzed or so on, viewed,” Solis told me. “It felt to me that the very basic action of, ‘I’m being taken somewhere and I don’t feel safe but I’d just been given an opportunity to go and I understand it and so I’m going but it’s not what I think it is.’”
Solis said they tried different takes with Navarro’s final scene, each displaying a different emotional reaction to the situation, and kicked the tires on things going down differently, including Omar taking out the hired the gun, until arriving at a conclusion that made the villain “100-percent human.”
“I didn’t personally want to try to do anything that was either judging the scene or the way the scene was going or putting an opinion on it rather than just go, ‘What is the most important thing that I need to do? My only responsibility as an actor is to the character I’m playing and so what is the simplest, [most] straightforward action that I need to be doing in order to get the story across right now?’” Felix said when asked why he thought Camila may have twisted the knife with false hope before his death.
“And I just focused on that. I mean, the way that it is viewed is interesting and fascinating to watch. Everyone will have a different opinion on how they think that went down.”