I have a love/hate relationship with Ozark. On the plus side, the Netflix crime drama’s ensemble — buoyed by Julia Garner’s breakout, Emmy-winning performance as the ferocious and fierce Ruth Langmore — is an embarrassment of prestige TV riches. On the down side, the series’ frustrating tendency to prioritize plot over character regularly undermines the emotional stakes and reduces potentially interesting and complex characters to one-dimensional pawns in what can feel like a contrived version of Breaking Bad.
Ozark infuriates me while simultaneously entertaining me and I resent it but I also kind of admire it.
For example, Marylouise Burke is an absolute hoot in the just-dropped third season as Marty and Wendy’s morally flexible marriage counselor Sue. And the show does a masterful job of creating a wholly unique character filled with hilarious and endearing contradictions. But there is absolutely no plausible explanation for why Dr. Sue would show up at the Byrde’s house unannounced to “check in on them.” None whatsoever.
The story, however, demanded that the couple’s quasi crime boss Helen not only meet their shrink but witness her driving a brand new mustard-yellow McLaren because how else would Helen realize the doc had been compromised and needed to die? As a result, Sue’s eventual murder packed nary a punch because the strings the writers pulled to get us from Point A to Point B were visible to the naked eye.
This is my long-winded way of saying I breezed through all 10 of Season 3’s intermittently flawed, occasionally inspired episodes and promptly jotted down the 15 moments that caused my jaw to drop (sometimes while my eyes rolled). Scroll throw the gallery above — or click here for direct access — and riddle me this in the comments: Which of Season 3’s big developments shocked and awed you?