Ozark Season 3: The good
Warning: While I have made efforts to avoid spoilers there might be some minor ones in here. If you already know that you want to watch this and have not done so it might be best to give this the ol' skipsies.
When this was originally released back in March, I, like anyone else who enjoyed the first 2 seasons was chomping at the bit to see it and I quickly rushed in to what I thought would be a grand continuation and perhaps improvement upon what was quickly becoming a slipping series. Season 1 was epic and then Season 2 lost some steam. In many ways I feel like Season 3 was in fact an improvement, but in other ways not so much. Let's look at both.
The introduction of Wendy's brother Ben is something that the series desperately needed since the current load of characters kind of seemed to have run their course. Ben's calm yet intimidating, shy but charismatic way about him adds so much-needed energy to the mix and Tom Pelphrey does the role so well. If you are one of those people like me that thinks to themselves "I know that face but who is he?" it is probably because he hasn't done much outside of daytime soap operas as he appeared on shows that your Grandma probably had on in the background and you didn't realize that you saw him.
His involvement in the show starts out as inconsequential, but as the episodes carry on he starts to take more of an important role. When he does become a major player I was thinking "well, of course he is, that is why they introduced him in the first place." His acting is probably some of the best among anyone in the show other than perhaps Julia Garner, which brings us to point number 2.
Ruth Langmore continues as awesome
Ruth Langmore is probably everyone's favorite character on Ozark. She plays the trailer living, foul mouthed redneck who just happens to have quite the brain for crime. She also is a tough nut to crack emotionally but when she does show emotion, Julia Garner absolutely nails it. She will make you laugh and cry in the same episode just minutes apart.
Garner has already won awards for her performance as Ruth Langmore, and I suspect there are more on the way.
The show really gets moving about half-way through
A lot happens in season 3 and in the "bad" section I'll get to why I think actually a bit too much happens. However, this is still a vast improvement upon the damn-near-nothing that happened in Season 2.
Season 2 was filled with a lot of sitting around and chatting until eventually Wendy (Laura Linney) and Marty (Jason Bateman) get into a spat that puts their marriage at risk. Ok, a lot of that happens in Season 3 as well but there is plenty of action that takes place as well and a lot of it is directly because of the Byrd family rather than just their accomplices (this is the part where I am being intentionally vague for the sake of spoilers.)
While the first several episodes are so slow-moving that I actually turned the series off for several months and nearly forgot it existed, the "hump" is where the best stuff is and a TON of steps are made in the overall movement of the story. Despite the fact that these episodes are nearly an hour long each, I still watched 4 of them in a row and then stopped the 5th halfway through because I realized that 5 hours of a TV show in one day is a bit too much.
Darlene is back
After the elimination of her husband Jacob, the Snell's didn't really have much to do with the story anymore and that was disappointing to me because I felt as though they brought a great deal of brutal but honest country charm to the series. However, they didn't really have a way to bring her back in. The way that they get her back into the mix is certainly unorthodox and kind of gross (again, being intentionally vague,) but get her back in they do and for me, this was a very welcome change.
After a while you kind of get tired of seeing the city slickers wheel and deal in their city slicker way and introducing a little "mountain justice" into the mix is a lot of fun for me and I think a lot of other people. The Snells have always been kind of half-way villains but we are going to have to wait until season 4 to see what the story has in store for Darlene.
I can't fully decide if I like season 3 so much because I felt season 2 was so bad or because it stands on its own accord. My positive feels towards it probably also have a lot to do with the fact that the overall series that exist on Netflix as of late have been pretty poor, so there is always the chance that this series is simply the best of the bad. At least for the time being, I think it is one of the best series that Netflix has on offer.
Take it easy on watching it though if you decide to, because thanks to the pandemic it might be a while before we get a season 4.