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Ozark Director On The Possibility Of More Episodes And Her Interpretation Of The Show's Final Scene

Ozark
(Image credit: Netflix)

The following story gets into MAJOR spoilers for the final season of Ozark, so if you haven’t yet caught up on the last batch of episodes, back away now. 

Certain programs get criticized for ambiguous endings. The Sopranos takes the most heat for the cut-to-black moment David Chase put in his series finale, but Lost also gets abused by critics and fans for its resolution (whether fairly or not). Time will tell where Jason Bateman’s Ozark finale will land in the grand scheme of series finales, but it does end with a cut to black and a gun shot that most viewers probably can apply meaning to, even though it leaves the key series characters – the Byrde family – alive and well and on the other side of all the vile crimes they committed. 

In the wake of the final seven episodes landing on Netflix, series director Amanda Marsalis spoke with CinemaBlend about the conclusion, her contributions to the fourth season (she helmed pivotal episodes such as “Mud” and “Pick a God and Pray”), and the open-ended nature of the show’s final shot. I asked Marsalis if the Byrde’s surviving the series meant that Ozark might return one day and she definitively stated:

Oh, it’ll never happen. And I don't think it's meant to feel like that's what would happen. I think it's just about the idea that basically, in the United States, bad people, bad rich people can get away with a lot of shit. I think that's what it's supposed to be. I think people are being a little bit too cynical and being like, ‘Oh, it's open for them to make more episodes.’ It's like, it's truly about storytelling. Because I mean, I think, Jason (Bateman) and Laura (Linney) and (showrunner) Chris (Mundy) have all told the story they want to tell.

At one point during our conversation, Amanda Marsalis and I discussed the power of Ozark being able to choose its ending, despite the fact that she wishes she was still working on it now and planning out a fifth season. But shows who can point to an end – be it Breaking Bad or its prequel Better Call Saul – tend to deliver satisfying conclusions because they have been mapped put, plotted towards, and realized. It might mean, as is the case with Lost, that co-stars are still explaining the meaning in interviews years after the fact. But conversation swirling around a show can never be bad, because it might inspire new people to start at the beginning and binge through to the end. 

Prior to the final batch of Ozark episodes arrived, leading man and frequent director Jason Bateman revealed his hopes for the resolution for the Byrdes. And then our own Mick Joest did a deep-dive analysis into what was shown, who we lost, and what the final shot of the program meant to him. 

Now, one way that Netflix could keep the cartel money flowing into its bank accounts is to explore a spinoff series, which has been suggested. But I’m taking Amanda Marsalis at her word, and saying goodbye to the Byrde family, and thanking them for this wild ride.  It really is one of the best Netflix shows available.

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.