Jason Bateman Teased A (Sort Of) Happy Ozark Series Finale

The Netflix drama won’t return for Season 5.

Katrina Lenk as Clare Shaw, Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore, Jason Bateman as Martin 'Marty' Byrde, La...
Courtesy of Netflix

After four seasons and 32 Emmy nominations, Ozark’s final episodes dropped on April 29. Announcing in June 2020 that the drama would not return for Season 5, Netflix also revealed that the final installment would consist of 14 episodes (instead of the usual 10), split into two parts. The first seven premiered on Jan. 21, with Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) getting even more blood on their hands. “A super sized season means super sized problems for the Byrdes,” Bateman, who stars as the financial adviser turned money launderer, said in a statement at the time. “I’m excited to end with a bang(s).”

Though the front half of Season 4 already included some major character deaths, Bateman teased the possibility of a happy ending of sorts. “With the final season, the whole thing was like, ‘Well, how are we gonna end it?’ Should the Byrde family pay a bill, you know? Like, should they get away with it? Should they not?” Bateman recalled of his conversations with Ozark showrunner Chris Mundy on the April 22 episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “And so he said, ‘I want it to be a happy ending, but there’s got to be a little bit of a, ‘Well, is it happy for them?’ And so hopefully the audience will think, ‘Ah, they’ve kind of threaded the needle between a happy ending — but they’re limping.’”

Mundy, for his part, explained to Deadline that the second half of the season is “really about active choices,” adding, “Do Marty and Wendy really want to stay together? Do the kids really want to be a part of this family?... So it really all sort of circles in on itself in terms of family, and what they’re willing to do to try to stay together, and whether or not that’s a good choice.”

In the same panel interview, Linney, who received back-to-back Emmy nominations since originating the Byrde family matriarch role in 2017, also honed in on the central idea of family. “What I love that happens in this season is that the families become sort of encapsulated within themselves,” Linney stated, mentioning the Byrdes, the Navarros, and the Langmores. “And you get the sense of these three different cultures in these three different families dealing with similar issues about survival and need and greed… and to see how they each deal with it separately, as family units, is really interesting.”

Meanwhile, Julia Garner, who’s so far won two Emmys for playing Ruth Langmore, reflected on her years filming the series. “I could shoot Ozark for the rest of my life, selfishly,” she shared in a recent Entertainment Weekly roundtable interview, alongside Bateman, Linney, and Mundy. “I feel like Ozark changed all of our lives for different reasons. So when you have a life-changing experience, you’re always going to be connected to those people.”