Red said enough is enough as the closing credits rolled on the series finale of the Netflix show Ozark. It’s a brilliantly crafted drama about a family and organized crime, well acted, with sympathetic characters caught in one of those tangled webs we weave when we practice to deceive.
The final seven episodes landed Friday, and we sailed through them over the weekend. As the final scene faded to black, Red and I looked at each other and said well, that’s that, and let’s not go there again for a while.
There’s something disconcerting about stories where the heroes are crime lords and you find yourself rooting for this character or that to meet a brutal ending and for that character or this to get out of it alive. It makes for the greatest of drama — think The Godfather, The Sopranos, or Breaking Bad — but the depravity of it all is exhausting.
Ozark does deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as those other three. I would not have written some of the denouement the way the creators did, but they are better at this than I am. The choices they made resulted in a story with a powerful message about the intersection of crime, government, and corporations, specifically Big Pharma.
I’m with Red, though, I think for a while we will seek out entertainment with lower body counts.
Don’t get me wrong, we loved Ozark, or else we wouldn’t have stuck around for all 44 episodes. We loved the characters — most of them, anyway — and even the most evil of them had a perverse charm.
It’s just that at some point you have to re-focus your mind and heart on “whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8), to kind of cleanse the palate of blood and guts and an inevitable descent into darkness.