Ozark theory: Will the Byrdes ever face justice?

Ozark: Netflix releases first teaser clip of Season 4 Part 2

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WARNING: This article contains major spoilers from all seasons of Ozark

Emmy-winning drama Ozark ended with the Byrde family apparently evading justice after cutting a deal with the FBI and freeing themselves of the Navarro Cartel for good. However, Wendy (played by Laura Linney) and Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) still had blood on their hands after they sacrificed Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) to save themselves. Private detective Mel Sattem (Adam Rothenberg) also seemed to be onto the Byrdes’ ill-gotten gains after he discovered the goat cookie jar containing Ben Davis’ (Tom Pelphrey) ashes.

Whether Sattem served up the Byrdes with their just desserts remained ambiguous with Jonah Byrde (Skylar Gaertner) pointing a gun at the ex-Chicago cop in the closing scene. A shot rang out only after the screen turned to black, so it was unclear whom Jonah had hit and if the Byrdes were going down for their crimes.

Speaking to exclusively to Express.co.uk, actor Nelson Bonilla – better known as the cartel’s assassin Nelson – said: “I love that you asked that question. Not because I have a good answer for it but because that’s what good theatre, film and TV were designed to evoke.

“To leave us asking ourselves the tough questions. ‘Could I have pulled it off? Could I have let her or him die for the good of my family? Could I forgive her?’

“That’s what good storytelling does. So in my opinion, the idea of whether they ever truly face justice, fall apart from the inside-out or live happily ever after is all a by-product of curiosity. They’re justified to me.”

His words suggest Wendy and Marty might have escaped scot-free, leaving a bloody trail of bodies in their wake.

Even Sattem compared the couple’s ascent to power to the Kennedys and the Kochs, two influential American families. 

There’s been plenty of speculation about the final scene and who Jonah shot with theories it could have been the cookie jar or even his mother.

The most likely target seems to have been Sattem with Jonah finally accepting he’s a Byrde and doing whatever it takes to protect his family – even committing murder.

Bonilla also reflected on the atmosphere on set while filming the final season, saying it was: “Appreciative, professional and purposeful.

“What we do isn’t always easy. I mean, it’s not surgery or life-saving but, there are times when things get very complicated.

“There are a lot of moving parts on any given day while we’re shooting.

“And it makes it much easier, safer and more productive when we all show up on time, prepared and ready to give everything we have. That was my experience every time I showed up.”

The coronavirus pandemic added a new challenging layer to filming the last instalment but Bonilla praised the producers for safeguarding the cast and crew.

He said: “I’ve worked on a lot of shows and films during the Covid pandemic but Ozark was one of the first to get back to production after the shutdowns.

“Every production had their protocols established early in large part because of what the early start-ups like Ozark established.

“Ozark had on-site testing and result labs along with our own epidemiologist, which is extremely rare for any show or film to have.

“So from jump street we all felt very informed and protected. We even had our own Wellness App that we had to log into every morning for check-ins before showing up to work.

“Because we had all these items in place and working so well, we did face a few delays due to some infections but no major setbacks. It just took longer to shoot the 14 episodes.”

Now Ozark has finished, Bonilla is busier than ever with a slew of projects including films The Time Capsule and Buried in Bastow.

He’s also getting ready to shoot season two of Sacrifice in New Orleans.

Anyone interested in the actor can follow him on Twitter @NelsonBX13 or Instagram @nelsonbx13

Ozark is streaming on Netflix now

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