Why Is ‘Ozark’ Season 4 in 2 Parts? The Showrunner Explains

The idea of a split season doesn’t always seem so bad at first — until the first half is over and you’re left to wait for the rest. Ozark fans can probably relate now the first part of its fourth season is over. But there’s a reason Ozark Season 4 is split in half.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Ozark Season 4 Part 1.]

Jason Bateman - Ozark
Jason Batmean | Guy D’Alema/Netflix

The showrunner on why ‘Ozark’ Season 4 is in parts

In an interview with TheWrap, showrunner Chris Mundy opened up about the decision to cut the season in two. He explained that the initial plan was to do five seasons, but they didn’t want to drag the story out either. It was decided that they would do an extended fourth season instead, and Netflix recommended splitting it into two.

“We always thought five [seasons] was the outside number,” Mundy explained. “It just felt like after that – we didn’t want to repeat ourselves, we didn’t want the show to feel like it was continuing because it was a TV show and it had to continue. So really the decision has always been between is it four [seasons] or is it five [seasons], and then Netflix hit upon the idea of saying, ‘We’ll do four but we’ll make it long and split it in this way,’ and that felt perfect.”

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The second half to feature ‘fun and exciting’ things

This season opens with a scene of the Byrdes driving in their van. They were optimistic about their upcoming move back to Chicago, but tragedy struck when the vehicle ran off of the road and flipped over. There was no visible movement among the wreckage.

The show then went back in time to the moments immediately after Helen Pierce’s death in the Ozark Season 3 finale. Omar Navarro met with the Byrdes and revealed his to step back from the cartel and asked them to help him transition to a legitimate life. The two managed to make the impossible happen, only to learn Maya Miller went back on the deal and had Navarro arrested.

As they scrambled to fix the problem, Navarro’s nephew, Javi Elizonndro, took over. His first order of business was killing Darlene Snell (and Wyatt Langmore, by association) after she refused to shut down her business. When Ruth found their bodies, she claimed revenge against Javi and set out to kill him, despite the Byrdes’ warnings.

Mundy teased there are “fun and exciting” things ahead for the characters.

“In terms of tone, we’re going deeper into the family and their bonds,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Is family the ultimate bond? Is friendship[ or] marriage? At what point is it almost unhealthy to stay, even if you love somebody? We’re going to delve into that with Marty and Wendy. Hopefully, the back half will still be fun and exciting, but also really emotional for the Byrdes and Ruth.”

When does ‘Ozark’ Season 4 Part 2 come out?

Asked about the status of Ozark Season 4 Part 2, Mundy told The Daily Beast: “We’re finished making it; that’s the easy part to answer.”

He continued: “I don’t know for sure when it’s going to come out. I have a vague notion, and it won’t be a crazy long wait again. Netflix hasn’t announced it officially and figured it out. But the good news is that it’ll be sooner rather than later.”

Although he wasn’t sure of the exact release date, he said “with confidence” that the remaining episodes will air sometime in 2022. Stay tuned.

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