The Byrde Family on Ozark is not the perfect picture of domestic bliss by any stretch of the imagination. While Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) had good intentions in wanting to help his family financially, getting involved with a money-laundering scheme only put him deeper into trouble. Also, it never helped that his daughter, Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz), was a bit insufferable.
Yes, Charlotte became such a troubled teen in the first two seasons, viewers started to complain. Even though she reflected how some teens are in real life, the Byrdes are already far from normal. At the start of Ozark’s third season, Charlotte suddenly became more tolerable. What caused this sudden change? It seemed to be from parental understanding.
Charlotte Byrde’s initial reaction to moving to the Ozarks
At the beginning of Ozark’s run, Marty Byrde ran into trouble with a drug cartel while involved in money laundering. He promises to keep doing money laundering for them in exchange to spare him and his family’s lives. This required moving from Chicago to the Ozarks in Missouri.
Of course, this set up a new fish out of water scenario, making Ozark a little like a cross between Schitt’s Creek and Breaking Bad. What makes it all work is the great cast and the dynamics among the characters. Despite the Byrdes not being completely lovable, fans root them on to find some kind of sanity and eventual familial bliss.
Having to put up with Charlotte, however, was a bit of a problem. Then again, if placed in her shoes, perhaps viewers would never blame her for complaining about having to live in an unusual place.
Charlotte slowly makes a friend while working at The Blue Cat
Fans of Ozark know Charlotte always wanted to stay in Chicago to be with her friends. While her complaints from the outset seemed annoying, she finally found a friend when landing a job at The Blue Cat, a fleabag hotel with a restaurant and bar.
As Charlotte worked there, she managed to become friends with Wyatt Langmore. This ultimately becomes her only real close friend in Osage Beach. Over time, though, she starts to understand the truth about behind-the-scenes doings in the family business. Her evolution to putting the pieces together makes her start to become slowly entwined into the activities of her father and mother.
If still considering her situation crazy, the real change viewers have seen from Charlotte is her finding some peace in what her family is doing. Part of this comes from Charlotte helping find some kind of light at the end of the tunnel.
The Byrde kids start to become involved in the money laundering business
By the beginning of the third season, Charlotte started to learn what her parents were doing is dangerous business. It finally hit her the money laundering scheme underway was a do-or-die situation. As such, Charlotte suddenly found herself getting involved in criminal tasks to make it become a true family business.
Another layer to this evolution is her younger brother, Jonah (played by Skylar Gaertner), becoming involved as well. Placing them into doing the dirty deeds of money laundering really does sober up these characters. Throughout Season 3, Charlotte is definitely less insufferable than before, and now a serious extortionist. Media outlets like Looper also remind that Charlotte was seen taking down some victims in the process of making sure each plan occurred without consequence.
No teens should get any ideas from this, obviously. Regardless, having Charlotte being forced to grow up this fast into crime is one of the most complex character studies on TV for a teenage/young adult role. How Charlotte comes to terms with this as an adult is another thing everyone may learn eventually.