Monday, September 10, 2018

Emmy Episodes: Ozark

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. For the third year in a row, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

Ozark: Season 1, Episode 4 “Tonight We Improvise” (B-)

My only experience thus far with this show was a disappointing encounter with the pilot, in which I found Jason Bateman to be miscast and didn’t have much interest in watching the show beyond that. Fortunately, it appears that it’s improved in just a few episodes, and may have merited the Golden Globe and SAG nods that Bateman and costar Laura Linney picked up. Only Bateman is nominated at the Emmys, but this hour is also up for directing. It did include more separate plotlines than I expected, with a substantial development on Marty’s part after he got his entire family threatened again. I’m a big fan of Julia Garner, who I just saw in an episode of “The Americans,” and it’s good to see that she has a major role here. Ruth tried to negotiate with Marty when he offered her ten percent, and she wasn’t about to go ahead and do something she really didn’t want to in order to get the job done. The scene at the strip club appeared to be hectic, and even though she didn’t have a great plan, they ended up doing just fine. Wendy seemed to be pretty angry that Marty wasn’t focused enough on saving his family, and it’s probably for the best that we didn’t see what happened after he revealed that he bought a strip club. There’s obviously a lot going on, like the son spending too much time around dead animals and Jason Butler Harner’s Agent Petty getting closer to some people but not to others. Let’s see where things stand when I check in next with the season finale, which is Bateman’s showcase for Emmy voters, both for his acting and his direction.

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