Wednesday, September 4, 2019

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 fourth 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 2, Episode 1 “Reparations” (B-)

I watched three episodes of this show last year back when Jason Bateman was nominated both for acting and directing, and since that time, he managed to win a SAG Award and have two costars and his entire ensemble nominated along with him. That love translated to the Emmys, which also recognized Laura Linney and Julia Garner, and the show is honored in the Best Drama Series race for its sophomore season. This premiere contends in three different categories: as the first of its six submitted episodes for the top category, for its direction, and as Bateman’s submission. I watched the Netflix season recap to get some sense of what happened, even though I now realize that the last episode I screened was in fact the season one finale. This opener showed Marty once again trying to control everything around him, and there is a compelling nature to the way that he manages to calmly respond to every new obstacle that comes up and just move forward since there’s nothing else he can do. Janet McTeer, recently seen on “Jessica Jones,” made an immediate impression as Helen, Dell’s lawyer, who presented Marty with yet another impossible ultimatum he had to resolve. Marty was straightforward and direct with Ruth, who has developed quite a personality of her own and will now have to contend with her recently-released father, who is certainly going to interfere with her enterprising sensibilities. Wendy acted decisively to put Marty on the map with the top campaign donor, who I knew I recognized from somewhere. Darren Goldstein previously played a far less powerful character, Oscar, on “The Affair.” I’m also now fully aware of who Peter Mullan is after his memorable “Westworld” performance and the Emmy buzz I heard about him before watching this. Jacob is definitely an intense, formidable character whose actions have brutal consequences for those surrounding him.

No comments: