In Season 1 of Ozark Wall Street financial advisor Marty Byrde is shocked to learn that his business partner has been laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel. How does he find out? When the cartel kidnaps him and kills his partner for skimming money. Now Marty is given one week to come up with the cash his partner stole and he doesn’t have it. On top of that his wife is having an affair with an FBI informant whose trying to get enough information on the money laundering operation to send Marty away for life. In a moment of inspiration with nothing more than a travel brochure for the Ozarks, Marty convinces the cartel’s hit man that he can get them back all of their money plus millions more in five months through businesses in the Ozarks. And it works. But as soon as he picks up his family and moves to the Ozarks of Missouri, he discovers the white inbred hillbillies who run the place are more dangerous than the Mexican drug cartel. In possibly the worst episode of the season, Darlene and Jacob Snell (the local matriarch and patriarch) kill the Reverend’s pregnant wife and remove her child from her womb, leaving it clean, alive, and in the crib. Her body is never found.
It shouldn’t be a surprise when that child comes back into play in Season 2. Darlene and Jacob wage an ongoing war against the cartel and Marty is repeatedly asked to intervene. But there’s just no dealing with crazy. When Jacob comes to believe Darlene is no longer rational she poisons his coffee and watches him die a painful death then she kidnaps Marty’s son and demands the Reverend’s baby in return.
The theme of season 2 is women who are capable of murder. It starts with Darlene then focuses on the drug cartel’s new liaison, a female attorney who is both rational and cunning. By the end of the season the focus has shifted to Marty’s wife Wendy who is now involved in the local politics. She wants that baby back and she’ll do anything to get it, including killing Darlene Snell.
4 out of 10 stars. This is a very dark series. The only likable character all season was Marty. It’s like watching a very dark version of It’s an Incredible Life. Marty is constantly getting dumped on and those around him add to the pile rather than helping him, even his family and especially his wife. It’s more than frustrating; it’s impossible. We were so over it by the end and I won’t be tuning in for season 3.