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Ozark season 4 release date, cast and plot - What we know so far

In just a few years, Ozark has left a distinct mark in the family of dark, dreadful, and deadly American crime dramas — carving out a place among mega-hits like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad. Co-created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams, the compelling family saga starring and executive produced by Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) has gone from a blip among Netflix's slate to one of the streamer's standout original series. 

Ozark centers on financial advisor Martin "Marty" Byrde, whose failed money laundering forces him, his wife Wendy (Laura Linney), and his two children (played by Sofia Hublitz and Skylar Gaertner) to leave the Chicago suburbs and move to the summer resort community of Osage Beach, Missouri. Here, in the Ozark Mountains, the four work off their debt to a Mexican drug cartel through an increasingly entangled and dangerous laundering scheme run through a casino.

It's a gripping and searing look at a family in crisis that, since its relatively quiet debut in 2017, has garnered rave reviews as well as multiple award nominations and wins — including a directing Emmy for Bateman and an Outstanding Supporting Actress award for Ruth Langmore actress Julia Garner. Netflix dropped the third season of Ozark on March 27, 2020; the batch of episodes saw the Byrdes facing not just the remnants of fights with local criminal rivals, but also an FBI investigation and the arrival of the Navarro cartel's leader, Omar (Felix Solis). The latest season also delivered Ozark's most shocking ending yet — closing one chapter on the Byrdes new life with a bang and leaving fans with more questions than answers going forward.

On June 30, 2020, Netflix announced that fans will get answers ... with the fourth and final season of Ozark. Per The Hollywood ReporterOzark season 4 will be the series' last, but will run for longer than past seasons have, at 14 episodes as opposed to the usual ten. 

Not many details about the upcoming season have been revealed as of yet, but here's what we know so far about Ozark season 4.

What's the release date for Ozark season 4?

With Netflix only just confirming that more of the Byrdes' drug-fueled drama is up ahead, it's understandable that no release date has been announced as of June 30, 2020. 

However, though the renewal announcement didn't include a return date, it did include a juicy tidbit about how the series will return: Ozark season 4 will be split into two parts, which will each be comprised of seven episodes. This down-the-middle split somewhat tracks with what Ozark showrunner Chris Mundy told The Hollywood Reporter in April 2019. "We've always talked about it as five seasons," Mundy said at the time. "It could be four, it could be seven ... but [five] always seemed like a good number to us." While fans aren't getting five full seasons of Ozark, one could still argue that season 4 being divided in two makes for five total installments of Ozark

Unfortunately, Netflix agreeing to more Ozark is only half the battle. Securing a release date is the other struggle. Fans who have been with the show from the beginning know that its season drops — like its twists — have been anything but predictable. Season 1 premiered in July 2017, season 2 released around a year later in August 2018, and viewers had to wait a year and a half after that to catch season 3 in March 2020. Part of this inconsistency is due to Bateman's hectic schedule; he's been tied to various other projects during the series' run. That includes his most recent appearance on HBO's adaptation of Stephen King's The Outsider, as well as a reboot of the classic movie Clue that Bateman has teamed with Ryan Reynolds to write and star in. 

Clue is still in pre-production with no scheduled release date, and Bateman's time starring on Outsider is over. He could still return to that series in another capacity, however; he served as an executive producer and director on its first season, and may decide to return for another go-round if it's renewed, potentially lengthening the wait for season 4 of Ozark. It's also been noted that the present state of Hollywood productions — i.e., that most are at a total standstill — has contributed to the current lack of a release date for Ozark season 4. Only time will tell when the Byrdes will be back for their swan song.

What's the plot of Ozark season 4?

On each new season of Ozark, the Byrdes have managed to dig themselves deeper into the bloody hole that is the Navarro Cartel — and season 3 was no exception. In yet another shocking finale, Marty and Wendy somehow dodged a bullet, surviving what seemed to be a surefire end to their role in Navarro's massive money laundering scheme. Omar Navarro (Felix Solis) chose Marty and Wendy — along with their FBI ties — over their rival Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer) before alluding to a new "beginning" with the family and ending season 3 on a massive cliffhanger. 

There are no plot details for season 4 just yet, but in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Mundy teased that the Byrdes and Ruth Langmore, their former-enemy-turned-ally, will try to carve out an opportunity of their own.

"Well, if we're lucky enough to get a season 4, I think it will be about whether or not Ruth really can create something of her own that she wants and is sustainable, or if she wants something else," Mundy said. "And I think it will be about if the Byrdes — can they turn the biggest mistake of their lives into this huge advantage, and how much will karma catch up with them if they do?"

According to Mundy, the Byrdes are at a point of no return, and their only direction after season 3 is further down Navarro's rabbit hole. "You're a vital part of this enterprise now and you're completely on [Navarro's] radar, to the point where he's commingling his or someone else's blood with yours, you're sharing in that," Mundy said of the family's position at the conclusion of season 3. "And so, for better or worse, you're completely in this game, and now it's yours to see if you have another play left in you."

Alongside the renewal announcement for Ozark season 4, Mundy noted that the final collection of episodes will "end the Byrdes' saga right," and that the Ozark team is "thrilled to get the chance to bring [the series] home in the most fulfilling way possible." Bateman also teased, "A super-sized season means super-sized problems for the Byrdes. I'm excited to end with a bang(s)."

Sounds like Ozark fans are in for something huge when the show takes its last lap.

Who's in the cast of Ozark season 4?

The Byrdes' ability to convince Navarro that they were indispensable may have kept them alive for now, but how long will that last? And, with all their relationships so strained, perhaps a better question is this: Can they come out the other side together? Based on the season 3 finale, they will for now, which means that all four principals — Bateman, Linney, Hublitz, and Gaertner — will almost certainly be back for season 4. But who else can fans expect to see in this Netflix gem?

Bodies have tended to pile up on Ozark, and season 3 had no shortage of deaths. But Ruth has been both crafty and brutal enough to avoid that fate. Considering Mundy's confirmation that season 4 will focus in part on her next moves, fans can expect to see Garner return. Another character who's always been in the background but spent most of his time on the series in obscurity before season 3 is Omar Navarro. Now that the cartel leader has so successfully embedded himself in the Byrdes' lives, Felix Solis is also sure to return.

There are a handful of other characters who survived that shocking finale — including Nelson (Nelson Bonilla), Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery), Maya Miller (Jessica Francis Dukes), Trevor (McKinley Belcher III) and Frank Sr. (Joseph Sikora). But the most anticipated appearances may end up being characters fans have only ever seen in passing: the Lagunas Cartel members. Navarro choosing not to kill the Byrdes surely means that he intends to leverage their FBI connections, so season 4 may give a face to yet another of the Byrdes' ever-growing list of enemies.