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‘Ozark’ Showrunner Explains Why Season 4 Was Split in 2 Parts

Chris Mundy tells TheWrap about crafting the final season of the Emmy-winning drama

The drama series “Ozark” has consistently been one of Netflix’s most popular and most acclaimed original shows, but it all comes to an end in 2022 with the debut of the series’ fourth and final season. However, fans won’t get the final episodes in one blow – as previously announced, Season 4 has been split in two parts with the first batch of seven episodes debuting Jan. 21.

Showrunner Chris Mundy explained to TheWrap in a recent interview that the decision to split the final season in half was a consequence of trying not to overstay their welcome, and the idea came directly from Netflix. “We always thought five [seasons] was the outside number,” Mundy said of figuring out when to end the series. “It just felt like after that – we didn’t want to repeat ourselves, we didn’t want the show to feel like it was continuing because it was a TV show and it had to continue. So really the decision has always been between is it four [seasons] or is it five [seasons], and then Netflix hit upon the idea of saying, ‘We’ll do four but we’ll make it long and split it in this way,’ and that felt perfect.”

Indeed, as Mundy and the writers began working on Season 4 of the show, they realized 10 episodes wouldn’t be enough to wrap up the story, and Season 4 begins immediately where Season 3 left off with Jason Bateman’s Marty Byrde and Laura Linney’s Wendy Byrde dealing with the fallout of crime boss Navarro’s violent actions. “We could make these seven [episodes] feel complete and make the second seven feel complete, even though it’s all one continuum. I think 10 wouldn’t have been enough to tell the story in the way we wanted to. So any number over 10 and under 20 was gonna be good in my book.”

ozark-season-4-marty-wendy
Netflix

However, when breaking down Season 4’s two parts, Mundy and the writers looked at them as two different “seasons” in order to give viewers a complete experience both times. “When we worked in the writers’ room on it, we called them 401-407 and 501-507, because we wanted to think of them the way that people were going to be experiencing them, but again knowing that at some point someone’s gonna watch them all together and they needed to feel – it’s a bit of a trick in that way, they’ve gotta feel of one piece but they’ve also gotta be satisfying when you sit down to watch the 7 and you’re gonna have to wait months for the next, we wanted to make sure they felt complete.”

Netflix has not yet set a release date for the final batch of episodes in “Ozark” Season 4 – Part 2, but Mundy says those episodes are completely locked and finished. So once you finish binge-watching Part 1, rest assured knowing Part 2 is on the way.

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