“Ozark” thoughts, Season One, Episode Seven: “Nest Box”

This is all prelude to the final sequence, which crosscuts between Marty and Wendy having a knock-down drag-out fight about their life together and Charlotte, exhausted after a long and arduous day during which she attempted to flee “home” to Chicago, nearly drowns in the dark lake. Marty is incensed to discover that Wendy has been making plans to return the kids to their hometown officially, which he reads as a run-up to her departure as well. In response, he blasts her with both barrels about her affair, rattling off all the moments she could have said “no” to her lover in a truly painful litany. Wendy tearfully responds that without any intimacy or affection from Marty, all of which dried up the moment they decided to launder drug money, there was no reason for her to say no. When he says that he’s only keeping her around out of “necessity, not desire,” she asks him why he didn’t simply let Del kill her when he had the chance, and Marty doesn’t even have an answer. All the while, Charlotte is struggling for air, and seemingly succumbs, only to regain her strength and launch herself back above the surface, the smile on her face indicating some sort of perverse exhilaration in this brush with death.

The sequence brings out the best in all three actors: Jason Bateman pushes his odd Type A energy into the red, Laura Linney gets to work with real desperation and trauma, and Sofia Hublitz continues to plumb the umpteenth sullen-teen-daughter character you’ve seen on prestige TV for new depths. No pun intended, honest — the fine work being done here is no joke.

I reviewed episode seven of Ozark for Decider. It really was the Langmores’ episode in many ways, as I describe for the bulk of the review, but this final sequence with Marty, Wendy, and Charlotte hit hard.

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