Ozark season 3 explained: Why wasn’t kingpin Omar Navarro introduced earlier?

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Netflix series Ozark will be ending with season four, which has been confirmed to be the last outing for the Emmy-winning drama. The show has followed the fortunes of the Byrde family who were forced to launder money for a drug cartel in exchange for their lives. For the first two seasons, the cartel was something of a mystery with representatives including lieutenant Camino Del Rio (played by Esai Morales) and attorney Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer) acting on behalf of the group.

However, finally in season three, fans were given a face to the head of Mexican drug organisation with the introduction of Omar Navarro (Felix Solis).

Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) as well as her husband Marty (Jason Bateman) had many dealings with Navarro and his organisation.

By the end of season three, it appeared Marty and Wendy had won over Navarro and he wanted to work directly with them.

He dispensed with his formerly trusted lawyer Helen and put the pair at the centre of the operation, dealing with them and no longer using a middleman.

The season three finale certainty marked a shift in the story and the power play with the Byrdes in greater danger than ever before.

But why did it take so long to bring in the godfather who has really been pulling the strings this whole time?

Speaking to Gold Derby in a recent interview, Ozark’s showrunner Chris Mundy said: “I heard people theorised that Helen was actually the head of the cartel and she didn’t really have a boss.

“We thought if we’re three seasons in, we’re embedded as a family unit in the Byrdes in the cartel, we might as well let the audience see the head of the cartel too.

“Really it was again, it was to illuminate Wendy and the proximity that this kind of power and what it did to her.

“Because it’s both scary and exciting. I think a lot of getting into this initial world in the first place for the Byrdes was scary but a little bit exciting.

“So, we wanted it to physically manifest and we wanted it to be: be careful what you wish for because if you get really close, it’s going to get really frightening.”

Season two already seemed to hint how Wendy was corrupted by the allure of power after she decided to backtrack of Marty’s escape plan.

Instead, she made a deal with the devil to open the riverboat casino and work for the cartel in the belief this was the best way forward.

She took things a step further in season three when she had her own brother Ben Davis (Tom Pelphrey) executed because he could have jeopardise the entire operation.

Wendy has certainly been changed by dealing directly with Navarro and now it looks like there’s no way for the Byrdes to back out.

Navarro is going to continue to serve as the Byrdes’ boss and antagonist with the couple really up against the wall.

They will have to continue to deliver or face the consequences which could be deadly.

In an interview with Digital Journal, actor Solis spoke about joining Ozark, saying of the experience: “It’s always a pleasure and a relief when you arrive on a set and are immediately welcomed with open arms and a sense of respect.

“I believe an actor’s level of success is based on whether or not they are included in the creative conversation at any given moment.

“I was asked what I thought about the scenes and the character, which is rare in the world of television.

“Every single cast member I worked with or met while working was an honest joy, and I’m not arbitrarily saying that.

“I’d have no bones about being honest and upfront if they weren’t.”

Ozark seasons 1 to 3 are streaming on Netflix now

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