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Ozark Season 2 Episode 1 Review: SPOILERS AHEAD!

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When Ozark season one wrapped, viewers were left with a sort of state-change. Marty Byrde’s cartel contact, Del, had been killed in sudden fashion by Darlene Snell. The new Byrde family goal is a desperate plan for a casino (requiring partnership with the Snell family), and the complication of Del’s death felt like it could upset the entire show.

The new casino goal seems to involve not only cartel criminals, but state politics, and while I am excited for more of Wendy Byrde’s involvement, the new direction risks turning the show away from the setup that has worked for me so far. I’m not certain I wanted state politics as a plotline, but my trust in the show is strong. Plus, we still have to deal with Ruth Langmore and her own murderous actions, and the Byrde children processing their lives in the aftermath of the season 1 assassination attempt.

PICTURED Jason Bateman PHOTO CREDIT Jessica Miglio/Netflix

I hit play on season two excited to see how the fallout from so many bad plans would possibly come together, but nervous that the new developments wouldn’t move the show directly forward. Ozark risks stagnation with an endless series of next-emergencies for the Byrdes to handle. Fortunately, the show deftly moves through all the plots, and remains consistently strong both in terms of acting and camerawork. There’s a blue, dusky lighting I’ve come to recognize from the show, and the sureness of atmosphere helps keep me hooked.
We start at a charity ball, slightly forward in time, as we see Marty and Wendy stalking political prey. Wendy has a spark to her, and Marty mentions it. Given what we know of her history with depression, it’s a positive change in her. The beauty of Ozark is that this verve from Wendy stems from such awful circumstance. We know right away this season will be about the casino, with the cartel forever looming. It’s this constant, desperate drive toward the next task that keeps the energy of the show alive. The Byrde family must have this church, this funeral parlor, and now this casino. Whatever is next, their lives depend on it.
Thankfully, Ozark season two understands that the new ‘thing’ the Byrdes need is about more than raising a cap on number of casinos in Missouri. The casino is certainly the big, involved plan of the season, but it’s always just a task in service of the cartel. After slowing establishing this world and these criminal relationship in season one, we now have a show with all the players on the board. Everyone has their own plans. Everyone came through season 1 changed.
Marty and Wendy are now a team, bonded by their crimes, but also by the lack of options and danger to their families. Guilty, fear, and a cold acceptance are their glue now. Jonah and Charlotte are feeling the wake of their near-assassination last season. Jonah particularly is reeling from his dry-fire of a shotgun in the face of their would-be killer. The show doles out his processing with a steady precision. In this episode, we see the siblings bond over money Charlotte stole when the family was packing the walls with cash.
Ruth is changed from killing Boyd last season, though in this episode we don’t find out anything new about the FBI investigation Boyd was in. Ruth testifies at her father’s parole hearing. Cade Langmore comes home, and will surely complicate things. Ruth is just now finding a strange sort of mentor in Marty, and there’s a sick and dangerous tone to her bond with Cade. (Case in point, she gets him a prostitute upon his release from prison, and directly afterwards he tells her he knows she killed Boyd. Every scene between them has a pain and a danger to it, even when they’re friendly.)

PICTURED Charlie Tahan, Carson Holmes, Trevor Long PHOTO CREDIT Jessica Miglio/Netflix

We find Darlene Snell starting season two in the woods with Ash, disposing of Del’s body. Darlene almost expresses remorse for killing Del, but Ash corrects her thinking. (Let’s remember, the insult in question was ‘redneck’). Ash feels the killing was appropriate. He travels to Chicago to use Del’s credit cards and lay a false trail for the cartel, in hopes of Darlene getting away with the murder. The Snell’s nonchalance about this is dark, and though Darlene remains the hair trigger, both husband and wife possess a hardline fanaticism to some weird rural code. Their adherence to this as a central character motivation begins to grind on me, but I can’t tell yet if it actually feels false, or if I’m simply as tired of it as Marty appears to be.
The Byrdes face a key political problem this season, tapping the established background of Wendy’s character for the task. Solving the problem requires the political clout of a very conservative donor, Charles Wilkes. We see Wendy truly shine as she finds out his identity, develops a way to contact him, and closes the deal. This is the charity ball that serves as the frame to what is otherwise a flashback episode.
We meet cartel lawyer Helen Pierce this episode, as well, sent to both negotiate the casino and to solve Del’s whereabouts. Janet McTeer plays her with such matter-of-fact air that I hope she stays around all season. Once she learns of Del’s death and the Snell’s involvement, there is no delay. The cartel’s knowledge translates immediately to action. They hijack Marty and Wendy on their way home from the charity event, and explain they have one hour to make reparations to the cartel for Del’s loss. The Byrdes go immediately to see the Snells, and make a few suggestions as to fair compensation for Del. In a stunning move, Jacob has the final say. His cold application of some twisted moral balancing ends the episode.

PICTURED
Skylar Gaertner, Sofia Hublitz

Crime fiction is at its best when you watch regular people choose between several bad options, where against all odds and everything you know about them, you still want it all to work out. Ozark is nothing but those people, making nothing but those choices. None of it will end well, but I can’t wait to watch it burn.
Best moment: Wendy telling Marty that “no one drives four hours to tell you to stay away…” and Wendy’s orchestrated meet-cute with Charles Wilkes. I am all in for Political Wendy.
Thing to Watch: Whether the Snell’s strange ‘cult of the prideful farmer’ mentality will spin out into dogma, or whether I’ll find a way to sympathize with their crazy negotiation outbursts.
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The HISTORY Channel’s “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch” To Make Panel Debut at San Diego Comic-Con

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“The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch,” a hit nonfiction series on the HISTORY Channel, is making its debut at San Diego Comic-Con with an exclusive panel. The panel will feature aerospace engineer, astrophysicist, and lead scientist Dr. Travis Taylor; Defense Intelligence Senior Executive (Retired) Jay Stratton; and others. The series follows current ranch owner Brandon Fugal and an accredited team of scientists, researchers, and experts as they conduct carefully curated scientific experiments, daring drilling and drone exercises, and more to uncover what’s taking place on the anomalous 512-acre hotspot of high strangeness and UAP-related activity. New episodes currently air on Tuesdays at 9/8c, with the two-hour season five finale airing on Tuesday, July 23 at 9/8c.

HISTORY’s “THE SECRET OF SKINWALKER RANCH” PANEL – Thursday, July 25 from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Hilton San Diego Bayfront (Indigo Ballroom)

Can You Keep A Secret? Unveiling the Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch – Ever seen a UAP? Or witnessed something strange and unusual that you couldn’t explain? Join the experts from The HISTORY® Channel’s hit series The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, including astrophysicist and lead scientist Dr. Travis Taylor and others, for a dynamic panel discussing the motivations, inclinations and secret findings currently taking place at one of the most infamous UAP and paranormal hotspots to ever exist. The moderator will be Matt Zoller Seitz (New York Magazine/Vulture). Cast subject to change.

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ADULT SWIM TO HOST FOUR-DAY “PIRATE PARRRTY” AT SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2024 ALONGSIDE EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEKS, SERIES PANELS AND LAUNCH OF THE “RICK AND MORTY: THE ANIME” ANIME-RICAN TOUR

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Adult Swim, the global leader in adult animation, unveiled plans today for San Diego Comic-Con which includes an ongoing Pirate-themed fan “parrrty” featuring a series of special evening events, exclusive panels diving into key Adult Swim programs, and the kick-off of a cross-country mobile tour to celebrate “Rick and Morty: The Anime.”

“For reasons too long to get into, we at Adult Swim have always used a pirate ship (and, owls, but maybe we’ll do that at a later con) as a metaphor for how we operate,” said Michael Ouweleen, president, Adult Swim. “We thought since we like to think of us, fans and network, as all one thing, that we should bring the pirate ship to the harbor of San Diego this year and let everyone join us on the – erm – poop deck.”

ADULT SWIM PIRATE PARRRTY

Adult Swim will crash onto the shores of San Diego with a shipwreck adventure on the network’s Adult Swim on the Green space outside the San Diego Convention Center (5th Avenue Landing and Convention Way). The “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” will include custom games, exclusive first looks, giveaways, and evening entertainment including DJ laser sets – no badge required!

The space will also host a series of special evening events including:

  • AEW x Adult Swim “Battle for the Booty” Wrestling Tournament – Join a collection of AEW wrestlers who will face off in a tag team tournament against famous Adult Swim faces for a no-holds-barred event as each competitor vies for the chance to win the “Battle for the Booty” title. Thursday (7/25) at 7:30pm
  • Adult Swim’s Night of New – Comic-Con attendees will be the first to experience a collection of brand-new Adult Swim series at this special screening event featuring the full-length premiere episodes of “Common Side Effects,” “Rick and Morty: The Anime,” “Invincible Fight Girl,” and “Women Wearing Shoulder Pads” alongside more never-before-seen Adult Swim content.  The screening will also be livestreamed in real-time on Adult Swim’s YouTube Channel. Don’t miss your chance! Friday (7/26) at 7:30pm
  • Fun with Zach and Michael – Fresh off the finale of the hit series’ second season, join “SMILING FRIENDS” co-creators Michael Cusack and Zach Hadel for a special live-draw and fan Q&A event. Saturday (7/27) at 7:30pm

The first 1,000 attendees to join the “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” at 1pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will receive an exclusive giveaway! For more details on the “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” visit here.

RICKMOBILE TOUR KICK-OFF

This summer marks the return of the famed Rickmobile and Mortymobile for Adult Swim’s “Anime-rican” tour in support of the new series “Rick and Morty: The Anime,” and San Diego Comic-Con is its first stop! Fans attending the “Adult Swim Pirate Parrrty” will have a chance for a photo-op with the Mortymobile, while the Rickmobile will roam San Diego’s Gaslamp District with special giveaways. After Comic-Con, both the Rickmobile and the Mortymobile will cross the country for a nine-city tour that will conclude in Adult Swim’s hometown of Atlanta.

PANEL EVENTS

The fun continues inside with a series of can’t-miss panels featuring advanced looks, breaking news and insightful discussion from series creators and voice talent:

  • Adult Swim’s “Common Side Effects” Series First Look – Come experience the side effects of an incredible panel discussion about Adult Swim’s highly anticipated new series.  “Common Side Effects.”  From executive producers Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, and creators Joe Bennett and Steve Hely, this comedic thriller follows two former high school lab partners who take on big pharma and government agencies as they try to bring a medicine that cures everything to the whole world. Co-creator Steve Hely and writer/director Sean Buckelew will join the series voice cast including Martha KellyEmily PendergastJoseph Lee Anderson and Dave King to discuss the new series. Friday (7/26) at 11am, Indigo Ballroom
  • Adult Swim’s “Rick And Morty: The Anime” Series First Look – Go further into the multiverse of Rick and Morty with the new series “Rick and Morty: The Anime” as it lands at San Diego Comic-Con.  Writer/director Takashi Sano, producers Joseph Chou and Takenari Maeda, and Adult Swim’s head of action and anime Jason DeMarco will share details about the intergalactic adventure and show you the inner workings of the new series on Adult Swim. Friday (7/26) at 12pm, Indigo Ballroom
  • “My Adventures with Superman” Screening Presentation and Panel – Join executive producers Jake WyattJosie CampbellBrendan Clogher, and voice cast members Jack QuaidAlice LeeIshmel Sahid, and Kiana Madeira as they answer your burning questions from season two. Plus get the early scoop on all the action, comedy, and romance that awaits Clark, Lois, and Jimmy in season three. Airing on Adult Swim, “My Adventures with Superman” is produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Saturday (7/27) at 10am, Indigo Ballroom 
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BMI AND WHITE BEAR PR PRESENT“THE CHARACTER OF MUSIC: THE ART OF SCORING FOR ANIMATION” AT COMIC-CON 2024

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BMI® and White Bear PR are excited to present “The Character of Music: The Art of Scoring for Animation,” at Comic-Con 2024. The panelists include BMI composers Sherri Chung, Deana Kiner, Kevin Kiner, Sean Kiner, Joy Ngiaw, along with composers The Newton Brothers and songwriter Alex Seaver. The panel will be moderated by White Bear PR’s Chandler Poling and introduced by BMI’s Director, Film, TV & Visual Media, Louie Stephens.

Step into the mesmerizing world where sound meets artistry at this year’s “The Character of Music: The Art of Scoring for Animation” panel. Discover how composers work hand in hand with animators and directors to weave a seamless tapestry of sound and imagery. The panelists include Deana, Kevin and Sean Kiner (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Star Wars: Rebels), Sherri Chung (Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Based On A True Story), Joy Ngiaw (Blush, Barbie Mysteries), The Newton Brothers (X-MEN ’97), and songwriter Alex Seaver aka MAKO (Arcane: League of Legends). 

WHERE: 
San Diego Convention Center Room 6BCF
111 W. Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101 

WHEN: 
Sunday, July 28, 2024 

TIME:

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. PST

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