Connect with us

Ozark Season 2 Episode 1 Review: SPOILERS AHEAD!



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.

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.
Continue Reading


Finally, the Cinderella story of the Richmond Greyhounds has come to an end.



We are now in a new season for the team, and they have started off on the wrong
foot. The team is broken up and Ted has his work cut out for him. The team goes
through a slump, and Ted is now doubting his coaching ability. Ted’s personal life
has also gotten out of control, and he discovers his ex-wife Michelle has started a relationship with their therapist. The wonderkid, Nathan Shelley, the former manager of West Ham has had a change of heart and leaves his job to be with his one true love, the waitress from his favorite restaurant.

She convinces him to return to the Richmond team he started out in and it’s quite evident that
everyone wants him back and held no hard feelings. All of Lawrence’s series he has worked on with others have just that right balance of slice-of-life drama with a little bit of ridiculous comedy that reality dishes us, normal folks, every day.

This all comes to a head in the potential series finale where Ted announced to
Rebecca that he will be returning to the States to his family after his mother tells
him that his son misses him. This puts the Richmond owner into quite a state of denial; doing everything from offering Ted the position of being the highest-paid coach in the league to selling the team after he leaves. The team is also affected by this decision as they perform a number from the musical The Sound of Music that is a more than touching farewell to this family.

This bleeds into their playing as in the final title match the first half is met with
bumbling and possible injuries to their star player Jamie.
After an energizing pep talk and a circle back to the first motivator in the
beginning, a sign Ted made up that said “BELIEVE”, the team dominate the second
half and win with a rousing closing scene that is reminiscent of any 80’s party
movie. It’s a fitting end for this pandemic darling that emotionally carried us through. It is
a must-see series even if you don’t like soccer (football).

Continue Reading


No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters



If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago. 

It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced. 

 Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.

Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game. 

From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.

Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.

The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.

What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?

And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Back to the movie. 

Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.

Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.

The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!

Continue Reading


Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023



Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).

Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2023 That's My Entertainment