When the writers of the Jason Bateman-led hit Netflix series Ozark sat down to write the fourth – and final -season of the streaming favorite in the winter of 2020, they did not yet know how, exactly, the series would be wrapping up. Then, things got even more complicated for the writers as everything was completely shut down just a few weeks later as the COVID 19 pandemic took over the world.
So, notes Ozark showrunner Chris Mundy, it took the Ozark writing group a little time to recalibrate when they returned to work months later. And, with this, Mundy notes, the showrunners’ plans for Ozark’s final season were soon altered. This led to the showrunners eventually adding four episodes to the 10-episode final season plan. Ultimately splitting the final season of Ozark into two parts.
However, these four shows greatly altered the initial series finale plot, giving Ozark fans the now-famous ending that some still cannot quite get over. Even months after its release.
“We’d already sort of done it,” Chris Mundy says of planning Ozark’s fourth season.
“We plotted it out, [and then] we had to stop and recalibrate,” the showrunner tells The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview.
Ozark Showrunner Chris Mundy Describes The Initial Plans For Series Finale
According to Chris Mundy, the original series finale plan would have followed a very similar trajectory. However, the shocking death that came at the end of the series wasn’t part of this plan back when the final season was still just ten episodes long. However, Mundy notes, as the showrunners started to get “a little deeper into the back seven” it became clear that the original finale plans would need to change a bit.
“That got really strange and kind of weird and sad,” Mundy relates.
“Because as someone who cares about the characters on the show, you don’t want it to happen,” the showrunner continues.
“But for all the people in the writers room who were responsible for making it feel true to the show and true to what the story was doing, it felt like it had to happen,” he adds. “It,” of course, is the tragic death of Julia Garner’s character, Ruth Langmore.
Chris Mundy Reflects On The “Reality” Of Ruth’s Fate
According to Mundy, deciding to kill off such a core character was “tricky.” It was a decision, the showrunner adds, that led him to lose a lot of sleep. But, this plot point was important for the series, because Ruth’s fate is realistic. Even though we all so badly wanted her to survive.
“When she kills Javi, it’s sort of like a tragedy has been started,” Mundy explains.
“And it’s weirdly a straight line,” he adds.
“There’s an inevitability to what’s going to happen,” the showrunner continues.
“But I was hoping that even all the way up to the point where you realize that Camila knows it was her at the party, that you still as a viewer are thinking that there’s some way she’s going to get out of it,” he adds. “Just because you want so badly for her to get out of it. But the reality of the situation was different.”