Review of Ozark – Season 3

You would think someone who has written “the book” on cliches and misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies would absolutely hate OZARK.

The over-the-top murder and mayhem, and the inability of the FBI to discover and disrupt the family-run multi-million dollar money laundering operation should also be a turnoff if that person worked economic crime cases during her FBI career.

But guess what? I love OZARK! Yes, the body count is off the chart. Yes, the money flow is so simple you can follow it blindfolded. But the characters, Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney) Byrde, who work for a violent Colombian drug cartel, and their two teenagers, are so devious and so likeable, I couldn’t help but tune into all three seasons of OZARK. Crime stories that also incorporate a family drama are what I like to watch, read, and write.

I have to admit that the FBI agent featured in Season 1 was an unflattering and despicable character who violated every procedure and policy in the FBI manual.

I watched anyway. In Season 3, the FBI character is more “by-the-book.” Special Agent Maya Miller is a Black female who’s nine-months pregnant. She’s assigned to audit the casino for possible money laundering irregularities. The FBI doesn’t do that. To open an investigation, the FBI must establish predication, which means have a factual basis—reasonable grounds that a crime has been committed or is being committed. To have an agent on-duty in a casino, to look for criminal violations without a search warrant, is a violation.

In real life, the state gaming and casino commission, not SA Miller, would conduct such an audit.

If there are irregularities, the commission or control board would refer the matter to the FBI based on the evidence uncovered by the gaming control investigators.

But don’t let the technical stuff stop you from checking out and enjoying OZARK.

That’s why I’m here. To tell you how things really work. As I always say, for a writer the most important thing is the story.

Watch the Season 3 trailer here, then I highly recommend that you go to Netflix and binge all 30 episodes. Warning! The Season 3 finale is intense.

Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.

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