Ozark’s muddy season 2, explained in 11 incomprehensible screenshots ( www.vox.com )

This Netflix drama hopes it looks so much like a dark crime drama that you forget how shallow it is.

Ozark season two is built on a lie, one the audience can see coming from a long way off.

It begins from the premise that Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) will split from the little Ozark resort town they moved to in season one once they’ve built the casino they promised to their various criminal partners. Said casino will help launder money for the Mexican cartel Marty works for, but it will also provide a slightly more legitimate business enterprise for a local crime family, the Snells, whose land will furnish a location for the casino and whose heroin trade might also provide a lucrative side enterprise for the cartel.

This complicated balancing act, with the Byrdes at its center, would seem to set up a second season all about Marty and Wendy trying to keep the casino on track while trying to keep the cartel from stomping on the Snells and the Snells from fucking everything up in a fit of pique. (Darlene Snell, played by Lisa Emery, doesn’t much like “Mexicans,” as she’s fond of pointing out, but she can come up with any number of reasons to stomp on the casino project, some of which she just pulls out of her ass in the moment.)

Yet season two of Ozark is mostly about the Byrdes trying to pretend they’re not characters in a TV show, as Marty and Wendy focus on their plan to split with their two kids for the Gold Coast of Australia once the