A single alluring thought of Midwestern wealth and wide-open spaces may have saved the life of Marty Byrde, along with the lives of his wife, Wendy, and their two children.
‘‘More coastline than the state of California,” says Marty, quoting from a Missouri tourism guide. It’s the first line in a diversion that takes Marty out of a conversation about the method of his death and into a 10-episode television series about murder, mayhem, and life on the edge in central southern Missouri.
Marty, played by Jason Bateman in the Netflix crime drama “Ozark,” got crossways with the Mexican drug runner that he and his business partner, Bruce, had been laundering money for. If Marty didn’t think fast, he’d be dissolved in a barrel of acid, just like his partner was a minute before. So Marty sells the drug dealer on the idea of investing their ill-gotten gains in lake front property.
Even though he was first to see opportunity in the 1,150 miles of shoreline in the Lake of the Ozarks, created in 1932 by St. Louis-based Union Electric’s electricity-generating Bagnell Dam, Bateman’s partner, Bruce, never made it to episode two. Still, in reflective moments, Bruce pops up in Marty’s memories.
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