While the media world’s news currently consists of show and movie postponements, there are some new TV series to entertain us. One is Ozark. Netflix just released the third season of the Jason Bateman led show and while Bateman and Laura Linney are the stars, newcomer Tom Pelphrey steals the show. As a fan of Pelphrey’s from Iron Fist and Banshee, I was excited for his arrival on this well-done web series. As usual, Pelphrey didn’t disappoint. In fact, he made you really forget that the show was about anyone else.
Pelphrey plays Ben Davis in season three; Wendy’s younger brother. Coming into town, he literally comes during the worst time for the Byrdes. Marty and Wendy are not only dealing with the cartel, Darlene, and Helen, but now Ben. Ben’s story is essentially paved with good intentions. A loving brother and genuinely a good person, Ben suffers from bipolar disorder. While things seem manageable while on medication, Ben chooses to stop his meds due to entering a romantic relationship with Ruth.
Pelphrey Was a Powerhouse of Emotions
Ben’s mood swings are extreme. While we may have seen Wendy’s warning to Ruth as a vindictive attempt to sabotage her brother’s happiness, we saw how right Wendy was about Ben. Not that Ben was ever being a bad person. Ben loved Ruth and couldn’t stand the injustices occurring around him. Instead of reacting level-headedly, Ben’s natural reaction was to blow things out of proportion. The thing that was heartbreaking was that Ben knew when he had messed up, but in the moment, he could not control himself. You desperately wanted the best for Ben – for him to have that life with Ruth that both of them desperately wanted.
No one could have brought that level of emotions to the screen the way Pelphrey could. I smiled when Ben did and I cried when he was suffering. You could feel how much Ben wanted to make things right and how upset he was when his good intentions made life difficult for those around him. I would imagine that this is something that people with mental illnesses experience. The helpless, but also not wanting to be chained to artificial medications. These emotions were something Pelphrey accomplished incredibly well.
Season three of Ozark was a tense rollercoaster that literally ended with a bang. I’m hoping the series gets renewed for a fourth season because it will be interesting seeing where this show goes next.
What did you think of Ozark season three and Pelphrey’s performance?