Wendy and Marty Byrde, the couple at the center of the Netflix crime drama Ozark, have managed to stay alive despite crossing paths with truly terrible people. Although some fans have taken issue with one of their lesser-noticed death-defying stunts.
Back in May, a Reddit user with the screen name 'The_Area_Manager' posed a question to the show's official SubReddit about why none of the characters use seat belts when driving, as noticed by The Sun. "How come nobody in Ozark ever wears a seat belt while driving," they asked, "Is it not mandatory in Missouri like it is in the U.K. where I live?" In the days since fans of the show have weighed in, not only clarifying various seat belt laws across the U.S. but pointing out the show's own inconsistency.
One response pointed out that in the show's first two seasons, Wendy and Marty (played by Laura Linney and Jason Bateman, respectively) do actually buckle up quite a bit. Others picked up on that before noting that the habit has waned significantly in Season 3, which premiered back on March 27. Others took the opportunity to point out that not only are actors rarely driving when being filmed behind the wheel, but TV and film are filled with all sorts of inconsistencies like that — from drinking out of empty cups to never actually saying "Goodbye" when hanging up the phone.
Obviously, Ozark is as guilty of these minor infractions as much as any production, despite the fact that most U.S. states require a seat belt be worn while driving (or riding) in a car. This is the case during guest star Tom Phelphrey's lengthy, hypnotic monologue that starts of Season 3's penultimate episode, "Fire Pink." As his character, Ben rides in the back of a cab, he rambles aimlessly about everything that crosses his mind. He just does so without a seat belt. Still, it's one of those errors that generally go unnoticed by the audiences in general. Particularly in scenes like this, which Pelphrey described to PopCulture as "just a great piece of writing."
"When you have writing that's that good, there's nothing you can do to add to it through improvisation or anything. In my opinion, you can only make it worse," the actor explained. "So there's a real desire to live up to the quality of the writing and being prepared and having everything word-perfect allows you a freedom to relax and sort of surprise yourself."