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Ozark - Kaleidoscope - Review: "Questionable Integrity"

In "Kaleidoscope," Ozark takes us 10 years into the past to show us how Marty got involved with the cartel, among other things.

Back in 2007, Marty and Wendy were into a car accident, and while the circumstances surrounding it are rather unclear at the beginning of this eighth episode, we learn more about it later on. They were happy ten years ago, when the kids were still kids and not teenagers, and when Marty was just a regular financial adviser. Except this was the year when Del walked into Marty and Bruce's office for the first time, testing out financial advisers that would wash money for him. But the Byrdes, Del and Bruce are not the only characters this flashback episode looks at, and we learn that at the time Roy Petty was in the middle of a family crisis.

While we follow Marty and company, we find out Petty was doing okay 10 years ago, even if he wasn't felling every accomplished at his job. He had a steady boyfriend and his personal life seemed to be doing fine... Except for the fact that he had a difficult relationship with his mother, who turned out to be an addict. If this part of the episode lets us in more into what Petty's past is made of (probably as a way to allow viewers to understand his characters more), his storyline is rather predictable. "Kaleidoscope" only focused on the past of the Chicago characters, while it would have been interesting to learn more about the past of others like the Langmores.

As Marty and Bruce learn that Del is involved in some illegal things and consider whether or not get in business with him, Wendy is quite depressed and looking for a job on a political campaign. She is not successful and we see that she is not satisfied with her
life. We also see that at the time her marriage was much healthier and that Marty and her shared a lot more. Del invites them all to a resort and tells Marty he wants to work with him because he has "integrity." Marty thinks Wendy would never go for it but tells her about Del and the money laundry business he can start for him, to see what she'd say, and she agrees to it. Not only did Wendy know from the beginning what was going on, but she approved. In a following scene, we see Del firing and executing his current financial adviser because he suspected him to work with the feds (we actually see the guy talk to Petty at the beginning of the episode), thus showing Bruce and Marty that they better not cross him. Considering the events of the present of Ozark, it looks like Bruce didn't get the message loud and clear at the time.

While the information we learned in that episode is rather interesting, I did not enjoy the way this flashback was edited."Kaleidoscope" is a chronologically confusing episode, crossing timelines in a way that is hard to follow. We find out that Wendy was pregnant and that Marty and her were discussing whether to have the baby or not right before they got hit by another car. Following the accident, Wendy lost the child. But all in all the timeline of this episode is all over the place and not particularly effective, which makes "Kaleidoscope" an episode less enjoyable that it could have been.

That's my take, what did you think?