Emmy episode analysis: Jason Bateman (‘Ozark’) struggles through couples therapy in ‘Su Casa Es Mi Casa’

Jason Bateman has his third consecutive Best Drama Actor nomination for leading “Ozark” as cartel launderer Marty Byrde. He has submitted the episode titled “Su Casa Es Mi Casa” for Emmy judging. Best Drama Directing nominee Ben Semanoff helmed the 58-minute installment, which was written by co-producer Paul Kolsby. It debuted March 27, 2020 on Netflix as the sixth episode of the third season. The official log line reads, “Marty and Wendy tell each other how they really feel, Ruth confronts Wyatt, Darlene lets her ambitions be known and Ben’s past comes into focus.”

Can Bateman win this Emmy? Let us look at the pros and cons.

SEE Jason Bateman interview: “Ozark.”


Bateman won Best Drama Directing for “Ozark” last year and is nominated again for Best Drama Series in his role as executive producer. The Emmys love awarding triple-threats for starring in their series, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”) being the most recent example. Bateman is also a triple-threat in the sense that he has three bids this year, including a Best Drama Guest Actor citation for “The Outsider,” which he also directed and executive produced.

Bateman represents the sole nomination for “The Outsider,” which suggests that his bid might have manifested from a surplus of support from the acting branch for him as an individual, as opposed to adoration of that new drama. This is reminiscent of when Ann Dowd won Best Drama Supporting Actress for Best Drama Series victor “The Handmaid’s Tale” three years ago; her simultaneous Best Drama Guest Actress citation for “The Leftovers” represented the only citation for that series’ run.

SEE Ben Semanoff interview: ‘Ozark’ director


It is dubious whether Bateman is positioned better in the Best Drama Actor race than he was last year. The second season of “Ozark” had enough support among actors for Julia Garner to win in supporting and for Bateman himself to prevail at SAG, yet he lost the Emmy to Billy Porter (“Pose”), who is nominated again. The Emmys have nominated him six times for acting, but he is not exactly overdue after his victory last year for directing.

“Ozark” admittedly has twice as many Emmy nominations as last year, but it failed to make gains with the actors’ branch. It seems unlikely as such that it would sweep all three of its acting nominations, and Bateman has worse odds than Garner and Best Drama Actress front-runner Laura Linney.

The loud performances of his co-stars overshadow the deliberate restraint of Bateman’s performance, which his submission exemplifies. “Su Casa es Mi Casa” opens with Marty at counseling with his wife (Linney). Whereas Linney more theatrically raises her voice as she verges on tears, Bateman characteristically stays closer to a simmer as he discusses his wife’s actions from more of an empirical than an emotional standpoint. The rest of the episode is largely business as usual for the character, interacting with his children and law enforcement and not even figuring into the installment’s literally explosive climax.

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