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Darlene Snell might just be one of the most compelling television villains out there.

As the deeply proud matriarch of a heroin-distributing family on Netflix's Ozark, she serves as a

frequent foil to criminal newcomer and series protagonist Marty Byrde.

Snell's frail frame disguises a violent character with a hair-trigger temper, quick to kill

or maim anyone who stands in the way of her goals or her family.

"The child deserves better than a farm stand and a redneck for a mama."

And Lisa Emery fills the role so well that it might be hard to imagine her playing anyone


But all actors come from somewhere, and Emery hasn't let up since starting her career over

30 years ago. She had an impressive streak of television and movie appearances before

her seasons-long run on Ozark, showing up in everything from '90s primetime dramas to

the Marvel Universe.

Prior to Ozark, Lisa Emery's filmography was largely a deep well of one-off roles and guest

appearances. Most notably, it seems like one of her goals has been to rack up an appearance

on each and every iteration of Law & Order. She's stopped by the flagship Dick Wolf series

five times, met with Benson and Stabler on Special Victims Unit twice and made one-off

appearances on both Criminal Intent and Trial By Jury.

More recently, Emery appeared in recurring roles on FX's Louie and the Marvel superhero

series Jessica Jones, in which she played Louise Thompson, the mother of season one's

primary villain Kilgrave. Emery's character was a scientist who experimented on her young

son in an attempt to cure his degenerative brain disease. Her trials were cruel and torturous,

leading to Kilgrave's warped worldview and accidentally giving him the ability to control

people's minds in the process. When a young Kilgrave used his power to force his mother

to burn her face with an iron, she abandoned him and went into hiding. Emery's appearances

on the popular Netflix show ended when - spoiler alert - Kilgrave succeeded in killing his

mother in a brutal fashion during season's ninth episode.

Lisa Emery's movie credits aren't as extensive as her work in television, but she's still

popped up in some relatively well-known films. Eagle-eyed fans can find her turning in brief

but memorable performances in movies such as Margot at the Wedding and Marci X.

But she has taken a few major roles here and there. Check out her work in the Paul Rudd/Tina

Fey rom-com Admission, for example. In that film, Amery plays the mother of Fey's love

interest and former high school classmate John Pressman. If you're willing to go a little

further back, Emery also appeared in the Richard Gere vehicle Unfaithful in 2002.

Despite all this, it's fair to say that her star turn on Ozark is Emery's most exciting

work yet. Fortunately, the color and nuance that Emery's character brings to the show

provides considerable promise for her future on Ozark.

Given how well-received Ozark's third season was, it seems like a no-brainer that Netflix

will renew the series for a fourth season. And while an Ozark season 4 announcement hasn't

officially happened, likely due to the fact that season 3 only dropped on the streamer

in March 2020, the general consensus is that it'll happen sooner rather than later. Beyond

the chatter about the timing of the show's next season, and where the ever-twisting story

might go from the events of the season 3 finale, there's been much talk about who will be a

part of the next chapter including Emery's Darlene.

Last time Ozark fans saw her, Darlene first avenged Ruth Langmore by shooting Frank Cosgrove

Jr. She subsequently extended an olive branch by inviting Frank Sr., the Kansas City Mafia

leader, into her business. That's enough to prove that Darlene's story isn't over yet

there's too many loose ends, from her strange relationship with Ruth's cousin Wyatt to her

mysterious dynamic with her mother, whom some believe could end up being the central antagonist

of Ozark's fourth season.

By all accounts, it sounds like Ozark fans haven't seen the last of Darlene Snell or

the exceptionally talented actress who brings her to life.

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