‘Ozark’ Season 3 Ending Explained: What Does It Mean For Season 4? (2023)

Ozark theories: Fans spot ‘real reason’ Marty gave baby Zeke to Darlene [News]

Ozark theories: Fans spot ‘real reason’ Marty gave baby Zeke to Darlene [News]

If you’re anything like us, then you spent your weekend binge-watching Jason Bateman’s ode to crime and clean money, Ozark. And that means you’re still reeling from this season’s shocking ending. Wondering what Ozark Season 3’s finale means for the future of this show? We’ve got your back.

Whereas Ozark Season 1 was all about establishing the Byrdes’ money laundering operation and Season 2 revolved around building a casino, Season 3 was about finally confronting their many feuds. Over the course of this series the Byrdes have managed to infuriate and murder members of the Kansas City Mafia, Darlene Snell’s operation, and the Langmore family. But rather than repairing any of those fraught relationships, Marty and Wendy (Jason Bateman and Laura Linney) burned it all to the ground. Here’s what you need to know about Ozark Season 3’s ending and how it may alter this show’s future.

‘Ozark’ Season 3 Ending Explained: What Does It Mean For Season 4? (1)

(Video) OZARK Season 3 Recap | Must Watch Before Season 4 | Netflix Series Explained

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1Ozark‘s Season 3 Ending Explained!

(Video) Ozark Final Season Ending Explained

2What Led to Ben’s Death on Ozark?

3What Does Ozark‘s Season 3 Finale Mean for Season 4?

Ozark‘s Season 3 Ending Explained!

There have been a lot of deaths in Ozark but none have changed the chemistry of this show like Ben’s (Tom Pelphrey). After Ben pissed off Helen (Janet McTeer) and proved to her he was a liability to the cartel, he signed his own death warrant. After a lot of panicked planning, driving around, and hiding with his sister, Wendy ultimately had to make the tough call. Either she OK-ed her brother’s murder and proved her loyalty to the Navarro Cartel or continued to hide him, thereby ensuring her own death and the death of her family. Wendy chose her family’s safety and ordered the hit, a decision that destroyed her.

You know who else it destroyed? Ben’s new girlfriend and the Ozarks’ resident badass Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner). Initially, Ruth was as understanding as possible about Ben’s death. As upset as she was, she’s still a smart woman who gets life or death decisions. But after a conversation with her beloved cousin Wyatt (Charlie Tahan) Ruth changed her tune. There was something a bit too clean about the way Helen’s hitman was able to track down Ben. When she eventually uncovered that Wendy approved her own brother’s murder, Ruth snapped. It took her father’s murder, being waterboarded, getting beaten up to the point of hospitalization, and her boyfriend’s death, but Ruth has finally cut ties with her parental crime figures, the Byrdes.

But that doesn’t mean Ruth is out of this crime story quite yet. After quitting, Ruth met with Helen to tell her she left the cartel and that she didn’t have any personal beef with Helen. As usual, the cartel’s righthand woman was full of surprises. Helen asked Ruth if she would be willing to work with the cartel if the Byrdes were out of the picture, and Ruth agreed. We’ll get back to Helen’s master plan in a minute, but first we need to touch on Ruth’s other job offer from the one and only Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery).


‘Ozark’ Season 3 Ending Explained: What Does It Mean For Season 4? (2)

Darlene wanted Ruth to work with her and Wyatt in the heroin business. At first, Ruth refused, but Darlene is a master at getting people’s attention. Remember Frank Cosgrove Jr. (Joseph Sikora), Ruth’s season-long rival and the jerk who beat her to a pulp? Darlene, in her own words, blew his pecker off with a shotgun all to get Ruth as an ally. That stunt caused Darlene to offer the Kansas City Mafia half of her business as retribution. They can either work together as partners or go to war over Frank Jr.’s penis because Darlene may be crazy but she knows how crime works. By the end of Ozark Season 3 Ruth has yet to decide what her next move will be, but it seems most likely that it will be with Darlene and Wyatt.

Ruth was far from the only one with a career change in Episode 10. When Wendy and Marty covered for Ben, it finally convinced Helen of one thing. The Byrdes needed to be taken out of the Navarro Cartel’s operation. Helen went to Omar Navarro (Felix Solis) to request all of their money laundering operations be handed to her. Navarro didn’t explicitly agree to her plan but he also didn’t say no. Thus began Helen’s plan to take over the Byrde’s operation, first by putting her name on their casino license and then by posing as Marty’s lawyer and telling the FBI he wanted to take their deal.

Thankfully Wendy caught onto her scheme quickly. There was only one way she and Marty could think of proving they were invaluable to Navarro: by ending the cartel war that cost Navarro his girlfriend’s life. Early on Marty and Wendy learned that if a Mexican cartel is caught committing a crime on American soil that gives the U.S. military authority to take action against the cartel. And thanks to Jonah’s (Skylar Gaertner) drone they had that very footage of Navarro’s rivals.

Navarro invited Helen, Marty, and Wendy to Mexico under the pretense of attending his son’s baptism. But all three knew what was up. Navarro planned to use their meeting to work out who would control his money laundering operation, the stable Helen or the impulsive yet war-ending Byrdes. Within minutes of them getting out of the car, Navarro made his decision known. Nelson the hitman (Nelson Bonilla) shot Helen in the head, splattering Wendy and Marty with blood and brains.

‘Ozark’ Season 3 Ending Explained: What Does It Mean For Season 4? (3)

What Led to Ben’s Death on Ozark?

A lot of terrible decisions and breakdowns. Despite trying to hide who their employer was, Ruth, Marty, and Wendy slipped, causing Ben to discover that they were working for a drug cartel. Enraged, Ben crashed the unveiling of the Byrde Family Foundation and caused a scene.

(Video) The Ending Of Ozark Season 3 Explained

That misstep could have been swept under the rug thanks to his bipolar disorder and some time spent in a state institute. But after Ruth arranged Ben’s release with the help of Darlene, Wendy’s beloved brother dug his own grave. Immediately after escaping the institute, Ben drove to Helen’s house where he told her daughter that Helen was working for the Navarro Cartel. If Ozark has taught us anything it’s that you don’t mess with the children of very powerful people. Though Helen claimed she only ordered Ben’s murder to protect the secrecy of the cartel, we all know the truth. The main reason she wanted him dead was to avenge her ruined relationship with her daughter Erin (Madison Thompson).

‘Ozark’ Season 3 Ending Explained: What Does It Mean For Season 4? (4)

What Does Ozark‘s Season 3 Finale Mean for Season 4?

Netflix has yet to renew the crime drama for a Season 4, but if the streaming giant does we can expect some big changes. Now that Marty and Wendy are working more directly with Navarro they have no room for errors. If three seasons have taught us anything it’s that fumbling, almost failing, and then figuring things out at the last minute is the Byrdes’ ideal way of operating. Starting immediately that needs to stop.

An ode to Ozark’s unpredictable villain Darlene

And it’s not going to be easy because Marty and Wendy have both the FBI and Darlene’s gang to face. At this point, the FBI basically knows everything about the ins and outs of the Navarro Cartel’s operation. All they’re missing is proof, something they started to acquire at the end of this season when they arrested the real estate agent Sam (Kevin L. Johnson) on suspicion of money laundering.

Then there’s Darlene, Wyatt, and possibly Ruth, three people who have an vendetta against the Byrdes. Darlene is still furious at Marty and Wendy for trying to steal baby Zeke from her, a kid she rightfully stole. Wyatt has shifted his hatred over his father’s death from Ruth to the Brydes. And Ruth blames her former mentors for killing her father and her boyfriend. They all have good reason to kill Marty and Wendy, and as Darlene Snell has proven time and time again, she get away with the crimes she wants.

Speaking of Darlene and crime, her latest impulsive antics may change her life dramatically. If the Kansas City head Frank Cosgrove (John Bedford Lloyd) agrees to accept half of Darlene’s empire in exchange for forgiveness over shooting his son, then the Byrdes have a super-powered rival on their hands. The Kansas City Mafia hates Marty and Wendy about as much as everyone else. But if Frank Cosgrove refuses, Darlene will be going to war.

This is all to say that Ozark Season 4 will finally see Marty and Wendy as the cartel’s top dogs. But all that power is only going to put a bigger target on their backs.

(Video) The Ending of Ozark's Series Finale Explained


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