Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Ozark season 4 part II. Continue at your own risk…
It’s been a journey, but finally, we have an ending to binge-worthy show, Ozark. Now, we just have one question: What the hell happened to the Byrde family?
The three month hiatus between part one and part two of the final season left fans on tender hooks—the theories ran wild, the rumours wilder. But finally, the end came in May. Unsurprisingly, albeit despairingly, there were deaths.
For those who’ve now watched it (and if you haven’t, we recommend you stop reading this immediately and catch up), you’ll know about that one particular death that ruined us and every fan of the show ever.
But what actually happened amidst the chaos of the ending? Keep scrolling, because we did a deep dive to answer that very question.
Ozark’s series finale explained
As the end of part one revealed, Ruth (Julia Garner) was on a hell-bent mission to kill Javi (Alfonso Herrera) after he killed her cousin, Wyatt (Charlie Tahan). She manages it, but as we’ve all learned from Ozark, actions always have consequences.
“Ruth could go for revenge or not, and she knows if she did, it is going to unleash things that might end up with her getting harmed.” Showrunner Chris Mundy revealed to Vanity Fair this week.
Indeed, in the series finale, Camila (Veronica Falcón), the mother of Javi, deduces that Ruth has killed her son. The discovery happens in front of Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney) at the casino, and Camila threatens to kill them and their entire family if they so dare as to mention the encounter to Ruth. Then, off Camila goes in search of revenge on Ruth.
It comes soon enough. Ruth is driving home from the casino when she spots a van and stops. Like clockwork, Camila emerges behind her, giving Ruth just enough time to process what’s about to happen and utter the now-iconic line: “I’m not sorry. Your son was a murdering bitch. And now I know where he got it from.”
Interestingly, Ruth’s death wasn’t set in stone until the final script. Mundy told the publication that there had been a spirited debate as to which characters should die.
“It felt too clean to have everybody get a damaged but happy ending—it felt like a fairy-tale ending to something that we were trying to make not a fairy-tale,” he explained.
Ruth isn’t the only one who died, of course. Major drug lord Omar Navarro was also killed after a classic empty gun-barrel plot twist, which gave his driver the opportunity to shoot him dead.
The blood bath continued when the final scene involves a gun-shot in a showdown between private investigator Mel (Adam Rothenberg) against Marty and Wendy.
What happened to Marty and Wendy at the end of Ozark?
As the twist-filled finale draws to a close, Marty and Wendy’s showdown with Mel is a pinnacle moment. As he confronts the couple over the disappearance of Wendy’s brother, Ben, he tells them: “You don’t get to win. You don’t get to be the Kochs or the Kennedys or whatever f**king royalty you people think you are. The world doesn’t work like that.”
But at that moment, young Jonah appears with a shotgun and a loud bang is heard as the screen goes black. At this point, the viewer can presume that he shot Mel dead.
According to Mundy, Jonah’s unexpected point blank murder of Mel was symbolic of his rank in the family. He’d been the last of the family to accept their criminal history, and it signified the commonality they now hold.
“[It symbolised] the family being brought back together through this act of violence,” he explained.
So what does the family do next? Well, the ending is somewhat ambiguous, but it’s presumed that the family will enjoy the politcial power they’ve now accrued.
Bateman himself has weighed in on the Byrde’s future, revealing that while they’ve grown a lot since season one, “Their hubris and arrogance will continue to trip them up.”
“I think humility would probably guide them towards some better decisions, but I don’t think they’re there yet, unfortunately.”