I know I have been hemming and hawing about this or that all season, but Ozark’s season finale is probably the best I’ve seen in a long time.
Trigger Warning(s): [In Episode] Toe Nails Ripped Off
Funeral Prep: Wyatt, Ruth
With Boyd and Russ dead, it is time to bury the dead and have a funeral. Something Cade may even get a temporary leave to attend. Which means possible hell for Ruth. After all, while Wyatt may not catch on that Ruth killed them, and think Marty did it, Cade isn’t stupid. Rigging a dock was something Ruth just talked about and seemed upset. So, being that he knows his daughter and can read her over the phone just as well as in person, he knows what she did. Add on Marty being alive while his brothers are dead? Oh, he has a bone to pick with his little girl.
I’m just trying to imagine the guilt here. For it is one thing to choose Marty over Russ and Boyd, but in doing so, she effectively betrayed Wyatt and Three. Which must weigh on Ruth heavily, for Wyatt is the only person in Ruth’s life who is worth a damn. Not only because he could have a future, but with no friends, a twisted dad, and no mom, he is the only one she can turn to when things get hard. When she maybe needs a shoulder to cry on or someone to take the burden of her life away.
So it should be interesting to see how their relationship progresses, much less survives, for you know Cade is probably going to snitch on his kid. That is assuming, when he gets a furlough to go to the funeral, he doesn’t decide to go on the run.
The Walls Are Closing In and Being Torn Apart: Rachel, Roy, Trevor, Marty, Wendy, Jacob, Mason
Rachel, after having her life threatened, for some reason, starts digging into Marty’s business. In fact, she checks the cabin he was in, breaks down a wall, and takes quite a bit of money. After that, she high tails it. Without Tuck, mind you.
Meanwhile, with Mason not playing the game comes consequences. The first being Mason getting his baby but losing his wife. This is followed by the question of what will happen to Marty’s family? You only get to pay a fine once, and you know Darlene got an itchin’ for punishment. So, with that in mind, Marty has his family prep to run, get new identities and all that. Something which triggers Garcia to act and Buddy to kill the man with a shotgun. Which, while the body can be handled since Wendy bought a funeral home, there is still the question of Del.
However, with Russ dying, now Roy wants an arrest and his fame by any means necessary. Problem is, while Roy is willing to threaten and coerce his way to justice, Trevor is a by the book agent. So with him handling things, let’s just say Roy doesn’t end up a happy camper.
So should Rachel not be considered part of the show anymore? Cause she found the money, took a bag of it, and, especially after meeting Del, bolted. No goodbyes, not even to Tuck, just packed a few suitcases and off she went. Which I’m cool with since her character wasn’t going anywhere, but still, that was so rude, right? Though, thinking about it, besides becoming an FBI informant, what were the other options? A relationship between her and Marty wasn’t going to happen, much less a friendship. So, between becoming an informant or killed, what else could have been done? Especially with Del taking note of her?
Switching focus, I would love to know Darlene’s backstory because she is one scary-ass woman. I mean, Jacob may talk the talk, but Darlene seems a more effective enforcer than Ash. To the point, with how this show talks about choices, different lives people could have had, and how one thing leads to another, can you imagine Darlene at one time being like Wendy or even Ruth? For, as she is now, it is hard to imagine what life may have been like for her before Jacob, much less before becoming the killer she seems to be.
No Such Thing as Peace Without Blood Shed and Salvation: Del, Marty, Jacob, Darlene, Mason, Wendy, Trevor, Roy
With Garcia not checking in means Del has to, and he has questions for Marty. All of which, even with toenails being ripped off, Marty doesn’t tell the truth to. But, Marty does believe he has a way to make things better. The answer? A partnership between Del and Jacob. One in which Del buys Jacob’s product, thus helping with the issue of the 20% Del loses when heroin crosses the US/Mexican border. Then, in return, Marty will help set up a riverboat casino, which will wash both Del and Jacob’s money.
This, at first, isn’t looked favorably upon, for it would require losing some acres. This upsets Darlene for whether she married into the family or it was Jacob, she takes losing acres to flooding seriously. For that is what forced the Snell family into the mountains in the first place. However, to get that riverboat casino running, they’d had to flood some acres to extend the Missouri river. Which, Marty argues, if they make that sacrifice, they can speed up their long term plans. That is, buy up as much land as possible to have leverage over the power company to get their old land back.
So, with all that said, Del calls his people and ultimately agrees to the deal. But then comes a serious issue. Unlike me throughout this series, Del has no problem referring to these rural people as rednecks. With that, Darlene shoots him in the face, and the rest of Del’s men are killed soon after. Which, of course, freaks out Marty, for now, he thinks his head will soon be on a chopping block. However, with the way Jacob talks, Marty is family now, and they’ll protect him. Making it seem his attempts at goodwill may have paid off.
But, with one situation handled comes another. For Trevor and Sheriff Nix are outside the Snell farm and were all but ready to arrest Del, Marty and make Marty sweat. However, with Marty riding in Del’s car alone, and playing dumb as usual, Trevor thinks he is going to go up to the farm to continue his pursuit. But with Sheriff Nix owing the Snell family, for reasons not gone into, he pushes the fact the warrant was just made out for Del’s car, not the Snell property. Thus halting Trevor’s pursuit and royally pissing off Roy, who was so close.
Leaving but one last topic: Mason. After his wife’s disappearance, his faith is shaken. It even seems like he is tempted to commit infanticide. In fact, when he is baptizing his currently unnamed son, there is a moment you may think he is drowning them. But, alas, as Marty said, before being called the devil, babies provide hope. So Mason seemingly will make it another day. His child as well.
Oh, and despite all the work Marty did so Wendy, Jonah, and Charlotte could start over, between Charlotte’s whining and Jonah not wanting his life to end so this person name Michael’s can begin, Wendy returns home. Thus the Byrde family are back together.
I honestly can’t think of a better season finale for this show or in general. It wrapped up the major storyline, set up a lot of stuff for season two, and got rid of some people who were on the verge of outstaying their welcome. What more could you ask for?
So, looking forward, I do wonder if Mason may end up written off? For with his family just barely surviving, I can only imagine for him what Rachel’s options were. Either run, stay and snitch, or the already rejected option of being part of the situation.
Then there is the question of how Del’s employer is going to act with one of his top men being killed? Is it going to be swept under the rug like Garcia was, or will there be retribution? May it just end up that Marty gets a promotion? If not Wendy takes over for Del so that she has something, for lack of a better term, fulfilling to do?
But there also comes the question of what Jacob was referring to. Considering he spent a good part of the season threatening and barely keeping Darlene from killing Marty, is he seriously protecting him now? Is this where Marty’s loyalties will now lay, or will he just come to the point where whoever threatens his and his family the most has him?
A lot of this only season 2 can reveal. Which hasn’t been confirmed, but according to showrunner Chris Mundy, he has a plan for about five seasons. Something I can’t imagine, for there were times just this one season felt like running my hand against a cheese grater, but maybe with time, things could get better hunches.