[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for “Ozark” Season 3]
“Ozark” made a triumphant return to Netflix this month with a third season that made for the series’ strongest run yet. The Season 3 finale ends in a shocking moment of bloodshed after the crime lord Navarro shoots and kills Helen Pierce, played for two seasons by Janet McTeer. Helen’s blood splatters over Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney), who are then embraced by Navarro and told this is only the beginning of their partnership. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, “Ozark” showrunner Chris Mundy broke down the Season 3 finale and explained why Helen had to die in those final moments.
“As good as Helen is, there’s other lawyers in the world,” Mundy said. “But Wendy and Marty have now pulled off two impossibilities for [Navarro]. One is getting a casino to launder through in the first place, which is sort of the holy grail of money laundering. And the second is that, at least in Navarro’s mind, their claim that they have the FBI on their side and can swing the power of the U.S. government in the intervention in the drug war against their rivals, that’s something virtually no one else can do, and that essentially tipped the scales for Marty and Wendy.”
When asked what Navarro’s “today is a beginning” line means for Wendy and Marty’s future in Season 4, Mundy explained, “Marty kind of said it in the speech that he gives to try and get Wendy out of bed, which is that we have to burrow all the way into the center of this thing. To us, it’s that. It’s, you’re a vital part of this enterprise now and you’re completely on his radar, to the point where he’s commingling his or someone else’s blood with yours, you’re sharing in that. And so, for better or worse, you’re completely in this game, and now it’s yours to see if you have another play left in you.”
Netflix has yet to renew “Ozark” for a fourth season, but it seems likely as the drama is a word-of-mouth hit for the streamer and an Emmy winner for Julia Garner’s supporting performance as Ruth. The show’s third season ended with Ruth breaking away from the Byrde family, and it’s Ruth’s newfound independence that Mundy is aiming to explore should “Ozark” continue into Season 4.
“If we’re lucky enough to get a season 4, I think it will be about whether or not Ruth really can create something of her own that she wants and is sustainable, or if she wants something else,” Mundy said. “And I think it will be about if the Byrdes can turn the biggest mistake of their lives into this huge advantage, and how much will karma catch up with them if they do?”
“Ozark” is now streaming on Netflix. Head over to Entertainment Weekly to read more from Mundy about the Season 3 finale.