Ozark Season 3 Ending Explained

Netflix's Ozark season 3 is a pretty wild ride. The third season catches up with Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney) Byrd, now established as legitimate casino owners in the Ozarks, while still acting as money launders for a violent cartel. Of course, what should be the easy street leg of the Byrd's criminal run quickly unravels. The cartel goes to war; the Byrds find themselves in a power struggle with the cartel lawyer, Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer); the FBI closes in on the Byrd family casino; and if that wasn't enough, Wendy's troubled brother, Ben (Tom Pelphrey) shows up on their doorstep. Not surprisingly, Ozark season 3's ending is one marred by tragedy.

Warning: Ozark Season 3 SPOILERS Follow!

By the time of the penultimate episode of the The Ozark season 3, the situation in the Byrd family has spiraled completely out of control. Wendy's brother Ben has a bi-polar episode that has him cross Helen Pierce, and threaten the entire cartel enterprise. After trying everything they can to get Ben clear of the threat on his life, Marty and Wendy make the hard choice to sacrifice Ben to prove their loyalty.

Ben's death tears Wendy up inside, and causes Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner), who was Ben's lover, to break ranks with the Byrd family. Seeing an opportunity, Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery) finally tries to take vengeance against the Byrds, by pulling Ruth into her heroin business, along with Marty's former partners in the Kansas City mob. The heartbreaking sacrifice doesn't even help the Byrd's situation with the cartel; Helen grows tired of the problems Marty, Wendy (and their failing marriage) bring, and starts a series of blindside moves to sever them from the cartel, so she can have them killed. Marty and Wendy are left with just one option: proving to their cartel boss that they are more valuable to him than Helen is. To do that, the Byrds use inside knowledge and the FBI scrutiny to turn the US government against their rival cartel. The plan works, however Helen is two steps ahead, and frames Marty as being an FBI informant, to fool her boss into ordering the kill.

Netflix Ozark Season 3 Ending Spoilers Explained

Ozark season 3 ends with a shocking twist: Marty, Wendy, and Helen are all called to Mexico to see their boss, Omar Navarro (Felix Solis). It looks like Helen has her power-hold all sewn up, but she is very, very, wrong. Omar Navarro first greets his family and sends them inside the house: as soon as they are gone, the cartel hitman, Nelson (Nelson Bonilla) blows his boss and friend Helen's brains out, all over The Byrds. Season 3 closes with the shot of Marty and Wendy shocked and bloody, being embraced by their boss, Omar Navarro, as big new players in the next phase of his organization.

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The larger theme of Ozark season 3 had to do with the cost of Marty and Wendy's bid for success as criminals. Even though they have been successful in both the criminal and legitimate enterprises they've started, the cost has been soul-crushing to them both. The horrific shock of Helen's death is just one more mental/spiritual scar, as the hole the Byrds have dug for themselves just got infinitely deeper, and darker.

Ozark streams exclusively on Netflix.

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