Ozark Showrunner Confirms That Character Is "Totally, Absolutely" Dead After Finale

Over the course of four seasons, Ozark fans have seen the Byrde family descend deeper and darker into a web of lies, corruption, and murder, all of which came to a head with the series finale in recent weeks. As is the nature of any series finale, the reveal of the narrative's conclusion came with some controversy in regards to how the whole ending was handled, especially in regards to how one specific character's demise was explored. While their death was heavily implied, the nature of fandom means it's hard to accept such a death as a certainty, though showrunner Chris Mundy confirmed they didn't survive the finale, even though the decision to kill the character was divided in the writers' room.

WARNING: Spoilers below for the series finale of Ozark

Especially in more recent seasons, Julia Garner's Ruth Langmore became an audience favorite, especially given how many of the people closest to her had gotten killed in the wake of the Byrdes' many schemes. The murder of her cousin Wyatt ultimately drove her to enact her revenge on Javi, only for Javi's mother to end up shooting Ruth in the final episode, leaving her for dead.

"There was a debate," Mundy confirmed to TVLine. "Half of the writers, or maybe a little under half, felt that there was something nice to knowing that Ruth would be out there in the world and doing well."  

The final episodes saw Ruth managing to clear her criminal record and use the money she earned through Wyatt's death to purchase the Byrde-run casino, offering her as happy of a future as she could manage. However, Mundy noted that it didn't feel true to the series "if everyone just gets off too easily."

"It started to feel like the writers were just imposing a happy ending on things because we're kind of like surrogate parents of the characters. Are we telling a true story if something [tragic] doesn't happen?" Mundy questioned. "We talked about it, we debated it, and I knew what each person in the room thought." 

He added, "It was really hard and emotional trying to figure out what the right decision for the show was."

With reports having emerged that Netflix was considering developing Ozark spinoffs, Mundy shot down the hopes of Ruth's survival, noting, "I'm sorry; she totally, absolutely is."

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All four seasons of Ozark are now streaming on Netflix.

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