‘Ozark’: Does Ruth’s Goat Cookie Jar Hold a Deeper Meaning?

When Ruth Langmore found a cookie jar shaped like a goat during Ozark Season 4 Part 1, she immediately knew she needed it to hold her late boyfriend Ben Davis’ ashes. Does it have a special meaning?

Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore sitting in a trailer in 'Ozark'
Ruth Langmore, portrayed by Julia Garner, in ‘Ozark’ | Netflix

In the first episode of Ozark Season 4 Part 1, Jonah Byrde (Skylar Gaertner) stole his uncle Ben Davis’s (Tom Pelphrey) ashes from his house and gave them to former lover and honorary family member-turned rival, Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner).

The opening of the following episode, “Let the Great World Spin,” focused on Ruth in an antique store searching for something. She initially isn’t sure until she spots a cookie jar shaped like a goat, deeming it perfect for holding her late boyfriend’s remains.

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After filling it with his ashes, Ruth stared at the cookie jar while crying. She spent a lot of time with the cookie jar in her trailer as she ate while talking to it and hung out with it outside. Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) also shared a couple of drinks with Ruth and, unknowingly, with his late brother-in-law’s remains. Season 3 ended with Wendy Bryde (Laura Linney) pretending to take Ben out of town before abandoning him for a Cartel member to kill him.

In one of their last conversations, her brother noted he saw himself in five years married to Ruth with a job and car and living in a house with goats. It’s assumed he and his then-girlfriend previously talked about their ideal situation as Ruth immediately knew the cookie jar fit him best. Fans might see a flashback conversation between the two where he explains the significance of goats to him in Part 2.

Ben Davis died by the end of ‘Ozark’ season 3

Viewers are introduced to Ben in Ozark Season 3 as a substitute teacher. After noticing students messaging a compromising photo of another classmate to each other, he lost his temper and attempted to destroy everyone’s phones in a wood chipper.

The outburst resulted in him losing his job and caught the attention of the police, so he showed up at the Byrde’s house in the Ozarks. Wendy initially overrode Marty’s decision to kick Ben out, and he eventually developed a close bond with Jonah and fell for Ruth.

He and the Byrde’s nearest associate began dating, and Ben stopped taking medication for his bipolar disorder so they could have sex. Once he got off the meds, Wendy asked Ruth to cut off the relationship as she felt he needed his medicine. However, she refused and helped him escape from a mental health facility.

Ben punched Marty in the face after the release and exposed their lawyer Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer) to her daughter, breaking a cardinal rule. After believing her brother proved a liability for their organization and wanting to show loyalty to the cartel, Wendy revealed their location, allowing the Cartel assassins to kill Ben.

Wendy Byrde blames Ruth Langmore for Ben’s death throughout ‘Ozark’ Season 4 Part 1

At the end of season 3, the Byrdes, mainly Wendy, and Ruth, fell out over the situation as the former public relations consultant held their former associate responsible for his murder.

She thought if Ruth had ended the relationship as she asked, then he wouldn’t have gone off his medication, which she blamed for his behavior leading up to his death. Throughout part 1 of season 4, Wendy still refuses to have anything to do with Ruth, despite Marty and Jonah still caring for and wanting to help her.

Their rift deepened as Wendy began lying about her brother during press conferences for rehab centers they are opening under the Byrde Foundation. Using his disappearance to her advantage, she claimed he’s currently missing due to a lifelong struggle with drugs.

Her lies regarding her dead brother shock Ruth, who knows she’s the one who ordered the hit, Marty, who can’t believe their wife is using Ben for PR, and Jonah, who has begun rebelling against the family. Ozark is available to stream on Netflix.

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