‘Ozark’ Season 4 Finale: [SPOILER]’s Death Profoundly Concludes the Netflix Series

Hot take: the way Ozark ends makes perfect sense. Now that every episode of season 4 is available on Netflix, it’s time to celebrate the full-circle moments the series brought fans and mourn a significant loss from the Ozark finale.

[SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers ahead for episodes of Ozark Season 4 Part 2, including the finale.]

Wendy (Laura Linney) and Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) dressed for the Missouri Belle event in the 'Ozark' finale
Laura Linney, Jason Bateman | Netflix

‘Ozark’ Season 4 finale brings the series full circle 

First and foremost, let’s commend Chris Mundy, Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, and the entire Ozark crew for four seasons of carefully planned story. There are countless examples of parallels in Ozark from season 1 to season 4, a sign of vigilance in the writer’s room and an effort many fans recognize and appreciate.

The fourth season comes to an end mirroring how the show began in many ways. In season 1, Jonah holds a gun at Roy Petty (Jason Thomas Butler) and later, Garcia (Joseph Melendez) to protect his family; in the Ozark finale, Jonah’s gun is pointed at Mel Sattem (Adam Rothenberg) for the same reasons.

What’s more, every move Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) has made since season 1 brings on her fate in the finale. Any way you look at it, the storytelling in Ozark‘s final season is unmatched. 

Ruth Langmore’s death completes the story that is ‘Ozark’ 

From the start of the series, Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) has done everything in his power to protect his family. Despite her attempt to kill him, Marty eventually includes Ruth in the fold. Like many others, I struggled to see Ozark ending without any members of the Byrde family dying, but in a sense, one of them did. 

In the final episode of the Netflix series, Ruth is killed by Camila Elizonndro (Veronica Falcón) as retribution for her murdering Javi (Alfonso Herrera Rodríguez). I am at peace with that.

Yet another full-circle moment, Ruth’s death acknowledges the only way she could truly be happy. Despite breaking ground on a new home and securing her stake in the Missouri Belle, Ruth would never feel whole again without Wyatt (Charlie Tahan) or Ben (Tom Pelphrey) in her life. 

Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore in the finale episode of 'Ozark' Season 4
Julia Garner | Netflix

On top of that, if she lived, Ruth would constantly be in fear of the Navarro cartel. If Camila hadn’t discovered Ruth killed Javi in the finale, she would have eventually.

Additionally, Ruth’s plans to run a clean casino would have been short-lived. The Missouri Belle was built to launder money, and the cartel would have regained ownership of it eventually. 

Yes, Ruth’s death was devastating to witness, but there was also something beautiful about the moment. Ruth doesn’t run away from her fate. Instead, she follows through with what she told Marty in the first half of season 4. Frustrated about Wyatt’s murder, Ruth told Marty: “If you wanna stop me, you’re gonna have to f***ing kill me.”

In the end, Ruth faces Camila head-on and bravely questions: “Are you gonna f***ing do this s*** or what?” 

‘Ozark’ shouldn’t have a season 5

Ozark ends in a way that alludes there is more to come, but Mundy and others have always said they couldn’t see the show going past season 5 (or a fourth season split into two parts). Either way, we have to accept the way Ozark ended — hearing Jonah’s shotgun going off without seeing where the bullet lands. 

Wyatt (Charlie Tahan) holds Ruth's (Julia Garner) hand on top of his trailer in the final season of 'Ozark'
Charlie Tahan, Julia Garner | Tina Rowden/Netflix

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I choose to take that as a sign Mel is dead and the Byrdes are free to try and assimilate back into normal life. I’d like to believe Marty and Wendy stay together (how could they not after the trauma), Charlotte finds success in Chicago, and Jonah follows through on his plans to go legitimate, at least until he finishes high school. I also hope Ruth is reunited with her loved ones, much like she imagines in “A Hard Way to Go.”

Watch new episodes of Ozark on Netflix