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Ozark fans were in for a big surprise in the show’s final season with the reveal of what happened to Ben Davis. The brother of Wendy Byrde, Ben had stirred up major drama for the family as he set out to expose their involvement with the cartel. This pursuit ultimately got him killed in the third season, in one of the most shocking moments on the show. But the exact details of Ben’s death in Ozark were only just recently revealed.

Tom Pelphrey wears a red graphic tee with his hair slicked back in a scene from the Netflix show 'Ozark' as Ben Davis
Tom Pelphrey on ‘Ozark’ as Ben Davis | Netflix

‘Ozark’ Season 4 Part 2 revealed what happened to Ben exactly

Fans will recall the heartbreaking moment in Ozark Season 3 when Wendy abandoned Ben at a diner, surrendering him to the cartel. When she failed to come back to the table, Ben went outside to look for her. Noticing Nelson in the parking lot, he rushed over and questioned what Nelson had done to Wendy. Nelson assured him that she was OK before whipping out his gun on Ben. Apparently just realizing the severity of the situation, Ben desperately tried to plead with Nelson to spare him, but Nelson just forced Ben inside of his car.

On the drive, Ben cried and chided himself for going against the cartel. He was also apologetic toward Nelson and Wendy. “She’s the only thing that really loved me. And I always wanted her to be proud of me,” he told Nelson. “I just f*** up too much you know, I just f*** whatever up. And I’d just apologize and then f*** up again…”

Then, he wondered: “You think she’d be proud of me now? The way I’m handling this? I think she would be… You tell her I’m sorry, and you tell her I forgive her. You can do that for me, can’t you?”

Nelson remained quiet. He drove in complete silence until stopping at some remote location, where he ordered Ben out of the car and onto a tarp on the ground. Ben began wondering if he was dreaming when the sound of a gunshot rang out.

Tom Pelphrey on his return to ‘Ozark’ as Ben Davis

Tom Pelphrey, who played the character, spoke about returning to the show in an interview with Esquire. Before the release of the new season, there was some hope that Ben was secretly alive. But Pelphrey didn’t want that.

“People are like, ‘Oh, could he be alive? Would you want that?’ I was like, ‘No.’ Of course, there’s a part of Tom that would want nothing more than to work with those people forever, but the part of me that can appreciate a story is like, ‘No, that’s exactly how that has to end.'”

He also said he thought Ben’s last words were “beautiful,” relating them to something that happened to him in his personal life.

“When my father passed away, I started to have the most realistic dreams I’ve ever had before,” he shared, noting that they felt “so real” that he’d wake up thinking his father was still alive.

“And then five or 10 seconds, I would realize that he was gone and it would just break my heart all over again,” Pelphrey continued. “The dreams continued and it always felt undeniable that he was still alive. Finally, I came to a place with my own understanding of it that was just subjectively speaking in my experience, those dreams, and while I’m having them, are just as real as anything I’m experiencing during my day.”

“When Ben says, ‘This is just a dream, this is just a dream,’ there’s like a real beauty to a mind like that,” he added, “and I can easily see how somebody could be flirting with different levels of reality. I thought it was so beautiful.”


‘Ozark’ Star on Possible Spinoff: ‘That Shouldn’t Be Messed With’

What’s next after ‘Ozark’

The story ultimately concluded with the Byrdes heading back to Chicago after facilitating a new deal with the FBI. But that’s not to say it’s the complete end. Amid speculation about a possible Ozark spinoff, showrunner Chris Mundy told TVLine that there’s nothing officially in the works. But he didn’t seem opposed to the possibility of an Ozark spinoff.

“It’s definitely something that people have talked about a bunch,” he said. “There’s nothing definitive. We’re lucky that people seem to really like the show so there’s obviously going to be some interest there.”

He didn’t say much more than that, but hopefully, there will be more on that topic soon. In the meantime, all seasons of Ozark are streaming now on Netflix.