‘Ozark’ Season 4 Part 2: Nas’ Music Becomes a Character in ‘The Cousin of Death’

Ozark Season 4 is back with a bloody-good start to part 2, “The Cousin of Death.” The Jason Bateman-led Netflix series has become synonymous with the symbols shown in titular “O” at the top of each episode. For the first in the final chapter of Ozark, the symbols include bobcats, highway crossroads, a urinal, and a hooded jacket. Find out what they all mean in “The Cousin of Death.” 

[SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers ahead for Ozark Season 4 Part 2 episode “The Cousin of Death.”]

Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) cuffed in Navarro's holding chamber in 'Ozark'
Jason Bateman | Netflix

Ruth grieves Wyatt, hallucinates seeing bobcats in ‘Ozark’ Season 4 Part 2 

The first episode of Ozark Season 4 Part 2 picks up where the first half of the season left off. Wyatt (Charlie Tahan) and Darlene (Lisa Emery) are dead at the hands of Javi Elizonndro (Alfonso Herrera Rodríguez) and Ruth (Julia Garner) is beside herself with grief. Throughout the episode, she reminisces about when Wyatt was alive and the time they spent hiding from their troubled childhoods and, later, making plans for their plot of land. 

Ruth (Julia Garner) speaks to Wyatt (Charlie Tahan) in season 3 of 'Ozark'
Julia Garner & Charlie Tahan | Netflix

Eventually when she goes to Chicago to enact revenge, a sleep-deprived Ruth hallucinates seeing two bobcats crossing a street. In the very first season of Ozark, Russ (Marc Menchaca) and Boyd Langmore (Christopher James Baker) invest in two bobcats so they can breed them. The only problem with their investment is that they purchased two females. The bobcats would become a symbol for the Langmore compound — a dysfunctional home for Ruth, Wyatt, and Three (Carson Holmes). In “The Cousin of Death,” they become a symbol of Ruth’s loss. 

‘The Cousin of Death’ crossroads are literal and figurative 

The crossroads symbol in the “O” at the beginning of “The Cousin of Death” literally symbolizes the highways Ruth must take to get to Chicago and kill Javi — a plan Marty (Bateman) begs her not to go through with in the episode. 

Plus, the crossroad is symbolic of the inner turmoil Marty feels in the opening of Ozark Season 4 Part 2. He wants to protect Ruth from the inevitable blowback that will result in her killing Javi. But in doing so, Wendy (Laura Linney) believes Marty is choosing Ruth over family

Yet another aspect the crossroads symbolize in “The Cousin of Death” is Ruth grappling with pulling the trigger. When the opportunity to kill Javi first presents itself, Ruth can’t do it, standing at the figurative crossroad of right and wrong.

Javi tortures his college professor with a urinal

A former business student, Javi meets with an old professor who treated him “lesser” then other students. Now that his family has a thriving “tile business,” the professor wants to secure a donation for the school. But Javi has other plans. 

After a civil dinner, Javi offers his professor two options: $2 million in exchange for his name on a building or an anonymous donation for the fee of “beating the s*** out of him.” Javi takes the violent route, beating the man down and using the urinal to nearly drown him. 

Javi’s death in ‘Ozark’ Season 4 Part 2 is symbolized by Ruth’s jacket 

With some help from the Byrde children and Frank Cosgrove Jr. (Joseph Sikora), Ruth ends up in Chicago donning a brown zip-up jacket. With pockets big enough to hold a gun, Ruth wears the jacket to the late-night meeting Wendy orchestrates with Navarro’s nephew. 

Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) wearing a brown zip up jacket in the first episode of 'Ozark' Season 4 Part 2
Julia Garner | Netflix

Three shots and Javi is dead. Despite Marty’s pleas, the murder vindicates Ruth. 

‘Ozark’ episode ‘The Cousin of Death’ is named after a Nas song 

Music is very much a character in this episode of Ozark. Nas’ album Illmatic is the soundtrack to Ruth’s revenge in “The Cousin of Death.”  

“N.Y. State of Mind” plays while Ruth drives to the Lazy O motel to ask about Javi’s location. The lyric “I never sleep because sleep is the cousin of death” serves as the namesake for this episode. 

Plus, “Represent” plays as Ruth procures a gun and later when Marty and Wendy go with her to the Shaw offices to kill Javi; “One Time 4 Your Mind” plays when Ruth calls Wyatt to tell him about the Byrdes setting up their new life in Chicago.

Watch the final episodes of Ozark on Netflix

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