Ozark Season 3 Recap: The Breaking Bad of Wendy Byrde

Wendy’s rise in the Navarro operation did not come without a fight, but her biggest opponents were not Julia Garner’s Ruth, Lisa Emery’s Darlene Snell or even Janet McTeer’s cartel lawyer Helen Pierce; it was her own husband Marty (Jason Bateman). As Marty preached caution, Wendy pressed on to expand. Where he saw danger, she saw opportunity. When Wendy finds out that the bloody war between rivals the Navarro and Lagunas cartels drew the FBI’s heat, Wendy called for Omar Navarro (Felix Solis) to go into legal business to give his children – and her – a safety net in case he should be killed or the agency seize his illegal assets. She wanted a chain of casinos and hotels in the Navarro operation, while Marty only wanted out. And so began the season with Burden vs. Burden.

Wendy Vs. Marty

After Wendy’s season 1 affair and Marty’s secret incursion into crime, confidence had never been high between Byrdes, but in season 3 it was at a record low. When Helen Pierce forced the couple to counsel for the benefit of the surgery, Marty first paid their therapist Sue to guide Wendy around in his way of thinking, and then Wendy tried to do the same. (The therapist was sentenced to death after spending Byrdes’ money on a car that attracted attention and became a responsibility that knew too much. Helen had her murdered and her flashy car pushed into the lake.)

Marty spied on Wendy’s secret phone call to Omar Navarro, who increasingly relied on her insights, and tried to sabotage her purchase of another riverboat casino – Big Muddy – behind her back. He paid Frank Jr., son of the Kansas City mob boss, to burn down a rival casino, which increased profits from Big Muddy and made the owners reluctant to sell. Eventually, Wendy got her wish and bought the new casino after she and Ruth bankrupted the company and forced the sale by arranging the Big Muddy slot machines to pay out on an ongoing basis.

Darlene and Wyatt’s affair

Not all of Wendy’s plans came true in season three – she failed to regain custody of baby Zeke (Pastor Mason’s child, cut by Darlene from his mother’s womb after Mason refused to continue the Snell heroin-in-the-prayer book operation). In season three, Darlene Wyatt paid Langmore’s bail after he was arrested for staying in empty vacation properties. She took him in, gave him a job, and despite their age difference, the two became boyfriends. Darlene confessed to having poisoned her husband Jacob, and Wyatt told her that Ruth had electrocuted his father and their uncle, why he had left the family home.

Wendy’s feud with Darlene Snell had dire consequences in the penultimate episode of season sixty. Ben had fallen in love with Ruth Langmore and had gone from her bipolar medication so they could have a sexual relationship. This made his behavior more and more erratic, and he escalated the feud between Ruth and Frank Jr. after Frank got Ruth locked inside the back of a van as payment for her throwing him over the edge of the Missouri Belle. When Navarro rivals Lagunas shot down Frank Jr.’s men during a cash delivery to Ruth (from which she fled because Ben and his nephew Jonah tracked it down with a drone so he could warn her), Frank Jr. assumed Ruth had ordered the attack and struck brutally. her.

Leg spirals

Frank Jr.’s attack on Ruth led to Marty severing ties with Frank Sr. and the Kansas City mob, and Ben became seriously ill. After hearing about the Byrde family’s money laundering, Ben crashed the launch of Wendy’s charity and publicly accused Marty of being a criminal. Wendy and Marty then got Ben enrolled in an institution. Ruth wanted to help Ben, and Darlene Snell wanted to hurt Wendy, so Darlene made sure Ben was released from the hospital by blackmailing a local officer. That left Ben at large, unpredictable and with a lot of dangerous knowledge. He went to Helen’s house and told her teenage daughter Erin about her role in the cartel, which Helen refused until Erin got confirmation from Charlotte Byrde, and then traveled to live with her father. Furious, Helen ordered Ben’s murder, but Wendy took him on the run.

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