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Ozark season 4, part 1 ending explained: How does it set up part 2?

What's a Byrde to do? **MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD**

Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore
Courtesy of Netflix
Published: Friday, 28th January 2022 at 3:07 pm
Ozark Season 4, part 1 is finally upon us!

The Byrde family have gone through hell over the course of the show after getting sucked into a money-laundering operation for the Navarro Cartel.

But just as you thought that things couldn’t get any worse for the Byrde gang, season 4, part 1 has proven anything can happen in Missouri.

From huge betrayals and shocking twists to a whole load more money laundering, part 1 certainly didn’t disappoint.

Read on for everything you need to know about that game-changing development in part 1, whether everyone makes it out alive and how it paves the way for season 4, part 2. However, be warned: full spoilers follow for Ozark Season 4 part 1.

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The ending of Ozark season 4 explained

Omar Navarro is in prison

Felix Solis plays Omar Navarro in Ozark
Felix Solis as Omar Navarro in Ozark (Netflix)

Navarro is currently in jail after FBI agent Maya Miller (Jessica Frances Dukes) struck out on her own against the knowledge or wishes of her bosses and the Byrdes. But the authorities will extradite him back to Mexico if he gives them his nephew Javi Elizonndro (Alfonso Herrera).

Navarro has convinced Javi to meet with the FBI, which will lead to the latter's arrest, in turn allowing Navarro to walk free. 

He will then return to his native land, where he will remain head of the cartel for five years, during which time he will continue to provide intelligence that will lead to monetary seizures. 

“We’re not looking for a payout, we’re looking for a relationship,” said the FBI boss to Navarro.

He wanted out immediately, but they weren't willing to give him that.

If he cooperates, the bureau may choose to grant him immunity from prosecution in the US, with Navarro at liberty to go wherever he chooses.

But there's a big problem...

Ruth is on the rampage

Ozark. (L to R) Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore, Skylar Gaertner as Jonah Byrde in episode 402 of Ozark
Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore in Ozark (Netflix)

Javi had been growing increasingly more dissatisfied with his uncle’s decision-making over the course of the season – and those frustrations finally came to a head in the finale.

He now believes that his uncle has stepped down from his role as head of the cartel, leaving him in charge.

"It's your turn nephew," he said. "It's time for your generation to take over and you should be their leader."

Javi was blindsided by the announcement, his face betraying his confusion and concern. But Navarro assured him that there was nothing sinister at play. He simply wants to take his assets and get out while he "still can", in turn securing a stable future for his children.

"And after that, the Byrdes are yours," he added, acknowledging Javi's dislike of Marty and Wendy.

Javi, who had long been eyeing up his uncle's position, quickly began imposing his own stamp on the family business. He had been calling for Darlene Langmore's head from the very beginning due to her repeated refusals to cease her heroin operation, and he took advantage of his new status by putting a bullet in Darlene (Lisa Emery). He also murdered her husband Wyatt (Charlie Tahan), as if one murder wasn't quite enough to emphasise his point.

Darlene had almost kicked the bucket in an earlier episode when she suffered a heart attack during an altercation with Wendy. For a hot second, it looked like the Byrde matriarch was going to allow Darlene's ticker to stop right in front of her as her final act of vengeance against her nemesis. But she eventually dialled 911 and Darlene survived – if only to be murdered by Javi shortly after.

Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner), whose family has been plagued by death, headed over to congratulate the newlyweds, but she was greeted by their corpses instead. After Frank Cosgrove Jr (Joseph Sikora) assured her that he hadn't laid a finger on Darlene or Wyatt, even though he was justified given that the former had shot off his manhood and killed his father, Ruth raced over to the Byrdes' house to demand answers.

Marty and Wendy refused to give her a name, knowing that her actions could have a devastating impact on them. But Jonah (Skylar Gaertner), who has spent season 4 disobeying his parents' wishes, revealed that Javi was responsible for the death of her cousin.

Marty and Wendy begged Ruth not to take action, but the lady was not for turning.

"If you want to stop me, you're going to have to f**king kill me," she shrieked.

Alfonso Herrera in Ozark
Alfonso Herrera in Ozark Netflix

Marty and Wendy’s survival has always been dependent on what they can do for Navarro. If he’s happy, they live to see another day and move one step closer to freedom, which for them is moving back to Chicago and running their foundation – their grisly dealings with the cartel have spurred Marty and Wendy to use the vast resources they have acquired for good. While they can't undo their misgivings, they can "bury" them with grand philanthropic gestures. 

Navarro expects to be released from prison in 48 hours or less when his nephew will – if all goes to plan – take his place in the big house. But if Ruth murders Javi, he won't walk free and that, as we all know, means Marty and Wendy are toast.

Is it bad news for Charlotte and Jonah in Ozark season 4, part 2?

Jason Bateman and Laura Linney in Ozark
Jason Bateman and Laura Linney in Ozark (Netflix) Netflix

Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) had her sights set on leaving the Ozarks with her family and returning to her life in Chicago, where she planned to work at the Byrde foundation alongside her parents. But Jonah had no intention of leaving. He had chosen to continue laundering money for Darlene and Ruth, but that's currently hit a brick wall.

The siblings have spoken about what they would do if their parents were both killed – which might become a very real possibility in part 2. But even if Wendy does make it out alive, there's a chance that her relationship with her youngest is beyond repair due to her role in Ben's death. Jonah, as of yet, has been unable to forgive his mum for what happened to his uncle (Tom Pelphrey), and there's a strong chance he never will.

Don't underestimate Mel Sattem...

Mel Sattem, a disgraced cop-turned private PI, is still lurking in the background. He was hired by the husband of Navarro’s former lawyer Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer) to collect a signature from her so that the couple’s divorce could be finalised. But Helen was killed by Nelson (Nelson Bonilla) on the mob boss’s orders, which means Mel is still on duty.

He believes that Ben was behind Helen’s death and he’s now looking into the Byrdes. Contrary to what Wendy has said, he knows that her brother wasn’t a drug addict, and he also witnessed a heated conversation between Charlotte and Jonah at the Lazy-O before they headed to the family crypt to lay low.

Will he discover the truth about Helen and the Byrdes' business dealings? And crucially, will he make it home to his cat, or is Mel destined for a gruesome fate?

Tune into Ozark season 4, part 2 to find out...

How does the car crash scene set up Ozark season 4, part 2?

Skylar Gaertner in Ozark
Skylar Gaertner in Ozark STEVE DIETL/NETFLIX

Ozark showrunner Chris Mundy has exposed the hidden meaning behind the jaw-dropping car crash in the opening scene of Ozark season 4, part 1.

The Byrde family were pushed off the road by a trailer truck and left in a ditch upside down in their car.

With the family finally free from Navarro’s clutches, the scene appeared to be a flash-forward to season 4, part 2 – and perhaps an ominous clue about how things will end for the family.

Talking to TV Line, Mundy explained: “There’s a feeling on our show all the time where anything can happen at any time, and I like that unease."

He continued: "We felt like people might be confused for a split second, but then when the [action cuts immediately] to Mexico they’d realise [it was a flash-forward]. But we didn’t want to do any more of the math for them.”

Mundy previously promised closure in season 4, part 2, saying: "I always want closure. I don’t want to feel messed with. I want to feel like, 'OK, that was the end.' So hopefully people will feel closure by the end – whether they like it or not, I don’t know."

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