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The Worst Thing Marty Byrde Has Ever Done On Ozark

If three beyond-tense seasons of Netflix's pitch-black crime drama, Ozark, have left viewers with any singular narrative concept, it's that pretty much any character can, and should be expected to, do very bad things at any given moment. That is, indeed, the path Ozark's writing team has followed over the course of the show's first 30 episodes, with even the most innocent players finding themselves hopelessly ensnared in the perilous doings of Marty and Wendy Byrde (Jason Bateman and Laura Linney), and, ultimately, trying to fight their way out by any means necessary.

As the Byrdes are backed by a powerful Mexican cartel, that fight tends to prove more than a little bit futile for their opposition, and typically leads to unexpected bouts of bloodshed, to boot. It's a bit of a surprise, then, that the worst thing Marty Byrde has done so far on Ozark didn't involve Cartel muscle at all, nor did it include any misdoings by the Byrde's heroin-producing local adversaries, the Snells (Peter Mullan and Lisa Emery). Rather, the moment saw Marty, for the first time on the show, getting blood on his own hands after putting a bullet to fallen Ozarks Pastor Mason Young (Michael Mosley).

Of course, Marty didn't have much choice in the matter, as Mason unexpectedly kidnapped Wendy and essentially held her for ransom. That ransom required Marty to get Mason's infant son out of the care of Child Protective Services in under 24 hours. Even after Marty made that impossible deed a reality, though, the unhinged Mason wasn't satisfied with the outcome of his devious plan, and made a move to inflict some serious pain on Wendy, who managed to jab her captor with a screwdriver just before Marty shot him in the neck and watched him bleed out.   

Basically, all Ozark bloodshed is Marty's fault

For the record, Marty didn't exactly take his first kill well. He even tried to help Mason after shooting him, and had a full-on meltdown once the poor Pastor expired. Of course, just in case you're wondering how a pastor fell to such lows as having his child taken away and kidnapping people for ransom, that was basically Marty's doing, as well. 

In true Ozark fashion, Marty initially sought to aid the Pastor – and himself – by laundering cartel cash through the building of a church, since Mason had, until then, been delivering his sermons via boat on Lake Ozark. The problems began when the Snells caught wind of Marty's plan and intervened, explaining they used the gatherings to distribute heroin through Mason's congregation. When Mason found out, he cut ties with the Snells and threw in with Marty. The Snells proceeded to have Mason's wife killed as punishment, and Mason had a complete breakdown as a result, which led to his son entering the foster care system and fueled his desperately misguided attempt to get the child back.   

To make matters worse, after Mason's death, Marty and Wendy eventually ended up handing the tragically orphaned child over to Darlene Snell to settle a few of their own scores.

Of course, when the histories of the Byrdes' brutalist saga in the Missouri mountains are written, Mason Young's will be far from the only blood staining Marty's hands. The truth is, you could pin every pint of the red stuff spilled over the course of Ozark's twisted three seasons directly on Marty, himself. 

It was, after all, Marty's initial dealings with cartel bosses that landed him and his family in the mess, to begin with. Plus, literally every move Marty's made since has led to more and more bloodshed. After the events of Ozark's shocking season 3 finale, it's safe to say things are only going to get worse in season 4 of Ozark.