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The Surprising Reason Ozark Fans Are Rooting For Darlene In Season 4

No Ozark fan would deny that it's fun to watch the scheming of the Byrdes, or Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) lobbing insults, or Omar Navarro (Felix Solis) conducting deadly exit interviews with his former employees. But heading into Ozark's fourth and final season, it's hard to make an ethical case for supporting any of the remaining players in this gritty saga. Yes, everyone has their favorite faction, but you can't deny that all remaining parties have a rap sheet longer than the Mississippi river.

If we're just talking about pure criminality, Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery) is objectively one of the worst offenders. The heroin queenpin of the Ozarks is especially loathed by many fans of the series, and not for no good reason. She poisoned her own husband to death, laced batches of heroin with deadly doses of fentanyl to cause a PR snafu for the Navarro Cartel, and murdered a pregnant woman and then stole her baby. None of it is great. So, it may be confusing to hear that despite her numerous misdeeds, there are still quite a few people rooting for Darlene to come out on top of the brewing Ozark drug war.

Here's why even some of Darlene's haters are supporting her ahead of Ozark season 4.

Darlene is bad, but so is everyone else on Ozark

In a Reddit thread entitled "Unpopular Opinion: I'm Team Darlene," user u/dearDem announced: "I know Darlene gets a lot of hate around here, but she's my favorite character!" Although Darlene has certainly committed some pretty heinous crimes, they argue that so has basically everyone else on the series. And the Snell family matriarch has something the others lack: "I like Darlene because she's a woman about principal! She sticks to her word and isn't easily persuaded or afraid of anyone. She's loyal as hell."

This set off a firestorm of debate. While some commenters jumped to disagree strongly with u/dearDem, others had to begrudgingly concede that they made a good point. Redditor u/Enfield_Operator wrote, "I don't like Darlene at all but you're right that she's really no worse than anyone else on the show."

Several users recognized that compared to the manipulative nature of the Byrdes, Darlene is honest and straightforward. If she lashes out violently against someone, it's usually because they had it coming. User u/TaylorCurls pointed out, "I think people forget that nearly everyone on the show is f****d up. Sure she's crazy but she at least sticks to her guns." They also noted, "She also has an emotional sensitivity to her that the [Byrdes] lack."

Darlene's off kilter, but sincere, emotionality was brought up by several commenters. She probably also scored some brownie points for bringing fan-favorite Ruth into her fold after the young woman was taken advantage of by the cold and calculating Byrdes.

Even Darlene's critics think she's a better ally than the Byrdes

Darlene's partnership with Ruth may be relatively new, but several commenters pointed out she's already proven that she has the young woman's back. When Ruth's co-worker at the Byrdes' casino, Frank Jr. (Joseph Sikora), beat up Ruth, Darlene didn't hesitate to shoot him point blank in the groin. The fact that he's the son of the leader of the Kansas City mob didn't even seem to factor in for her. Darlene cares about her people, and she fears nobody.

As user u/allthehotsauces said, "I do respect Darlene blowing that dude's hunk off after Marty and Wendy had no plans to do anything about him beating up Ruth."

Even some commenters who expressed a strong dislike of Darlene admitted that she was likely a better choice of ally for Ruth. User u/FearlessTomorrowMay wrote a scathing assessment of her character, but still concluded, "she's going to treat the Langmores better then their own and the Byrdes ever did. As much as I hate to admit it...She's loyal as hell."

Similarly, u/SophsterSophistry eviscerated Darlene as a "murderer and a hypocrite." However, they also said, "I think she's unstable and not a great person to be around, but for the Langmores she's actually more stable and less consistently violent and abusive." They even went on to admit, "Add to that how dismissive Marty, Wendy, and Helen are to everyone who's not blood-related, and I can see some defense of Darlene (never thought I'd say that)."

For some viewers, their choice to root for Darlene isn't even that complicated. User u/foonsirhc wrote, "I like crazy so I f—ing love Darlene and I can't wait to see how this whole scenario is going to play out."

We'll see how it does on season 4 of Ozark.