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The Ozark Season 4 Part 1 Scene That Went Too Far

Netflix's "Ozark" has long been known for its willingness to push the envelope when it comes to depictions of loss and tragedy. While many characters on the series are familiar with these unfortunate aspects of life, few have as much experience with them as Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner). In fact, the sadness at the center of Ruth's life begins long before audiences meet her in the first episode of the series. As a young girl, Ruth loses her mother to a drunk driver and her only sources of direction in life become her criminal uncles and toxic father (more on them later). 

It seems safe to say that Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) is the first genuine father figure in Ruth's life. Though Marty's introduction into Ruth's life initially offers her a path beyond a life of crime and poverty (well, beyond poverty, at least), his presence also repeatedly costs Ruth the people she loves most. Season 1 sees Ruth forced to murder her uncles to save Marty, while Season 2 shows Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) quietly arrange the death of Ruth's father, Cade (Trevor Long). Season 3 takes things to an all new low when Wendy allows the cartel to murder her mentally ill brother, Ben (Tom Pelphrey), who also happens to be Ruth's boyfriend. Time and time again, Marty's operation always seems to target those closest to her.

After so much tragedy, it really shouldn't come as much of a shock, but eventually, Marty's business costs Ruth more than she could ever have possibly imagined. 

Wyatt's death devastates Ruth

At the end of "Ozark" Season 4, Episode 7 ("Sanctified"), Javi Elizonndro (Alfonso Herrera) decides to have his revenge on Darlene Snell-Langmore (Lisa Emery). Immediately after Darlene's wedding to Wyatt (Charlie Tahan), Javi surprises the improbably happy couple in their home and shoots them both dead, leaving their bodies for Ruth to find. 

While we don't actually see or hear Ruth's reaction to the grizzly discovery, it's safe to say she is immediately distraught at the sudden loss of her favorite cousin. After 37 episodes of near-continuous heartbreak for Ruth, Wyatt's death simply seems like one loss too many for Ruth to take. For years, Ruth encourages Wyatt to seek a life better than the one she feels destined to live. More than anything, she wants to see Wyatt break the Langmore curse and escape the Ozarks once and for all. Sadly, with a single gunshot, Javi robs Wyatt of his future and Ruth of any potential vicarious happiness. 

As she pulls out of the former Snell-Langmore driveway, Ruth drives erratically, clearly emotional over the discovery. After her original assumption that Frank Cosgrove Jr. (Joseph Sikora) is to blame is quickly proven incorrect, a far more predictable, yet far more devastating truth is revealed. In spite of all the two have done for each other and the trust they have improbably built, Marty continues to have a toxic effect on her life.

Ruth takes out her pain on the Byrdes

In the aftermath of her sudden realization of the real culprit, Ruth returns to the Byrde house and threatens to kill Marty if he doesn't tell her who is directly responsible for Wyatt's death. Though Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) is quick to give up Javi's name, such knowledge seems like it will do little to stop a coming war between Ruth and the rest of the Byrde family. 

The Byrde family's entire future relies on Javi's continued breathing, something Ruth is clearly unwilling to accept. As she holds him at gun point, Marty and Wendy plead with Ruth not to attack Javi. Though Marty adopts a quiet and serious tone to tell her, "Do not hurt this man," Ruth remains steadfast in her convictions. Ruth screams, "If you want to stop me, you're gonna have to f***ing KILL ME!" Though such crude outbursts and high-strung emotions are somewhat typical of Ruth, this encounter seems different by many matter of degrees.

The Langmores and the Byrdes have quarreled for years, resulting in a number of deaths, but the loss of Wyatt is markedly unique. With each prior loss, Ruth finds a way to rationalize Marty's involvement. When her uncles die, Ruth is willing to set up their execution herself. When her father dies, even Ruth has to admit that he was not a good person. And, while Ben's death was certainly the most difficult for her to accept, Ruth always seems to blame Wendy more than Marty.

In this case, there is no separating Marty's involvement with the cartel from Wyatt's death and Javi's continued protection. Worse yet, Ruth now has nothing left to lose.