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The Best Ozark Character According To Some Fans

This article contains spoilers for "Ozark" Season 4, Part 2.

"Ozark" Season 4 Part 2 dropped on Netflix on April 29, marking the end of the series and answering the burning question of whether or not money launderer Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) and his family would make it out of Missouri alive. Throughout the show, Marty and his wife, Wendy (Laura Linney), face a seemingly endless amount of obstacles to free themselves from their obligations to the Navarro cartel, emerging equally victorious and morally bankrupt.

In the final episodes, Marty suffers a crisis of conscience, something that briefly pits him against Wendy, who feels the ends justify the means when it comes to protecting her family. However, Wendy's ambitions extend beyond mere survival, and her quest to amass influence and power comes at a steep cost to those around her. Wendy and Marty are guilty of destroying the lives of numerous key characters, many of whom are determined to see the Byrdes atone for their multitude of sins as the series winds down.

"Ozark" is filled with a wide variety of shady supporting players, including crooked politicians, vengeful FBI agents, homicidal hillbillies, ruthless drug dealers, and more than a few simply inept criminals. Sadly, even a few innocent souls find themselves caught in the crossfire between the Byrdes and their enemies. According to the show's fans, from this rich tapestry of characters, one character emerges as the best.

Ozark fans love Ruth Langmore

Many "Ozark" fans have nothing but love for Marty's former protégée Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner). Viewers took to the r/Ozark subreddit to pay homage to the smart, stubborn, F-bomb-dropping young woman. Redditor u/davrkroo called Garner's character a "masterpiece," and u/defoor13 stated, "She is easily the best character on the show!" According to many fans, Garner's ability to outshine Bateman's more understated performance as a likable everyman who is in over his head speaks to her talent.

Introduced in Season 1 of "Ozark", Ruth is the most prominent member of the Langmore clan, a family infamous for producing generations of dangerous petty criminals. When Ruth first encounters Marty, she sees a chance to break the Langmore's cyclical pattern of poverty, abuse, and self-destruction. Throughout the series, fans remain awe-struck by Ruth, who aims to transcend the stupid hillbilly trope personified by her uncles. Interestingly, u/atm4414 wrote, "Something tells me Ruth would have been able to forge her way regardless of circumstances."

"One of my favorite fictional characters of all time," u/EmFly15 wrote. "So layered, complex, interesting, funny, enigmatic. She's like everything I look for in a character." To many fans, there is an unmistakable vulnerability to Ruth, particularly when it comes to her younger cousins. There are also certain parallels between Ruth's relationship with her father and Marty, evidenced by her loyalty to both men, her often-overlooked efforts to protect and please them, and the heartbreak she experiences when they disappoint her.

Julia Garner's Ozark character is a 'beast'

While many "Ozark" fans view Ruth as the show's best character, they are divided about whether she's an unfortunate victim who enters into a Faustian bargain without considering the consequences or someone well aware of the risks who blames the Byrdes, disavowing herself of all culpability. "She's the tragic character who partnered up with a toxic partner who is taking away everything she loves one by one," Redditor u/dolan2394 wrote, comparing Ruth to Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) of "Breaking Bad" fame. "You sympathize with her so much even though she is a criminal."

Arguably no one suffers more because of their association with the Byrdes than Ruth. However, she is also an active participant in many of the family's schemes. After all, Ruth murders her uncles to protect Marty -– an act that ultimately throws Wyatt Langmore (Charlie Tahan) directly into the path of Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery), sealing his grim fate. Interestingly, another fan on Reddit was confounded by Ruth's reaction to the death of her father, Cade Langmore (Trevor Long). 

"I'm conflicted regarding her growing salty over her father's murder," u/Sao_Gage wrote. "He was very clearly established to be a controlling, manipulative, vile, and abusive father who was going to get Ruth into worse trouble ... It feels like she did a bit of a 180 on her understanding of why it happened and the circumstances that led to it."

Viewers who rank Ruth as their favorite character are likely devastated that Ruth's past catches up with her in the series finale, just as she is beginning to enjoy the fruits of her labor. However, she goes out in a way befitting the character: angry, unapologetic, and fearless. U/KellyO__ wrote, "Ruth Langmore is a f****** beast!" Acolytes of the curly-haired force of nature couldn't agree more.