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Why Ozark Fans Question Three's Purpose On The Show

Three Langmore (Carson Holmes) is perhaps the quietest, most laid-back, and least active member of the Langmore family on "Ozark." Compared to his more eccentric, volatile relatives like Ruth (Julia Garner), Cade (Trevor Long), and Russ (Marc Menchaca), Three does not cause nearly as much drama or create as many plot points on the show. While the rest of the Langmores are typically coming up with schemes to get rich, fighting among themselves and/or with others, or committing crimes, Three spends most of his time hanging around outside, drinking beer, and chatting with friends and family at the Langmore camp.

Part of the reason why Three is not at the center of the show's drama is because he is a child — and the youngest member of the Langmore family. Still, even compared to his older brother, Wyatt (Charlie Tahan), who is also just a child when the series starts out, Three tends to get along with everyone, stay out of fights, and avoid getting wrapped up in crime. Wyatt, who has a peaceful personality similar to Three, still fights with others and holds grudges (as with Ruth), and he still gets wrapped up in crime through his relationship with Darlene (Lisa Emery).

Three is definitely a black sheep in a family of black sheep, and some "Ozark" fans find his purpose to be unclear. Furthermore, what happens to Three after Ruth dies is one of the biggest unanswered questions after the "Ozark" finale, leaving his purpose even more ambiguous.

What is the point of Three?

After Season 3 of "Ozark," u/presidentkangaroo on Reddit raised the question of what Three's purpose is, pointing out that he is rarely part of any important subplots and arguing that any small purpose Three does serve, such as "being a sounding board" for Ruth's frustrations, could have been folded into Wyatt's character. Although many fans agreed that Three's purpose is unclear, others offered theories as to what Three represents.

Redditor u/MacIntosh19 suggested that Three is meant to be a point of reference for a normal, non-criminal person in the "Ozark" universe. This theory certainly holds weight, since, when in the minds of the other characters on the show, it becomes easy to forget what is normal. However, CBR.com argues that Three's potential as a character was simply wasted and that the show did not use him effectively.

Although Three is not deeply explored in his own right, he does seem to add a dimension to Ruth's character that is not shown through Wyatt alone. Ruth's love for Wyatt seems to show her motherly side and humanize her at times, but actually, Ruth's feelings about Wyatt are irrational and even dangerous. After Wyatt is killed, Ruth is unable to hold herself together for Three the way she did for Wyatt before. She stops at nothing to get revenge, even when it means getting herself killed and leaving Three to fend for himself. Conversely, Ruth's love for Three shows that a side of her is capable of normal familial love, humanizing her further.