Ozark Season 4: Why [SPOILER] Met A Disappointing (But Necessary) Death


Warning: the following contains SPOILERS for Ozark.

Ozark season 4 part 1, episode 7 “Sanctified”culminated with the demise of a crucial character, and although this key player’s execution left a lot to be desired, it was necessary in terms of laying the groundwork for Ozark‘s final 7 episodes. Ozark, Netflix’s critically-acclaimed antihero crime drama, is notorious for killing off key characters in brutal and unexpected ways. However, in order for Ozark to consistently push its narrative in the right direction, some characters needed to meet disappointing deaths.

Disappointing deaths stand out in Ozark because throughout its previous seasons, the series has given viewers some of the most satisfying deaths in television history. This can be observed in the execution of Navarro cartel lawyer Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer), whose blood and ichor was used by Omar Navarro (Felix Solis) to baptize Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney) into the cartel’s inner circle. Another character with a similarly gratifying death is Buddy Dieker (Harris Yulin), who sacrificed himself in order to burn the Snell’s opium fields and hide evidence from the authorities. Many other Ozark characters have met brutally rewarding deaths, including Cade Langmore (Trevor Long), Russ Langmore (Marc Menchaca), FBI agent Roy Petty (Jason Butler Harner), Mason Young (Michael Mosley), Del (Esai Morales), and Ben Davis (Tom Pelphrey).

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Ozark‘s many badass executions are why the death of Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery) proved to be highly disappointing for many viewers. Darlene was set up to be the big bad villain in Ozark season 3. After killing her own husband Jacob (Peter Mullan), Darlene began preparations to revamp her heroin empire, recruiting Ruth (Julia Garner), gaining Wyatt’s (Charlie Tahan) love, and even striking an uneasy alliance with Kansas City Mafia boss Frank Cosgrove Sr. (John Bedford Lloyd). However, in Ozark season 4 part 1, Darlene failed to deliver on all these promises, as the brutality and unpredictability that has made the character so compelling also rendered her practically useless. That being said, this is exactly the point of Darlene’s character arc. Darlene’s rise and fall reveal how hubris can only get a person so far in this cutthroat business. Further driving this point across is the way Ozark season 4 villain Javi (Alfonso Herrera) unceremoniously executes Darlene inside her own home, where she has done the same to so many others.

As dangerous and compelling as Darlene was, the way she died shows that someone like Javi, who is even more erratic than Darlene, can just decide to get rid of her at anytime. Moreover, although nearly every main character in Ozark is full of pride, it is those who have no restraint about it that meet untimely deaths, such as Mason, Cade, Frank Sr., Helen, Petty, Ben, and Wyatt. These deaths serve as warnings to characters like Wendy, Jonah, Omar, agent Maya (Jessica Frances Dukes), Ruth, and Javi himself, whose hubris might get the better of them in the last episodes.

Ozark‘s Darlene was the most unpredictable character on the show until Javi came along and threw a wrench in literally everyone else’s plans. This could be a clue in terms of how Ozark season 4 part 2 could play out. As Ozarkcomes to an end, Darlene’s death foreshadows the respective futures of those who have somehow survived the bloody events in the Lake of the Ozarks.

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About The Author

Peter Mutuc (250 Articles Published)

Peter is an elder millennial, cat-father, illustrator, and freelance writer for Screen Rant. Born, raised, and still based in Metro Manila, Philippines, Peter’s knowledge of geekdom was forged in the lagging fires of 56kbps Internet and dodgy forums, and now burns bright with the light of Netflix and downloads. When he’s not having visions about the end of the multiverse, he’s either bothering his cat or brewing ginger beer.

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