'Ozark' 's Series Finale Sparks Mixed Reactions from Longtime Fans: 'Could Have Done a Better Ending'

Ozark concluded its four-season run on Netflix Friday — and its final episode, in particular, has sparked mixed reactions from viewers

Jason Bateman as Martin 'Marty' Byrde in episode 403 of Ozark.
Jason Bateman. Photo: Steve Dietl/Netflix

The end of Ozark is here.

All final episodes of the dark drama series began streaming on Netflix Friday, and fans who binged the latest release already have strong opinions.

Caution…spoilers below!

Viewers left off with the first half of season 4 seeing the two, conflicting Ozark drug rings implode. Marty and Wendy Bryde (Jason Bateman and Laura Linney) sat down with Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery) and Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) to issue a threat from the Mexican drug cartel if the latter two begin producing heroin.

Marty and Wendy endured their own drama within the cartel, and Ruth's family faced an unexpected death. The mid-season finale in January showed Wyatt Langmore pledging to marry Darlene Snell — a decision that made Ruth furious.

With the Bryde family hoping to permanently halt their smuggling and return to normal life in Chicago, much hung in the balance. Answers were given, though not all were expected — or loved — by viewers.

The acclaimed show's final episode, titled "A Hard Way to Go," ended with a shocking twist.

Ruth was shockingly murdered by Camila Elizondro (Veronica Falcón). This was done in response to Ruth previously murdering Camila's son Javi.

As Mel Sattem (Adam Rothenberg) later breaks into the Byrde family's home, he discovers a cookie jar containing Ben Davis' (Tom Pelphrey) ashes. While this could give him leverage to finally bring down the Byrde family, Jonah Byrde (Skylar Gaertner) soon confronts Mel with a shotgun. As the screen fades to black, it's implied that Jonah shoots Mel.

In response to the episode, longtime fans shared their disappointment across Twitter — particularly addressing the decision to kill off Ruth.

"Ruth Langmore is a Legend, her craft is just out of this world. She deserves all the credit. What a magnificent performance Julia Garner," one user tweeted as another wrote, "Ruth Langmore will forever be one of my favorite characters in the history of television. I love you so much, Julia Garner."

A third person said, "They made Ruth seem so slow and dumb in the ending that was horrible writing ✍ yall made her pull up to her crib saw a Cadillac truck that she KNOWS the cartel drives and made her turn her car off to go see who it is??? You got to be f------ kidding me."

Even singer Hayley Kiyoko got in on the action. "Just finished Ozark part 2. I can't believe it's over and that they did what they did in the finale," she tweeted.

But not all fan reviews were bad.

"My Wife and I are loving the final episodes of #Ozark, but we've had it up to HERE with Wendy and her bulls---," one user wrote as a second person tweeted, "Not gonna lie they could have done a better ending but still one of the best tv series."

"The foreshadowing of everything throughout every season is a testament to the brilliant writing, direction, acting, scoring, cinematography, and costuming," a third individual argued. "Look at how they even dressed our anti-hero and our anti-villain in the finale scenes! *chef's kiss*."

One person shared their "unpopular opinion" of the episode, stating how they believe the "series finale to #Ozark was perfect for the story it was telling."

"Not everything has to have a happy ending and sometimes the bad guys DO get away with it. That's real life," the person continued. "It started with the Byrdes... It ended with the Byrdes..."

During a recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Bateman teased what the finale would have in store for the Byrde family.

"With the final season, the whole thing was like, 'Well, how are we gonna end it?' Should the Byrde family pay a bill, you know?" he said.

"Like, should they get away with it? Should they not?" he continued. "And so [showrunner Chris Mundy] said, 'I want it to be a happy ending, but there's got to be a little of a, 'Well, is it happy for them?' Hopefully, the audience will think, 'Ah, they've kind of threaded the needle between a happy ending — but they're limping."

All four seasons of Ozark are streaming on Netflix.

Related Articles