Is Nelson Dead or Alive? Who Shoots Him in Ozark?

‘Ozark’ season 4 part 2 brings the slow-burn crime drama to a truly chaotic point. Multiple characters make conscious decisions to delve deeper into the gritty underbelly of organized crime and politics, none more so than the central Byrde family. The latter half of season 4 also sees a spate of sudden deaths of long-running characters. Even the Navarro cartel, which usually does the killing, fields some casualties of its own. Does their trusty hitman, Nelson, make it out alive in ‘Ozark’? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Is Nelson Dead or Alive?

Nelson has been part of the ‘Ozark’ landscape for a long time, having at one point even threatened Marty and Wendy Byrde. He was also the constant companion of the cartel’s attorney, Helen Pierce, before her sudden (and gruesome) death. Finally, Nelson is the one that helps Wendy with finding “a solution” to her brother, Ben.

Nelson is an unquestioning assassin whose loyalties lie firmly with the head of the Navarro cartel. He has quickly turned the gun on former allies whenever his superior has commanded it. When Ruth takes over the Mississippi Belle casino and stops letting Marty use it to launder cartel money, she becomes an enemy of the cartel. Thus, Nelson soon shows up at the Langmores’ trailer park.

Unbeknownst to Nelson, however, Ruth is expecting him at her home. Knowing that he aims to hurt her, Ruth has Nelson killed. She then buries his body in the foundation of the new pool she is having constructed using her substantial inheritance from Darlene Snell. Nelson’s murder angers Navarro, who is already working on securing his position as boss of the cartel. However, the cartel boss attributes his hitman’s death to Camila, realizing that she is after his post.

Who Shoots Nelson?

Ruth isn’t home when Nelson arrives at the Langmores’ trailer park. However, her new partner at the Missouri Belle, Rachel, is at the trailer park and has no idea that she’s in danger. She is also an early ‘Ozark’ character who is the former owner of the Blue Cat Lodge, where Marty first begins laundering money. Moments before Nelson arrives, Rachel gets a call from Ruth, who warns her that the cartel is after them.

Following Ruth’s instructions, Rachel waits in the shadow on the roof of a trailer with a gun. As soon as Nelson arrives, she shoots him, with Ruth seemingly listening on the phone. At the time Rachel kills him, she doesn’t even know who she’s shooting at. However, she realizes that the person coming for her is from the cartel and kills them.

Thus, Nelson is shot by Rachel, but his death can be attributed mainly to Ruth. In a way, it is fitting that Ruth is responsible for Nelson’s death because she never forgives him for killing Ben. Though she doesn’t have proof, she knows enough about how the cartel works to realize who killed Wendy’s brother. It is also strangely poetic that Nelson is buried under Ruth’s new swimming pool, which is indirectly funded by Darlene. Both women make their disdain for the Navarro cartel apparent and now help create the final resting place for one of the cartel’s most accomplished assassins.

Read More: Who is Camila Elizonndro in Ozark? Who Plays Her?