Ozark Season 4 Part 1 Ending, Explained: Does Ruth Kill [Spoiler]?

Ozark‘ season 4 finds the Byrde family elevated to even higher levels as the legitimate face of the Mexican Navarro cartel. Impressed with Marty and Wendy’s dogged navigation of Missouri politics and the FBI, to say nothing of the chaotic underworld, the cartel leader now puts his own future in their hands.

With the mission to essentially “launder” a cartel leader and their Byrde Family Foundation on the brink of getting a hefty donation, the central power couple (who are more “power” and less “couple” by now) have their hands full. As is inevitably the case, the countless other moving parts soon serve up a deadly hurdle, and season 4 part 1 closes on a truly frantic note. If you found the credits rolling all too soon, we’re here to help get you up to speed with all the intricacies of the mid-season finale. Let’s jump into the ‘Ozark’ season 4 part 1 finale and untangle all its details. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Ozark Season 4 Part 1 Finale Recap

The season opens with Marty and Wendy Byrde ordered by Omar Navarro to organize a deal with the FBI that allows the cartel leader complete immunity for his crimes and freedom to move in the US. In exchange, he offers to retire and give up a significant portion of his criminal empire. Of course, the request is an outrageous one and takes all of Marty and Wendy’s deft criminal maneuvering to finally get Navarro a meeting with the FBI. Meanwhile, Ruth, fed up with Wendy’s lies, leaves the casino and becomes a reluctant partner of Darlene because of the latter’s romantic connection with Ruth’s cousin, Wyatt.

Season 4 episode 7, the part 1 finale, opens with Darlene and Wyatt getting married in a tender ceremony. Meanwhile, Wendy and Marty accompany Navarro to his meeting with the FBI, which doesn’t quite go as expected. Instead of offering him immunity, the federal agents insist on Navarro retaining as the cartel leader and becoming a double agent for the FBI. The crime boss is not happy with the new deal but is forced to take it, and Wendy and Marty suddenly find themselves closer than ever before to being able to walk away from the cartel. However, Navarro is then arrested by Agent Maya Miller, bringing the entire tenuous agreement crashing down.

The blame for Navarro’s arrest immediately falls on the Byrdes, and they scramble to convince the crime boss’ nephew, Javi, to take a similar deal with the FBI. Unbeknownst to Javi, the FBI plans on arresting him and only offer him a deal as an excuse for keeping him in their sights. Javi finally agrees, and the Byrdes begin to prepare to finally leave the Ozarks for good and return to Chicago. It remains unclear whether Jonah plans on joining them since he has become disillusioned with the family since Ben’s death.

Ozark Season 4 Part 1 Finale Ending: Does Ruth Kill Javi?

Soon after meeting with the FBI, Javi visits an unsuspecting Darlene at her house and guns her down. Wyatt can only watch helplessly as the savage cartel boss then shoots Darlene’s young husband through the head, killing him as well. When Ruth finds out about her beloved cousins’ murder, she goes on a rampage, threatening first to kill Frank Jr. and then Marty. Jonah finally tells her who is responsible for Wyatt’s death, and despite repeated warnings from Marty and Wendy, the inconsolable Ruth storms off in her truck with a shotgun.

After seeing Wyatt’s dead body at Darlene’s house, Ruth essentially tries to take the shortest possible route to her cousin’s potential killer. She first calls Frank Jr. and threatens to kill the KC mob boss, who she thinks might have killed Wyatt due to his vendetta against Darlene. Once convinced it is not him, the next people to come to Ruth’s mind are Marty and Wendy Byrde, which is unsurprising since she (rightly) blames the latter for killing both Cade and Ben.

Thus, once Jonah reveals that Javi killed Wyatt, it seems like Ruth almost certainly heads there. Therefore, part 1 closes with Ruth on her way to Javi. However, she hasn’t reached him yet, so Javi is still alive (for now). The fact that Ruth actually stops on the side of the road on her way means that she might decide to hatch a plan before attempting to confront the powerful Mexican cartel leader.

Generally known to be quite reckless, Ruth is still smart enough to know just how well-protected Javi is likely to be. Thus, she might just hatch a plot to get him instead of going in guns blazing, just to make sure that she succeeds. Though Javi is not dead yet, it looks like this time Ruth will stop at nothing to get her revenge. Our favorite ill-tempered Lady Langmore has held herself back on previous occasions from killing people in the interest of maintaining the peace. However, she is clearly past that. Wyatt was the only person she loved (as she frequently reminded him), and it looks like Ruth’s single-minded objective is now going to be avenging her innocent cousin’s death.

What Deal Does the FBI Make with Javi?

The FBI makes a very similar deal with Javi as they did with his uncle, albeit with a few key differences. As part of the deal, Javi is required to act as the head of the Navarro cartel for ten years while also working as an informant for the FBI (prior to his arrest, Omar Navarro is ordered to keep up appearances for five years). However, the deal with Javi might just be a trick as the FBI actually plans on arresting him using the confession Marty got from the cartel leader.

Though the FBI has not made their move on Javi yet, the fact that he is responsible for the bomb blast that killed multiple federal agents (and admitted as much on tape) means that any deal with him will likely not be honored. Thus, Javi is being set up not just by his uncle and Marty but also by the FBI. Of course, the maniacal cartel boss will likely be extremely dangerous when cornered. Just to put things in perspective, the legendary Omar Navarro only appears to be scared of one person, and that is his nephew, Javi.

Does the Byrde Family Go Back to Chicago? Does Jonah Go with Them or Stay Behind?

The Byrde family’s plans for leaving their life of crime behind and going back to Chicago begin to rapidly unravel as soon as Omar Navarro gets arrested by Agent Maya Miller. Thus, at the end of season 4 part 1, they still haven’t left the Ozarks, and with Ruth now thinking of killing Javi, the Byrdes’ deal with the FBI also seems to be in serious jeopardy (again). As long as they still have unfinished business with the cartel and the FBI, they will not be able to leave safely for Chicago.

Our best insight into the fate of the Byrde family comes from the opening scenes of season 4, which is a “pre-epilogue” of sorts and shows them in their van en route to Chicago. Jonah is also in the car with them in these scenes, telling us that the angry young boy eventually decides to go back to Chicago with his family. What causes this change of heart remains so far unknown. Also, in what is one of the biggest mysteries of season 4, the Byrdes’ family car is involved in a horrendous crash and is last seen crumpled and upside down on the side of the highway. Thus, even though the family eventually leaves for Chicago, it seems like they maybe don’t make it.

Read More: Is Ozark Based on a True Story?