Who is Clare Shaw in Ozark? Is She Based on a Real Person?

Image Credit: Steve Dietl/Netflix

‘Ozark’ season 4 introduces a bevy of new characters that are pulled into the Byrdes’ increasing spheres of influence. Armed with a family foundation to cement their “legitimacy,” Wendy and Marty Byrde continue to funnel cash for the Mexican cartel and play kingmaker with its boss. Clare Shaw is quietly introduced into the narrative and becomes crucial to the end game of Wendy and Marty Byrde’s plan. Here’s what you need to know about Clare Shaw from ‘Ozark.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.

Who is Clare Shaw?

Clare Shaw joins the narrative in season 4 as the billionaire head of Shaw Medical Solutions. The huge pharmaceutical company is a family-owned business, and Clare tries to correct her father’s wrongs. When she is introduced, the pharma CEO is battling allegations of exacerbating the opioid crisis. Even as she makes public promises, Clare is approached by Wendy and Marty, who need hefty funding for their foundation to buy political power in the midwest.

When Marty paints a bleak picture of her company’s future, Clare agrees to fund the organization to help fix Shaw Medical Solutions’ image. However, the deal also evolves to include the Navarro cartel supplying opioid raw materials to Clare’s factories. In season 4 part 2, Clare begins to find out what it’s like to have the cartel as a business partner.

After being threatened by Javi and subsequently witnessing his murder in her own office, she is stalked and bullied by Camila, the new Navarro cartel boss. In the end, Clare’s confession reveals to Camila that Ruth killed Javi. One might go so far as to say that Clare is directly responsible for Ruth’s shocking death, which is understandably one of the season closer’s most iconic moments.

Is Clare Shaw Based on a Real Person?

Clare Shaw is essayed by Katrina Lenk and, like most of the show, is a fictional character. However, ‘Ozark’ does a great balancing act between realism and shocking crime fiction to make the narrative hard-hitting. Thus, there are slight similarities that can be pointed out between Clare Shaw’s opioid medication spreading family company and a certain real-life (former) pharmaceutical conglomerate. An Esquire article also speculates on the parallels between Clare Shaw’s fictional company and the real-life Purdue Pharma.

Purdue Pharma was the manufacturer of OxyContin and was scrutinized for its role in fuelling the opioid epidemic. The company and its owners, the Sackler family, finally made a wide-ranging settlement that dissolved Purdue Pharma and earmarked billions of the Sacklers’ substantial wealth towards addressing the opioid epidemic. A fund of $750 million was also set up for victims and survivors. However, the fact that the Sacklers retained a substantial amount of their wealth and remained one of the richest families in the country even after the settlement was a cause for discontent.

Since ‘Ozark’ aired at roughly around the same time as the Purdue Pharma case, it is easy to see the parallels. However, this is where the similarities end between reality and television series. The world of ‘Ozark’ then makes things exciting by embroiling Clare with the Navarro cartel, leading to some truly grim consequences. Even the generally aloof pharma CEO is left shaken after her run-ins with Javi and Camila.

Read More: Does Jonah Kill Mel Sattem at the End of Ozark Season 4 Part 2?