Ozark season 3, episode 1 recap – what happened in “Wartime”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: March 27, 2020 (Last updated: February 7, 2024)
View all
Netflix Series Ozark season 3, episode 1 - Wartime


Ozark Season 3, Episode 1, “Wartime” sees Wendy taking her entrepreneurial flair to the next level as she proposes a high stakes business proposal.

This recap of Netflix Series Ozark season 3, episode 1, “Wartime” contains significant spoilers.

It almost feels like yesterday when Wendy was against the idea of leaving their family home. Ozark Season 3, Episode 1, “Wartime” shows the start of a new Wendy.

Episode 1, “Wartime” opens up in Mexico. A man enters a store and slits the throat of the cashier. He delivers money into the back and arrests the men sorting the money. He ties explosive devices to them and scatters the money everywhere. He leaves the establishment and an explosion goes off, shooting money through the air on to the streets so civilians naturally want to pick it up. The man cruelly leaves an explosive device nearby where the public is picking up the money and another explosion goes off.

The cartel war has started.

Episode 1 sees Ruth getting to grips with operating the casino in true Ruth style — she wants the operation of the money to be stricter. Marty arrives and asks her to concentrate on the high rollers. Ruth is worried that all the money is squatting, but Marty does not want to launder yet.

Later, at dinner, Jonah explains that he is making a lot of money online by mining fake gold. Wendy tells Jonah to get a proper summer job. Marty takes it further by telling Jonah to make a friend too. It’s strange how these parents have destroyed this boy’s social wellbeing but expect him to be normal.

Outside after dinner, Wendy tells Marty about the cartel war — “Never let a good crisis go to waste”. Wendy tells Marty to pitch an idea on an expansion to Helen; more hotels and casinos, keep the operations legitimate as a safety net. Wendy proposes to sell the idea to Navarro, and they can put his share in a trust for his children in case it all goes south so he keeps a revenue stream — it will be completely legal. Marty thinks the idea is crazy but then Wendy explains that Helen has already raised the idea; Marty and Wendy argue, with Wendy arguing how they have the opportunity but Marty arguing that they are safe.

It’s clear Wendy wants power and control and an empire now.

Meanwhile, Wyatt is loving life in a house that is not his; Ruth finds her and asks Wyatt to take the money that she is sending him. Later, Wyatt gets caught squatting in the house and a woman tasers him. Ruth tells Wyatt to bail himself out with his own money. Darlene helps Wyatt with the bail money.

It’s clear Ruth feels guilty still which is why she’s sending him money.

In therapy, Marty delves into how Wendy is way more high risk than he is. It leads to an argument in the session. Wendy believes the therapist always takes Marty’s side. it turns out this is true, as Marty is paying off the therapist.

Helen visits Marty and Wendy in “Wartime”. Marty tells Helen his main concern is that all eyes are on the casino after the death of an agent. Helen puts pressure on Marty and asks him to start laundering the money immediately. Wendy leads Helen out and asks her how stressed their boss is; Wendy has a proposal for Helen, the same one she gave Marty.

Helen tells Wendy her client is interested and that he wants to meet her the next day — Wendy agrees to the meeting. Wendy meets Navarro and talks about the safety of themselves and their children and looks to the future. Wendy claims she has run the numbers and it works. Navarro clearly wants to think about it before sending her away.

Back to the casino and Marty gives Ruth the plan to circulate the dirty money without anyone knowing. Ruth launches the big poker game. An agent attends the poker game so Marty shows him the numbers of the game to prove it is legit. The agent explains that he and agent Petty used to date. The agent offers Marty a deal due to the impending cartel war.

Frank Jr gets angry at the poker table so Ruth kicks him out. Meanwhile, Wendy rings Marty and tells him that Navarro likes the plan but that does not mean they are obligated. Marty disagrees regarding the obligation and puts the phone down while looking on the internet regarding spyware.

Ozark Season 3, Episode 1, “Wartime” ends with Ruth telling Frank Jr that he cannot bluff well enough. Frank Jr calls her a b**** and that he should kill her. Ruth kicks him in the balls and throws him off the boat and into the lake.

Near the closing credits of Episode 1, “Wartime”, Wendy visits their old house and reminisces — she places the family portrait upside down. Wendy is leaving her old life well and truly behind.

Sherrif’s Diary

  • Martin and Wendy have created a casino advert.
  • Wendy sees the news of the explosions in Mexico linked to the cartel and looks concerned.
  • Darlene attends a mother and baby session with Ezekiel.
  • Charlotte buys Jonah a drone.
  • Frank Jr wants in at the high stakes game. Marty tells Ruth to let him at the problem due to the laundering process.
  • Fred wants to host his convention in the town but only if Wendy agrees to an REO Speedwagon.
  • In Episode 1, Helen gets tortured as the cartel wants to know if her husband knows anything as they are getting a divorce. She insists she has shielded her family away from the business and her husband knows nothing.
  • In therapy; Marty delves into how Wendy is way more high risk than he is. It leads to an argument in the session. Wendy believes the therapist always takes Marty’s side. It turns out this is true, as Marty is paying off the therapist.
  • Jonah suggests a summer job using his drone as security surveillance. Marty and Wendy both say no.

Netflix, TV Recaps
View all