Ozark season 3, episode 2 recap – what happened in “Civil Union”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: March 27, 2020 (Last updated: February 7, 2024)
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Netflix Series Ozark season 3, episode 2 - Civil Union


Ozark Season 3, Episode 2, “Civil Union” sees Wendy and Marty at extreme odds against each other as they partake in casino wars.

This recap of Netflix Series Ozark season 3, episode 2, “Civil Union” contains significant spoilers.

We are introduced to a new character in Ozark Season 3, Episode 2, “Civil Union”. The episode opens up with a supply teacher offering a lesson on algebra. A girl in the class receives a photo on her phone and gets upset. The teacher checks out the phone and asks if anyone knows about the photo. In anger, he grabs everyone’s phones and throws them into the shredder outside and then proceeds to fight someone.

This new character is going to be a handful it seems.

Anyway, after the events of the last episode, Marty heads out with Ruth to meet in “Civil Union” — Frank Cosgrove. Marty offers an extra 10% for what Ruth did to Frank Jr. Frank wants Ruth fired, but Marty explains that Frank Jr threatened to rat. Marty agrees to 15% and says Ruth is untouchable as well.

With Wendy taking on a new life, Charlotte asks her mother about the expansion plans. Charlotte also wonders why her father was not part of the meeting regarding the expansion. Marty enters and is annoyed that Helen is moving close to them in a new property. With Charlotte out of the room, Marty wants Wendy to admit that this is all about her and says she is starting to sound like Helen.

He has a point.

Wendy and Marty meet their casino rivals and explain that their new casino business is shinier, newer and they have more money — they make them an offer for their casino which is 7% above the market. Owners Anita and Carl say they will get their lawyers to look over the offer. Behind Wendy’s back, Marty tells Carl to keep his casino.

Marty and Wendy are conflicting.

The casino owners ring Wendy and say the deal is off.

Anyway, the supply teacher arrives in Ozarks and heads to the casino. Ruth checks him out on the camera and is instantly suspicious. She approaches him and he claims he is just enjoying his coffee and does not need to play the machines. Ruth says she does not like loitering and that’s when he reveals he is Wendy Byrde’s brother.

Marty asks Wendy if she knew her brother Ben was coming to the lake before letting him in their house. Ben explains to Wendy that he lost his teaching job due to philosophical differences.

He left out the part that he psychotically destroyed a group of student’s smartphones.

Wendy wants to meet the casino owners again but this time with Helen, not Marty, because apparently he “is all about the numbers”; Marty listens in to his wife going behind his back. Helen and Wendy give Anita and Carl an offer they cannot refuse. A desperate Marty asks Frank to help shut down this deal.

Wendy and Marty are at war.

In the middle of the night and at the halfway point of Ozark Season 3, Episode 2, “Civil Union”, Navarro rings Wendy and asks for an update on their second casino deal. He talks about how his maid died that day and asks if it is a bad omen. Navarro says he feels better after talking to her. Marty listens in and knows Wendy keeps lying to him.

Helen and her daughter Erin head over to the Byrde household for a BBQ. Meanwhile Frank Jr and an accomplice starting rigging a casino ship opposite Anita and Carl’s, so when the fireworks go off, it causes a massive explosion.

Anita calls wendy and explains that their rival’s ship is on fire so they do not need the deal on the table anymore as they can upgrade the casino with the likelihood that they can turn their business around. Marty asks if anyone was hurt in the fire which makes Wendy and Helen feel suspicious.

Marty continues hitting back at Wendy behind her back; he tells Ben that Wendy has not been herself and tells him to leave. Ben says this is the first time he’s recognized his sister in years. He also explains that he skipped a bench warrant and just wants to chill.

With the deal off for the second casino, Ruth shares a plan with Wendy regarding Anita and Carl’s machines. Meanwhile, Helen confronts Marty about the casino fire and wonders if he and his wife are on the same page. Helen says it is lucky that Ruth and Wendy have got things back on track.

And we see Ruth’s plan unfold; Wendy and Ruth rig Anita and Carl’s casino machines to make sure all the customers keep winning on their machines. Marty rings Ruth and asks her to stop but its too late. Ruth says she was using her initiative, just like Marty told her to and it’s not her fault he cannot communicate with his wife.

She’s completely right, Marty has zero grips on the situation at present. Wendy is in control.

With winnings depleting their business, Wendy offers Anita and Carl a lower price for the casino which they accept. Wendy and Helen celebrate. As Helen rings her separated husband Gene, he is attacked — she planned the attack.

Ozark Season 3, Episode 2, “Civil Union” ends with the FBI giving Marty a warrant from the federal judge which was triggered when they bought a second casino. The warrant includes forensic audits, which means every chip and transaction will be counted. Marty lets Wendy know of the federal order and her face turns sour. What’s made worse is that her brother suddenly runs out of the house naked towards the lake.

Wendy has two new problems to deal with. So far, Ozark is the Wendy show.

Sherrif’s Diary

  • Wendy is looking for lakefront properties.
  • Helen has problems with her ex-husband Gene over custody arrangements.
  • In Mexico, the Cartel war continues.
  • Marty has bugged Wendy’s phone.
  • Darlene confronts Wendy in the parking lot. Jonah sees Ezekiel is with her. Wyatt is living with her now. She offers him a place to stay in one of the cabins.
  • Helen apologizes to her daughter for all the changes.
  • Charlotte offers to show Erin around.
  • Helen talks about her failed marriage and wonders if she should have told Gene when talking about marriage with Wendy.

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