Ozark season 4, episode 5 recap – “Ellie”

By Daniel Hart
Published: January 21, 2022 (Last updated: January 26, 2024)
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Netflix Ozark season 4, episode 5 - Ellie


Whenever you think Ozark will not surprise you, it does just that.

This recap of Netflix’s Ozark season 4, episode 5, “Ellie,” contains spoilers. 

Read the review of part 1 of season 4 of Ozark. 

There are a lot of moving parts in episode 5. It feels less structured than the previous episodes, but the ending…wow. Watching Wendy become the person she is now is nothing short of fascinating.

Ozark season 4, episode 5 recap

Episode 5 opens with a flashback; Mel Sattem is talking to a colleague about the hardships of work, before sniffing illegal drugs in the police station evidence room. He’s caught. In a previous life, Mel was a detective for the police. This makes sense into how he’s a highly intuitive private investigator.

Back in the present, and Clare Shaw is worried about the raw materials she has been given, thinking it is not pure — she needs it “uncut.” Wendy assures her that Javi will provide supplies when Omar alleviates the pressure. They meet Ruth regarding the temporary supply, and fortunately, the sample is good. However, while this is unfolding, Darlene meets Frank Jr., and she manages to convince the man (who she shot his dick off) to shift the supply with his network.

Darlene is the centerpiece of episode 5 as she continues to cause problems; around town, there are missing posters for Ben, which has an emotional impact on Wendy. Believing it was Jonah, Wendy confronts him about it over family dinner, but he reveals that Darlene put them up. And then, Charlotte reveals she didn’t sit through her SATs exam because she doesn’t see sense in going to college. Parent mode returns, and Marty is concerned; privately, he speaks to Wendy about “parenting 101” and putting on a unified front. Surely, they are past that?

After the family dinner, Mel visits the house, and it’s clear on Marty’s face that this private investigator is becoming an irritant. Once again, Mel states he needs a signature to complete his job and asks if Helen is dead. He has a theory that Ben killed her. He also reveals he has spoken to Wendy’s father, Nathan.

Mel is becoming an interesting constant in this story, flirting with the idea that he will be a dark horse to the ending of the series.

Wendy meets Senator Schafer to formalize his position on the foundation board, but he has a request first. Senator Schafer reveals his grandson is a possible target for an FBI investigation for insider trading, and it is hanging over the family. He wants to see the FBI file. Wendy agrees to help and meets Maya to get the file. Maya tells Wendy that Marty would be great working for the FBI.

Back to Ruth, she learns that Darlene has sold the supplies to Frank Jr, which puts everyone in a sticky position. She meets Clare Shaw and Marty and reveals what has happened. Clare shows her nasty side and tells Marty to fix it, or his foundation and her company will be brought down together. It’s compelling that all these leaders in power run on the same tagline of “we win together, or we don’t win at all.” Marty tells Ruth to sort it out, and if she does, he’ll give her $100k.

The missing posters for Ben have caused quite a stir. Charlotte meets Wyatt (to help her mother). The pair make amends, and Charlotte asks Wyatt for a favor — to bring down the missing person posters. Meanwhile, Wendy files a missing person report for Ben with Sheriff Guerrero. She then contacts Darlene and thanks her for the help with Ben. Darlene is furious that Wendy is not deterred by her game playing; she tells Jonah that he should keep his mouth shut and asks what his parents did to Sheriff Nix. Feeling the pressure, Jonah reveals that his parents got rid of Nix’s body at the crematorium.

Getting the drugs back is a complicated issue in episode 5 as one of the dealers refuses to return the product despite the financial incentive. Ruth asks Frank Jr for the dealer’s address and heads over with Marty and Clare’s henchman. Ruth heads in on her own, and with time passing, Clare gets impatient and wants the henchman to go in. Meanwhile, inside the dealer establishment, Ruth gives a convincing argument to the dealer to give the drugs back by insisting it’s associated with Omar Navarro. The dealer’s men hit Ruth, showing her that they are in charge. Back outside, Clare wants her henchman to go in, but Marty fights him off. Before things get juicy, Ruth comes out with the drugs.

Problem solved, for now.

While Marty deals with drug problems, Wendy deals with political issues; she meets the senator again regarding the FBI file. The senator reveals that his grandson made a sophisticated piece of software and that there was a whistleblower who is no longer speaking (this sounded extremely ominous). The senator offers his gratitude to Wendy for retrieving the file and removing the cloud over his family before walking off. Wendy learns that this technology can suppress votes in elections. Regardless, the deal is done. She has the senator on board.

When Ruth returns home, Mel is waiting for her — he’s like a virus in this storyline. He asks about Ben, his whereabouts, and his supposed drug problems. Ruth tells Mel that Ben did not have a drug problem. Once again, Mel states he “just needs a signature,” and he asks if Helen is dead. In Ruth-like fashion, Ruth tells Mel to leave.

The ending

The episode ends in dark circumstances.

Darlene parks outside the Byrde family home, and Wendy comes outside. She tells Wendy she knows about Sheriff Nix and that her son (Jonah) ratted her out. Wendy (referring to the missing posters for Ben) sarcastically calls Darlene a “kind soul” before revealing that they’ve been working with Ruth, and it was a “big help.” Darlene is rattled that she doesn’t have a handle on her own people and tells Wendy to keep Charlotte away from Wyatt.

In true crime-boss fashion, Wendy steps forward aggressively, and Darlene suddenly has a heart attack — she asks Wendy to call an ambulance, but Wendy cruelly sits down and watches her suffer. As the credit rolls, we can hear Wendy dial “911.”

Whenever you think Ozark will not surprise you, it does just that.

Additional points

  • Mel visits the motel and learns that Jonah “handles the finances.”
  • Wendy learns that Mel is a former detective, and he was very good at his job.
  • Wyatt asks Darlene to stop antagonizing Wendy with the “missing Ben” stuff. Darlene senses that Wyatt is lying to her.
  • Jonah tells Charlotte that she should go to college because eventually, she’ll mess up, and her mother will get rid of her.

What did you think of Netflix’s Ozark season 4, episode 5? Comment below. 

You can watch Ozark with a subscription to Netflix.

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