Ozark season 4, part 2 – does Mel Sattem die?

April 29, 2022
Daniel Hart 1
Netflix, News, Streaming Service
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This article, “does Mel Sattem die,” contains spoilers regarding Netflix’s Ozark season 4, part 2.

Access the archive of recaps, news, and reviews for Ozark.

Once the Byrde family gained their freedom through an intrinsic plot between the FBI, the cartel, and the foundation, it looked like they had gotten away with it. It looked way too good to be true. Indeed, after four seasons, the writers would not let the family off scot-free without one more challenge.

And that’s precisely what happens. In the final scene of season 4, a determined Mel Sattem stands outside their house with the cookie jar that he points out has no cookies in it. He explains how he’s always wondered why they have a jar with no cookies, so he investigated and found that it’s actually an urn holding Ben’s ashes. Of course, this is DNA heaven for Mel, who has been trying to find Ben for a while. This new finding could end the Byrde family for good.

Ozark season 4, part 2 – does Mel Sattem die?

However, it seems that finding freedom has convinced Jonah of his loyalty to the family. He grabs a shotgun and points at Mel, and his mother smiles, looking almost proud. As the screen blackens, we hear a shot. We can only assume that Jonah killed Mel. It seems highly likely.

In the end, the family is stronger as ever. Poor Mel, he spent an entire season grafting for nothing. And ironically, Mel was closer to the truth than most people. He could see right through this family, and he was willing to give up being a police officer in order to find the truth.

At the same time, it would have been a cruel twist if the demise of the Bryde family was a random private investigator with a hunch. After all, his initial investigation was to find the whereabouts of Helen, not Ben. It came at such a personal cost that getting killed by a teenage boy, in the end, feels almost offensive. Rest in peace, Mel.

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1 thought on “Ozark season 4, part 2 – does Mel Sattem die?

  • May 1, 2022 at 6:18 am
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    Hey Dan,

    It isn’t a far-gone conclusion that Mel died. The scene was perfectly constructed by the writing team to do what they have been doing all 4 seasons: seemingly obvious plot points later turn out to be something else entirely…
    The Byrde clan had no need to kill Mel to make it out of the sticky situation.
    The most likely conclusion is that Jonah shot the goat. Which is why shot was after the screen went black..

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