This article, “does the Byrde family finally find their freedom in the finale,” contains spoilers regarding Netflix’s Ozark season 4, part 2.
After all the broken promises, desperate deals, bloody murders, and unnecessary violence, Ozark season 4 finally gives the audience an answer. The Byrde family seeking freedom is ironic because, with their thirst for the ideal life, they’ve found themselves lusting for power that they didn’t know they wanted. If we center on Marty and Wendy, their marriage has evolved from the sweet suburban couple to the most complicated villains in the Ozarks. They’ve somehow wedged themselves between farmland heroin dealers to full-scale cartel operations.
And as for their family, Marty and Wendy have had to manage their rebellious children. Can you blame Jonah and Charlotte for displaying a different range of emotions since realizing their parents are dangerous people? After all, the theory is that our parents are the people who mess us up the most. But why does the Byrde family want that ideal freedom? And what does it even mean?
For Marty and Wendy, it means setting up a foundation amongst politicians and wealthy business owners that vouch for genuine charitable donations and build drug rehabilitation centers. Of course, this veils the deal between Shaw Medical and the Navarro cartel. The merge of the two is an ironic moral battle; they will be helping addicted drug users while providing the drugs on the streets. It’s a typical Marty-like set-up, but funnily enough, it is created by his wife, Wendy. On the flip side, they need to keep the FBI happy by having the cartel leader provide them with the intel. By the end of season 4, Omar and Javi are out of the picture, and Javi’s mother, Camila, is the rightful heir to the throne to take over and take the deal.
Keeping the cartel, FBI, and foundation happy is a monumental feat, but season 4 articulates the Byrde family’s problem to an impressive degree.
Ozark season 4, part 2 – does the Byrde family finally find their freedom in the finale?
Yes. Despite the looming foreshadowing that the family would not make it, they do. Even premonitions by Father Benitez didn’t sway them. Omar is killed during a transfer (after approval from his sister Camila). The cartel has a new leader in Camila, who strikes a deal with the FBI. The cartel is helping supply Shaw Medical, which helps fund the Byrde foundation. With the jigsaw all in place, the Byrde family is free. This complicated arrangement means they are protected. They do not require to be involved. They just need to carry out the duties of the foundation.
Of course, this comes at a deadly cost. As the Byrde family celebrates the formation of the foundation at the casino, Camila finds out the real murderer of her son, Javi. Clare Shaw buckles under pressure at the party and reveals Ruth killed Javi, and she is a witness.
Marty and Wendy have to endure one last murder on their most successful night. They are helpless. They can’t stop it because Camila will kill them if they do. In the end, the Byrde family chose themselves over anyone else. Even with the heartache, Marty and Wendy continue with the evening with firm faces. Ruth was about to enjoy a life of wealth and freedom with a clean criminal record.
And yes, near the end, Mel Sattem tries to stop them, but by this point, the family is a tight-knit organization — Jonah grabs the shotgun and shoots Mel to signal a new era for this group of dysfunctional relatives.