Ozark season 4, episode 12 recap – “Trouble The Water”

By Daniel Hart
Published: April 29, 2022
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Netflix Ozark season 4, episode 12 - Trouble The Water


How well can you truly know someone? It depends on how much you love them, and episode 12 explores that notion.

This recap of Netflix’s Ozark season 4, episode 12, “Trouble The Water,” contains spoilers.

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

When you know someone to their core; when you love them so much, you see into their soul; you know their true form. Episode 12 sees a slight demise for Wendy. We’ve already sensed that Jonah sees right through her, and her husband, despite that marriage of convenience, still has a love for her, but what about her father? Episode 12 explores that matter.

Ozark season 4, episode 12 recap

Episode 12 opens up with Jonah picking up a hungover Charlotte. They head to the county jail and bail out Marty and Wendy after Marty assaulted a man. The Byrde family knows how to be there for each other in the worst of times. Wendy continues justifying to Marty about keeping Camila engaged when they get home, but Marty does not feel it is sustainable. Wendy expresses that she’s not easy to love and gives Marty the blessing that he can leave her when this is all over. This felt like intense manipulation by Wendy. We see this at the end of the episode, too — the whole “I’m not easy to love” mantra. Meanwhile, Mel tells Nathan that Ben was with a Mexican cartel man when he disappeared. He believes it is linked to Marty and Wendy as the FBI got involved with them for money laundering.

Ruth and Rachel meet Charles Wilkes to make a business deal with him. He reckons he can clear Ruth’s criminal record with a judge as most of them are juvenile cases. Rachel thinks Ruth needs to make herself clean as it’s a great opportunity. Ruth meets the judge and does her best to remain polite and well-mannered. She claims she gave up crime when her father died. The judge offers to help, but she wants to scour her records first and do a drop-in visit. You can see it in her eyes — the drop-in visit terrifies Ruth. It feels too personal for her.

Nathan tells Wendy and Jonah that he’s given up the search for Ben, and he wants them to move states with him. He thinks they are in danger but allows them to take some time to decide. Nathan then hands a petition to Wendy for her children to live with him. Wendy is enraged and tells her father to leave her house. When Marty and Wendy speak to Charlotte about it, she admits she wants to go with her grandfather as it will protect them as “he knows things.”

Ruth learns that a man named Timothy Wheeling has been arrested for Wyatt’s murder. The evidence is that the man pawned a few items that belonged to Darlene and Wyatt before they were murdered, and it has been used as evidence. Ruth wonders why the sheriff is being nice to her suddenly, suspecting he’s being sweet because she’s inherited a lot of land and money. Later on, Ruth is not feeling good about the arrest of Timothy, knowing he didn’t do it, but if she tells the truth, she’s not sure if the judge will be able to clean her record.

The judge visits Ruth at her place in the Ozarks and talks to her about seeing her record. She feels her father led her astray, but Ruth disputes that idea. The judge wonders why Charles Wilkes came to her about her criminal record. Ruth tells the judge that she understands why she doubts her, but she promises she will do whatever it takes to remain clean. Ruth’s words work, and she is now clean. Later on, Jonah asks her how she feels now she is clean, and she struggles to understand what emotions she’s having. It appears she feels guilty because of Timothy.

Ruth meets Timothy in prison. She wants to know why he stole Wyatt’s guitar. He tells her he stole it for drugs. Timothy wants to know why she came to visit him, but Ruth gives him a vague answer. Will this clear Ruth’s conscience. Her poker face does not give too much away to the audience.

At the midway point of episode 12, Wendy and Marty manage to find a way to reinstate Mel Sattem at Chicago PD. If he rejoins, he will miss the court date set for Nathan’s petition. Mel is furious that the Byrde family is manipulating him, but they tell him that he’s reached the end of his investigation. Feeling conflicted, Mel speaks to Agent Maya for advice. She tells Mel that he will hate himself if he takes the Chicago PD reinstatement. Agent Maya rings Marty and Wendy and accuses them of trying to screw with Mel’s life.

Wendy and Marty meet Omar in prison. He wants to know where he stands on the SDN list. No petition has been submitted, and he’s growing impatient. He also wants to launder more and produce more clean money in Mexico. Camila also insists they must expand, especially with the pharmaceutical deal. Omar then tells Wendy he wants to be off the SDN list in days. When they leave, Marty tells Wendy they need to get Omar off the list immediately, so they can explain to the crime lord what his sister is doing behind his back. And so, in desperation, Wendy uses her power of influence to begin the process, and she calls Senator Schafe’s office — she promises him what he needs in Michigan and Wisconsin.

In family court, the judge is impatient, waiting for Mel Sattem. Nathan is anxious as he cannot reach Mel. Meanwhile, Mel is checking out of the motel. He’s to give in despite Agent Maya telling him she’d no longer want to see him again if he reinstates his position as a police officer. It looks like Marty and Wendy successfully played with the man’s heart. However, in court, the judge is aware of the volatile living situations of the Byrde children, with one of them living in a motel, which does not work in their parents’ favor. She gives the children freedom to choose where to live.

The ending

The ending sees Wendy’s actions lead to the breakdown of the family. Her demise is slow but worth watching as we know what she’s willing to do to manipulate people.

Jonah and Charlotte tell their parents they are going with their grandfather. Jonah and Charlotte say that they are tired of their mother and that she rigs everything. Charlotte references what Marty told her — that Wendy controls everything. A desperate and unhinged Wendy begs her father, Nathan, not to take her children away. Nathan tells Wendy to “stop it” as she gets on her knees. Nathan tells Wendy that he’s doing all this to protect his grandchildren and that one day, they will know exactly who she is, and they will never go back to her. It feels pathetic for Wendy when she uses the “I’m not easy to love” line again, but this time with her father.

Unfortunately for her, Nathan knows her too well. Her father’s love extends to knowing who she is. And he knows that she is a monster.

How well can you truly know someone? It depends on how much you love them, and episode 12 explores that notion.

What did you think of Netflix’s Ozark season 4, episode 12? Comment below.

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