Ozark season 4, episode 9 recap – “Pick a God and Pray”

By Daniel Hart
Published: April 29, 2022
View all
Netflix Ozark season 4, episode 9 - Pick a God and Pray


Episode 9 shows the meaning of desperation. It shows what happens when there is nothing to lose as the series sets the pace for the final story.

This recap of Netflix’s Ozark season 4, episode 9, “Pick a God and Pray,” contains spoilers.

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

While episode 8 focuses on the demise of Ruth’s world, episode 9 centers on Wendy and Marty. What a fascinating on-screen couple. The psychology between these two characters dominates the story as we harbor towards the finale.

Ozark season 4, episode 9 recap

Episode 9 opens with Wendy and Marty returning to their hotel room, processing what they’ve just witnessed (Ruth killing Javi). Wendy asks Marty why he chooses everyone else over family and tells him he’s desperate to be the “good guy.” Marty disagrees, and they argue over the violent event and how it came to be. Marty admits that Ruth’s entire family has been destroyed due to their actions. He’s sick of having blood on his hands. Wendy raises how he knew better than her about this life. But that admission by Marty was telling — he’s becoming self-aware of his actions. He’s starting to see how they got here.

Marty tries to barter with his wife; he asks how “how much is enough,” but she claims they had it five hours ago, but he threw it. Wendy doesn’t want to give up on anything unless it’s impossible. She tells him to “have some f*****g faith.” Wendy tries to meet Clare at the office the next day, but she’s told to “go home.” It’s easy to believe that maybe, just maybe, the Byrde family is finally running out of options.

Mel tells Helen’s husband Gene that his wife worked for the drug cartel, which is why she has gone missing (i.e., she’s dead in cartel terms). Erin interrupts their conversation and warns them not to get more information as it will be dangerous dealing with the cartel. However, Mel does not believe what happened to Helen occurred in Mexico; he wants to find evidence. Erin begs her father to let it go, and Gene agrees. Good idea Erin; stay away as far as possible.

The FBI visit Wendy and Marty; they cannot find Javi, so the Byrde family does not have a deal. They tell them that Javi’s death leaves them in a sticky situation, and the FBI can offer them witness protection if they testify against Omar Navarro. Wendy suggests they extradite Omar Navarro and reinstate him as the head of the cartel so they can remain valuable assets. The FBI needs proof of power and money from Omar Navarro in order to pull strings. Episode 9 sees Wendy having a humongous task on her hands. After this ordeal, Marty tells Agent Maya that Javi is dead, and he reminds her of their deal — family protection and doing 18 months in jail. Maya is stunned and tells Marty to get out of her office.

Wendy meets Omar Navarro in prison. She tells him his nephew has disappeared and that the FBI thinks he’s dead. Wendy calls this an opportunity for him to reinstate him as the head of the cartel. Omar is full-on angry, knowing that Wendy knows Javi has been killed and is partially responsible, and claims he’ll get all of her family killed. Wendy cannot get through to him, but she lies to the FBI and claims that Omar is interested in being reinstated; she asks them to get Omar out of solitary confinement and into protection. This is a massive gamble from Wendy. It also feels desperate.

Wendy lies to Marty and tells him that Omar Navarro is “interested but angry.” At least she was slightly more truthful than she was to the FBI. Marty raises how her father Nathan is here, searching for Ben. Wendy tells her father that there’s been no news regarding Ben. The father reveals he’s hired a private investigator — Mel Sattem. Damn, this character Mel knows how to stick around. Wendy’s father explains that he wants to help during a family dinner, stating that he recognizes that they run many businesses, so he wants to take the pressure off. He keeps mentioning Ben and his memories of him. Wendy gets overwhelmed and walks off. She tells Marty that Nathan is going to poison her children against them.

Harry from the funeral home rings Marty about Wyatt. Marty visits Ruth and asks what she wants to do with Wyatt. Ruth tells him an 18-year-old didn’t have a plan for their funeral and walks off with a beer. Ruth keeps offering sobering truths. Her demeanor is one of a crushed person, but her dialogue is still hard-hitting and compelling.

Omar Navarro is moved out of solitary confinement. Suddenly, a friend of Omar Navarro, Father Benitez, turns up at Wendy’s house. Wendy is shaken, believing this is the end, but it looks like her gamble has paid off for now. She tells the priest she thinks she can get Omar out of prison. The priest asks her if she believes in God and that he can “help her find a way and be saved.” Wendy claims she doesn’t need saving. Father Benitez tells Wendy that Omar will see her the next day.

In prison, Omar tells Wendy and Marty that he cannot run an operation from jail. He wants to secure his power immediately. Marty offers to go to Mexico and re-establish control and thinks he will be accepted with his blessing. Yes, people, it’s kind of happening — Marty will be the head of the cartel, technically.

The ending

As episode 9 ends, a couple of things happen.

Clare Shaw heads out to the Ozarks to meet Ruth. She tells her they have security footage of Ruth killing Javi, so they want her to carry out a deal with them. But Ruth doesn’t care about the footage and grabs a shotgun. Clare is shaken and asks her henchman to lower his gun. She tells Ruth she wants a lucrative deal with her. Afterward, Clare rings Wendy and tells her their agreement is over. It looks like there is a little life left in Ruth after all. But what are Ruth’s intentions?

Charlotte begs Marty not to go to Mexico, but he tries to reassure her he will be fine. The man that picks Marty up asks how he didn’t know Omar Navarro wouldn’t kill him. Marty realizes that Wendy lied to him about her initial conversation with Omar. Wendy is playing her husband — she’s playing him at his own game. The power struggle continues.

Episode 9 shows the meaning of desperation. It shows what happens when there is nothing to lose as the series sets the pace for the final story.

Additional points

  • Ruth takes baby Zeke to the sheriff and asks them not to let the Byrde family near the child. The sheriff wants to know where she went after seeing Wyatt and Darlene murdered. She treats her as a suspect, but Ruth refuses to cooperate.
  • Marty tells Wendy that he’s scared and admits he went to see Maya about the deal but was turned down. He apologizes for not telling her immediately.
  • It turns out Mel Sattem is working with Agent Maya too. He tells her that Wendy is lying about the day Ben died. Maya offers to help, but she wants information exchanged between them.
  • Episode 9 sees the funeral of Wyatt. Seeing Ruth turn up is heartbreaking in itself. Later on, Ruth listens to the others reminisce about Wyatt around a campfire. She appears empty and lost. There’s no fire to fight.

What did you think of Netflix’s Ozark season 4, episode 9? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.

Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Recaps
View all

3 thoughts on “Ozark season 4, episode 9 recap – “Pick a God and Pray”

  • May 10, 2022 at 3:02 am

    Annoying plot holes/lazy writing all over the place. But I’m still all in. Next up, episode 10.

  • June 18, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    I agree with Todd. Lazy writing, weird plots, bad acting (except for Julie Garner). But I have come this far, might as well go the distance.

  • October 6, 2022 at 5:01 pm

    Still loving Batemans incredible performance and Julia’s as well. The show will probably surprise us as often does but I don’t think they will kill off Marty – perhaps Wendy tho as she has become so abhorrent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *