Why [SPOILER] Met A Disappointing (But Necessary) Death

Ozark’s known for delivering satisfying deaths. However, one character’s disappointing demise was necessary for the show’s overarching narrative.

Warning: the following contains SPOILERS for Ozarks.

Ozarks season 4, part 2 ends with the satisfying deaths of Omar Navarro (Felix Solis), Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner), and Mel Sattem (Adam Rothenberg), all of which only further puts into focus the disappointing fate of one villain that only made it to the end of Ozarks season 4, part 1 – Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery). In OzarksDarlene’s death turned out to be unceremonious and highly disappointing, especially compared to how these other characters in the show were executed.

Indeed, Ozarks is notorious for killing off key characters in brutal, unexpected, and sometimes grandiose ways. However, in order for Ozarks to consistently push its narrative in the right direction, some Ozarks characters needed to meet disappointing deaths, and Darlene Snell is just one of them. Disappointing deaths stand out in Ozarks because, prior to Darlene, the series has given viewers some of the most satisfying and compelling deaths in television history. This can be observed in the execution of Navarro cartel lawyer Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer), whose blood and ichor were used by Omar to baptize Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney) into the cartel’s inner circle. Another character with a similarly gratifying death is Buddy Dieker (Harris Yulin), who sacrificed himself in order to burn the Snell’s opium fields and hide evidence from the authorities.

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many others Ozarks characters have met brutally rewarding deaths, including Cade Langmore (Trevor Long), Russ Langmore (Marc Menchaca), FBI agent Roy Petty (Jason Butler Harner), Mason Young (Michael Mosley), Del (Esai Morales), and Ben Davis (Tom Pelphrey). But Darlene’s demise serves a special narrative purpose and subverts expectations in a clever way.

Related: Ozark: Why Darlene Never Killed Ruth

Darlene’s Underwhelming Death Was A Necessary Warning To Other Characters


Ozarks‘s many brutal executions are why the death of Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery) proved to be highly disappointing for many viewers, but that was the point. Darlene was set up to be the big bad villain in Ozarks season 3. After killing her own husband Jacob (Peter Mullan), Darlene began preparations to revamp her heroin empire, recruiting Ruth (Julia Garner), gaining Wyatt’s (Charlie Tahan) love, and even striking an uneasy alliance with Kansas City Mafia boss Frank Cosgrove Sr. (John Bedford Lloyd). However, in Ozarks season 4 part 1, Darlene failed to deliver on all these promises, as the brutality and unpredictability that has made the character so compelling also rendered her practically useless. That being said, this is exactly the point of Darlene’s character arc for her. Darlene’s rise and fall de ella reveal how hubris can only get a person so far in the cutthroat heroin business. Further driving this point across is the way Ozarks season 4 villain Javi (Alfonso Herrera) unceremoniously executes Darlene inside her own home, the way she has done to so many others.


the way ozarks Darlene died shows that someone like Javi, who is even more erratic than Darlene, can just decide to get rid of her at any time. Back in season 1 of OzarksDarlene shoots Del because of pride and impatience, and Javi kills Darlene in Ozarks season 4, part 1 for the same reasons. Moreover, although nearly every main character in Ozarks is full of pride, it is those who have no restraint about it that meet untimely deaths, such as Mason, Cade, Frank Sr., Helen, Petty, Ben, and Wyatt. These deaths served as ultimately unheeded warnings to characters like Omar, Ruth, Mel, and Javi himself, who, similarly to Darlene, ended up unceremoniously executed by Ruth.


How Darlene’s Death Set Up Ozark’s Ending


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Ozarks‘s final episode includes Ruth Langmore’s death, which further puts into focus how the ending of Ozarks season 4, part 2 was a direct result of Darlene’s execution. Throughout OzarksDarlene’s death – along with Wyatt getting caught in the crossfire – serves as a bridge in the string of revenge that begins with Del and ends with Ruth, one of Ozarks‘s most beloved characters. In the end, Darlene met an underwhelming death in order to give more weight to Ruth’s death at the hands of Javi’s mother Camila Elizondro (Veronica Falcón), around which Ozarks serves its final lesson: there’s no such thing as a happy ending in the Lake of the Ozarks.


More: Ozark Season 4: Why Agent Maya Was Wrong

Ozarks is streaming now on Netflix.

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