Ozark: Why did Wendy kill Ben?

Ozark’s Ben Davis dies in the season three finale, when his sister Wendy okayed his execution, after discovering that he had become a liability to her family.

Overview

Ozark is one of Netflix’s most popular shows. Premiering in 2017, the thriller-crime drama series is set to conclude with the upcoming part two of season four. There is currently no set date for the release of the second part of season four as of yet.

However, the first half of season four focussed on the aftermath of the passing of Wendy Byrde’s brother, Ben Davis. Ben’s death took place offscreen, in the season three finale, which was indirectly caused by Wendy as she gave the go-ahead to have him executed.

What is Ozark about?

Premiering on Netflix in 2017, Ozark is premised on, “A financial advisor drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder money to appease a drug boss”, according to IMDb. Thereafter, the thrilling crime drama was an immediate hit with Netflix viewers.

Created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams, Ozark is led by two acclaimed Hollywood actors. Jason Bateman and Laura Linney play husband and wife, Martin “Marty” Byrde and Wendy Byrde respectively.

Additional main supporting lead actors include Sofia Hublitz, Skylar Gaertner, Julia Garner and Lisa Emery. Ozark is set to conclude in 2022, with a 14-part season four series finale.

Ozark: Why did Wendy kill Ben?

The first half of season four of Ozark focussed on the aftermath following the death of Wendy’s brother, Ben Davis, played by Tom Pelphrey. Ben’s character was introduced during season three of the series.

Following his introduction, he quickly became a fan-favourite character as his addition to the story led to him saving his family and the cartel they work for, after he and his nephew, Jonah, gathered evidence to bring down the Lagunas cartel.

However, his decision to stop taking his bipolar medication following his failed attempt to court Ruth Langmore, led him on a downward spiral, as he risked blowing the cover of his family by exposing Helen Pierce to her daughter, Erin. Ben wanted to tell Erin that her mother is a lawyer for the Navarro cartel.

So, when his sister, Wendy found out, she gave the go-ahead to have the Navarro enforcer, Nelson, execute Ben. His execution took place offscreen, in what is assumed to be in the season three finale.

Laura Linney shares Wendy’s motivation for Ben’s execution

Following the airing of part one of season four, Deadline hosted a virtual panel discussion on the season so far, and one of the questions posed to Laura Linney was, what was the motivation behind her character Wendy’s decision to execute her brother. In response, Linney stated:

“You have to ask? It’s definitely just for survival. If there was any way she could have saved her brother, she would have. She’s not very smart about a lot of things, but I think she does understand mental illness and I think she knows that there’s no saving that situation. I think she believes that he was on a downward spiral and he was going to take everybody down with him.”

Why did Ben leave Ozark?

Tom Pelphrey brought the character of Ben Davis to life on Ozark for a single season, season three. Ben died offscreen, and it seems that Pelphrey was only meant to be part of the series for that one season, as he affirmed that he enjoyed his tenure on the production and reminisced about shooting his final scene with Laura Linney, by saying:

“So, filming those scenes where it was just me and Laura sitting in the car at two in the morning, and you kind of have to pinch yourself, sitting in that van with some of the most beautiful writing, and getting to play a scene with Laura.”

When is Ozark set to return?

In January 2022, Ozark shared the first seven episodes of the season four series finale. The decision to have a two-part, season four series finale with seven episodes each, was a decision taken by the production team in order to provide a well-rounded ending without having to create a season five.

To date, Netflix has not shared when the second part of season four is set to premier. However, it is expected for release during the second half of the year. This gives new and old fans enough time to binge watch the existing seasons and the first half of the series finale.

Conclusion

Ozark shared the first seven episodes of season four. Season four is set to be the series finale of the popular Netflix original series, which for this season focussed on the aftermath following the execution of fan-favourite, season three-character, Ben Davis.

Ben’s death is believed to have been caused by his sister, Wendy. This is after she gave the green light to have her brother killed after he stopped taking his bipolar medication and risked exposing their family’s involvement with the Navarro cartel.