Ozark “Reparations”

So, there’s this scene in Breaking Bad where Walter White, asked to say something at his school’s assembly to help the students process a massive, mid-air plane crash that Walt is somewhat responsible for, goes on about how it probably wasn’t the worst plane crash ever in the grand scheme of things.  It’s the words and actions of a man who doesn’t want to blame himself for what is at least partially his fault, namely something that led to a lot of dead people.

I saw a moment in this episode of Ozark that reminded me of that, and Ozark doesn’t have anywhere near the body count for that…yet.

Essentially, I saw how it is Marty and Wendy live with the things they have seen and experienced since the moment Marty agreed to launder money for the Cartel.  At the start of season two, things are a bit worse.  Rachel ran off with a ton of money she found.  Jonah and Charlotte, though told to tell the truth, opt to hide the fact they stashed some money for themselves in case they need to make a run for it without their parents.  Wendy and Marty end the episode by not sharing something that happened.  Buddy seems to be helping, but he also looks pretty judgmental, so I’m not sure how much of an ally I’d call the dying old man anyway.  Oh, and the Snells killed Del and some other guys, with their only cover-up thought being to send their loyal man Ash off to use Del’s phone and credit cards in Chicago to make it look like the guy’s still alive.

Why, then, does the Cartel’s new rep, a lawyer named Helen Pierce, seem skeptical?

The long and the short of it is the Snells and Marty aren’t clever enough to keep something like this hidden from the Cartel forever.  Yes, the Cartel would like to build that riverboat casino, and the Snells can use it, with Marty laundering money for both at his standard 3% cut, but that doesn’t mean the Cartel won’t be fine with Darlene blowing Del’s head off, even if Darlene is.

So, yes, the truth comes out, and reparations need to be paid by the Snells because, well, the Snells don’t have the men or the firepower to keep the Cartel at bay forever.  Darlene won’t pay an extra dime, so you know she’s gonna be more trouble in the future.  Jacob, though, he gets it.  So, he kills Ash himself as a peace offering.  Darlene is devastated, but the Cartel is satisfied.

What does all this have to do with Marty and Wendy, both of them working on the same page after all this?  Well, we get to see how they, like Walter White, live with themselves.  Wendy’s take is more nuanced.  She thinks they had something to do with all that death, but she likewise is happy she and her family are safe (for now).  Marty?  He doesn’t blame himself in the slightest, simply saying that other people made those decisions and he didn’t force anybody.

You know, Marty, if you hadn’t agreed to launder all this money in the first place…

Regardless, that’s cold.

Oh, and in other cold news, while Marty and Wendy may not be Parents of the Year, Ruth’s father Cade just got out of jail, and it sure looks like he wants Ruth to do…something about Marty.  Eventually.  Ruth is working her way deeper into Marty’s organization, and Cade may be a bit more patient than he’s let on so far, but he is at least smarter than his two dead brothers, so that’s something even if it means Ruth seems to be living in a bit of fear of her father.  Contrast that with Jonah and Charlotte.  They live in fear because of their parents, not of them.

Big difference.

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