Ozark “Outer Darkness”

I spend a lot of these write-ups talking about who, of the many characters running around this series, are either the most dangerous or the least trustworthy people in the Byrdes’ general orbit.

But this episode led to one of the few unquestionable allies to leave the series.

Yes, Buddy died.  Granted, Buddy was dying when we met him and his odd house-selling scenario where the Byrdes could buy his house at well below market value on the condition that he be allowed to live in the basement for however much time he had left.  On the surface, he was an innocent old man who didn’t need to get dragged into whatever Marty and Wendy were up to with the Cartel and whoever else was out there.

Sure, it made sense for Buddy to teach Jonah how to shoot, but why would he get involved further than that?

The thing is, Buddy had a history, and the best part is…we never really find out what it is.  We get some hints here and there, but that’s about it.  I’m actually very fine with that because why does everything need to be spelled out for the viewer?  After all, this was never Buddy’s story.  It’s Marty, Wendy, Charlotte, and Jonah’s story.  Buddy is just a side character, a colorful one played by a fun character actor, but still just a side character.

Why, then, did Buddy kill a Cartel guy when he threatened Wendy and the kids?

Why did he dispose of the body and think nothing of it?

Why does he have mob connections?

What exactly are those mob connections?

Why did he burn down the Snells’ poppy field?  It was his idea!

We’ll never really know.  Among his last words are a request that Wendy and the others get the hell out of the Ozarks once that casino is up and running, and he can die with the comfort knowing Wendy and Marty already have a plan for that.  It’s not a plan I suspect will work, but they have a plan.  Buddy can die at least knowing the Byrdes are not as trapped as they appear to be.

So, that’s that for Buddy, and while he couldn’t cover every contingency, having one local who could and would help the Byrdes, strangers, was a different thing for this show.  Who might help them out now?

Well, Rachel shows Marty how she’s got a wire on her to stop him from saying too much…

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