December 1, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Ozark “The Big Sleep”

Season Two, Episode Eight

It occurred to me that, for the most part, Marty Byrde tends to tilt his head downward just a wee little bit.  I don’t know if I am making this up or if this is something Jason Bateman does quite a bit, but it did occur to me that with Marty, it does make it look like he never quite looks anyone levelly in the eye.

But let’s talk about guilt.

Guilt’s a funny thing.  In the previous episode, both Marty and Wendy had a hand in the death of Mason Young.  Granted, Mason was a wee bit out of his mind, and that situation wasn’t going to end well for anyone.  Up until this point, Marty and Wendy could have told themselves they were still good people because they don’t engage directly in violence and just do financial crimes for the Cartel.

Heck, Wendy told Marty in this episode he is a good man.

Marty is not a good man, but he’s surrounded by people who are arguably much, much worse,  He’s only a good man by comparison.

So, how do Wendy and Marty react to the fact they have killed a man?  Wendy dismisses the whole thing like it’s no big deal and moves on, urging Marty to do the same even as they claim Mason’s baby is more or less their own.  That baby is producing questions, particularly from Charlotte, but that’s for later.

Marty, on the other hand, takes it all pretty hard, withdrawing into himself in ways that could cause problems, but he decides to use his position to do good for people he knows, getting the local school to retain Wyatt Langmore and, more imporantly, helping Rachel.  Rachel had an overdose due to bad drugs supplied by the Snells and so forth.  Marty figures if he can get Rachel out from under Petty’s thumb and get her some help, he’s done right by someone whose life he arguably came very close to ruining.

I would argue Marty’s role in the ruination of Rachel’s life are indirect in certain respects.  And she isn’t dead, just in a bad spot.

Wendy, meanwhile, learns how Jonah is also laundering money in a fashion differently from his father.  With Wilkes showing cold feet, well, Wendy has to do something to keep him on the casino project.

Oddly enough, both Marty and Wendy end up solving their respective problems using…blackmail.  Marty gets footage of Petty supplying Rachel with drugs and helping her shoot up.  Wendy uses cartel money and Jonah to donate money to Wilkes’s charity, and she is more than happy to tell him the money is dirty later.  Wilkes stays on board against his will and Petty cuts Rachel loose.  Likewise, Marty sets up Rachel for rehab in Miami while giving her the Blue Cat back.  So, it looks like Marty is using his gifts for money and influence to help get people out while Wendy is using her own to drag people in.

Well.

That could be problematic.

Then at the end of the episode, Charlotte says she wants to be emancipated.

There are other ways out.

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