March 2, 2024

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Ozark “Pound Of Flesh And Still Kickin'”

Season Four, Episode Eleven

OK, I think I have met the final Big Bad of the series, and she may be the scariest of the bunch.

Allow me to explain:  Camila Elizondro, sister to Omar Navarro and mother to the late Javi, manages to combine some of the worst traits of an antagonist for a series like this.  She’s calculating like Marty, but unlike other morally questionable women on this show, she isn’t prone to egging on her adversaries.  Wendy, Ruth, Darlene, they all like to rub it in when they get one over on someone opposing them.  Camila just…does it.  When things go wrong for the Byrdes even after Marty had that one guy executed, there’s only one possible suspect, the only one who knows as much as Marty does, and that’s Camila.

See, Marty figures all that out, and Wendy agrees, but Camila…she never lets on.  She just keeps asking to see her brother in the prison hospital, acting like the supportive sister, and the Byrdes can’t even even agree whether or not to tell Omar that his sister is the one who tried to have him killed.

It’s a bit refreshing that the show can pop out a character like Camila.  It’s not a secret that she’s up to no good necessarily.  The audience knows because Wendy and Marty know, and after all the loud shouters or various baddies threatening them in more subtle ways, whether its Omar, Darlene, Jacob, Javi, Ruth, or even Wendy, this may be a bit too much for Marty considering how this episode ends with his getting into a road rage altercation.  Sure, Charlotte and Jonah are both glad to see him (nice to see Jonah likes at least one of his parents), but Wendy has been running roughshod over whatever it is Marty has been working to do since at least the end of season two.  Marty is a bad person even if his conscience seems to act up once in a while, but here he agonizes over killing an innocent man…

Wait, Marty, that guy was a cartel lieutenant.  He may not have been guilty of the thing you had him killed for, but calling him “innocent” is probably a bit of a stretch.

Regardless, Marty has a thing about wanting to be in control and safe at all times.  Wendy takes risks, and she does so without him, something without even consulting him or just making decisions and expecting him to go along with it.  He usually does.  But this time around, well, it isn’t working.  Maybe it’s just due to a couple seasons’ worth of stress.  Maybe it’s due to Wendy’s ignoring Marty’s concerns about Camila and basically setting her up as the new cartel liaison.  Maybe it’s just the fact that when Ruth, with the returning Rachel Garrison, offers to buy the Byrdes out of the casino at a time when the Byrde Foundation really needs cash that Marty would just assume take Ruth’s offer while Wendy would rather work with Camila to essentially blackmail the pharmaceutical CEO for the money.

You know, given what I said above about the people who keep poking metaphorical bears, maybe Marty would be better off working with Camila.

Point is, Camila is an interesting wrinkle in that I know she’s doing bad things, but she sure doesn’t act like it, even when Wendy is standing next to her and makes some oblique threats.