Ozark Recap Season 3 Episode 1: Wartime

Welcome back Ozark fans!!  Season 3 is finally here and Shannon and Fadra are here for you! We’re ready to bring you an episode by episode discussion of the Netflix original series Ozark – one our favorite shows and one of the most popular topics on our podcast.  

*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***

Season 3 episode 1 is titled “Wartime.” It opens with a violent scene from Mexico, setting the stage for the Cartel War that is happening.

Wendy Wants More

Wendy is working on the day-to-day marketing for the casino and she’s clearly bored with it. You can see the wheels turning in her mind as she reads the news of the Cartel war.

She suggests to Marty that they get Navarro to invest in a new casino and make legitimate money. Wendy has big ambitions and wants to be the “face of Missouri gaming.” She sees the Cartel war as an opportunity, saying they should “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Marty shoots her down. He doesn’t want to get any deeper in.

Wendy in Ozark.

So Wendy goes behind Marty’s back and pitches her idea to Helen, the Cartel’s lawyer. Helen sets up a meeting between Wendy and Navarro, and it goes well. There’s a brief moment when it seems like Wendy is considering the danger of this move, but her ambition supersedes her fear.

Ruth: As Badass as Ever

Ruth is running the Missouri Belle casino. We see her talking to a young man about setting up money drops. Then she meets with Marty and asks when they can “get back to work” laundering the money that’s just sitting in Buddy’s mausoleum.

Marty explains that they need time and surveillance to ensure none of the people they hired at the casino are working for the FBI. He wants to lay low for awhile.

Marty and Ruth in Ozark.

We discover that Ruth has been trying to send Wyatt money every two weeks, but he’s not accepting it. Then we see Ruth offering to cook steaks for dinner for Three… but he has a girlfriend and wants to go have dinner with her. Ruth seems lonely and sad. She’s clearly missing Wyatt.

Darlene: President of the Mom’s Club

No, not really. But it was an absolute laugh seeing Darlene and baby Zeke at a new mom’s meeting. She took offense to another mom’s poo-pooing of baby formula, so she slashed her tire. {shrug} Sounds about right for a Darlene reaction.

Later, when Darlene is at the sheriff’s office getting a talking to for her crime, she runs into Ruth. She’s got something up her sleeve when she bails Wyatt out of prison after he refuses to take Ruth’s money.

We are LOVING the girl power this season!

The Byrde Family’s New Normal

The Byrdes are having dinner and we discover that Charlotte has agreed to remain a part of the family under certain conditions – one of which is that Marty & Wendy go to therapy.

But the therapy is fake. Marty is paying off the therapist to take his side of things and maybe nudge Wendy in a certain direction.

Jonah is still a little entrepreneur. He’s made $6,000 mining gold and selling it in a video game. His parents try to convince him to do something “normal” and “fun” for the summer.

Charlotte buys Jonah a drone, because she, too, wants him to have fun but she knows he needs something challenging to do. Jonah pitches his idea to the family to use the drone to “map” the whole lake and track all the cars and license plates that come to the casino.

Helen Underwater

In our reintroduction to Helen, she’s getting waterboarded. What? It seems that the Cartel is concerned about her impending divorce and custody battle and what her husband might know. She insists her family knows nothing.

Later, she meets with Marty & Wendy and tells them they need to start laundering that money. Now.

We think there’s a lot more of Helen’s story to come this season!

What is Wyatt Doing?

We are reintroduced to Wyatt, smoking a bong in a fancy bathtub. And later we see him hanging out and cooking himself a meal in a mansion on a lake. We thought it might have been Wilkes’s lake house, but it turns out he was just squatting.

The owners come back and taze him, and he ends up in jail. Darlene bails him out.

The New Guy: Frank Cosgrove Jr.

Ruth is butting heads with a new guy that seems to be hanging around the casino a lot. It’s Frank Jr., the Kansas City mob boss’s son. So I think we are to understand that the money drops are Marty’s way of paying off the mob and keeping them happy.

But Frank Jr. thinks he’s ALL THAT. He wants a seat at the high stakes poker tournament that Ruth has organized. Ruth tells him, politely (ha!), to go f*** himself. But Marty says to let him play because he doesn’t want him angry and starting trouble.

He ends up starting trouble anyway. During the tournament, he gets angry and Ruth tells security to throw him out. After that, Frank and Ruth have words. He is pushing her buttons and saying everything to piss her off. She gives him a hard kick and throws him off the boat – literally.

FBI agent Trevor (Petty’s ex) shows up at the high-stakes game and meets with Marty. Marty has all the papers to prove he is running a legit business. Trevor says he enjoys knowing that Marty spends every day worrying about a slip-up or a wild card.

Will Frank Jr. be the wild card?

The episode ends with Wendy visiting the Byrdes’ old house in Chicago. She finds her old spare key hiding spot and goes into the house. She makes a bed… Then drinks a beer from the fridge… and puts food coloring in their milk and turns their family photo upside down on the wall.

We’re not sure what this is all about – especially the milk. And isn’t she concerned about fingerprints?? Update: We have the answer to what Wendy put in the milk and why!

In the intro for every Ozark episode, there are 4 symbols inside an “O” – and those four symbols are shaped like the letters Z, A, R, and K. This episode’s symbols are: cards, a slot machine, a milk carton, and a guitar.

We recognize the meaning of three of the symbols, but can’t figure out what the guitar refers to? Anyone have an idea?

The Dirty Dilemma: Wendy’s Expansion

Wendy wants to expand their business beyond the Missouri Belle casino and into more casinos and hotels. She wants the Cartel to invest in their expansion as a legitimate business – one that will make money legally for Navarro. Marty just wants to stay alive and not add any more stress to their lives. He rejects Wendy’s idea, but she goes behind his back and brings her idea to Helen, then ultimately, to Navarro himself.

Should Wendy have gone behind Marty’s back? What would you have done if you were Wendy? Or Marty? 

We’d love to hear your comments:

7 thoughts on “Ozark Recap Season 3 Episode 1: Wartime”

  1. The picture on the kid’s bedroom wall in Wendy’s old house was of a racoon holding a guitar.

  2. Why did Wendy break into their old Chicago house and do such a strange set of activities: make the bed, help herself to beer, put red food coloring in the milk and flip the family picture? Those are strangers, right? No family or business connection? What the?

    1. I didnt watch the whole season but she probably wants to buy her old house back. She is intidimating the family. She wants them not to feel safe so they will put the house on sale.

      1. I was wondering also. Your idea sounds good, but can’t imagine them ever living in America. Can’t believe last owners never changed the locks.

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