Ozark Recap Season 3 Episode 9: Fire Pink

We had a feeling it was coming. And boy was it sad. Here’s our recap of Ozark season 3’s penultimate episode.

Click on the player above to listen to our full discussion on the podcast!

*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***

Dear, Sweet Ben

The episode opens with Ben in a cab talking to the driver. This was an absolutely beautiful scene. The cinematography was so impressive the way some of it was Ben talking, some was voiceover, and some was filmed through the car window. His acting was outstanding and it was a perfect demonstration of Ben’s descent into madness. 

He is mostly babbling about various things and it’s not clear if he’s talking about other people or himself some of the time. It’s a difficult scene to recap in writing and it’s a must-see.

Marty found out that Ben was released from the hospital and he goes to Ruth’s to see if Ben is there. He asks her if she’s considered how sick he is. Ruth says, “Did you ever consider you’re full of shit and you put him there because you got embarrassed at your dumbass dick-licking party?”

Ben pulls up in the cab at that moment and tells Marty that he spoke to Helen and her daughter. Ruth and Marty both know what that means, so Ruth grabs a bag and a gun and puts Ben in the car, saying “She’s [Helen] gonna fucking kill you!” 

Helen goes to see Wendy, pretending she hasn’t seen Ben but just heard he was released. At that moment, Marty calls and fills Wendy in, so she has to hide her reaction. She knows Helen is lying to her and what it means for Ben.

Erin asks Charlotte & Jonah if it’s true that they all work for the Cartel. They basically admit it right away, which is really stupid. We’re not fans of the teen’s story line this season.  

Erin comes storming in to the Byrdes’ house and calls Helen a liar. Wendy tries to soothe Erin, but it doesn’t work. She says she’s going back to Chicago. 

Helen says, “Today’s events point to some pretty unacceptable vulnerabilities.” 

Ruth And Wyatt Make Up

Ruth takes Ben to Wylene’s. He says he’s not going to leave and Ruth says, “You’re gonna leave the fucking country if I ASK YOU to leave the fucking country.” We love those classic Ruth lines!

Ruth and Wyatt talk. Ruth: “You know, everything he touches turns to dog shit. I’m starting to think we might be related.”
Wyatt: “I speak to my dead father and I’m in love with a woman who speaks to her dead husband and is old enough to be my grandmother, so what’s crazy, really.”

Ruth & Wyatt have a moment and Ruth realizes she’s in love with Ben. Yay!

After Ruth leaves, Ben tells Wyatt, “I like your lady, she’s cool.” HOW DID DARLENE BECOME THE NICE ONE THIS SEASON?? Last season we predicted Darlene would be a force to be reckoned with and we’re not seeing it this season. We still think she’s got a plan…

The Byrdes Need to Be More Valuable

Jonah says they should all just run and start a new life. There’s a look between Marty & Wendy. Um, yeah, that’s what Marty suggested LONG AGO. They know Helen will go to Navarro, so the Byrdes need to find a way to be more valuable than she is. 

Later, at the casino, Marty still needs to find a way to keep Maya there. He tells Sam Dermody that he needs to lose $300K today. Maya is watching him and he’s nervous. 

Ultimately, he succeeds because Maya tells Marty that casino receipts are up 19% – and that’s enough to get her warrant extended. She’s not happy about it, telling Marty, “We are not gonna be friends, know that.”

Meanwhile, Ben slips out of Wylene’s house and goes to the casino. BEN!!! He has no concept of the danger he’s in. But at least he sees Ruth and they have a chance to say “I love you” before Ben dies or leaves the country.

Marty shows up and tells them “Nelson is downstairs” (Nelson = Frank Jackson = Helen’s driver/hitman). Marty takes Ben away in the boat so Nelson can’t follow.

They stop in the woods somewhere and chat about the past. Ben is so naive and he still thinks he can make it right. Marty tells him Helen will have them all killed. Fadra thinks it’s a bonding moment between them, but Shannon sees it as Marty realizing that Ben never listens to his advice and he’ll always be trouble.

Wendy shows up to take Ben away. (Wouldn’t someone be following Wendy at all times?)

Ben and Wendy’s Road Trip

Wendy and Ben in Ozark.

Wendy isn’t sure where she is even taking Ben. They drive east. They stop for food. Ben asks how they got here. Wendy says, “You can’t fuck with the children of powerful people.”

Wendy: “Fighting for your life makes every other thing you did before seem extremely dull.”
Ben: “You must be tired.”
Wendy: “You’d think so…” 

Tom Pelphrey (Ben) is the BEST CRIER EVER with all the snot and his shaky voice. We are so impressed with him!

Wendy is sleeping in the car in the parking lot of the “Warner Mart” and Ben sneaks off. Uuuuggghhh Ben! Wendy wakes up with an officer rapping on her window. They got a report that Omar Navarro is trying to kill him. Wendy talks her way out of it by explaining that Ben was just released from a mental hospital.

She goes off on Ben: “You’re like a fucking toddler!” EXACTLY.

Back at the Byrdes’ house, Helen tells Marty, “There’s no room for mental illness” in their business. She says, “Ben doesn’t have to die because he told Erin. Ben has to die because Erin is not the last person he will tell.”

Ben & Wendy make another stop for food and gas on their road trip and Ben tries to call Helen. Wendy catches him and destroys the phone. Wendy calls Marty and she’s losing it. She can’t control Ben. Ben is seriously like a child.

They cry and she asks him where she can take him so he can “just be.” It’s heart-breaking to watch them. Ben says says maybe he can go to Knoxville. 

At another gas stop, they go into a convenience store and Ben buys a phone and sneaks it out into the car. Wendy realizes he’s not gonna give up. She looks out at him with tears in her eyes. She knows what has to happen. 

We see then next having dinner in a restaurant. They reminisce about their house on Fire Pink road and talk about their dog Lucky. Wendy asks Ben where he sees himself in five years. He talks about Ruth, dogs, goats, a house…

Listener Mark from Massachusetts sent in this comment: “I live in Massachusetts and LOVE the podcast and the FB Group. I noticed that the scene with Ben and Wendy in the diner was so evocative of the ending of “Of Mice and Men,” when George had Lenny look out to imagine the rabbits on the rabbit farm they’d always dreamed of having, before he shoots him in the back of the head. Such clever, resonant writing. And I predict Tom Pelphrey will be a name we hear a lot in the future. His scene in the back of the cab deserves an Emmy award in and of itself.” 

Great point about “Of Mice and Men.” And we couldn’t agree more about Tom Pelphrey!

At the end of this episode, Wendy leaves Ben at the restaurant. Nelson drives up shortly after.  

At first, I wondered how Nelson got there so fast? Shannon thought Marty was helping Helen track where Wendy was. But Fadra points out that that is against Marty’s character. She thinks Wendy made the call and set it up.

Wendy stops at the side of the road and calls Marty. She is COMPLETE WRECK.

Ooof, this was a rough episode! Can’t wait for the finale!

The symbols in the opener of this episode (and their meanings) are: Gas pump (Ben & Wendy stopping for gas); Flip phone (Ben making phone calls); Cadillac key fob (Nelson); Silhouette of man’s face with hair bun (Ben).

Dirty Dilemma: Wendy

Was there any other way Wendy could have dealt with Ben?

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