Through three seasons, Ozark has followed the Byrde family through some pretty harrowing stuff. Though some may not think the show is nearly Ozark-y enough, fans of the Netflix show have grown used to seeing some brutal moments on screen. That includes the untimely demise of some very important members of the family. Spoilers coming here, obviously, but the arrival of Wendy’s brother, Ben, set up one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the show’s latest season.
Ben’s struggles with mental health and inability to stay inconspicuous as the Byrde family’s tenuous place in the cartel shifted forced Wendy to make a harrowing decision, but Ben’s death was not actually shown on screen. Given all the other deaths we’ve seen happen with the cameras rolling, some fans had held out hope that Ben was still alive at the end of Season 3, which meant that actor Tom Pelphrey could return for the final season and deliver more moments like this.
And despite some fan theories that Ben survived his cartel encounter, Ozark showrunner Chris Mundy put an end to any speculation that he is alive during the show’s PaleyFest panel. According to TV Line, the breakout star of Season 3 was, indeed, killed.
“I love the fact that people love [Ben] enough to come up with that theory,” Mundy said according to TV Line. “I wish it were true. But it ain’t true.”
It’s not a surprising confirmation, but it does mean Pelphrey will only return to the show in flashbacks at most. His impact, however, will remain on the show in what is expected to be its final season. Mundy said the decision to let the cartel exact their pound of flesh on their own family will weigh heavily on them in Season 4, and impact who else may see their end before the show ends its run.
[via TV Line]