Ozark: Ruth Will Kill Darlene In Season 4: Theory Explained

Warning: the following contains SPOILERS for Ozark.

Ozark season 3 ended with Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) and Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery) on good terms, but one theory suggests that Ruth will take Darlene’s life in Ozark season 4. In the age of unexpected twists, Ozark season 3 still managed to surprise its most astute viewers in 2020’s season 3 finale – not just by putting the Byrdes deeper into the pockets of Mexican drug kingpin Omar Navarro (Felix Solis), but also by placing the Langmores in the hands of the violent and unpredictable Darlene Snell. And Ozark season 4’s new twists could include Darlene’s execution at the hands of Ruth.

The finale of Ozark season 3 sees Darlene consolidating power in the Ozarks by adopting the Langmores and striking a tense alliance with Kansas City mob boss Frank Cosgrove (John Bedford Lloyd). Meanwhile, Wyatt Langmore (Charlie Tahan), who has become Darlene’s new lover, tells Ruth that Darlene wants Wyatt to meet Darlene’s mother, who hasn’t yet appeared on Ozark. By leveraging the Langmores and Cosgrove’s respective gripes with the Byrdes, Darlene seems to be on the way to revitalizing her family’s heroin empire, at least for now.

Related: Ozark: How Ben Saved The Byrdes (Despite Being A Liability)

Ozark season 4 will determine the outcome of Darlene’s machinations. While Darlene seems to be on top of things for now, one clue suggests that her death will be meted out by Ruth, her most recent recruit into the Snell empire, and it will likely also involve Darlene Snell’s mother. This theory stems from a clue dropped by Ozark cinematographer Eric Koretz on Instagram, in which Koretz posted a behind-the-scenes snap of the clapperboard for the final episode. Apart from production information, the clapperboard also shows a new set of Ozark’s cryptic introductory symbols, which spell out the show’s name. In this case, the ‘Z’ is a pair of swimming fish, the ‘A’ seems to be a house, the ‘R’ is a handgun, and the ‘K’ is a person falling upside-down. On Reddit, fans have theorized that the falling figure represents Darlene, while the house represents a barn or house on the Snell property, from which Ruth pushes off Darlene to her death. Considering how Ruth is bound to find out about Darlene’s true nature soon enough, it’s certainly possible, especially with Darlene’s mother, the family matriarch, coming into the picture.

Moreover, Ruth was uncharacteristically vulnerable from mourning the death of Ben Davis (Tom Pelphrey) when she was recruited by Darlene. It also helped that Darlene avenged Ruth by shooting off Frank Cosgrove Jr.’s (Joseph Sikora) penis, and that Wyatt trusts Darlene. But as Ruth starts to get over Ben’s death and work closely with the Snells, Ruth is bound to realize that Darlene is a psychopath who’s an even better killer than Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) combined. This could also be hastened by the introduction of Darlene’s mother, who might be even more cunning and unpredictably violent than Darlene. Once Ruth finds out what it really means to be a part of the Snell family, she could take it upon herself to eliminate the Snells, similar to how she killed her uncles Russ (Marc Menchaca) and Boyd Langmore (Christopher James Baker) for being more trouble than they’re worth.

Darlene is playing a dangerous game by manipulating Ruth and Wyatt Langmore. The 4th and final season of Ozark will further explore the consequences and fruits of Darlene’s plans. Ozark season 4: Part 1 will come out on Netflix on January 21, 2022.

More: Ozark Season 3: Ruth And Ben's Love Story Saved The Show

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