‘Ozark’ Season 1 Episode 2 Recap: “Blue Cat”

Ozark Season 1 Episode 2
Charlie Tahan, Julia Garner, Carson Holmes, Marc Menchaca, and Christopher James Baker in ‘Ozark’ season 1 episode 2 (Photo Credit: Jackson Davis/Netflix)

Netflix’s riveting drama Ozark season one episode two starts off with the Byrdes arriving in the Ozarks and temporarily moving into a cheap motel. Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney) leave and go their separate ways – Marty to start looking for a business he can weasel his way into, and Wendy to find them a place to live. Before leaving, Marty reminds the kids to stay put. “Everything we have of value is in that room,” warns Marty.

As Wendy’s shown one gross house after another, a local boy working at the motel by the name of Wyatt Langmore (Charlie Tahan) comes over to talk to Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) while she and Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) are sitting by the pool (a pool that’s not filled with water, by the way.) Wyatt invites Charlotte to go wakeboarding which she gladly accepts even though she and Jonah were told not to leave.

Marty shows up at a strip club and meets with the owner, Bobby Dean (Adam Boyer). Marty attempts to smooth talk him into letting him be a silent partner on the strip club, but Bobby Dean calls him on his BS. He’s fully aware Marty’s just trying to use his business for money laundering. Bobby tells him it’s a hard no. Marty seems shocked Bobby Dean brought up money laundering.

Marty leaves feeling defeated that the locals are turning him down. The edge of a cliff is looking good to Marty right now.

While Marty’s contemplating jumping, Wendy finds a house to live in that isn’t a run-down dump. However, it comes with some baggage by the name of Buddy Dieker (Harris Yulin). Buddy’s terminally ill with a heart condition and he offers his place to the Byrdes. His only condition is he gets to stay in the house until he dies. Which, according to what he tells Wendy, is maybe two years.

Jonah also leaves to explore the town, happy to find it has an arcade. He brings the things he thinks are important – laptops, jewelry, etc – but he has no clue the reason why his dad didn’t want them to leave is because there’s $8 million stuffed in suitcases under the bed.

While Charlotte’s out joyriding with Wyatt on a really nice boat, the police show up and begin to give chase. Charlotte realizes it’s not Wyatt’s boat and that he stole it. In order to save himself and his brother, Three Langmore (Carson Holmes), Wyatt puts a life vest on Charlotte and throws her into the water.

Charlotte’s little act of rebellion causes Marty and Wendy to pay a visit to the police station to pick her up. Sheriff John Nix (Robert C. Treveiler) is all too happy to try to stick them with a hefty fine because they’re new to town. Wendy’s not having any of that and threatens his reputation, reminding him he needs voters for an upcoming election.

As they wrap things up, Sheriff Nix tells the Byrdes they’re lucky Charlotte didn’t get mixed up with Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner). Marty asks to see what the infamous Ruth Langmore looks like. Not only does he show them Ruth Langmore’s mugshot, but he also proceeds to tell them about her long rap sheet of theft. Marty then realizes she’s the maid at the motel where they’re staying.

The Byrdes (minus Jonah) head straight back to the motel. When they walk in, Marty realizes the room’s been cleaned. Jonah tries to lie, claiming he did it. Marty immediately goes straight for the suitcases under the bed. He realizes they’ve been robbed and knows exactly who did it. He begins to question Charlotte about her new friend Wyatt who happens to be the cousin of Ruth. She tells her dad she knows where they might have gone but doesn’t exactly know how to get there.

Marty manages to track down Ruth and some of her family members, including Wyatt. Marty’s quick to start talking his way into convincing them that keeping that money is a bad idea. They can’t go out and start buying fancy things out of nowhere. The IRS will catch onto them. “All that’s there is a lifetime supply of groceries and gas. That’s all that is,” says Marty. He’s making the declaration while a gun’s pointed at him by Russ Langmore (Marc Menchaca), Ruth’s uncle.

Marty tells them about the cartel and where that money came from. They can go ahead and kill him, but the cartel will find out and kill their entire family. Marty’s clearly starting to get to them and Wyatt’s the first one to cave and say he’s out. Marty soon realizes Ruth is the one with the brains in the family. Soon after that, the Langmores decide they are out – except for Ruth. They end up getting $20,000 from Marty and he leaves with the rest of the money.

The FBI finds the bodies of Bruce, his fiancée, Hanson Sr, and Hanson Jr. when the truck carrying the barrels they’re in is involved in an accident and the acid spills everywhere. Lead FBI Agent Roy Petty (Jason Butler Harner) begins to wonder why Marty left Chicago so fast. Roy decides to transfer to Missouri to work on the case.

Back at the motel, Marty kisses Jonah goodbye as Jonah tries to tell him about a place called the Blue Cat Lodge that he thinks his dad would like. Marty’s only half-listening. He then tells Wendy to take his life insurance and live with the kids off the grid, seeming to allude to a decision he’s made to kill himself. Wendy realizes that’s what he’s getting at and tries to get him to rethink what he’s about to do.

It’s confirmed that’s his intent when he calls his private investigator, Bob, back in Chicago wanting to know if he had a friend who died and the cops were suspicious of it being a suicide, would the payout be a percentage or a full payout? After hanging up with the PI, Marty notices signs on the road. One points to the Blue Cat Lodge. Abandoning his plan to end his life, he goes back to the motel where he asks Jonah to tell him more about the Blue Cat Lodge.

Marty finds the owner of the Blue Cat Lodge, Rachel Garrison (Jordana Spiro), and tries to convince her to let him be a silent partner. She declines. She’s sure he’ll take advantage of her already dire situation. Marty backs down but decides to pick a fight with a local hillbilly at the bar who’s calling one of the employees horrible names, hoping Rachel will take the bait. It works, and she decides to take him up on his offer.

Wendy takes the kids to their new house and Charlotte spots Buddy and asks who he is. Wendy explains he’ll be living in the basement for a year or two. Charlotte asks her mom what they’re doing there. Wendy tells her the truth, “Your father is laundering money for the Mexican cartel.” That’s how season one episode two ends.

Thoughts on Episode 2:

Marty’s a smooth talker and quick with the lies, too. Although the series seems to be running at a slow pace, it does a good job of reeling viewers in. The introduction of the Langmore family was a nice touch, especially Ruth Langmore. She’s definitely the only brains in that family. Julia Garner’s performance as Ruth stole this episode.