‘Ozark’ Season 1 Episode 4 Recap: “Tonight We Improvise”

Ozark Season 1 Episode 4
Sophia Hublitz, Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, and Skylar Gaertner in ‘Ozark’ season 1 episode 4 (Photo by Jackson Davis/Netflix)

Money Laundering 101. Netflix’s Ozark season one episode four starts with Marty (Jason Bateman) narrating a tale of how to launder money. He then meets with a stripper who’s feeding him intel on the stripper club owner. She hands over a paystub he requested and tells him about the safe in Bobby Dean’s office.

Wendy (Laura Linney) tries to convince Marty to put all their assets in her name. He’s quick to reply, “That’s never going to happen.” He also assures her he’s never going to get arrested.

Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) has a chat with the old man who lives with them about dying.

Elsewhere, Wendy’s now working for the real estate agent who hooked them up with their house. While out posting open house signs, she has an idea.

While Marty’s on a phone call he spots his daughter in a bikini and asks her to put on more clothes. The Blue Cat owner, Rachel (Jordana Spiro), hears him speaking Spanish as he’s hanging out in the restaurant, understands what he’s asking, and begins to question him. He’s able to talk his way out of it.

Rachel then questions Ruth (Julia Garner), a known thief, when she spots her texting instead of working. She points out last week a couple came in and as they were dining, their home was being robbed.

Del (Esai Morales) calls Marty asking how his money’s coming along. He’s barely seen a million and wants to know where the rest is. If he fails, he’ll kill Marty’s family.

Marty asks Ruth to rob the strip club for him, offering her a 10% cut if she pulls it off. Ruth has to shoot her shot and says she wants 80%. They end up negotiating to 25%.

FBI Agent Roy Petty (Jason Butler Harner) investigates Ruth and her family and finds their long rap sheets. He takes a closer look at Russ Langmore, figuring that’s his way in.

Ruth shows up at the strip club and acts like she’s trying to get a job as a stripper. She ends up leaving when Bobby Dean (Adam Boyer) wants more from her than just an audition.

Jonah wanders off by himself, finds a dead wolf, and drags it back home. Marty catches him taking the guts out of the wolf. Clearly concerned, Marty tells Wendy about it but she just makes excuses for their son. (They don’t realize Charlotte catches them talking.) Wendy brings up her brother and wonders if it could be genetic, but doesn’t go into detail about what she meant by that.

Agent Petty strikes up a conversation with Russ. He offers to pay Russ $100 to show him where a good place is to go fly-fishing.

Marty and Wendy sit Jonah down for a talk. They need to know if he killed the animals they’ve been finding dead on their lawn. He admits he’s bringing the dead animals home so he can study vultures, but he insists he’s not killing them.

Wendy attempts to talk Marty into buying a house that’s half-built. He informs her he doesn’t have time to talk and leaves.

Ruth asks Marty for $2,000 but won’t tell him why. It turns out she needs it to pay five guys to help her with the strip club. She puts her plan into action and cops show up at the strip club because of reports shots were fired. The cops spot the young men in the club and question how old they are. (These are the guys Ruth paid to go inside the club.) While everyone’s distracted, Ruth gets busy. She can’t get the safe open, so Marty drags it out with his minivan. There’s no money inside and Ruth wants to know what Marty tricked her into.

The real goal’s revealed when Marty finds papers inside that will help him.

Russ and Petty go fly-fishing together and Russ opens up about his dad a little. Roy opens up about being gay.

Charlotte tells her parents she heard them talking and confronts them about being liars who think Jonah might shoot up a school. Jonah asks who said it. No one answers as Charlotte storms off.

Marty pays a visit to Bobby Dean in jail to buy his strip club, offering to bail him out and purchase the club for $200,000. Marty informs him he knows he’s also in the money laundering business. If that rattled Bobby in the slightest, he doesn’t show it. He refuses Marty’s offer. Marty asks him if he noticed his accounts were offline when he tried to post bail himself. He seems to have Bobby Dean’s attention now.

Marty asks why Bobby Dean went to Panama for a vacation, fully aware of the answer – Bobby was there laundering money. Marty goes on to tell him he knows he’s moving money around to countries without anyone knowing it. And, actually, his name isn’t on the company so how could Bobby Dean even own it?

Marty reveals he has the deed in his possession and proves that it’s not in Bobby Dean’s name. Now, he offers to buy the club for $175,000.

The next scene shows Marty introducing himself to the strippers as the new owner.



Agent Petty wants to hang out with Russ again, but after finding out Roy is gay, Russ blows him off. Petty then turns his attention to Ruth and introduces himself.

Marty’s a busy boy. First, he gives Ruth her $7,000 for helping him with the safe. He then informs Rachel he owns another business so he probably won’t be around as much. After that, he looks through Wendy’s phone and sees an unknown number she recently called. He dials it and it goes straight to Gary’s voicemail.

Wendy’s also been busy. She bought the house anyway that Marty told her not to. She asks what he did for their family today and he simply replies, “Bought a strip club.”

Gary’s son calls Wendy and asks about his father’s death. She hangs up on him.

Bobby Dean shows up to talk about Marty to a man named Jacob (Peter Mullan). He asks Bobby how much he knows about Marty and Jacob tells Bobby Dean a weird story about a hillbilly. Jacob’s wife, Darlene (Lisa Emery), brings more lemonade out and while bringing it to them she drops it. As Bobby Dean bends over to help her pick it up, Darlene injects something into his neck. He dies.

Marty’s son sees him counting money and asks Marty to teach him about it. The episode fades out with Marty explaining to Jonah how to launder money.