‘Ozark’ Season 2 Episode 9 Recap: “The Badger”

Ozark Season 2 Episode 9
Laura Linney and Darren Goldstein in ‘Ozark’ season 2 episode 9 (Photo by Jessica Miglio/Netflix)

Netflix’s Ozark season two episode nine starts off in the past where we get the opportunity to see how Jacob and Darlene Snell met. A young Jacob in a military uniform is at a diner having a boring conversation with a young lady when spitfire Darlene slides into the booth. Darlene gets straight to the point, asking if he wants to stay there and continue his boring conversation or if in about 10 minutes he can follow her out back. Right away she captures his attention.

After a little stroll down memory lane the scene moves to Jacob (Peter Mullan) bleeding from a gunshot wound. Darlene (Lisa Emery) screams at the driver to drive. Surprisingly, no one else is shot.

The Byrdes are sitting down to breakfast when Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) notices the tension. Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) lets her brother know she wants to be emancipated. Wendy (Laura Linney) loses her cool and begins to question Charlotte about what she’s going to do when she hires a lawyer and has to file court paperwork and they start asking questions as to why she wants to become emancipated. How would she answer that’s not going to get them all arrest or killed? Charlotte doesn’t respond.

Jacob wakes up and asks Darlene what happened. She says, “You were shot by those Mexicans.” Jacob, aware of how reckless Darlene can be, demands she not make any rash decisions.

Ruth (Julia Garner) is at the strip club giving Sam (Kevin L. Johnson) a hard time for not actually working but instead watching one of the strippers dance when suddenly two armed robbers bust through the door. A familiar voice begins demanding to know who’s in charge. Ruth knows exactly who it is and yells, “You don’t want to be doing this.”

One of the men takes her to the back and demands she open the safe. Removing his mask, we see Cade (Trevor Long) – but we already knew it was him. Ruth’s angry he dragged Wyatt into this.

Later, Ruth talks to Sheriff Nix (Robert C. Treveiler) and he’s hinting at it being her father. Ruth gets defensive and clearly lies, saying she doesn’t know who did this. Marty (Jason Bateman) is there and after Sheriff Nix leaves, Ruth begins to swear to him she didn’t know her dad was going to do this. Marty asks if that was Wyatt with him and she insists her dad brought him into this. She promises she’ll get his money back…every penny…and begs him not to say anything.

As Marty’s phone begins to ring, he tells Ruth to stick to her story.

Marty’s urgent phone call leads him to the Snells’ property where there are men standing in the way of the access gate, armed and not letting people in. Darlene shows up to inform Marty that Jacob is laid up by one of his boss’ bullets. Marty’s shocked and Darlene says the deal is off.

A short while later, Marty yells at Helen back at the office. Clearly not caring about his choice of words, “I mean, your client’s little ego trip just completely f*cked us. It f*cked the casino and he pissed away $50 million.” Helen demands he find a way to cut the Snells out of this deal. Marty tells her to figure it out herself and storms out. Wendy assures Helen she’ll talk to him.

Ruth goes off on Wyatt (Charlie Tahan) and demands the money back. He’s not willing to give it back because Marty killed his dad. Ruth tells him he didn’t kill his dad and to give her the money back.

Marty and Wendy come home to find a woman sitting at the table with Charlotte. She introduces herself as Charlotte’s attorney in her emancipation case. While explaining that she’s drawn up papers, she asks the Byrdes to sign them. Wendy questions why they would ever do that and the attorney lets them know Charlotte has painted a picture of a deeply unstable home – one of marital infidelity and much more.

Wendy turns her glare to Charlotte and Charlotte’s unable to look her in the eyes. The attorney continues, assuring them she can’t tell anyone what she and Charlotte discussed and those papers will never see the light of day only if they sign them. Wendy begins to berate Charlotte, telling her, “Bravo, Charlotte. No, bravo. You were trying to get our attention. Well, congratulations because you got it.”

After Charlotte storms off, the attorney hands them the papers and informs them they have two days to sign.

Ozark Season 2 Episode 9
Trevor Long and Julia Garner in ‘Ozark’ season 2 episode 9 (Photo by Jessica Miglio/Netflix)

Cade comes home to discover Ruth going through his trailer looking for the money. She asks her dad where it is, and he lets her know he’s not going to tell her. After he turns his back, Ruth pulls a gun and demands the money back. He warns that if he goes down, he’ll take Wyatt with him. After firing a warning shot, Ruth says Wyatt has a future and he’s not going to be like the rest of them. Cade rips the gun out of her hand, gets in his truck, and drives away.

Marty attempts to talk to Charlotte, admitting he knows they messed up but they are the only family she has. She says she’ll have her own family one day. He asks Charlotte if she trusts him – just him. He acknowledges parents are flawed but Charlotte’s heard enough and gets up to leave.

Wendy wonders how they’re going to fix this but doesn’t wait for an answer. She begins to go off about the whole situation with Charlotte, certain she knows way too much and that there is no way they can allow her to be emancipated. Their daughter can’t be trusted out there on her own.

After she realizes Marty hasn’t chimed in, she calls his name. Marty doesn’t think this is something they can fix. “This isn’t some political scandal that you can just paper over with a press conference and a halfhearted apology. This is our family falling apart, Wendy,” he says. She asks what they should do and he suggests they can leave early. But Wendy knows he’s aware they can’t leave before the casino opens. Wendy thinks she could go see the lawyer and try to get her to drop Charlotte as a client. Marty tells her no, she’ll only make things worse.

Agent Petty’s showing his boss pictures from Buddy’s funeral of Marty and Kansas City mob boss Frank Cosgrove shaking hands. He now believes somehow Frank is connected to the Navarro cartel. He tries to convince her that if the gaming commission votes no, Marty is dead to the cartel. If they vote yes, he’ll have to hire workers to start the build and the FBI can place undercover workers in there. After laying out the options he asks to put in a request for a transfer back to Chicago. He’s had some personal stuff up come up.

Petty returns home to see his mother and she cries tears of joy in seeing him. He says he’ll be moving back to Chicago and suggests she move back in with him. He explains he needs to go back out of town to get his belongings and makes his mom promise she won’t go anywhere until he’s back.

Marty meets with the in-house counsel from Jackson Power District and asks if his family was flooded out as well. He confirms they were. Marty thinks he must be upset by that and the man’s confused. He asks, “Why would I be?” The man assumes Marty is there to talk about the power for the soon-to-be casino, but Marty begins asking questions about the dam.

Wendy pays a visit to Charles Wilkes and learns somehow he got Beecher’s report to disappear. Wendy wonders how he managed to do that and he reveals Beecher’s being investigated for bribery. If he had to guess, her hunch was right; the FBI was setting them up. He says the commission will have questions for her and Marty. Wendy asks when this will take place and learns it’s scheduled for 5pm. If all goes well, the chairman of the gaming commission will ask for something from her. When Wendy asks what that something is, he responds, “I have no idea but it won’t be small. And whatever it is, you need to grant it. You don’t have a choice.”

Marty and Helen meet Jacob at a diner and Jacob cuts straight to the chase. He warns the all mighty himself can’t get them to lift their blockade. Marty asks about the federal government and then informs Jacob he spent the morning with the power company. He was interested in how the power company got Jacob’s ancestors to move so fast in 1929. Marty explains he’s learned it was due to riparian rights.

Jacob is clearly confused. Marty explains riparian rights are laws that say who owns the land under a body of water. Marty says, “Crazy, right? Whoever stops to consider the land under the lake or, in this case, the Missouri River.” He drops the bombshell that the minute Jacob flooded his land into the Missouri River, Jacob ceded all the flooded land to the US government.

Helen finally speaks up, letting Jacob know that’s how she obtained an order that the Snells must allow access to that part of the river. If they defy the order, the US Marshals will escort them. Helen warns Jacob if he tries to fight this, he’ll receive a lot more than a bullet in the arm.

Jacob has figured it out and says, “Which is why you asked to meet me alone. You were afraid Darlene wouldn’t be quite so receptive.” He wants their word that if they stand down, they’ll never come after him or Darlene again. Helen agrees.

While Marty’s gathering his papers, he attempts to talk to Jacob about Darlene. He wants Jacob to tell Darlene this casino will make them richer than they could ever imagine. They can buy twice the land that they have now.

Marty warns if Darlene is not in line, they’ll kill him. Jacob responds with a disturbing question. “What do you do, Martin, when the bride who took your breath away becomes the wife who makes you hold your breath in terror?” With that, Marty gets up and leaves.

Ruth holds a big envelope and begins to tear up as she lets Wyatt know it’s from Mizzou. He asks Ruth to open it for him, confessing he can’t. She begins reading and reveals he was accepted into the University of Missouri. After getting over the shock, he says he can wait a year. Ruth immediately tells him no. He’s adamant – he needs to know what happened to his dad.

Jacob comes home to an angry Darlene demanding to know what deals he made behind her back. She blames everything on Jacob for ever shaking hands with “those Mexicans.” She insists even if they stand down, they’ll still end up getting killed. He assures her that’s not what is going to happen. Once again, she throws him killing Ash in his face. Jacob reminds her it was her temper that got Ash killed. Not finished, Jacob threatens her. “I swear Darlene if you ever think to undermine me again…” Before he can finish, Darlene asks what will happen if she does. He warns her, “Don’t push me, Darlene. It will not end well for you.” With that, Darlene storms off.

Wendy doesn’t listen to Marty – no surprise there – and goes to see Charlotte’s attorney. Wendy tries the soft, manipulating approach, which the attorney does not fall for. She knows Charlotte is not a spoiled teenager who’s come to her because mommy and daddy took her car keys. Charlotte’s terrified of the person she will become if she stays in that house.

Wendy can’t help herself and threatens the attorney. “You know, the kind of people who do the troubling things you think we’re doing are the kind of people who would do anything to protect their children,” she says. The attorney lets her know judges do not take too kindly to people threatening attorneys.

Sheriff Nix goes to see Cade about how since he got out of jail, boats have gone missing, parts have gone missing, and a strip club was robbed. He warns Cade he has his eyes on him.

Marty and Wendy meet with the gaming commission and they’ve brought Jacob and Darlene along so the commission can meet the local Marty is in business with. While Jacob’s busy talking with them, Darlene has a few choices words with Helen.

Jonah tells Charlotte he thinks what she’s doing is wrong. Charlotte throws it in his face that he almost killed a guy because their mom told him to – and he’s not even freaked out about it. Realizing what she just said, she tries to apologize but Jonah doesn’t want to hear it and leaves.

Marty asks Wendy how they’re looking and she informs him there is one definite no, two that are leaning their way, and two that are still on the fence. Helen asks to speak with Jacob alone. She asks if Darlene is staying in line. He tells her to worry about her own business. Darlene sees them talking and it’s not surprising she does not look happy.

A member of the gaming commission by the name of Hodges gets to the point, letting Marty and Wendy know he believes he could sway the others to vote yes if they did something. He asks what Frank Cosgrove has to do with the casino. Marty assures him he’s just using his construction business and he has nothing to do with the actual casino. Commissioner Hodges reminds Marty it doesn’t look good for organized crime to be involved. He goes on to say the casino cannot be a union shop. Marty assures him it won’t be and he has his word.

After the commissioner walks away, Wendy looks at Marty and asks, “Did we just betray the Kansas City mafia?”

Marty and Wendy come home to Charlotte smoking a joint. When they question what she’s doing, she asks if they want a hit. Marty yells at her to put it out and Wendy wants to know where Jonah is. Charlotte smart mouths them and says he’s probably laundering money.

After they start to argue, Charlotte asks her dad if he knows that Wendy threatened her lawyer today. Wendy tries to say she didn’t and Marty asks, “You went to see her lawyer?” Not seeming to care what he asked, Wendy and Charlotte begin to argue again. Marty tries to get both to calm down. After Charlotte tells them they’re not her parents and she does not care if they die, Wendy loses it and throws all of Charlotte’s belongings out the door and tells her to leave.

After Charlotte takes off, Marty questions why she went to the lawyer after he told her not to. She says it’s because he didn’t do anything. He’s angry that she keeps undermining him and Wendy’s equally upset, asking why he’s taking Charlotte’s side. Marty yells, “Because she’s right! We are not fit to be parents. It’s not even a family. It’s a goddamn group of criminals.”

Cade’s drinking when he confronts Ruth about Sheriff Nix coming to see him. When she tries to blow him off, he shoves her and asks why she didn’t tell them a couple of Mexicans robbed the strip club. He threatens that maybe he’ll go to Petty and rat them all out. Wendy interrupts their conversation asking if they’ve seen Charlotte. Ruth confirms Charlotte left with Wyatt.

Marty’s making plans for a one-way flight to Arkansas when Wendy calls to let him know she found Charlotte.

Darlene asks Jacob what he and Helen were whispering about and he insists just small talk. Jacob suggests they go on a walk to look at the land before it’s dug up. Darlene hands him a coffee mug and off they go.

Petty gathers his stuff from the motel and when he leaves Cade’s sitting in his truck watching him. He follows Petty to the creek where he’s getting ready to fly fish. Cade approaches him and reveals he wants to talk to him about Marty Byrde.

As Jacob and Darlene are walking, Darlene dumps out her cup. It seems Jacob’s suddenly not feeling well.

Marty visits Ruth and tells her he wants her to take over the whole operation. He’s taking his family and leaving.

Back at the Snell farm, Jacob has a knife but before he can use it on Darlene he collapses to the ground. Darlene lets him know she put cyanide in his coffee. He dies quickly after learning he’s been poisoned.