‘Ozark’ Season 3 Episode 1 Recap: “War Time”

Ozark Season 3 Episode 1
Laura Linney and Jason Bateman in ‘Ozark’ season 3 episode 1 (Photo Credit: Steve Deitl/Netflix)

Netflix’s Ozark season three episode one kicks off in Coahuila, Mexico, where a man is walking through a mall with boxes. Seems like a typical delivery guy with a clipboard and all. He takes his delivery to a children’s shop and after sticking a knife through the man in the store’s hand, he demands keys from him. After receiving said keys he slits the man’s throat.

The delivery man then finds two men counting money and stuffing it into shoeboxes. He makes them put zip ties around their wrists and takes out a bomb. After setting the timer, he leaves – blowing up the men and the money.

Not done there, while everyone outside is now trying to collect all the money flying around, he sets off another bomb in the crowd of people.

Wendy (Laura Linney) is watching the soon-to-be-released commercial for their new casino and judging by the look on her face it’s cheesy. Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) is also there and it seems she went from wanting to be emancipated to now working in Marty and Wendy’s office as a secretary. As Charlotte is going on about Wendy’s schedule, Wendy isn’t paying attention. Instead, she’s on her laptop looking at the latest news on the cartel wars.

Ruth (Julia Garner) and Frank Cosgrove Jr. (Joseph Sikora) go back and forth making snarky comments. (Frank’s now working for his dad with the Byrdes.) Ruth and Frank Jr. are talking about a drop location, but Ruth wants him to switch the place because they’ve already used that location. Frank Jr. won’t budge on it and leaves.

Marty (Jason Bateman) comes in and asks Ruth for a water at the bar as he tells her to calm down and not to worry about Frank Jr.

Marty changes the subject and asks about the high rollers and the tables. Ruth starts to complain about all that money just sitting there with Buddy not doing anything. Marty informs her he’s not going to start laundering money again until he feels completely safe. Marty starts babbling about numbers and people and the look on Ruth’s face the whole time is priceless. Before she walks away, she says, “Jesus, f*ck you love this sh*t.”

Wendy attends a meeting with Charlotte and a gentleman she’s trying to convince to book the casino to host his convention. Wendy’s half paying attention and, again, is looking at news online about the deaths in the Navarro cartel. Finally directing her attention back to the prospective customer, she asks what it’s going to take to get him to have his convention at their casino. His slightly odd request is the band REO Speedwagon.

Ruth’s waiting for Frank Cosgrave’s guy to show up at the drop-off spot. While waiting, she checks to see if Wyatt is claiming the money she’s been sending him. And to no surprise, he’s not claiming it. Frank’s guy shows up two hours late and she is pissed. After throwing the money in duffle bags on the ground he drives off.

Charlotte makes dinner for the family and Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) tells his mom about mining gold and selling it through a third party. (I guess he is his father’s son!) Wendy would rather have him get a summer job.

Wendy informs Marty she has a business idea she wants to run past him.

Later, Marty’s outside working on things when Wendy joins him. She brings up how she’s been thinking about their future and safety. She admits she’s been following the drug wars going on in Mexico and notes Navarro has lost 61 men in the last five weeks. Marty wants to know what that has to do with them and she explains that she thinks they should pitch the idea to Helen to expand – but legitimately. They take the legitimate money they will earn from that and put it in a trust for Navarro’s kids.

After she’s finished explaining her idea, Marty looks at her dumbfounded and says, “I think that’s batsh*t crazy.” Not only does she tell him it’s not crazy but that it was Helen’s idea. Not stopping there, she reveals there’s a failing casino they can take over. Like so often happens with the Brydes, Marty and Wendy are not on the same page. Wendy begins to pout after he tells her no and says all he’s trying to do is keep his family safe.

Wendy seems to think if they did this, they would be in with Navarro. She also seems to think they could be the face of Missouri gaming and casinos and run the state. Marty wonders if she even hears herself.

Meanwhile, the cartel is waterboarding Helen (Janet McTeer) while questioning her about her divorce. They want to know if her ex-husband knows anything about their business. She insists he doesn’t.

Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery) attends a mother and baby class, but she just wouldn’t be Darlene if someone in the class didn’t piss her off. Still proving she’s psychotic, after class is over and while carrying baby Zeke in a front pack, she slashes the woman’s tires who made her angry.

Wyatt Langmore (Charlie Tahan), who’s now staying at a big fancy house, runs into Ruth at the grocery store. She questions how he’s paying for the food since he’s not taking her money. He ignores her while she shouts in the grocery store.

Wendy and Marty are in a marriage therapist’s house, per Charlotte’s request, and we can safely assume that’s one of her stipulations for staying at home. It’s funny watching them attempt to navigate through their issues with the therapist when they cannot go into detail about their lives.

After the session, Wendy swears the therapist always sides with Marty. After Wendy drives away, Marty goes back in and pays the therapist. So, she is always siding with Marty because he pays her!

Charlotte goes down to the basement to check on Jonah to see if he’s okay. She gives him a gift; it’s a drone.

Helen demands Marty start to launder money again, but he insists it’s still unsafe. A federal agent (Roy Petty) is dead and the Feds think it was them, therefore they should be cautious. She reminds him it was Cade Langmore’s DNA all over Petty’s car. Marty believes the FBI thinks he and the cartel hired Cade to kill Petty. Helen warns him this isn’t up for discussion – he will launder the money.

While Wendy walks Helen out she takes the opportunity to bring up what’s going on with the cartels in Mexico. Not listening to Marty’s words – or taking into consideration his feelings, for that matter – she asks Helen if Navarro would be open to a solution to alleviate some of the stress.

Ozark Season 3 Episode 1
Julia Garner in ‘Ozark’ season 3 episode 1 (Photo Courtesy of Netflix)

Ruth is at the casino doing her managerial duties when Frank Jr. bombards her, demanding to be let in on the high stakes game. Ruth tells him no and to get lost. Frank warns her she needs to learn who she’s talking to. Ruth, not caring that his daddy is the Kansas City mob boss, tells Frank Jr., “Let me say this as respectfully as I possibly can. Would you please kindly f*ck yourself and leave me alone?”

Ruth starts to walk away when Marty asks what all that was about. She lets him know Frank Jr. wants in on the high stakes poker game. Stammering a bit, Marty tells her to let him play. Ruth asks if he’s crazy and Marty informs her they have bigger problems. He lets her in on the fact that their partners want him to start laundering money starting tomorrow.

Marty begins to walk Ruth through the plan of how he’s going to start to bring the money in himself.

Wyatt’s cooking in the big fancy house when the owners come home. Turns out he was squatting there, which is not in the least bit surprising. He tries to leave but the owner tazes him.

Darlene is down at the police station talking to Sheriff Nix (Robert C. Treveiler) insisting she has never slashed a tire in her life. He tells her the woman saw her do it. Just then Ruth walks in asking if he called her about Wyatt. Darlene says, “You’re that Langmore who works for Marty Byrde.” Ruth ignores her, wanting to know about Wyatt. Nix confesses he made a mistake calling her; Wyatt doesn’t want anything to do with her.

After Ruth leaves pissed off, Darlene seems to be interested in what Wyatt did.

Jonah is flying his drone outside when Marty returns home. He tells his dad he wants to help with security and can map out the lake and take pictures with the drone. He can even take pictures of people’s license plates. Marty suggests they go inside and have a family discussion about it just as Wendy’s phone rings. She tells Marty she has to take the call first. It’s Helen informing her their client is interested in her proposal. He wants to meet her tomorrow in Chicago.

Wendy seems reluctant at first but realizes she can’t say no.

The next morning while Marty’s getting ready to leave, he explains his plan of how he’s going to bring the laundered money in. She waits for him to leave before calling and leaving him a voicemail stating she’s going to Chicago with Helen. She explains Helen’s client is interested in their business proposal. (Really, it was Wendy’s proposal.) While we hear her voicemail, we see Marty getting the money out of the mausoleum and bringing it into the casino.

Back in his office, he’s watching the security footage when he notices a voicemail from Wendy.

Darlene is at the farmers’ market with baby Zeke when Wyatt comes by asking if she knows who he is. He wants to know why she paid his bail money, explaining he doesn’t want to be in debt to anyone. She lets him know she can take him back to jail or he can come work on her farm.

Ruth goes over the rules of the high stakes poker game and there’s a large crowd gathered to watch.

Wendy boards a private plane and, to her surprise, Navarro is already there waiting. He informs Wendy and Helen they have two minutes. Helen gets to talking right away, but Navarro wants to hear from Wendy. She bluntly tells him he might very well be dead in six months and asks if he wants to make sure his children are taken care of. He doesn’t respond and Helen and Wendy leave.

Marty meets with Agent Trevor Evans (McKinley Belcher III) and shows him the paperwork that verifies everything is legit. After looking at the paperwork, Evans asks Marty if he knew he and Agent Petty dated. Marty indicates he didn’t. Evans goes on to tell him they were apart before Cade was hired to kill him. (Marty’s suspicions were right; the FBI thinks Cade was hired to kill Petty). Evans again tries to get Marty to make a deal. Marty assures him he has nothing to make a deal about. Evans ends the conversation by telling Marty he prays every day for that one slip up.

During the poker game, Frank Jr. is drunk and becomes hostile to another poker player. Ruth warns him, but he continues. Ruth has him kicked out.

Ruth is on the deck of the casino boat when Frank Jr. follows her. Marty was watching on the surveillance but is interrupted by Wendy calling him. He asks how it went with Navarro; she ignores him and says she’s in front of their old house. He asks again what happened with Navarro. She confirms he’s interested but that doesn’t mean they have to do it. However, Marty knows darn well they do. Glancing back at the surveillance, he says he has to go and hangs up.

Wendy sees the family living in their old home leave and takes that moment to go inside.

Frank Jr. confronts Ruth, angry that she embarrassed him. She once again tells him to leave. After he threatens to kill her, Ruth kicks him in the testicles and throws him over the deck into the water. Marty sees the whole thing and knows this is going to be bad.

Back to Wendy creeping around their old house… She makes one of the kids’ beds and sits on it. She then begins to walk around the house messing with things for old times sake, just like she did when she was a teenager and broke into houses.