‘Ozark’ Season 3 Episode 9 Recap: “Fire Pink”

Ozark Season 3 episode 9
Julia Garner and Tom Pelphrey in ‘Ozark’ season 3 episode 9 (Photo by Steve Dietl © 2020 Netflix)

Episode nine of Netflix’s Ozark season three starts off right where episode eight ended. Ben (Tom Pelphrey) is in the backseat of a cab rambling on and on. He’s going back and forth between laughing one second and then crying the next. He ends his rambling monologue by asking the cab driver how his day is going.

Marty (Jason Bateman) pays Ruth (Julia Garner) a visit to find out if Ben’s there. She’s in too deep with Ben and yells at Marty for putting Ben in the hospital. She doesn’t seem to understand that he’s “sick” (as Marty labels it). Ruth’s not hearing any of that and accuses him of putting Ben in the hospital because he embarrassed him at his charity gala.

Ben shows up in the cab at Ruth’s place and also yells at Marty. He warns Marty he and Wendy can go f**k themselves – he’s done with them. He also lets it be known that he told “that lawyer lady to do the same,” stating this BS is over right now.

Ben reveals he told Helen’s daughter just exactly what her mother really does for a living. Marty and Ruth go into panic mode, realizing that what Ben just did is going to get him killed. Marty demands Ruth get Ben out of town immediately.

Wendy (Laura Linney) is on the phone with the hospital, angry they just let her brother free without speaking with her. She abruptly ends the call when she spots Helen (Janet McTeer) through her window.

Instead of telling Wendy what Ben has done, Helen goes with the “have you spoken to him” approach. Wendy hasn’t heard from him and is still wondering why a judge would rescind the order. Marty calls to inform Wendy her brother messed up and went to Helen’s, and Wendy lets him know Helen is there. He tells Wendy to try her best not to react. He continues by letting her know Ruth went to Darlene to get Ben out and Ben went straight to Helen’s. He also lets her know Ben told Erin everything.

After hanging up with Marty and while trying to hold it together, Wendy lies and claims Marty went to Ruth’s and no one was there.

Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) and Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) pull up on their boat and find a freaked-out Erin (Madison Thompson). She questions them about what their parents do for a living, what her mom does for their parents, and if their uncle just got released from a mental hospital. Charlotte turns the questioning around and asks what she’s talking about. Erin reveals their uncle just came to her house and told her that her mom works for a Mexican cartel.

Rather than lie, Jonah tells Erin their parents own and operate shell companies while Charlotte tries to get him to stop. Charlotte then lets Erin know her entire life is about to get blown out of the water, but she cannot tell anyone about it. If she needs someone to talk to about it, she can talk to them.

Next, Nelson (Nelson Bonilla) shows up at Ruth’s trailer looking for Ben. Meanwhile, Ruth and Ben seek refuge at Darlene’s. Ruth explains she has to go back to the casino to make sure everything seems normal. This situation is just temporary until they can get passports so they can leave the country.

Although it’s not his decision at this point, Ben says he doesn’t want to leave the country. Ruth yells at him that he’ll leave the country if she tells him to.

Darlene (Lisa Emery) takes Ben to get him settled in while Ruth thanks Wyatt (Charlie Tahan) for helping with this. During their conversation, he admits he’s in love with Darlene and points out to Ruth that she’s in love with Ben. She tries to deny it.

Wendy, Marty, and Helen are all at the Byrdes’ house, ostensibly waiting for word on Ben. Marty tries to tell Helen they can call her if Ben shows up but she claims she doesn’t mind waiting. After Wendy tries to offer Helen something to eat, Helen grows impatient and demands to know where Ben is. Wendy attempts to calm the situation, suggesting she’ll speak with Erin and convince her Ben was lying. Then, she’ll get her brother out of the country.

Just then the kids show up and Erin starts screaming at her mom that she’s a liar. Wendy attempts to talk to Erin and convince her Ben is insane and makes up stories all the time. She tries to reassure the teen her mother is not a lawyer for a drug lord. Jonah stops his mother from continuing. Erin tells her mom she can’t even look at her and she’s going home, packing her stuff, and leaving.

Marty does his best to play peacemaker, assuring Helen they’ll fix this. Helen says they’ve been doing too much of trying to fix things lately and it’s her turn to fix things. With that, she leaves.

Marty asks the kids to give him and Wendy a moment alone but they refuse and take their seats. Jonah wants to know where Ben is and Marty reveals he’s with Ruth. Jonah tries to talk his mom and dad into leaving and starting over with Ruth and Ben. Wendy says they can’t do that and begins listing things they need to do, such as get money out of the mausoleum and get Ben a passport so he can leave the country. Jonah asks why he has to leave and Wendy, straight to the point, replies, “Because he f**ked up.”

Ben and Wyatt are sitting down eating when Ben confesses he messed up. Wyatt lets him in on the fact that Ruth is in love with him. Ben admits he loves her as well. He’s asking a 19-year-old for advice, wondering if he should go tell Ruth how stupid he is. Wyatt says he shouldn’t. Ben then suggests he can call Helen and fix things. Wyatt reminds him Ruth brought him here so he would not leave.

Nelson shows up at the casino and waits in the parking lot.

Marty talks to Sam about pushing money one last time and Sam seems scared. Marty won’t take no for an answer and walks away.

Sam is back inside the casino when he spots Agent Maya Miller (Jessica Frances Dukes). He gets spooked and walks away.

Ben, of course, does not listen to Wyatt and shows up at the casino. Nelson follows him in.

Sam barges into Marty’s office, warning he cannot do this anymore and knows Miller is on to him. As he’s panicking, Marty spots Ben on the security cameras. Marty then spots Nelson and runs out.

Ruth is talking to Ben when Marty rushes up and says Nelson is downstairs. He needs Ben to follow him. After Ben and Ruth confess their love for each other, Ben follows Marty out.

Marty calls Wendy to instruct her to rent a car and meet them somewhere as he and Ben get on a boat and take off.

As Marty and Ben wait for Wendy to show up, Ben starts talking about all the stuff Marty has had to deal with over the years because of him. He asks Marty if he’s sure that he can’t fix this. Marty confirms he can’t, insisting they will kill Ben and their entire family. Just then Wendy shows up to pick up Ben.

Ozark Season 3 Episode 9
Tom Pelphrey and Laura Linney in ‘Ozark’ season 3 episode 9 (Photo by Steve Dietl © 2020 Netflix)

A short while later, Ben and Wendy sit in a parking lot eating and talking. Ben begins to cry and tells Wendy how sorry he is. He wonders how they got here and suggests Helen’s daughter would have figured it out on her own eventually. Wendy informs him that wouldn’t have happened because Helen’s smart.

Back at the Byrde home, the kids question Marty during dinner about what’s going on with their mom and Ben.

Ruth is followed home by Nelson and she assures him Ben isn’t there. When Nelson doesn’t speak, she says, “I wanted to ask you a question about my dad. Did he suffer at the end when you shot him?” Nelson still sits there, wordlessly.

Back in the parking lot, Wendy’s asleep in the minivan she rented when Ben takes that opportunity to sneak out and leave. The next morning Wendy is awakened by a police officer knocking on her window. The policewoman informs her she’s there because of Ben. Ben reported he’s in danger of being killed by Omar Navarro. Wendy explains her brother is not well and was just released from a mental hospital. The cop believes her and warns them to be careful.

After the officer leaves, Wendy yells at Ben who only seems to be making the situation worse.

Marty uses his laptop to show Helen that Wendy is on her way to Kansas City to meet with donors. Helen doesn’t buy it because she believes their charity is dead in the water due to Marty’s brother-in-law.

Sam attempts to talk to Ruth about Agent Miller, but he should know better. He’s not going to get any sympathy from Ruth and she yells at him to just do what Marty asked.

Helen is still at Marty’s house but now she’s arguing on the phone with her ex. Because of what Ben told Erin, her ex will get both the kids now. Helen angrily informs Marty, “Just to be clear, Ben doesn’t have to die because he told Erin. Ben has to die because Erin won’t be the last person he tells.”

Ben doesn’t understand the severity or dangerousness of his situation at all, no matter how many times he’s told what can happen. While Wendy is gone, he calls Helen and attempts to say he’s sorry. She’s asking for his location when Wendy yanks the phone away and ends the call. Wendy demands to know who he was talking to and when he confesses it was Helen, Wendy loses it. She’s enraged and asks if he’s trying to get her family killed. Wendy once again explains this is not a game and orders him to get in the car.

Wendy then calls Marty. She’s crying as she admits she can’t fix this. Ben is never going to listen and she doesn’t know what she’s going to do. After she ends the call, she turns to look at Ben who’s crying and slapping himself in the face. Wendy embraces her brother and asks, multiple times, where she can take him. Through tears he says Knoxville. He knows some people there. Plus, they have good hospitals.

Agent Miller goes through the casino’s earnings and realizes they’re up 19%. She calls Marty right away, seeming to know exactly what he’s doing by increasing the profits. She reveals it’s interesting they are up that much because that’s enough to get her warrant extended. She calls Marty a game player and while this will keep her there, they are not going to be friends.

Wendy and Ben stop at a gas station and Ben goes in before his sister. He purchases something before Wendy does and leaves to go wait in the car. Wendy asks the cashier if he just bought a phone and the cashier confirms he did. Wendy gets back in the car and doesn’t say anything to him about the phone.

Later, they relax as they eat dinner at a restaurant. They talk about their childhood and Wendy asks what he wants in five years. He says Ruth, a house, and a job. He asks her the same question in return. She says the same as him. Wendy gets up and tells him she’ll be right back, but then leaves the restaurant.

She looks at her brother one last time through the window before getting into her car and leaving. As she’s driving, she calls Marty, crying. She tells him she didn’t know what to do. Just then we see Nelson pull into the parking lot of the restaurant. Ben comes out and sees him while Wendy, who’s still on the phone but now down the road and out of sight, pulls over and asks Marty what she should do. She asks if she should go back and stop him. Marty replies by begging her to come home.

The episode ends with Wendy on the side of the road sobbing uncontrollably.