Power Rankings: Ozark - Best Characters
Money launderers, drug lords, mobsters, crazy rednecks, corrupt federal agents. Ozark has a wide range of characters, if you limit that range to just the dark ethical spectrum. Going to those dark places gives us some unique stories and characters to choose from, so here are our top ten best characters from Ozark.
Character: Roy Petty
Bio: Roy Petty was an FBI agent assigned to track the Navarro Drug Cartel. He followed the money trail and Marty Byrde to Lake Ozark, using local informants to build a case. Roy was killed by Cade Langmore.
Why We Love Them: He might have been a sociopath, but Roy was an entertaining sociopath. Roy had a wild ride as he was using Russ as an informant while also developing a relationship with him. Not to mention the explosive dynamic he had with his partner and ex, Trevor. Roy gave us some of the most intense and entertaining moments on the show. His unconventional methods of doing his job were able to get him some results, but also led to his death.
Character: Wyatt Langmore
Bio: Wyatt Langmore is the son of Russ Langmore and brother of Three Langmore. Wyatt is much smarter than everyone else in his family and was accepted to the University of Missouri, but did not go. He became obsessed with the mystery surrounding his father's death. Wyatt then became romantically involved with Darlene Snell. Ruth Langmore is his cousin.
Why We Love Them: Wyatt might be a poor man's Will Hunting with his natural intelligence and apparent lack of ambition. But like that famous Matt Damon character, Wyatt found a woman who challenges him and makes him better. In Wyatt's case, that woman is much, much older than him and owns a poppy farm, but it seems to make him happy, so we're happy for him.
Character: Jonah Byrde
Bio: Jonah is the son of Marty and Wendy Byrde and brother of Charlotte. His hobbies include tracking the cryptocurrency market, drones, and hunting (thanks for his friend, Buddy).
Why We Love Them: For the most part, Jonah has handled his family abruptly moving because they are in danger of being killed by the cartel really well, especially for such a young kid. Not only is he cool with his dad laundering money for the cartel, Jonah is constantly trying to find ways to get a piece of the action, whether it is with his knowledge of Bitcoin or the use of his high-tech drones for surveillance. On his current trajectory, Jonah could easily grow up to be a serial killer, but for now, his antics can still be classified as cute.
Character: Sue Shelby
Bio: Sue Shelby is the sweetest therapist in the world. That's not an opinion. That's a fact. She is also the most savage therapist in the world. Sue started working with Marty and Wendy as part of an agreement they had with their daughter, Charlotte, so she would not emancipate. Sue is a master negotiator and has a taste for exotic cars.
Why We Love Them: Sue shocked the world when she became one of the realest gangstas on Ozark. She beautifully played both sides of Marty and Wendy's therapy sessions, making them both believe Sue was doing each of their bidding. Sue walked away from each session with her usual pay, plus lined her pockets with bribes from all parties. That's cold-blooded, but Lamborghinis don't pay for themselves.
If you thought Sue looked familiar, you might have seen her in this classic Esurance commercial!
Character: Wendy Byrde
Bio: Wendy is the wife of Marty Byrde and mother of Charlotte and Jonah. Her brother is Ben Davis. She is a crafty politician and uses her connections to help the family money laundering business. Wendy pushed to get her and Marty a gambling license so they could purchase and run a casino.
Why We Love Them: When Ozark started, we thought we had another unlikable female lead, similar to Skylar White from Breaking Bad. However, Wendy quickly shook off those comparisons and instead proved to be a necessary partner for Marty in the business. In fact, as the show goes on, Wendy becomes too good at what she does for Marty's liking. The monster she is becoming is terrifying Marty.
Character: Darlene Snell
Bio: Darlene runs a heroine farm, formerly with her husband, Jacob Snell, until she decided to kill him after he stopped supporting her actions. Some of those extreme actions include killing drug dealer Camino Del Rio, lacing drugs sold by the Navarro Cartel which resulted in 57 deaths, stealing a baby, and shooting Frank Cosgrove Jr. in the nether region. But she's a really sweet lady once you get to know her.
Why We Love Them: Don't get us wrong, this woman terrifies us and we hate her a lot of the time, but dammit do we respect her. For all her recklessness, you can see good intentions shine through some of that violence. Darlene is a proud woman, protects her own at all costs, and would never forget where she comes from. Not everyone would shoot a drug lord in the head for being called a redneck. Let's just say you won't catch us sitting next to Darlene at a Jeff Foxworthy show.
Character: Ben Davis
Bio: Ben is the brother of Wendy Byrde. He struggled with bipolar disorder, which resulted in him acting out on a number of occasions, even leading him to be fired from his substitute teaching job. He then went to live with Wendy and Marty, where he met and fell in love with Ruth Langmore. Ben was killed after his impulsive actions caused too many problems for the Navarro Cartel, specifically Helen Pierce.
Why We Love Them: We knew we liked Ben ever since he called a classroom of students emotional terrorists and threw their phones in a woodchipper. That first scene told us everything we needed to know about the character. Ben is a really sweet guy and his heart is in the right place, but he has trouble reining in his emotions, which constantly gets him into trouble. Tom Pelphrey's acting in this role was outstanding and made us feel for Ben even more. From now on, we'll always think of Ben anytime we receive a compliment on a tie.
Character: Three Langmore...just kidding. But this is the perfect spot to give an honorable mention to one of the best white trash names of all time.
Now for the real #3 pick...
Character: Buddy Dyker
Bio: Buddy owned the house that the Byrde family moved into when they needed a place in the Ozarks. He was a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War, earning a Purple Heart. Buddy was a retired mobster when he met the Byrdes, but used his connections to set up a business meeting between Marty and Frank Cosgrove. Buddy had terminal heart failure, which eventually killed him.
Why We Love Them: We've always said that you have to have a random, old stranger living in your basement. Buddy is the ideal housemate. He'll teach your son how to shoot a gun, get you connected with the mob, and will set a field of drugs on fire for you. Jonah was closest with Buddy and gave a great eulogy at his funeral, but Buddy provided sage advice to the entire Byrde family and he is sorely missed.
Character: Marty Byrde
Bio: Marty is a money launderer for the Navarro Drug Cartel. He is the husband of Wendy Byrde and father of Charlotte and Jonah. Marty decided to move his family from Chicago to the Ozarks in Missouri after his partner was killed for stealing from the Cartel.
Why We Love Them: Most "money guys" in crime movies and shows are portrayed as wimps who crack under the slightest bit of pressure. That is not the case for Marty Byrde. Marty has the brains and the balls to quickly come up with a plan and to stand up to crime lords, drug bosses, and murderers to give them what they want while keeping himself and his family safe. It's amazing how many facets of the drug business and criminal world Marty understands for being a financial guru.
Character: Ruth Langmore
Bio: Ruth Langmore lives with her family in a set of trailers in the Ozarks. Her father was Cade Langmore, her uncle was Russ Langmore, and her cousins are Wyatt and Three. When she first came across Marty, she was going to help her family steal his cartel money. Marty eventually convinced her to work for him and she became an invaluable asset.
Why We Love Them: Every other fuckin' word outta this redneck's mouth is fuck. And we fuckin' love her for it. Marty taught Ruth a few things about business, but Ruth took the job he gave her and fuckin' ran with it. She quickly made herself irreplaceable in the operation while refusing to take shit from fuckin' anyone.