How Season 4 Dealt With Its Villain Obstacle In Part 2

How Season 4 Dealt With Its Villain Obstacle In Part 2

Warning! Spoilers for Ozark season 4.

Ozark season 4, part 2 has finally reached its ending – but not before promptly resolving its problems around Javi’s one-dimensional villain who became more involved from Ozark season 4, part 1 onward. Created in 2017, Ozark has been a major hit for Netflix, with an excellent cast and some of the best writing on television (as evidenced by the show’s three Emmys and 32 nominations). Consistent with these achievements, Ozark handled its villains well in the final 7 episodes of the show. After season 4, part 1’s villain obstacle prompted audiences to come up with theories for the ending of Ozark season 4, part 2, the writers were able to develop truly unpredictable and compelling fates for its villains.

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Ozark follows Marty Byrde, a Chicago businessman who works as a corporate financial advisor while also laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel. When his business partner is murdered after stealing from the cartel, Marty devises a plan to move his family to the Missouri Ozarks where they will integrate into the town and grow the cartel’s empire. Once there, the Byrdes bump heads with the largest of the local criminals, the heroin-dealing Jacob and Darlene Snell.

Related: Where Is Ozark Filmed? Filming Locations Explained

Ozark season 1 through Ozark season 4, part 1 plays out like a crazy game of bad-guy chess with Darlene killing Omar Navarro’s lieutenant, Del, along with her own husband, Jacob, positioning herself as the long-standing villain on the home front. Meanwhile, Omar Navarro’s grip over the Byrdes was continued by Helen Pierce, who was killed in the Ozark season 3 ending. From there, Omar Navarro took the lead himself as the biggest baddie, however Ozark season 4, part 1 saw the rise of his ambitious and power-hungry nephew, Javi Elizondo. Here’s why Javi created a major villain problem for Ozark season 4, part 2 – that the showrunners very swiftly resolved.

How Ozark Season 4 Set Up Javi As The Final Villain

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In Ozark season 4, part 1, the Byrdes inadvertently set up Javi’s rise by facilitating a deal between their greatest enemy and long-time boss, Omar Navarro, and the FBI. Omar then makes his nephew, Javi, cartel leader – only to bring the FBI down on the entire operation. The FBI, however, alter the deal, insisting that Omar remain head of the cartel for 5 years while acting as an FBI informant. After accepting the deal, Omar is arrested by a rogue Agent Miller, throwing everything into chaos. By the conclusion of Ozark season 4, part 1, Omar Navarro is in prison and Javi is head of the cartel and an FBI informant. Javi, in the meantime, has been busy murdering Darlene Snell (along with sweet Wyatt), leaving Javi as Ozark season 4’s main villain.

Why Javi Being Ozark’s Next Villain Was Problematic

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Before his death, Ozark’s Javi had been a one-dimensional villain compared to Darlene and Omar’s nuances. Omar Navarro has been the head of the Navarro cartel since the beginning of Ozark. Likewise, Darlene Snell has been a commanding side-story villain and a main component of the show since Ozark season 1. Both characters have been long-standing storylines since the show’s inception, and with good reason. Both Omar Navarro and Darlene Snell were fascinating characters to watch—acting within the confines of their own non-traditional, but firmly-defined moral codes while being unquestionable murderers.

When Wendy (Laura Linney) and Marty visit Omar in prison in Ozark season 4, part 1, episode 7, to present him with the FBI’s new deal following his arrest, Marty and Wendy threaten Omar’s children’s livelihood should Omar come after them following his release. Omar reveals that he knows Wendy and Marty sent their kids, Charlotte and Jonah, to their safe house to hide, fearing the cartel would kill them. Omar tells Wendy and Marty that he does not threaten children, insinuating that his moral code is greater than Wendy and Marty’s. This, in turn, creates a moral dilemma for the viewer, as Wendy and Marty are made the villains and Omar takes the higher road.

Related: Ozark: Why Navarro Is Wrong About The Byrdes’ Biggest Threat

Darlene Snell is quick to murder anyone who presents a problem for her or becomes a nuisance, regardless of the power they wield – hence her killing Omar’s lieutenant, Del, in season 1 as well as the head of the Kansas City mob, Frank Cosgrove, in Ozark season 4, part 1. She is unpredictable and kills with little conscience, yet Darlene (Jessica Jones’ Lisa Emery) does what the Byrdes refuse (or are too scared) to do, and takes revenge on Frank Jr after he attacks Ruth. Darlene also seems genuinely in love with Wyatt and, despite being a murderer and a heroin dealer, she is a good mother to Zeke, though it should be noted that she killed Zeke’s biological mother. These elements lend vulnerability and fragility to her character. Darlene forgives Ruth for going behind her back several times in the heroin operation and also forgives Jonah after he reveals secrets to his parents regarding Darlene’s business. Viewers may suspect that Darlene forgave Ruth (played by Waco actress Julia Garner) and Jonah because she recognized their worth to her, which may be correct, however, Darlene would likely have gained more from sparing Del and Frank too. Darlene will kill anyone regardless of the repercussions, but she too seems to operate by a personal moral code that keeps viewers interested.

Javi was nowhere near the villain that Omar Navarro and Darlene Snell were, however. Though Javi was certainly villainous in an erratic, just-kill-them kind of way, he operates without any moral code. He is a return to the less-interesting Ozark season 1 villain, Del, who was short-lived for good reason: there is nothing interesting about a killer who just kills.

Did Ozark Make Javi A Villain Worth Its Final Season?

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Ozark’s Javi Elizondo was a new addition to the cast of Ozark season 4, and the way he was promptly and unceremoniously executed by Ruth in Ozark season 4, episode 8 made Javi a truly worthy villain for Ozark’s final season – but only by removing him. Javi’s death was a direct result of his unpredictability and excessive violence in a business that surgically uses violence to maintain order and manage risks. Although Javi’s personality made him terrifying, it didn’t make him a good boss or even a good soldier for the Navarro cartel, which is why none of the cartel lieutenants questioned Omar when he took credit for Javi’s death. Javi was the wrench that the show violently threw into everyone else’s well-oiled plans. Although Ruth killing Javi derailed the Byrdes’ FBI deal, Ruth also did everyone involved a favor by taking out a truly unpredictable piece on the chess board. Unfortunately, Ruth also laid the foundation for her own death in the final episode of Ozark season 4, part 2 at the hands of Javi’s mother, Camila Elizondo, the new head of the Navarro cartel.

Javi’s unceremonious ending makes him a worthy Ozark villain for the final season. Javi was a highly effective wild card, pulling focus from the Byrdes, Omar, and the FBI, only to die quickly – but also causing the death of Ruth Langmore, one of the most beloved characters in all of Ozark. Javi’s story demonstrates what happens when a careless bloodthirsty soldier is promoted to general.

Next: Ozark: What Three’s Season 4 Return Means For Ruth’s Story In Part 2

Ozark is streaming now on Netflix.

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About The Author

Lindsay Kusiak
(137 Articles Published)

Lindsay began as a singer-songwriter in Los Angeles at the age of seventeen. She is the author of two novels. She lives in Los Angeles and is most often found running or hiking with her German Shepherd, working on her books, or eating Indian food.

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