Netflix’s Ozark Season 4 had some major character deaths that left things uncertain for Mason and Grace’s baby, Zeke. How do things end for the baby?
Warning! The following contains SPOILERS for Ozark.
After the explosive series finale, many were left wondering what happens to Zeke in Ozark. Baby Zeke was a tense character to say the least – a helpless infant caught in the middle of a drug war with an extremely troubled father. While the Byrde family started raising their children in a life of crime at a young age, Zeke’s very birth into this world was marked by drug-related violence.
Immediately after giving birth to Zeke, Grace was killed by Darlene Snell when her husband Pastor Mason Young refused to move heroin for the Snells, suddenly turning Mason into a single father. In Ozark season 2, Mason gets killed by the Byrdes, and Marty and Wandy become Zeke’s ward. Zeke later becomes a bargaining chip when the Byrdes agree to pass custody to Darlene in exchange for her help in building their casino.
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Related: Ozark: Why Darlene Never Killed Ruth
Ozark season 4 sees Zeke, Darlene, and Wyatt becoming a family, but Darlene’s unpredictable and violent nature soon leads to both her and Wyatt getting unceremoniously executed by Javi Elizondro, the new cartel boss. This leaves Zeke in Ruth’s care, and after Ruth kills Javi, Ruth surrenders Baby Zeke to the state. Following the violent ending of Ozark, Zeke’s fate is unclear, and what happens to Zeke in Ozark is left to the imagination of audiences.
Who Gets Zeke In Ozark?
Hopefully, he’s in the hands of a loving family, as Zeke essentially ends up in the state’s foster care system, and though this isn’t ideal, what happens to Zeke in Ozark is still a safer fate compared to everyone else who survived after the finale. There’s no doubt that Ruth would’ve made the perfect mother for Baby Zeke. Like the Byrdes, Ruth wanted out of the game, but she wasn’t held back by deep cartel entanglements. However, seeing as Ruth made the decision to kill Javi and thus endanger herself, it’s clear that even Ruth wasn’t ready to become a good parent to Zeke – a quality she shared with basically the entire cast of Ozark season 4. Foster care is certainly not a “happy” ending, at least not in the traditional sense, but at least it’s safe to say that Zeke won’t ever again be used as a negotiating tool for creating the perfect money laundering system.
Several Endings Would Have Suited Zeke
Ozark season 4, part 1 picks up with Darlene who, despite being an opium farmer who murdered Zeke’s real mother, is a strangely decent mother for Zeke. Things even begin looking up for Zeke when Darlene and Wyatt get married, creating an unusual but relatively stable environment – until Javi arrives. Indeed, despite the potential danger that both Darlene and Ruth posed to Zeke, they might have been the best caretakers for him. Meanwhile, following the ending of Ozark season 4, part 2, one underutilized character would’ve also potentially made a wonderful parent: Three. After the deaths of Darlene, Wyatt, and Ruth, the Snell farm could legally be bequeathed to Ruth’s cousin and heir Three Langmore. Even before potentially becoming the largest landowner in the Ozarks and having everything a father needs to raise a child, Three has never really been that involved in the local underworld. Moreover, if Zeke somehow ended up in Three’s care, Three would know that Ruth would have wanted him to be the best father possible. Indeed, what happens to Zeke in Ozark is even sadder when considering the different ways his story could have ended happily ever after.
However, Ozark is the exact opposite of a fairy tale – a slightly exaggerated mirror of the real world’s drug deals, money laundering schemes, and electoral fraud, in which magical luck is bestowed not on the heroic or innocent, but on literally the worst people on the planet. All things considered, Zeke’s ending is fine. At least he didn’t end up with either Wendy Byrde or her father Nathan, for which audiences everyone can breathe a slight sigh of relief. As the silent witness to the violent history of the Ozarks, Zeke was a window of innocence through which the show was able to viscerally explore the real consequences of casual death, cruelty, and selfishness. This is perhaps why there are no real answers for who gets Zeke in Ozark. The uncertainty of Zeke’s fate only lends to the impact of the character, which is why exactly what happens to Zeke in Ozark will likely forever remain a mystery.
More: Ozark Season 4: Why Ruth’s Uncle Song Was Deeper Than You Realized
Ozark is streaming now on Netflix.
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About The Author
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Lindsay has been writing for nearly a decade. She is the author of two novels. She lives in Los Angeles and is most often found running with her German Shepherd, working on her books, or eating Indian food. Just as she lives on the cusp of Cancer and Leo, so too is she torn between Gilmore Girls fandom and Peaky Blinders.
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