Spoilers: Netflix’s Ozark
If you haven’t done so already, I highly suggest you start watching Ozark.
Currently in its third season, the story takes place in Osage Beach, Missouri, and centers around the Byrde family. They must move from Chicago to the Ozarks after the family patriarch, Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman), gets involved in a money-laundering scheme that goes awry.
There is murder, there is sex, there is teenage love and sordid affairs and scheming and dreaming and dry humor and plenty of drama. There is adventure and family ties and stories of friendship and family.
Jason Bateman is fantastic.
Laura Linney is divine.
And you will undoubtedly enjoy their performances and the performances of the entire cast.
But one of the best parts of Ozark is the character of Ruth Langmore, played by Julia Garner.
Ruth Langmore is a force of nature. She’s crass yet tender. She’s calculating yet incredibly careless at times—like when she admits to her cousin, Wyatt (Charlie Tahan), that she killed her uncle. Does she know that such a thing is incredibly risky to do, even though she and Wyatt are practically siblings? Yes. But that’s why she does it, because she knows how much he’s hurting and she wouldn’t want him to find it out from anyone but her.
Ruth doesn’t shy away from danger or scare easily or back down from a challenge.
In Season 3, she faces Helen (Janet McTeer), Darlene (Lisa Emery), the FBI, and the head of the Kansas City mob with a strength that would rival Navarro (Felix Solis) and the leaders of every crime family that ever existed.
In Season 3, she gets beat up to the point where she has to go to the hospital. She’s beaten, bruised, and quite literally broken, and yet, she still manages to appear to be the strongest human on the planet.
In Season 3, she also falls in love with Wendy’s brother, Ben (Tom Pelphrey). It’s slow and unexpected, tender, sad, and beautiful all at the same time. Ruth fights for her shot at a love story, and Ben makes no secret about fighting for her, too. He wants her to be safe and wants her to be loved and doesn’t hesitate to share his affection. Their love story is beautiful, but it’ll break your heart, too, as it illuminates the pain of her past. Her hesitation in believing Ben’s sincerity is yet another reminder about how hurt she’s been. It’s clear that for her life, she has never had someone to lean on or people who lift her up, and as an audience member, you so badly want that for her.
Ruth is a character that encapsulates how darkness and light exist within a human being. She shows remorse, dedication, determination, and resolve.
It’s entertaining to watch her yell at everyone who tries to bring her down. Yet by Season 3, you might find yourself yelling right alongside her and rooting for her, too.
You want her to win, to succeed, and to find the love and security that she’s been seeking her whole life.
Here’s to you, Ruth.