Four seasons on the island of the Ozarks has turned out to be one of the greatest crime dramas of the 21st century. It was obvious from the first scene that Ozark was going to be huge because Wendy’s lawyer/lover landed with such a thud and Marty just didn’t know how to react to that. It wasn’t clear that Marty and Wendy would still make such a great team after everything she had done but they have made such a power couple in one of the most dysfunctional in TV history. Through all that love, pain and violence, the entire Ozark cast brought life to every scene of the show and these 10 are the smartest characters in the final season of the show.
Marty is a legendary money launderer but not so good a father. He still does everything to protect his family despite all the danger he put them in. Now, he made a mistake the moment he agreed to launder money for the Navarro cartel but he isn’t better at anything more than laundering money and his decisions since then have been very smart.
He managed to avoid Navarro’s bullets more times than any of the cartel’s employees in the US and managed to save his whole family while doing it. Marty can navigate any dangerous situation calmly, including the FBI probe, Jonah’s misadvised rodeo, Ruth’s bullet and Javier’s short temper. Marty is the only person in the show that knew how to help everyone get out without a scratch and that would be the case if everyone listened to him.
Ruth Langmore started the show as a common criminal helping her uncles and nieces steal from people until she stole Marty Bryrde’s money. She became wise the moment she realized that the Byrdes were not the local criminals she was used to and that he could help change the fortunes of the struggling Langmore family. Ruth has been on the receiving end of some of the worst moments of the show including being tortured by Helen, losing her whole family including Ben. Considering her tough childhood and age, Ruth was basically the smartest supporting character in the show. She hardly made any selfish decision in the show and was definitely the shining light in the whole mess on the Ozarks.
Wendy Byrde was never a saint and she doesn’t fail to remind anyone that threatens her or her family that she can obliterate them. On the surface, Marty would seem like the bad guy but Wendy really is behind most of the bad things that the Byrdes did since they came to the Ozarks. While she is a real bear, she is also a very smart woman who always does what is right for her family. She is the reason the family managed to withstand the threats from the Snells, Hellen and to a large extent, the Navarro cartel. She figured out the long-term plan that made Navarro loyal to them and that is what saved her family.
Maya Miller is the exact opposite of agent Petty and agent Evans who got too emotional to do anything about Navarro. Maya also understood the difference between justice and that allowed her to turn Marty into an ally at least until she turned around and put Navarro in Jail. She was the only person that outsmarted the cartel and forced the FBI into a corner to do the right thing.
Jonah is definitely not the best of children for the Byrdes because they always have to deal with his temper. When angry, he tends to act like the kid he is but he is a smart kid and definitely destined for greater things than Charlotte. He managed to set up a functional laundering operation for Darlene without his dad’s help. He outsmarted both his mother and his sister at laundering money and even though his dad always worries, he can’t help but admire him.
Agreeing to become Wendy Byrde’s personal lawyer was obviously a bad idea but Jim was a way better lawyer than Hellen ever was. He understood that Wendy would be a great partner from the moment they met and helped her set up her casinos and the foundation. When it came to favours, he granted more to Wendy and Marty than they did for him so he wasn’t just a stone-faced robot. Being a true friend and a smart and resourceful lawyer, Jim will go down as the show’s best lawyer.
Charlotte made mistakes during the first few days after she arrived on the island but she overgrew that childishness and became a partner to the parents. She became her brother’s keeper trying to keep him in line when he went rogue after Ben’s death. Charlotte also took more responsibility for managing her dad’s casino and the Blue Cat when the Byrdes were in Mexico. She understands the position the family is in and the need to do her part and that is what a good daughter is supposed to do.
In the beginning, Wyatt was the light of the Langmore family. He represented the bright future that the family could have had if he had better parenting. He just wanted to study and make something out of his life. Things went wrong when he learned about Ruth killing his parents which led to him ending up with Darlene. He was a smart kid that ended up on the wrong side of everything.
Omar Navarro was a selfish drug dealer that didn’t care for anyone but himself. He was still a better boss than Javier because he never got reckless enough to kill children. He was also looking forward to getting out of his line of business someday and therefore decided to keep the Byrdes alive which was smart because they almost saved him.
Darlene is the reason Wyatt died because she was not any different from Javier. Psychopath and other similar names are the only way to describe her and she didn’t look at the future and understand that she stood no chance against the cartel. She was still very principled and did some good things along the way.