Netflix’s award-winning series Ozark has officially come to an end—and the finale didn’t sit well with everyone. In a surprising twist, one of the most beloved characters died. But actor and director Jason Bateman says that people may be missing an important piece of the scene.
Warning, major spoilers ahead.
When the show hit the streaming world five years ago, fans instantly fell in love with wild and tough Ruth Langmore. While she wasn’t exactly a kind or good person, she somehow redeemed herself with her non-nonsense demeanor and unending devotion to her friends and family.
And she proved that devotion when her cousin, Wyatt, was murdered during a cartel reorganization. After he died, Ruth made it her goal to avenge him, and she did. But it also cost her her own life.
During the final episode of Ozark, Ruth tracked down the new cartel leader Javi Elizondro and killed him. And when she did, Javi’s mother eventually got her own revenge and killed Ruth.
While fans wanted better for the curly-haired spitfire, Jason Bateman said there was bittersweet finalization at the moment she died. But some people may have missed that during their shock and grief.
Jason Bateman Says Ruth Accepted Her Death on ‘Ozark’
“[Showrunner] Chris [Mundy] was really passionate about making sure that, if we’re going to kill a beloved character, we better do it in a way that fans of that character can feel good about,” he told Vanity Fair.
Bateman went on to share that he was in charge of directing that scene. And he made sure to showcase that Ruth was “metaphorically standing her ground and going out on her terms.”
Jason Bateman worked with Ruth’s actress Julia Garner on how to properly show the revelation she had in her final moments. As she died, she felt the panic of fear when she realized what was happening. But then, she instantly accepted what was coming and almost turned it “into a good thing.”
“Obviously we don’t have the dialogue that says all of that,” he added. “But hopefully, you can see that in her performance—just a taste to motivate the audience to find acceptance like the character did.”
In a separate interview, Chris Mundy explained that the ending of Ozark was all about “active choice.” He said that the series circled back around to what got the characters into their messes in the first place. And they would once again be able to decide “what they’re willing to do” and “whether or not that’s a good choice.”
Ruth was, of course, willing to do anything to avenge her family. And in the end, she decided that choice was “good,” even if the consequences were fatal.