‘Ozark’: Why Some Fans Just Can’t Get Behind the Byrdes

by Leanne Stahulak

Even after watching “Ozark” and binging all its episodes for the last five years, some fans just can’t support Marty and Wendy Byrde.

We’re all familiar with characters who we love to hate. Most often they’re the bad guys, the ones who know they’re bad and don’t care. But it’s different when those characters are at the center of the story and are the ones you’re supposed to root for or sympathize with.

Last year, one “Ozark” fan took to Reddit to share their thoughts on the Byrde family. Keep in mind, at this point in time, the fans had not watched the recently released Season 4. The original poster started off by explaining that they’re not trying to criticize but open up a discussion about whether it’s possible to cheer on the Byrdes.

“In Breaking Bad you rooted for Walter White and Jesse despite the fact what they were doing was obviously illegal. In Dexter even though he was a serial killer you didn’t want him to get caught,” the original poster explained. “But I find myself not only not rooting for Wendy and Marty but when anything unfortunate happens to them I’m constantly thinking ‘Well you kind of deserved that after you…'”

They added, “Both characters are just such morally bankrupt, BS artists (talented ones I will say) who ruin pretty much every life they come across. Therefore the only character I actually feel attached to is Ruth because she’s so genuinely herself.”

‘Ozark’ Fans Weigh In On Whether They Can Root for the Byrdes

Dozens of fans took to the comments with their thoughts on the original poster’s argument. Surprisingly, a fair number were split between agreeing with the poster and disagreeing. Most shared their thought that Ruth is the best “Ozark” character. But several also said they still supported Marty.

“It’s true, the main protagonists aren’t very sympathetic, and after [Season 3 finale] I’m definitely not rooting for Wendy anymore,” one person commented. “Ruth is definitely the easiest character to sympathize and identify with. Everyone else in the show is an amoral monster, with the exception of Charlotte and Jonah, and, in my opinion, Marty. I still think he has his humanity despite his mistakes.”

Someone else said, “The only character I had any empathy for was Rachel because she gave Marty a shot and he destroyed her. And as the show transitioned to season 3 and now to season 4, I know somehow, some way they are going to get away with this stuff. And I’ve felt for the longest time they should either end up in jail or dead. There should be nothing better than that.”

It would be interesting to see these fans revisit their arguments now that “Ozark” Season 4 has dropped. Especially given the fact that Ruth died and the Byrdes survived unscathed in the series finale.