Wendy’s Transformation Over The Seasons (In Pictures)

Wendy’s Transformation Over The Seasons (In Pictures)

Wendy has always been a polarizing character in Netflix’s Ozark, but fans who love her continue to root for her as she changes throughout the seasons.

Content Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the Netflix series Ozark.

Wendy Byrde is one of the most polarizing characters in Netflix’s Ozark. Some fans adore her for her fearless decisions, while others dislike her for her reckless selfishness. Wether viewers like her or not, there’s no doubt that she has been one of the more entertaining characters to watch in the drama series, as Marty wouldn’t be able to keep the cartel off their backs on his own.

RELATED: The 10 Best Characters In Ozark

Wendy’s transformation over the series’ four seasons has been a subtle process, as she learns to embrace her more vicious and ambitious side. Her story arc is, of course, inextricably linked with Marty’s, with some of the most interesting parts of her character development happening when her plans and goals don’t align with her husband’s. With the recent conclusion of the first part of Ozark‘s final season, it’s the best time to look back at some of Wendy’s most intruiging moments and changes throughout the course of the series.


Season 1

Wendy crying in Ozark season 1.

Wendy almost dies in the very first episode of season 1 when Del offers to kill her along with her lover, but Marty refuses. The rest of the episodes are spent mostly helping Marty pick up the pieces and get their family settled down in the Ozarks, while also dealing with an incredible amount of guilt and fear. Fans see glimpses of the cutthroat strategist Wendy will eventually become towards the end of the season, though, as she does one of the best things for the Byrde family by manipulating Sam into givinga all of his mother’s family to Marty.

Throughout the first season, viewers are likely mostly feeling bad for Wendy as she struggles to accept and adapt to her new reality with Marty and her children. It’s a lot to deal with and she takes it particularly hard, as she could have gotten away with a fresh start if it wasn’t for Del’s quick and decisive actions. Her troubles have only just begun, as fans know how much worse it’s going to get for the Byrde family in the coming months.

Season 2

Wendy and Charles in Ozark season 2.

Wendy starts to prove that she’s not a passive victim in the show’s story in season 2. In fact, she does quite a few horrific things and claims that they’re all for her family. It’s obvious that she’s enjoying the political maneuvering required to establish Navarro’s casino, though, and her scenes with Charles highlight how devious and intelligent she can be. Fans also see how she’s willing to use Jonah’s newfound laundering skills if it works in her favor.

RELATED: The 9 Best Characters Introduced After Season 1 Of Ozark

She may not admit it and she may genuinely not know it yet at that point, but Wendy likes the game she’s playing. The dangerous situations she gets herself into with Buddy bring a smile to her face, especially when she knows that each risky step brings her closer to completing the casino project. Perhaps the moment she realizes it happens towards the end of the last episode when she rejects Marty’s elaborate plan to escape and embraces the Byrdes’ new lives in the Ozarks.

Season 3

Wendy crying in front of Ben in Ozark season 3.

Wendy truly begins to come into her own in season 3. She takes her fascinating relationship with Navarro to the next level by boldy volunteering to expand his empire through legitimate businesses, starting with Big Muddy. It’s also the season where she becomes close with Helen, as her ambitions in the cartel align more with hers than with Marty’s. Their marriage becomes even more chaotic, as Marty continues to disagree with Wendy’s plans and they both do a terrible job during counseling.

The most important relationship explored in those episodes is definitely Wendy and Ben’s. Her shocking betrayal cements her role as an uncompromising member of the organization who is willing to get rid of her own brother to keep Navarro safe. It’s the hardest decision she has to make in the series and is one of her defining moments that will continue to influence her actions and her husband and children’s perceptions of her in the finale.

Season 4 (Part 1)

Wendy talking on stage in Ozark season 4.

Wendy’s story arc continues to take jarringly dark turns in part 1 of the final season of the series. With her brother’s death and her role in it looming over her family, Wendy causes a rift between her and Jonah, as well as with an understandably angry Ruth. Her confidence doesn’t falter, though, and is only bolstered further by the continued success of her massive deal with a pharmaceutical company. There’s also added pressure on her after Helen’s assasination – since Navarro chose the Byrdes to help him leave his position in the cartel, she knows it’s crucial to get the job done in exchange for her freedom, even though it’s doubtful that she even wants it.

Fans get to see a more vulnerable side of her at times when she’s with Marty, as she sometimes seems to forget that she’s responsible for her brother’s death. Her confrontation with her dad over his missing status speaks volumes about how her upbringing has affected her current personality. While season 4 hasn’t delivered so far on the highly anticipated feud between Wendy and Ruth, there’s a big chance that Wendy’s actions will finally catch up with her, with the consequences coming in the form of a Langmore’s wrath.

NEXT: 10 Things To Remember Before Watching Ozark’s Last Season

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