Ozark Boss Tackles Killer Final Season Mystery: Is [Spoiler] Really Dead?

Laura Linney Emmy Ozark

If a TV character dies but you don’t actually see the death are they really, truly dead? When it comes to the off screen murder of Wendy’s troubled brother Ben in Ozark‘s third season, the answer is an unequivocal (and unfortunate) yes.

During the Netflix drama’s Virtual PaleyFest panel, showrunner Chris Mundy quickly, regrettably shot down the fan theory that Tom Pelphrey’s dearly departed alter ego may still be alive. “I love the fact that people love [Ben] enough to come up with that theory,” he said. “I wish it were true. But it ain’t true.”

Mundy added that Ozark‘s relatively high body count has become “a weird double-edged sword” storytelling-wise in that, “The deaths wouldn’t matter if the [actors] weren’t so good and they didn’t care so much.”

Mundy went on to hint that Marty and Wendy’s complicity in the execution of Ben will heighten the stakes as Ozark heads into its fourth and final season. “I think you’re gonna learn what they want their endgame to be,” he teased. “And they’re going to have to reckon with it a little bit… If they’re trying to [find] an out, they’ve got to figure out if that’s what they want. And, if so, what’s the version of it that they want?”