Who was Ben on Ozark? A refresher on the tragedy of Ben Davis

Tom Pelphrey as Ben Davis from Ozark.
Tom Pelphrey as Ben Davis from Ozark. Pic credit: Netflix

Ozark Season 4 Part 1 landed this weekend on Netflix and it already has the internet revisiting one of the best characters the show has seen. Ben Davis might be gone from Ozark but his ghost lurks throughout the beginnings of Season 4.

Tom Pelphrey brought an intense and heartbreaking performance as Ben. And if one does not remember what a great presence he was, we highly recommend revisiting Season 3 just for him alone.

But in case streamers do not remember the tragedy of Ben Davis from Ozark, here is a full explanation of what transpired before the events of Season 4.

Who was Ben on Ozark?

Ben Davis (brother of Wendy Davis) made his grand entrance early in the third season after losing his job as a teacher.

He visits his sister in the thick of Marty and Wendy expanding their money laundering to a casino.

Upon his return, he began taking an interest in Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) which eventually grew into a relationship. Around the same time, Ben found out about the Byrdes being connected to the cartel.

Ben also is bipolar and has very intense moments that can be perceived as erratic behavior. But the brilliant part about Season 3 is that his outburst feels completely justified. He is worried about his niece and nephew’s safety, and that of Wendy’s.

His extremes are a lot but he feels like the only voice of reason in the room. And his concerns only grow stronger when Ruth almost is caught in the crossfire of the cartel ambushing the Kansas City mafia.

Then, he stops taking his medication.

What happened to Ben in Ozark Season 3?

Once he quits his bipolar medication, Ben and his justified feelings go from a level five to a twelve, on a scale from zero to ten.

And his downfall begins after two major incidents. The first is him punching Marty in the face at a fundraising event. The second is when confronts Helen Pierce at her own home, telling her daughter what Helen actually does for a living.

This makes Helen talk to Omar Navarro, who gives Helen full permission to take whatever action she deems necessary against the Byrde family.

Then Wendy is faced with an impossible choice of letting her family die or handing Ben over to the cartel to be killed. She chooses to give Ben to Navarro.

The last time we see Ben is outside a diner and one of the cartel’s men is coming towards him. Days later, a body is delivered out of respect for Wendy’s decision followed by a cremation.

This provokes Ruth to quit working for the Byrdes and Jonah Byrde (Ben’s nephew) shoots the windows out of his own home.

And that is how it all wraps up for Ben Davis. His character was absolutely manic but his heart was always in the right place. This makes him one of the more tragic characters in recent memory on television.

Ozark Season 4 Part 1 is now streaming on Netflix.

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