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Ozark Showrunner Reveals Who Jonah Really Shot in the Final Scene

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ozark l to r skylar gaertner as jonah byrde, sofia hublitz as charlotte byrde in season 4 part 2 episode 2 of ozark cr courtesy of netflix © 2022

COURTESY OF NETFLIXNetflix

After the controversial Ozark series finale, Jonah Byrde currently holds the distinction of firing the shot discussed ’round the world. In the last scene of Netflix’s award-winning drama series, pesky private investigator Mel Sattem had returned from his dream job in the Chicago Police Department to confront the Byrdes one last time. Haughtily clutching the goat cookie jar containing the remains of Ben Davis —Wendy’s brother she had killed— Sattem is confident he has the last piece of the puzzle to bring the Byrdes to justice… until the youngest Byrde emerges from the shadows with a cocked rifle aimed squarely at Sattem.

We see Jonah close his eyes, and his parents silently approve of his life-changing decision, but the series cuts to black without showing us what happens next. All we have to go on is the sound of a gunshot, which spawned many fan theories. Did Jonah shoot the goat cookie jar, simultaneously spilling the remains of his beloved uncle and rendering Sattem’s smoking gun useless? Did he shoot one of his parents, freeing him and his sister from the duplicitous clutches he worked to remove himself from by moving out of the house and staying at Ruth Langmore’s Lazy-O Motel?

According to showrunner Chris Mundy, who wrote the climactic episode, the answer is a lot simpler than the conspiracy theorists may want to believe.

ozark skylar gaertner as jonah byrde in season 4 part 2 episode 3 of ozark cr tina rowdennetflix © 2022

TINA ROWDEN/NETFLIXNetflix

Who did Jonah shoot in the Ozark series finale?

While we may never see the aftermath of the conclusive gunshot (please give us a Season 5 or a movie), it’s no surprise who was on the unfortunate end of it. Trash your fan theories; Jonah Byrde shot Mel Sattem. “I don’t think that is so open-ended. I think of it as definitive. I think that shot got fired, and that is that. I’m happy not to see it,” Mundy explained. “For me, there’s not a big question mark. I think you can take it literally. I just think your relationship to it would feel different if you actually saw the image.”

What is the significance of Jonah shooting Mel?

Not only is Jonah shooting Mel the clear end result of the gunshot, but it also bookends the series in blood. Jonah’s maturation throughout the four seasons involved learning how to use rifles almost bigger than him, learning the family trade of money laundering, and forging his own identity separate from a family unit he grew to mistrust. But, it’s the first sign of his maturation in Season 1 that explains why he did what he did in the final scene of Ozark.

“Jonah shooting Mel at the end is a call back to the finale of Season 1, where he’s got this assault rifle that he doesn’t know Buddy’s unloaded,” Mundy explained. “And then Buddy comes in and saves the day, and they hit the road, and Buddy shoots the guy. But, that was a direct call back to almost the same situation.”

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