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Ozark - Ruling Days - Review: "Murder and Prayer on the Lake"

In this new episode of Ozark, Charlotte made a friend, Ruth got a promotion, and Wendy found a dead body... As usual, all is well in the Ozarks.

"Ruling Days" opens up with a blast from the past. A flashback shows us Mason (Michael Mosley) before he started preaching on the lake. Trying to stop a convenience store robbery, Mason gets shot right in the heart. He miraculously survives and turns his life around to devote it to God. Back in the present, Wendy goes kayaking and finds a dead body next to her dock. It's none other than Bobby Dean's, and has obviously been left there on purpose by the Snells. The police shows up, and since Marty just bought the strip club from Bobby Dean, everyone in town starts looking at him funny. Jacob Snell (Peter Mullan) introduces himself to Marty and pretty much tells him that he can either work with him or against him, and if so Marty needs to stay in his own lane.

Gary's son visits Wendy to talk to her about the death of his father, which is rather unsettling for her and adds to the awkward situation between her and Marty. Meanwhile, Charlotte starts getting closer to Wyatt, with whom she made piece upon learning her mother threw a dead possum at him. Jonah still hangs out with Buddy, who teaches him how to shoot guns. By the end of the episode, Jonah steals one of the guns and then carries it around the house when he hears an intruder, which all seems to indicate that his character is not quite out of trouble just yet. Jonah is an interesting kid: we know that, ever since he learned the truth about his dad, he has been troubled, but it is still unclear what actual impact this is going to have on him.

If Marty tries to stay out of trouble with the whole dead body ordeal going on, the FBI doesn't seem totally focused on him at the moment. Petty got what he wanted, which is to put Russ Langmore in his bed. Now, that is for sure so that he can get info on Marty out of Russ, and it almost seems too easy to get under the skin of this "don't tell anyone I'm gay or I'll kill you" Redneck. He is not as tough as Ruth, who by the way gets a promotion from Marty and becomes the manager of the strip joint.

Now Marty's current problem is not so much the cartel or the FBI, but the Snells. He needs more business to wash money, but he has to find something that is not interfering with the Snells affairs (and that the IRS would not go after). He finds what he thinks is the solution in Mason the preacher. The Byrdes visits Mason and his wife and offer to help them build a church, which to them seems to be the perfect cover for money laundry. But little do they know that this is actually getting into the Snells' territory. Indeed, by the end of the episode, we learn that Jacob is using the fact that Mason preaches on the lake to smuggle drugs. As long as this happens on the lake, the cops can't touch him...but with Marty's plan to build a church on land, Jacob's business is about to take a hit. Marty does not know it yet, but he is going to get in even more trouble with the Snells, and they don't seem to be the type of people who will deal with it nicely.

All in all, "Ruling Days" is a rather entertaining episode, even if it is a little annoying to see the show simply pilling up problems without never really taking care of any of them. The FBI, the cartel, now the Snells, Marty has a lot of enemies and all seem to just buzz around him without never stinging him, so the show's narration progresses slowly. There is however little doubt that things will go down very quickly before they potentially improve. We will see.

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