Ozark: Why did Helen Pierce have to die in Ozark season 3?

Jessica Frances Dukes shares behind-the-scenes look at Ozark

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Ozark’s season three finale was the most shocking yet when Helen Pierce (played by Janet McTeer) was killed off from the show. The death left fans reeling as the stakes have never been higher in the Netflix crime drama. But why did Helen have to die during season three?

Why did Helen Pierce have to die in Ozark season 3?

Ozark is known for not pulling its punches and season three’s finale proved that once again as Helen Pierce was shot and killed.

The moment came when she, joined by Martin (Jason Bateman) and Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney), went to confront Omar Navarro (Felix Solis).

Helen had been doing her best to convince Navarro to scam the Byrdes out of the operation and was convinced she’d got the drug kingpin on her side – only for him to take her out of the pictures instead and pledge his allegiance to the husband and wife duo.

Her death marked the end of season three, with Marty and Wendy both stunned over what they just witnessed.

What it means for the future of the series is unclear, but showrunner Chris Mundy explained to Entertainment Weekly why Helen had to die.

“We thought of the first third of the season as Marty versus Wendy,” Mundy explained, “Wendy kind of wins that battle, and then it transitions to this tentative alliance between Wendy and Helen, and by extension Wendy and Marty vs. Helen.

“We really wanted to hold that tension of these two things cannot cohabitate, somebody’s got to win this battle because Navarro isn’t going to put up with anything unstable and he was going to have to pick a side.”

It seems Mundy wanted to show that the division caused throughout the season couldn’t come to a clean end, that it would lead to something bloody.

It also reaffirms the threat of Navarro, showing Marty and Wendy that any hope of escape will not be easily met.

As Helen was working for Navarro prior to this, it also shows fans that the character is merciless in his actions.

Navarro also knew that Marty and Wendy were more valuable to him than Helen, as he can find other lawyers. But what the main pair offer is something more unique.

“One is getting a casino to launder through in the first place, which is sort of the holy grail of money laundering,” Mundy continued.

“And the second is that, at least in Navarro’s mind, their claim that they have the FBI on their side and can swing the power of the US government.”

How this will impact the series remains to be seen, but actor Bateman has previously confirmed season four will pick up moments after Helen’s shooting.

Season four began production back in November of 2022 and is expected to release later in 2021.

However, with still no word from Netflix on an exact release date, its release window could be pushed back into 2022, as other shows have already been confirmed for late-2021.

The fourth season will consist of 14 episodes, with the season being divided into two parts, both being released at different times.

Once again, it is likely season four will follow on directly after Helen’s death, with previous seasons typically being direct continuations.

Netflix is still playing catch up on the delays caused throughout 2020 and early 2021, meaning it could still be some time before fans get to see the aftermath of Helen’s demise.

Fans shared their shock at Helen’s death during season three, with many of them taking to Twitter to give their thoughts on the season three finale.

One fan said: “Bro that ending to Ozark just f’ed me up. I was not expecting that! Got damn, Helen.” (sic)

Another fan commented: “Thank god…finally finished Ozark…Helen was my favourite…hate to see her killed.”

“Helen’s death in Ozark is the wildest one yet. Like wtf,” a third shared.

Ozark is available to watch exclusively on Netflix.

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