Ozark: Why did Darlene Snell really kill her husband Jacob Snell?

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Netflix crime drama Ozark returned to screens for its third outing this year. Fans were treated to more episodes of the Emmy award-winning show with the Byrdes expanding their criminal enterprises and proving their worth to the Navarro cartel. However, all the while their enemy Darlene Snell (played by Lisa Emery) was planning to wage war against the middle-class Chicago couple.

Why did Darlene Snell really kill her husband Jacob Snell in Ozark?

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Ozark

In season three of Ozark, Darlene revealed to her lover Wyatt Langmore (Charlie Tahan) how she’d murdered her husband Jacob Snell (Peter Mullan).

She confessed to lacing his coffee with cyanide from cherry pips, which viewers saw in season two.

Wyatt was left stunned by the revelation, which Darlene made after he told her about his cousin Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) murdering his father Russ (Marc Menchaca) and his uncle Boyd (Christopher James Baker).

Darlene’s admission came as she tried to explain how she and Ruth weren’t too different.


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Despite being horrified by Darlene’s words, this secret seemed to bond Wyatt closer to her and they continued with their relationship.

Wyatt even made up with Ruth, who eventually joined Darlene’s camp after she quit working for the Byrdes.

Many fans are trying to remember why Darlene killed Jacob in the first place given the couple had been together for so long.

Jacob and Darlene had a strong relationship as they not only waged war on the Byrdes but maintained their lucrative heroin business.

Neither made any bones about killing off people and burying them on the Snell land if it helped keep their business alive, even disposing of a heavily Grace Young (Bethany Anne Lind).

However, over the course of season two, it was evident the cracks were showing in Darlene and Jacob’s marriage.

Jacob killed a young man who Darlene viewed as a surrogate son, which left her upset.

As season two progressed, they seemed to become distanced from each other as he sought to make peace with the Byrdes.

Darlene, on the other hand, wanted to take a stronger line against the rival crime couple but she was overruled by Jacob.

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The last straw was the Byrdes’ riverboat casino which they pushed through after much dodgy dealings with local senators and law makers.

Darlene killed Jacob and pretended his death had been a tragic heart attack, knowing all the while what she’d done.

Season two also featured a flashback to Darlene and Jacob when they first met as young adults.

The scene was telling and revealed Darlene had always been the one pulling the strings with Jacob following her – and this was the case as she ultimately killed her.

Netflix has yet to confirm season four of Ozark, but should the series get the green light, Darlene will be bringing all out war to the Byrdes.


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She also appears to have a succession plan involving Ruth, Wyatt and baby Zeke, whom she appears to want to leave her business to.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the union between the Langmores and the Snells, Ozark showrunner Chris Mundy said: “Everything is about legacy with her. It’s why she wanted a son, it’s why she figured out how to get Zeke, and it’s what her fights with Jacob were about.

“Getting Ruth means it’s more likely she keeps Wyatt close, and the two of them can be together, and Darlene can glimpse her own future and then the future once she’s gone and Zeke is getting older.

“For the first time there’s something that is local-grown that she can see is going forward and will have power there. In that moment, it’s satisfaction that she was right all along.”

Ozark seasons 1 to 3 are streaming on Netflix now

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