OZARK season 3 dropped on Netflix earlier this year and delivered up quite a few shocks and twists. Among the developments in the new series was the romance between Wyatt Langmore and Darlene – but why did she really get together with the teen?
WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Ozark season 3
Season three of Ozark saw Wyatt Langmore (played by Charlie Tahan) distancing himself from cousin Ruth (Julia Garner) after she’d confessed to murdering his father. Wyatt was left disgusted and spent time squatting in the homes of the more affluent residents of the Ozarks. However, he eventually found himself in the orbit of Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery).
Why did Darlene Snell really begin her romance with Wyatt Langmore in Ozark?
Darlene invited Wyatt to live with her after realising he had nowhere else left after shunning Ruth.
Wyatt and Darlene seemed to get along well and developed a friendship, which became something more midway through the season.
The turning point came after Wyatt defended Darlene in court during the social service hearing involving infant Zeke Mason.
Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) was trying to take Zeke away from Darlene by proving she was unfit to be a mother. However, her schemes were scuppered after Wyatt spoke out.
Darlene seemed to reward Wyatt by sleeping with him before it seemed the pair became an item.
She even confided to him how she killed her husband Jacob Snell (Peter Mullan) after Wyatt revealed Ruth had bumped off his dad Russ Langmore (Marc Menchaca) for the Byrdes.
Despite raising a few eyebrows among his cousins due to the age gap between the middle-aged widow and the teen, the romance appeared to have been accepted.
Our colleague Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to Ozark actor Trevor Long about his thoughts on the romance between Cade and Darlene.
“I thought it was great. I thought that was such an interesting development and I heard some people were kind of upset about it.
“The shock, the age difference. I’m like, ‘Come on.’ Some people were up in arms about it like, ‘That’s disgusting.’
“To me, it was totally believable and totally interesting and totally I get it. I could see how this could develop.
“I thought they’re great together and I thought Charlie, who plays Wyatt, had a great season. A very interesting development for his character and that was exciting.”
Despite the academically-gifted Wyatt missing out on college to remain in the Ozarks, Long said the character seemed “happy”.
Long explained: “I think as messed up as it is, I think there’s some peace there. I think they really care for each other and it could be – aside from the drug cartel – a decent life for him.
“I think it’s definitely an exciting twist and I’m excited to see how it’s going to go.”
While Darlene and Wyatt did genuinely bond, there seemed to a sinister undercurrent.
Heroin queenpin Darlene could well have had ulterior motives for getting Wyatt on side. By the end of season three, she also seemed to have gained another ally in the form of Ruth.
Darlene may well have been using Wyatt ultimately to her own ends in the hopes of building up a group around her following Jacob’s demise.
Wyatt, Ruth and Zeke could all be part of Darlene’s succession plan for her heroin business.
With Wyatt and Ruth now working with her, along with the KC Mob, Darlene is a powerful force to be reckoned with.
She’s a much more powerful foe for the Byrdes, who will be struggling to contend against her.
Netflix has yet to reveal its plans for Ozark but if season four goes ahead, this shift in power with Darlene shoring up her allies could lead to lots of drama.