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Warning! The following contains spoilers for Ozark Season 3. Read at your own risk!
Tom Pelphrey joined Ozark for Season 3, but it's more accurate to say his character Ben Davis arrived like a tornado to the Ozarks. Wendy Byrde's brother had quite an impact on the new season, and Pelphrey was kind enough to talk to CinemaBlend about his character's big season and ending.
As is often the case with a character in Ozark, Ben Davis ended up dying. That event only came to pass after a long car ride with Wendy in which she couldn't get her brother to stick to their original plan that ensured his safety. I spoke to Tom Pelphrey about what he thought of Ben's ending, and his final episodes on Ozark Season 3.
As far as finally reading those last few scripts, I was quite moved reading them just because I thought the writing was so beautiful. You know, I thought the storytelling was so good. As a fan of the show I sat there with whatever audience brain I could switch my mind into for a minute while I was reading the script. I was moved. I thought it was all very well executed in the writer's room.
Ben Davis was only doing what he thought was right, and of course, that's not always the best thing to do in Ozark. Unfortunately, Ben wouldn't listen to the repeated warnings from friends and family not to cause issues that affect the Navarro cartel, because they don't give second chances.
It's something fans know quite well and may have had some cringing every time Ben pushed the limits of a big character or went over the edge in public. That's something Tom Pelphrey could relate to when I asked him if he ever found himself asking why Ben was continually towing the line, though the actor also had a different perspective.
Totally! Totally, totally. I had that feeling at times. I was like,' Oh, bad. No, you don't do that.' I absolutely had feelings of 'Ben don't do that.' And at the same time, you know, as you're preparing to do these scenes I also thought it made absolutely perfect sense that he would, and again, that's a credit to the writing.
Ben's discusses Tom Pelphrey's point he made above in the show, as, while the character suffers from bipolar disorder, he's also asked to react in unreasonable ways to a situation that is far from ordinary. Few would be calm if they found out their sister was connected to a major drug cartel, and even fewer if they learned his family's life was in danger more often than it wasn't.
Despite his repeated outbursts, Ben wasn't in serious danger until he revealed Helen Pierce's true career to her daughter Erin. Ben's unhinged outburst paired with Helen's cool demeanor made for a particularly tense scene, one that Tom Pelphrey very much enjoyed doing with actress Janet McTeer.
Janet is, yeah, she’s the fucking real deal man.That is an actress that I've looked up to for many years now. It didn't feel intimidating by then because by then she and I become friendly. It was actually kind of exciting to do a scene like that with her and to really feel like I had somebody to push against and fight against.
Unfortunately, Ben met his match with Helen in a way he hadn't with all prior people he picked a fight with. Wendy finally gave up Ben's location to Helen, so she could send her fixer Nelson to ensure Ben never spoke of her business again. Of course, Helen ended up getting hers in the end, though not before forcing Wendy into a devastating situation. It was perhaps the most cold-blooded moment of Ozark to date, but at least Tom Pelphrey is happy with how it went down.