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S03.E09: Fire Pink

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Ben's confrontation with Helen and Erin sends the Byrdes into crisis mode.  Meanwhile, Sam's concerns about the FBI inspire little sympathy.

Airdate 03.27.2020

Keep your discussion to this episode only - thank you!

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I am just stumped at the depiction of Ben being only bipolar. I've known plenty of diagnosed bipolar people and they have common sense even though they make some questionable decisions like everyone else. They made Ben seem like he had the sense of a gnat. Who tries to publicly shame someone for being a cartel member directly in their face and doesn't expect issues? He truly acted like there was something way beyond bipolar going on. He was so child like and naive to the point of blatant disregard. That said, the acting was amazing. I did tear up with Wendy all the while thinking he's got to go! He is determined to get the entire family murdered. Did anyone else suspect he was going to steal Wendy's car and leave her when they went to the gas station or run into traffic like she told him to? But I guess he was too busy trying to smuggle phones and call Helen for that. Smh. 

Also, everyone that was supposed to watch that man for his own protection sucked at it. I know you shouldn't have to chain someone to a wall to keep them from calling and running to a person that wants them dead but life is a funny thing. When he left the cabin after being told not to, he should gotten restraints put on. He reminds me of about 3 different relatives of mine. Only one is bipolar though. They just like to blow things up and then act incredulous. 

Edited by andreamf15 · Reason: More content
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14 hours ago, andreamf15 said:

I am just stumped at the depiction of Ben being bipolar. I've known plenty of diagnosed bipolar people and they have common sense. They made Ben seem like he had the sense of a gnat. He truly acted like there was something way beyond bipolar going on. He was so child like and naive. That said, the acting was amazing. I did tear up with Wendy all the while thinking he's got to go! He is determined to get the entire family murdered. Did anyone else suspect he was going to steal Wendy's car and leave her when they went to the gas station or run into traffic like she told him to? But I guess he was too busy trying to smuggle phones and call Helen for that. Smh

I felt like they took his character from being mentally ill to mentally challenged. 
 

Overall I thought Ben was far too involved in driving the plot. Wendy knows his background and still lets him in on everything. Helen knows and doesn’t object or look into his background. Ruth can’t stand him and then he is suddenly the love of her life. I just couldn’t buy it all. 

Edited by Tighthead
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Wow Ben's monologue in the taxi was interminable. I'm amazed at how much I don't care about this character. 

I had a great laugh though when Ben is ranting how about he 'spoke to the bitch lawyer' and Marty and Ruth are all, 'uh, what?'

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11 hours ago, Tighthead said:

Overall I thought Ben was far too involved in driving the plot. Wendy knows his background and still lets him in on everything. Helen knows and doesn’t object or look into his background. Ruth can’t stand him and then he is suddenly the love of her life. I just couldn’t buy it all. 

I said as much in the E8 thread. I don't know that he drove the plot as much as it's manufactured drama - just throwing him in there and then characters have to act OOC. It's hard to grasp how Wendy would clue him in to anything. Granted, he may have found out anyway and that's fine, but he shows up unexpected and you know he's unreliable. 

Not to mention it's Darlene *again* fucking everything up for the cartel. Helen should have dealt with her. 

I'm not sure Helen would want to off Marty and Wendy though. It was clear to me when he was in Mexico that he brought value to the cartel. 

With Wendy trying to establish legit businesses and the charity, the FBI breathing over them, and the complexities with the mafia - as well as the family drama of the Byrds trying to navigate their marriage, which was developed over these three seasons, adding in the brother doesn't seem really necessary. 

You cut out all this with the brother and you've got tons of time to spent on Marty flipping the FBI agent. That's way more interesting to me. 

I have zero problems with Helen though.

I'll give the actor credit - he can really fucking cry. 

I did like how when the FBI called Marty being all smug about the receipts being up I was like 'uh oh' and then they cut to Marty with just a small smirk on his face. 

 

Edited by DoctorAtomic
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1 hour ago, DoctorAtomic said:

 

I did like how when the FBI called Marty being all smug about the receipts being up I was like 'uh oh' and then they cut to Marty with just a small smirk on his face. 

 

I was reading an article this morning about Jason Bateman and it described him as having “resting smug face.”  Then I saw that smirk and started laughing.

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They wasted way too much time on Ben. Geez, even I wanted him gone. I felt like the episode was a time-filler.

And I might have more patience with the FBI lady storyline if it wasn’t all used up on Ben.

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On 3/28/2020 at 2:39 PM, MrsR said:

Sobbing!

 

Emmy time for Laura.

And Tom Pelphrey.  I was dying. It shook me all day after seeing it. 

On 3/29/2020 at 9:14 AM, Tighthead said:

I am just stumped at the depiction of Ben being bipolar. I've known plenty of diagnosed bipolar people and they have common sense. They made Ben seem like he had the sense of a gnat. He truly acted like there was something way beyond bipolar going on. He was so child like and naive. That said, the acting was amazing. I did tear up with Wendy all the while thinking he's got to go! He is determined to get the entire family murdered. Did anyone else suspect he was going to steal Wendy's car and leave her when they went to the gas station or run into traffic like she told him to? But I guess he was too busy trying to smuggle phones and call Helen for that. Smh

I saw a lot of comments that his bipolar was extreme but very realistic when people suffering from it are off meds and stressed out.  That's the whole point, they over react to nothing, have delusions, and convince themselves they are right and everyone else is wrong. 

It was heart breaking.  And Laura in the car after she left him, man that is one helluva Emmy reel. 

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2 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

He kind of was right though. 

Yes. But to keep calling everyone and going against Wendy when she was just trying to get him out of harm's way.  I liked when she told Ruth, "he would have been safe in the hospital, but you had to get him out". 

Of course it was killing him to be there, but once his meds kicked in he would have stabilized, hopefully. 

 

I hear a lot of people won't take them due to some of the side effects. 

 Kanye West admitted on Letterman's Netflix show he quit taking his bipolar medication. 

 

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Oh no, he totally dug himself the hole when he got out with not leaving well enough alone. I would have probably set up to whack him in the hospital tbh. 

I kind of call a little bs on the police chief not giving them leeway to get him to the private facility they already had set up. I get they were having the cop play hardball with the Byrds, but it's a big difference between not letting the kids off and having them do the community service than this. Let him spend the night in jail while Helen finagled to get him in the facility. 

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20 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

You cut out all this with the brother and you've got tons of time to spent on Marty flipping the FBI agent. That's way more interesting to me.

Great actor, but it definitely turned into The Ben Show.  And Ben stopped taking his meds because he couldn't get a boner to have sex with Ruth.  So crazy with boner or sane with no boner.  They'll choose sex every time.  (To quote Elaine Benes "I don't know how you guys walk around with those things")

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I had to mute my TV for about 75% of the episode, as I simply could not abide the continuous and unrelenting sobbing, wailing and teeth-gnashing of these people.  

While they were eating & napping in the car, I kept waiting to see headlights come up behind them in the parking lot, then see the back windshield shatter.  Ben's head would be a mass of bone and brain pulp, and Wendy would  be covered with his head-goo, but otherwise uninjured. 

Yeah, this show made me go there. 

Edited by leighdear
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At first I thought they were going to get the bipolar right and then it got stupid.  His sister would know that being in a hospital would not kill him.  It’s common to go into the hospital when the symptoms of the illness are too severe to handle.  It’s a relief for a lot of patients. And then they made Ben out to have the mind of a five year old.  Bipolar doesn’t affect someone’s IQ.  Wasted episode. 

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On 3/29/2020 at 7:35 PM, DoctorAtomic said:

Wow Ben's monologue in the taxi was interminable.

I thought it was fantastic. Watched it twice.

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1 hour ago, Lemons said:

At first I thought they were going to get the bipolar right and then it got stupid.  His sister would know that being in a hospital would not kill him.  It’s common to go into the hospital when the symptoms of the illness are too severe to handle.  It’s a relief for a lot of patients. And then they made Ben out to have the mind of a five year old.  Bipolar doesn’t affect someone’s IQ.  Wasted episode. 

I enjoyed the episode but the bipolar people I know even off their meds (because all of them aren't compliant) still wouldn't try to act a fool with the cartel repeatedly. That was just too out there for me as well.  I don't know why Ruth wouldn't have forced him to get back on the meds. She isn't the type to leave something to chance. Not going to lie, I was happy when Ben was gone. Still think he's hot as I did back when he was on Banshee. Yum. Lol

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The Ben story line took over the season and not in a good way. It wasn't needed, either: the cartel war, trying to flip the FBI agent, etc would have been sufficient. Jesus Christ, I couldn't wait for him to die and celebrated when it finally happened. Won't miss him.

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Well I am an emotional mess after that. 
 

I agree that Ben was pushed to the centre of a lot storylines but I think it was necessary to get the characters to where they needed to be for the season finale. I found his character absolutely draining but then again I think we were supposed to. The actor was phenomenal though and his final scenes with Linney were gut wrenching and so stressful to watch.

my heart broke in the final scene.

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I don't think Wendy is as smart as the show is trying to portray her. She doesn't need to kill her own brother. All she has to do is drive Ben back to Darlene's compound and leave him there.

I doubt Helen's hit man is able to go through Darlene to get to Ben, even if he did, he would have to kill Darlene first, so for Wendy, she get rid of at least one enemy.

Or,  Darlene will take out Helen and her hit man during the conflict, in that case, Wendy wins even bigger, she can lose one of her biggest enemy and save her brother at the same time, all while keeping her own hands very clean. 

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That's the problem though. She did 'leave him there'. He promptly showed up at the casino. In the chain of events that followed, he continually and consistently flew off the chain. 

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Ben needed to be dealt with.  Now why they couldn't get him stabilized on meds with Ruth's support I cannot figure out other than plot reasons.

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2 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

That's the problem though. She did 'leave him there'. He promptly showed up at the casino. In the chain of events that followed, he continually and consistently flew off the chain. 

No, she (Wendy) did not. It was Ruth who left Ben at Darlene's place, and for some unknown reason, he decided to go to the casino again. Wendy should have asked Ruth to send Ben back to Darlene's place again.  That is the best solution.

Edited by showme
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But was the issue not that he wouldn’t stay there? As much as Ben kept telling everyone how sorry he was etc he also kept ignoring all the warnings and made it impossible for them to help him.

The best place for him was the hospital and it was Ruth who set the events into motion when she got him out. I don’t get why she wouldn’t leave him there except maybe as Wendy said she didn’t know him as well as her so was taken in by his pleas trust he being out was the better option.

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13 hours ago, showme said:

All she has to do is drive Ben back to Darlene's compound and leave him there.

But he wouldn't have stayed there. He wasn't listening to Wendy (or anyone) at all. She couldn't even get him to not make a phone call.

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6 hours ago, Chas411 said:

But was the issue not that he wouldn’t stay there?

That was my point. He was left there by whomever and still showed up at the casino. So they bring him back and he does it again, and the casino security doesn't let him in, so then he's outside under his own devices. That's not much better. 

If Wendy or Ruth did it then the outcome wouldn't have been any different. It's not like there's some magical place to hide him where he wasn't going to fuck it up. Actually, now that I think of it, if they left him in the hospital. 

I still think leave him in jail and get Helen to have him admitted to the private facility and you're done. But no, because plot.

As much as Ruth bears some blame for sure, it's really on Darlene and the cop. 

 

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Ben broke my heart. Give Tom pelphrey all the awards! He was devastatingly good. I cried my eyes out for him. 

 

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6 hours ago, luna1122 said:

Ben broke my heart. Give Tom pelphrey all the awards! He was devastatingly good. I cried my eyes out for him. 

 

Really? he annoyed the hell out of me. In a way, he brought on his own demise. 

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50 minutes ago, showme said:

Really? he annoyed the hell out of me. In a way, he brought on his own 

Yeah, really. His performance was intuitive and committed and devastating. 

Ben was self sabotaging but he was also mentally ill. What's the excuse for all the actual human monsters on this show? Wendy, Marty, Helen, Darlene....They're like a pit of vipers. Ben was an innocent. We needed SOMEONE with some humanity. 

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9 minutes ago, luna1122 said:

Yeah, really. His performance was intuitive and committed and devastating. 

Ben was self sabotaging but he was also mentally ill. What's the excuse for all the actual human monsters on this show? Wendy, Marty, Helen, Darlene....They're like a pit of vipers. Ben was an innocent. We needed SOMEONE with some humanity. 

Let's separate the character from the actor. The actor maybe brilliant, the character is intolerable, Ben is supposed to be mentally ill, but he behaved like he is mentally challenged. 

Being mentally ill does not give anyone excuse to be irresponsible either, if you are ill, you need to take your meds, period.

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18 hours ago, Chas411 said:

The best place for him was the hospital and it was Ruth who set the events into motion when she got him out. I don’t get why she wouldn’t leave him there except maybe as Wendy said she didn’t know him as well as her so was taken in by his pleas trust he being out was the better option.

I agree. It seemed though to me that Ruth didn't really understand Ben's illness at all. 

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53 minutes ago, showme said:

Let's separate the character from the actor. The actor maybe brilliant, the character is intolerable, Ben is supposed to be mentally ill, but he behaved like he is mentally challenged. 

Being mentally ill does not give anyone excuse to be irresponsible either, if you are ill, you need to take your meds, period.

I have no problem separating the character from the actor. 

The evil people of Ozark are the ones who are intolerable to me: the remorseless murderers and criminals. A mentally ill man who makes bad decisions isn't the one who most inspires my contempt. 

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5 hours ago, luna1122 said:

Yeah, really. His performance was intuitive and committed and devastating. 

Agreed. I wonder if he’ll get nominated for anything?

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On 4/1/2020 at 10:39 PM, luna1122 said:

We needed SOMEONE with some humanity. 

I think Jonah has some humanity. He is also probably the most innocent. 

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1 hour ago, Mindthinkr said:

I think Jonah has some humanity. He is also probably the most innocent.

And he's whip-smart.  He would be a good addition to Byrde Enterprises (or moreso involved than he is now).  He brings more to BE than Charlotte does.

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Couldn't Ben have gone back on his meds before everything got beyond the point of no return, say before he crashed the fundraiser, and his fate would have been avoided? It seems like there was ample opportunity for him to realize that the consequences of being off them outweighed the one benefit (and there had to have been some workaround for that).

Also, maybe I missed something, but how did he get Helen's cell number?  There's no reason that he'd have already known it and I don't think anyone would have given it to him.

Good acting, but I didn't have much sympathy for the character - to paraphrase Ruth, I knew him for five f***ing minutes.  I felt worse for the tiger cubs that the Langmores had caged up in one of the earlier seasons.

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15 hours ago, Lone Wolf said:

Couldn't Ben have gone back on his meds before everything got beyond the point of no return, say before he crashed the fundraiser, and his fate would have been avoided? It seems like there was ample opportunity for him to realize that the consequences of being off them outweighed the one benefit (and there had to have been some workaround for that).

Also, maybe I missed something, but how did he get Helen's cell number?  There's no reason that he'd have already known it and I don't think anyone would have given it to him.

I wish they would have stuck out Ben's character for a bit longer or maybe into Season 4. I agree that the writers should have maybe should have showed some progress if Ben would've taken his meds to show some improvement and carry on a bit more with Ruth's relationship.

I think that Ben got Helen's number from Wendy's phone. 

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On 4/6/2020 at 12:10 PM, DoctorAtomic said:

iirc Ben took Wendy's phone and used it to call Helen. I don't know if she left it in the car when she went into the store.

But I thought Wendy left her phone with Marty before she drove off with Ben, and Wendy was supposed to get a burner phone. How would she have Helen's number (or any contact from her regular phone) on the new burner phone? Unless she could download her contact list from Verizon or whatever.

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On 4/1/2020 at 11:50 PM, luna1122 said:

I have no problem separating the character from the actor. 

The evil people of Ozark are the ones who are intolerable to me: the remorseless murderers and criminals. A mentally ill man who makes bad decisions isn't the one who most inspires my contempt. 

I mentioned that to my husband while we were watching. 
 

Ben is actually the only sane one! 

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18 hours ago, Paloma said:

But I thought Wendy left her phone with Marty before she drove off with Ben, and Wendy was supposed to get a burner phone. How would she have Helen's number (or any contact from her regular phone) on the new burner phone? Unless she could download her contact list from Verizon or whatever.

We just watched it for the second time (because I'm old and I miss stuff the first time).

Marty (or someone) took Wendy's iPhone to Kansas City.  There was even a scene with the tracking map on his laptop when Helen was at the house.

Wendy DID have a burner phone, but she was carrying it in her hand when she came out of the roadside stop.  Ben had a different phone which he used to call Helen to apologize.  When she found out he had called Helen, Wendy broke Ben's burner phone in half and then called Marty on her burner phone.  Ben then bought another burner phone at their next stop, which signaled to Wendy that she could not control what Ben was doing/was going to do.

But I have questions:

  • How did Ben know where Helen lived so he could take the cab straight there when he got out of the hospital?
  • How did Ben know Helen's phone number to call her from his burner phone, when Wendy's real phone (with contacts) was in Kansas City?
  • Why did Wendy leave her purse in the restaurant when she walked away from Ben?  She must have had it, in order to pay for dinner, carry her wallet, phone, etc.

Some real glaring plot holes in this one.

Edited by AZChristian · Reason: Re-watched last episode and one of my assumptions was addressed, so I deleted it here.
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Ben was that dog you love but who just can't be trusted with a child.

He wasn't killed, he was put down.

 

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On 4/1/2020 at 11:50 PM, luna1122 said:

I have no problem separating the character from the actor. 

The evil people of Ozark are the ones who are intolerable to me: the remorseless murderers and criminals. A mentally ill man who makes bad decisions isn't the one who most inspires my contempt. 

I find that when your protagonist is a bad person but the acting & writing is good, you root for them even though they are criminals. Other examples are Tony Soprano, Walter White, etc. So yes, we should find Marty & Wendy Bryde intolerable but don’t because the character writing & acting is so good you can’t help but root for them. Jason Bateman plays Marty as extremely likeable which shouldn’t make sense but does. 

I have depression and understand mental illness but I just did not like the Ben character. Not sure if it was the writing or acting or what exactly but I did not find myself moved by his character. 

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