On Ozark, there are a lot of bad individuals. The Navarro cartel was made up of your standard drug lords. In the first two seasons, morally dishonest FBI agent Roy Petty (Jason Butler Harner) was a vile enemy. Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery) was the kind of old hag you wished you could hate. Helen Pierce (Janet McTeer) demonstrated what the Byrdes would become in the end. Wendy Byrde, on the other hand, was the most despised character on the program (Laura Linney).
Wendy made actions that put her family and others in significant risk throughout the course of four seasons, including allowing the cartel to murder her own brother at the conclusion of the third season. She was always willing to put anybody and everything on the line in the sake of "getting out" and "saving her family." Isn't that something you've heard before? Wendy seemed to be the Byrde family member who was always eager to get her hands filthy, harkening back to her days as a politician before relocating to the Ozarks.
She didn't really follow any rules, including the cartel's, which made her the series' ultimate loose cannon. Wendy Byrde, for these and many other reasons, appears to have deserved to be punished for her acts. She needed to be held accountable for her terrible judgments, and she needed to learn that you can't do things your way, murder a lot of people, and then walk away unharmed.
She certainly did. After witnessing the series finale, we know that Marty and Wendy will return to their Chicago house with all of their enemies dead. Wendy is shown beaming as her son fires a bullet into Mel, the private investigator (Adam Rothenberg). Wendy is the one who groomed her children into being just like her: vicious, unethical, and prepared to go to any length to defend the four Byrde residents.
The fact that the authors let her walk away with no repercussions is eerily similar to real life. Every day, a large number of mass murders, rapists, and other heinous criminals are let go by the US judicial system in favor of lesser offenders. Ozark might be making a statement by doing so, revealing the sorts of people who may be walking among us without realizing it. Wendy's status as a politician, as well as the manner in which she conducts herself, is a further indictment of who holds power in our world.
Wendy never murders anyone with her own hands throughout the entire series. She's the puppet master, the ventriloquist who pulls the strings and watches the havoc unfold. This is a perfect match for her professional experience. Presidents, lawmakers, and international leaders give instructions that murder people and damage the lives of others who are still alive all over the world.
Wendy enjoys being in her comfort zone, where she can mingle with local politicians, bribe attorneys to do her bidding, and intimidate those who don't follow her orders. She frequently places the blame on the other person, outlining the benefits they will lose if they don't do what she wants, never acknowledging the harm she would inflict.
She's a superb manipulator who will use any trick to force someone to do what she wants. In the last episodes, Wendy pretends to be mentally ill in order to persuade her children to stay with her instead of her father, a technique that downplays the value of mental health care and exploits her children's love for her. She enjoys preying on individuals she considers to be weaker than herself. Wendy sees the drug game as a chance for her to realize the potential she has always believed she has.
Is the program encouraging others to follow in her footsteps by feeding their egos since she wasn't punished? Without a doubt, no. Instead, they were most likely attempting to show that the Byrdes are so cunning that they were bound to find a way out. Marty shouldn't be excused just because his intents appeared to be more measured. There is no legitimate reason to help a drug gang launder money. Marty may have the more planned approach to putting the criminal life behind, but he never interferes with Wendy's techniques.
In fact, at the end of the series, Marty and Wendy were closer than ever, as their struggles and tribulations had brought them together. We know how tense the Byrde marriage was at first (the first episode, for crying out loud, had Wendy's side piece falling out of a building), but that was because neither of them found anything charming about the other.
After four seasons, it appears that all of the murder and deception carried out together was enough to appeal to Marty and Wendy's true selves. Wendy is not only not penalized for what she has done, but her acts have actually strengthened her family. They've evolved as individuals, but only because this is the kind of adventure Wendy had envisioned for her life. She should have been penalized, but it's understandable that she wasn't. Her having to return to a non-criminal life after all of this is sufficient discipline. Wendy Byrde is an empty, miserable human being who does not commit crimes.