Ozark cast: Why did Harris Yulin really leave Ozark as Buddy Dyker?

Ozark: Jonah shoots a gun at beer bottles

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Ozark season four, part one saw the Byrdes trying to broker a deal for the head of the Navarro Cartel. They were also really coming into their own as they expanded Byrde Enterprises. However, audience members may be wondering about the character Buddy Dyker (played by Harris Yulin) and why he departed from the series.

Why did Harris Yulin really leave Ozark as Buddy Dyker?

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Ozark

After Marty (played by Jason Bateman) and Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) fled to the Ozarks, promising to launder money for the Mexican cartel, they moved into a lakeside home owned by Buddy.

The couple uprooted their family from Chicago to a new home in Missouri, where they were living with the curmudgeonly and grizzled Buddy.

The cranky octogenarian was never afraid to hold back and gave his opinion to people straight without any sort of sugar-coating.

Although he appeared to have a gruff demeanour, he soon became close to the Byrdes who were living in his home – as part of the agreement on the property.

Buddy allowed Wendy to vent her frustrations to him, while he built up a firm friendship with Jonah Byrde (Skylar Gaertner).

He lived his life to the fullest and indulged in swimming naked in the lake outside his house.

Sadly, Buddy died in season two after he suffered heart failure when he ploughed through the Snells’ poppy field in an act of defiance.

He also helped the Byrdes by burning the poppies, which belonged to their rivals the Snells.

But Buddy paid the ultimate price for assisting the Byrdes in their criminal endeavours.

The family was left heart-broken by Buddy’s death with Jonah take the loss particularly hard, giving a poignant reading at the funeral.

In season three, Wendy’s brother Ben Davis (Tom Pelphrey) asked about the house with the lobbyist replying how Buddy came with it.

Speaking about the bloodshed and the high body count in Ozark season two, showrunner Chris Mundy told Thrillist in 2018: “Yeah, that was rough.

“As we were plotting the season out, and as we laid out what we wanted to do to Netflix at the beginning of the year, everybody knew which characters were going to go, but it’s still hard because those are friends you’re not going to be working with next year.

“Those cast phone calls were all incredibly hard to do. But to everyone’s credit, everybody was really professional and gracious.

“The first responses were basically, ‘OK. Am I going to get a good death, then?’”

From Mundy’s words, it seems like all of these deaths were simply a narrative decision rather a choice on the part of the actors.

The world of Ozark is dangerous and brutal with good people and bad dying before their time.

Buddy was just another one who fell victim to their writer’s pen but his demise served a dramatic purpose in the show as it showed the cost of the Byrdes’ actions.

After starring on Ozark, actor Yulin went on to feature in the series Billions, For The People and Divorce.

Also, there’s nothing stopping Yulin from making a comeback to Ozark either in a dream sequence or as a vision.

He had a huge impact on Jonah, who suffers more trauma with each passing season, so there could be a point in the future where the teen may hallucinate his old friend.

Ozark is streaming on Netflix now

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