Sunday, 3 May 2020

I wanna be like Ruth Langmore

I've finished watching Ozark yesterday, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Or to be more precise: I can't stop thinking about the tough, fast-talking, smart and taking-no-prisoners Ruth Langmore. 
That girl is incredible. She is tiny, had more than a few hardships in her young life, and has a name that closes way more doors than it opens. But despite all that, she's far from giving up. On the contrary, she has a fire burning inside her that makes her fight for her place in the world (and for those she loves) with a ferocity that's nothing short of mesmerizing. I hope very much that there will be a 4th season coming, but until it does, let's look at some of Ruth's best qualities, shall we?

1. Her loyalty
If Ruth Langmore is your friend, she's your friend for life. Unless you royally screw her over (I'm looking at you, Wendy Byrde), she will rather kill your enemies than betray you. Even being water-boarded by a Mexican drug cartel can't shake her loyalty. That girl has guts.

2. Her love
Ruth doesn't love easily, but when she does, it's deep. She loves her no-good, often-cruel father Cade, visiting him regularly in jail, getting him and decorating a trailer so he has his own space, and always being there for him, even if it's for one of his harebrained petty crimes. 
She also fights like a fierce mama bear for her cousin Wyatt, going to his high school principal despite personal humiliation to make him take him back, being on Wyatt's case to do his homework, and saving her money for his college tuition. 
Once she falls in love with Ben, she is in 100%. So much so that after his death she cuts her ties with the Byrdes, to whom she has been fiercely loyal until then. 

3. Her fearlessness
Ruth may be tiny, but she is fearless. She not only faces up to the aforementioned Mexican drug cartel, she also tells FBI agent Petty that his proposal "sounds like go fuck yourself." 
Then, in season 3 she throws the spoiled and obnoxious mob-son Frank Jr. off the 2nd deck of the Casino riverboat where he just behaved like the stupid, loud-mouthed dumb ass he is. 
To top it off, she walks away from the Byrdes after finding out that Wendy just had her own brother, Ruth's boyfriend Ben, killed. I'll say it again: that girl has guts. 
Image found here
4. Her bravery
Ruth didn't finish high school ( I think? Didn't that come up in her confrontation with the principal?). 
But even if she did, getting offered the position of managing a business (in this case a strip club) is really scary when you're only 19 years old. You can tell that she is scared, but she quickly covers it and accepts - and rises magnificently to the occasion. 

5. Her optimism
Ruth Langmore has had nothing but bad luck in her life. From her mom dying, to her low-life, not-smart family, to her bad reputation in town thanks to her name, the odds are very much not in her favour. But Ruth isn't someone who feels an ounce of self-pity or who gives up, ever. She believes in Wyatt's brains, and her toughness, and in the power of work and determination. I just love how she always keeps fighting on.

6. Her quick wit
That girl has some of the best one-liners! Her comebacks are iconic, and I found this great compilation of some of her best ones for you to enjoy:    

7. She never shows weakness
This one speaks deeply to my own weakness. Whenever someone attacks me, I'm inclined to listen and agree. Not Ruth. When people are trying to attack her, she cuts them right off and attacks back.
Example: When Marty is about to blame her for the slot machine scam at the Big Muddy, Ruth fires right back: "No, no. How about instead of shitting on me, you get your own house in order. And until you do, how about you FUCK.OFF! Alrighty?" 
Bravo, girl, brav-fucking-vo.

8. Her humbleness
Ruth is smart as a whip, but she doesn't know it. In fact, she repeatedly says that Wyatt is the smart one in the family, and that she isn't nearly as smart as him. Seeing how quickly she has learnt how to manage a strip club, not to mention everything that goes into money laundering, it's safe to say that Ruth Langmore is one smart cookie. She may not know it, but she truly is the brains of the Langmore family. 

9. She has a strong sense of right and wrong 
I know I know, she hot-wired the dock and subsequently murdered her uncles.
But, she did it for the right reasons. She had found out that her uncle had betrayed them by being an informant for the FBI, and she was already loyal to Marty for giving her a job and a chance. 
According to Ruth's honour code, she had no other choice. It was painful for her, but it was the only option she had. 

10. She is deeply vulnerable
Despite her tough exterior, Ruth is as vulnerable as we all are. Everything she does, she does with a passion: love, hate, pursuing a goal, being loyal, sticking up for the people she trusts. 
In fact, her loyalty makes her one of the most vulnerable characters of the show, but her toughness makes her such a formidable character that she is, in my mind, the strongest, most empowering female heroine in recent TV history. I love and admire her endlessly.     

Top photo found here


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2 comments

  1. Yup, this series is absolutely mesmerizing! The writing is great, the characters are well developed and the plot lines have me on the edge of my chair. It's fascinating how the lines of what is normally acceptable behavior become so blurred as we spend time with the characters... Ruth is a shining example of this. I'm hoping for another series too.

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    1. I'm still thinking about the characters and the story days after I finished watching! Always a sign of skilled storytelling. Laura Linney is incredible as well, I just love her!

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