After the third season of Ozark. you/presidentkangaroo on Reddit raised questions about what Third’s purpose is, pointing out that he rarely gets involved in any major storylines, and arguing that any small purpose the Troika does serve, such as “being a resonance board” for Ruth’s frustration, could would be stacked with Wyatt. character. While many fans agreed that Three’s purpose is unclear, others have offered theories as to what Three represents.
redditor u/MacIntosh19 suggested that Three should be the starting point for a normal, impregnable person in the Ozark universe. This theory certainly carries some weight, as it’s easy to forget what’s normal in the minds of the other characters on the show. However, CBR.com argues that Third’s potential as a character was simply wasted and that he was not used effectively in the series.
While Tree is not deeply explored on its own, it seems to add a dimension to Ruth’s character that is not only revealed through Wyatt. Ruth’s love for Wyatt seems to show her motherly side and humanizes her at times, but in reality, Ruth’s feelings for Wyatt are irrational and even dangerous. After Wyatt is killed, Ruth can’t hold her own for Third like she used to for Wyatt. She stops at nothing to get revenge, even if it means killing herself and leaving The Third to fend for himself. Conversely, Ruth’s love for the Three shows that one side of her is capable of normal marital love, further humanizing her.