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Who Are Helen and Erin Pierce in ‘Ozark’ Season 3? Meet the New Characters
Turn back, head out of the woods, and high-tail it to Kansas City if you haven’t watched Season Two of Ozark, because, I have to say: They really cleaned the house at the end there, didn’t they? After hours of conspiracy, more conspiracy, and conspiracy on top of that conspiracy, the last few episodes saw the deaths of Roy Petty, Cade Langmore, Jacob Snell, and Mason Young.
So, naturally, when Season Three of Ozark—which is now streaming on Netflix—picks up, there are some new (and old) friends shacking up in the happy beach town. We meet Wendy’s brother, Ben, as well as Frank, the manchild/heir to the Kansas City mob. A familiar face moves into the Ozarks, too—Helen Pierce, a lawyer for the Navarro cartel played by British actress Janet McTeer. She brings her daughter, Erin (played by Madison Thompson), and there you have it, a new friend for Charlotte and Jonah Byrde who’s not an 80-something-year-old man.
The new episodes of Ozark show a completely different side of Helen, who previously was a bit of a stock-villain, shake-you-down type. Here’s everything you need to know about Helen heading into Season Three—and why her move to the Ozarks could change everything for the Byrde family.
Who is Helen Pierce?
We first meet the towering, tough-as-hell attorney in Season Two of Ozark. If you’ll remember, Darlene Snell made a pretty big oopsie and murdered Season One’s big bad, Navarro cartel higher-up Del Rio. So, the cartel sends Pierce to the Ozarks to investigate what happened—and become somewhat of a money-laundering chaperone to Marty and Wendy.
For the most part, Pierce acts merely as the in-person voice of the cartel, making threats to the Byrdes and Snells, moving the plot along. When the Snells resist giving up their land to Marty’s planned casino, she’s the one who helps dredge up some fine-print, legal sorcery to take it away from them anyway. And, like most others in the Ozarks, she distrusts Ruth Langmore, waterboarding her in Season Two, Episode Five to prove her loyalty. In Season Two’s finale, after the casino plans pull through, she tells Marty and Wendy that she’s returning to her Chicago home.
We learn little about her background, only that she has children, and is in the middle of a nasty divorce—but that all changes when Season Three picks up.
What does her move to the Ozarks mean for Marty and Wendy?
In the few months between Seasons Two and Three, Pierce’s divorce—and custody battle, apparently, got much worse. So, Pierce moves to the Ozarks for the summer to get away from it for a little bit, and brings her teenage daughter, Erin. Judging by the first couple episodes, Pierce is a changed woman—she lounges outside and drinks with Wendy, buys Erin some Dr. Martens, and cracks jokes at the Byrde family cookout.
But don’t get it wrong: Having a Navarro acolyte living in the Ozarks will change the series going forward. If the first few episodes are any indication, it looks like Pierce’s move could bring Wendy (who was giving off some Walter White vibes in the Season Two finale) closer to the cartel’s leadership fold, and push Marty toward the sidelines, with Pierce siding with the wife over the husband. Plus, it seems like Season Three will be The Summer Jonah Hits Puberty, so expect some unrequited crushing on Erin.
Oh, and if you start finding Helen too sympathetic in Season Three, just remember, she says things like this:
“Don’t fuck with me. And don’t fuck with my client. Understand? They’ll kill your children. They’ll gut your fucking wife. Do you want me to tell you what they’ll do to you?”