Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 4 of “Ozark.”
“Ozark” fans saw Javier “Javi” Elizondro blow away newlyweds Darlene Snell (Lisa Emery) and Wyatt Langmore (Charlie Tahan) with two shotgun blasts in Episode 7 of the drama’s final season on Netflix.
That wasn’t quite the wedding gift anyone expected, but Alfonso Herrera, who plays Javi, says there are other layers to the ambitious, calculating nephew of Mexican cartel kingpin Omar Navarro (Felix Solis) — who knows his nephew has him in his deadly sights.
“When I first got the script, and even when I got my lines for the audition, I saw something very interesting about Javi,” Herrera, 38, told The Post. “He likes to enjoy life, to be in the present with the birds or when he’s having dinner or talking to someone.”
Viewers met Javi this season as Marty and Wendy Byrde (Jason Bateman, Laura Linney) inextricably aligned themselves with Novarro, who tasks them with a scheme to “launder” him through the FBI so he can travel freely between Mexico and the US without fear of being arrested. It’s a tall order — and, thus far, the plan has not worked out.
Jason Bateman and Alfonso Herrera as Marty Byrde and Javi Elizondro in Season 4 of “Ozark.”STEVE DIETL/NETFLIX
Javi, meanwhile, is running Omar’s business interests in Missouri, including the Byrdes’ riverboat casino … and is lying in wait to seize control of his uncle’s empire — by whatever means necessary.
“We know [Javi] is ambitious and wants to transform his empire and his uncle’s business, not only as a family business but as a corporation,” Herrera said. “He’s charismatic and very unpredictable and obviously has a dark presence.
“At the same time, it’s very interesting to ground the character and avoid the cliches.”
Herrera likens the dynamic between Javi and Omar as “very Shakespearean” and for reasons that might not be readily apparent. “My feeling is that there’s no masculine figure in Javier’s life and his uncle is his sole role model,” he said. “But, at the same time, [Omar] is not his father … in many ways, Javier feels like a bastard son and there’s no gravitas in his relationship with his uncle. [Javi] is not very grounded in terms of his family and his reputation and that’s why he is so aggressive — he really wants to prove something to himself and his family.
“His uncle is very weak from his point of view.”
Herrera, who played Father Tomas on “The Exorcist” (Fox) and co-starred on USA’s “Queen of the South,” said that Javi’s “strong connection with a female figure” will figure into his story arc in the final seven episodes of “Ozark” premiering later this year.
“It has a lot to do with the roles of the family in Latin America … and there is obviously a sense of power that Javi now has and that aura he’s feeling, and that will be portrayed in what’s next,” he said.
“It’s going to be mind-blowing.”