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Animal Kingdom Recap: Dead to Me (1.04)

Animal Kingdom Recap: Dead to Me (1.04)

There ain’t no party like the Pope’s birthday party! Well, not the Pope, but rather the one who just got out of prison, has a creepy relationship with his mother, and thinks fear and intimidation are qualities to aspire to. Anyway, “Dead To Me” uses Pope’s birthday as a way to muse about just how messed up this family is — and how many secrets they may be hiding.

The boys are trying their best to make something memorable of Pope’s first birthday since getting out of the pokey. They have a day of paintball and skydiving planned, but the birthday boy doesn’t seem too interested. Baz and Deran try their best to cheer him up by grabbing the paintball guns, running around the backyard, and shooting at him, but that all comes to an end when Pope smashes a paintball gun with a sledgehammer. He’s a serious party pooper, huh?

Meanwhile, Smurf leaves the house to pick up a few things for the party, but she has a bigger plan in mind. She texts “CUTBACK” to all her boys, which is some sort of signal she’s been arrested and everyone needs to initiate an escape. They all pack their bags — Craig too, who’s spending more coked-up, sweaty naked time with Ren — and head to the safe house. Once they’re there, they wait for instructions, and Pope gets on Baz’s case about calling Catherine. Yeah, those two don’t have any bad blood brewing, right? When the boys hear a knock at the door, they cock their guns and prepare for the worst — only to hear Smurf’s voice. She walks in cool and confident, and they all realize Smurf was testing them. But why?

Well, she knows things have been financially tight lately, and the elaborate plans for Pope’s birthday would suggest the boys have been running jobs on their own despite her instructions to lay low. Nobody fesses up, so she cuts them off, taking all the money and saying there’s no new jobs on the horizon.

J and Nicky get caught smoking weed back at school, only for J to step up and take the fall for both of them. Somehow that “fall” means the teacher lights up and offers for him to go on some sort of trip for a surfing photo shoot? Anyway, what this scene really sets up is Nicky heading to Smurf’s place to thank J for taking the blame, only to spend the day hanging out with Smurf. Smurf clearly sees Nicky as someone she can control, and she’s slowly luring her into this world of drugs and too-close relationships.

J, on the other hand, is making a connection with Catherine. It turns out it’s his mother’s birthday, too, and he’s a little pissed the family hasn’t mentioned Julia. So he brings some mac and cheese to Catherine and her daughter, and the two outcasts of this family connect while acknowledging Smurf is a little much (to say the least).

NEXT: When the dead rise, Craig freaks out (read more at the source … )

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Animal Kingdom Recap: Stay Close, Stick Together (1.03)

Animal Kingdom Recap: Stay Close, Stick Together (1.03)

EW.COM – If the first two episodes of Animal Kingdom taught us anything, it’s that the connection between the Cody boys is tenuous. They’ve got each other’s backs when it comes down to it, but there’s a whole lot going on with them that could lead to something explosive. “Stay Close, Stick Together” starts to expose some of the issues within the family, and they’re maybe more combustible than we first thought.

Things start off with a friend of Pope’s trying to get him back in the robbery game. He says he’s got an easy job lined up where they can steal a safe from a building that’s all cheap drywall. Pope says he’s not looking to get back in the game just yet, even though this “friend” says he “owes him one.” That sounds pretty ominous to me.

Meanwhile, J is sleeping over at Nicky’s and generally kind of avoiding the family. Still, he needs to check in there, and before he goes, he takes back the stolen watch he gave Nicky. On the way out he runs into her father, who gives him hell for sleeping over but also wants to know that his daughter is doing okay. Animal Kingdom is definitely setting Nicky up for something bad in the future. At the same time, it certainly doesn’t help J’s wariness around the family that when he gets home Smurf starts talking to him about sex, asking if Nicky “knows what he likes.” So gross.

Down in Mexico things are going pretty well for Bax and Craig. While Craig is recovering in the hospital Bax is living with a woman he seems to have quite the romantic relationship with. They’re having sex, cuddling, and he’s even giving her kid Xbox games as a gift. How many lives are these guys leading? I mean, Craig even almost gets roped into a job when they’re chilling with some friends on the beach post-recovery, so clearly there’s a lot we don’t know about these guys.

Back at home Smurf is doing everything she can to intimidate Catherine and make her fall into line. She’s teaching Lina how to swim by just leaving her in the pool, and then kidnapping her from the supermarket where a babysitter is supposed to be looking after her. Smurf thinks Catherine is ungrateful, but it’s all old-school crime boss intimidation. Bax knows it too when he finds out about the incident when he comes back, but he also knows Smurf means business.

Meanwhile, Smurf sends Deran on a run to collect rent from a surf shop. When he gets there he’s all meek and uncomfortable and it’s not clear why. That is until he asks a man named Adrian for the money and it turns out that Adrian is the guy Deran was fooling around with in that beach bathroom. And surprise, Adrian isn’t too happy. He’s all busted up and had to fork out cash for medical bills, so he doesn’t see how he can pay the rent. That leaves Deran in a tough spot, and that’s when Pope comes through.

NEXT: It’s in the burrito (read more at the source … )

Related Links:
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom [2016] > Season 01 > Promotional & Episodic Photography > 1.03 – Stay Close, Stick Together
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom [2016] > Season 01 > Episode Screencaptures > 1.03 – Stay Close, Stick Together

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Animal Kingdom – 1.02 – We Don’t Hurt People Recap

Animal Kingdom – 1.02 – We Don’t Hurt People Recap

EW.COM – In the second part of the premiere, “We Don’t Hurt People,” things continue to be pretty bad for J and the rest of the Cody clan. One minute they’re “goofing around” in the pool — meaning lots of punching and near-drowning — and the next they’re learning that the cop from their robbery job is dead.

The boys find out one by one. After Baz sees the news, it’s Smurf who sends J to find Deran and bring him back to the house. J finds him at the beach, hiding away in a washroom while being “serviced” by another man. When Deran sees J walk in, he begins attacking his companion, coming up with the bald lie that the man tried to take his wallet. There’s just a bit of toxic masculinity running through this family.

Back at home, all the Codys gather for a family meeting. While some of their bases are covered, they determine they need to get rid of the watches and dismantle and bleach the car they used for the job. That means sending Craig, Deran, and J out to the yard to do the grunt work, which Deran doesn’t exactly take in stride.

See, Deran’s pissed about having to do the heavy lifting while Smurf handles the money, especially now that they have to get rid of the watches (meaning a smaller cut for everyone). He’s worried about being broke, even though it’s pretty clear Smurf has always taken care of them.

While taking the car apart, Craig struggles to do just about anything, the wound on his chest getting worse with each passing minute. Deran urges him to go to Mexico, but Craig doesn’t want to; he says he doesn’t need to cause any more problems for the family.

Back at home, J finds that Pope has completely tossed his room. He says he was looking for the watch he gave J, which J says he already gave to Nicky, but I’m not so sure that’s all Pope wants. Pope is clearly a loose cannon, and there’s more to his intrusion into J’s life than meets the eye. He’s got a very bad vibe, as he idly threatens J and seems to have some sort of weird attraction to Nicky, carrying her to bed and staring at her. None of this bodes well for J.

After all, this is the man who we later learn is also hot for Catherine, Baz’s girlfriend/wife/lover. He heads over to her place and tries to “win her back” in a sense, but it turns out Catherine isn’t into Pope just creepily showing up with presents for her daughter. Pope must have done something pretty bad in the past, because nobody seems to be excited to have him back.

NEXT: Mexico and pills (read more at the source … )

Related Links:
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom [2016] > Season 01 > Promotional & Episodic Photography > 1.02 – We Don’t Hurt People
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom [2016] > Season 01 > Episode Screencaptures > 1.02 – We Don’t Hurt People

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Animal Kingdom – 1.01 – Pilot Recap

Animal Kingdom  – 1.01 – Pilot Recap

EW.COM – If gritty crime dramas with hunky men and mommy issues are your thing, there’s a good chance you’re going to go crazy for Animal Kingdom. Loosely adapted from the 2010 Australian film of the same name — though more closely resembling a TV version of Point Break than anything else — TNT’s Animal Kingdom is steeped in California noir goodness. There’s coke, neon lights, sunny beaches, weed, robberies, violence, and Ellen Barkin. What more could you ask for?

The premiere certainly gets right down to business, with paramedics showing up at an apartment and responding to a woman dying from a heroin overdose while her son sits on the couch with a nonchalant look on his face. It’s obvious he’s been here before, though this time is different. The boy is Josh, a.k.a. “J,” and this time his mom, Julia, doesn’t recover. After she dies, J ends up calling his grandmother (Ellen Barkin), known affectionately as Smurf, for a place to stay.

Smurf comes to pick up her grandson, and smuggles away some drugs while she’s at it. As J is about to leave, he’s confronted by his mom’s dealer, who’s asking for money he’s owed. J doesn’t tell him his Mom died, but he doesn’t pay him either. It’s a small moment, but one that leads to a bigger turning point later in the episode.

When J is brought back to his grandmother’s place, we get a glimpse at the life she and her sons are living. There’s a pool, nice cars, plenty of TVs, and money lying around the house. It seems like they’re living the dream, especially compared to the relative squalor J was used to, but it’s clear that everything’s not exactly on the up-and-up. Still, J’s uncles set him up in a room, bring him a TV, and give him some money to buy new shoes.

As it turns out, J’s extended family are a bunch of criminals, mostly running robbery jobs. Smurf’s in charge and her boys do the grunt work. Smurf wants to bring J into the fold for the next operation, which is set to go down in a few days, but her boys aren’t so sure. They don’t know a thing about J and aren’t sure if they can trust him.

Still, the uncles are trying to make J feel at home, in their own twisted, criminally inclined way. They take him surfing, where they intentionally piss off other surfers before getting J to pull a gun and show that he’s manly enough, that he can hold his own with the big boys. J is clearly reluctant, but what choice does he have?

Back at home, J discovers the room he’s staying in isn’t exactly his. It belonged to Pope (Shawn Hatosy), another one of Smurf’s sons, who was sent to prison for three years for robbing a bank. He’s back home now and not entirely excited to see J in his room. The feeling seems mutual. J is wary of the man and so is Smurf, who’s fairly reserved for someone whose boy just got out of prison.

When J isn’t spending time being slightly mystified and terrified of his uncles, he’s hanging out with his girlfriend, Nicky. After some foreplay that J isn’t into (ya know, because of the whole dead-mom thing), they start talking about his mom’s death and where he’s living. As the episode progresses, it’s hinted that Nicky’s about to get roped into this criminal lifestyle alongside J, if she’s not careful.

NEXT: New, stolen…same difference (read more at the source … )

Related Links:
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom [2016] > Season 01 > Promotional & Episodic Photography > 1.01 – Pilot
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom [2016] > Season 01 > Episode Screencaptures > 1.01 – Pilot

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Vikings – “Promised” Recap

Vikings – “Promised” Recap

There’s an air of betrayal at Court in Paris and Wessex as those whom Odo trusts plot against him and Ecbert agrees to support Kwenthrith in Mercia, but is Ecbert a true ally? Ragnar confides in Yidu his darkest secret.

Related Links:
» Television Productions > Vikings [2015 – Present] > Season 04 > Promotional & Episodic Photography > 4.05 – Promised
» Television Productions > Vikings [2015 – Present] > Season 04 > Episode Screencaptures > 4.05 – Promised

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Vikings – “Yol” Recap

Vikings – “Yol” Recap

The Yule Log burns in the Great Hall in Kattegat and, though Floki must remain out in the cold, other visitors are welcomed, among them a Norwegian King and Bjorn, with a new partner we’ve met before. King Aelle visits Wessex for Christmas and is not impressed with how family relations are developing. In Paris, Rollo’s future hangs in the balance–can he win-over his new bride, Gisla, as a Papal Delegation arrives to arrange a divorce?

Related Links:
» Television Productions > Vikings [2015 – Present] > Season 04 > Promotional & Episodic Photography > 4.04 – Yol
» Television Productions > Vikings [2015 – Present] > Season 04 > Episode Screencaptures > 4.04 – Yol

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Vikings – “Mercy” Recap

Vikings – “Mercy” Recap

Ragnar tells Floki of a heavy price he has paid for his actions but as Floki remains a prisoner, a mysterious visitor to Ragnar counsels mercy. Intrigue prevails at the French Court as Rollo finds an unlikely ally in Count Odo, but can’t escape the contempt of his new bride. Bjorn must fight a fierce opponent in the wilderness but will he survive the threat that Erlendur and Kalf are sending his way?

Related Links:
» Television Productions > Vikings [2015 – Present] > Season 04 > Promotional & Episodic Photography > 4.03 – Mercy
» Television Productions > Vikings [2015 – Present] > Season 04 > Episode Screencaptures > 4.03 – Mercy

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Vikings – “A Good Treason” Recap

Vikings – “A Good Treason” Recap

Entry to Valhalla eludes Ragnar but as he lies in his sick bed in Kattegat events unfold beyond his control. Bjorn orders the arrest of Floki for Athelstan’s murder while in Paris, Rollo betrays the last of his Viking supporters to strengthen his position in the French Court. Meanwhile, in Hedeby, Kalf announces joint Earldom with Lagertha, but is power-sharing Kalf’s true intention and is Lagertha actually willing to share what once was hers?

Related Links:
» Television Productions > Vikings [2015 – Present] > Season 04 > Promotional & Episodic Photography > 4.01 – A Good Treason
» Television Productions > Vikings [2015 – Present] > Season 04 > Episode Screencaptures > 4.01 – A Good Treason