As the season finale of Animal Kingdom kicks off, it’s been three days since the robbery — and three days since Catherine, as far as Baz knows, went missing. Baz is frantic, roaming around the house and trying to come up with a plan to find her. He even asks Lena to try and remember what happened that night, despite the fact that she was (mostly) sleeping. Smurf, who knows the truth about Catherine, tries to calm him down, reprimanding him for not accepting the “truth”: Catherine packed a bag, took her passport, and left him for a new life.
Smurf is basically in charge of keeping everyone cool right now. Since the robbery, one thing after another seems to be popping up and threatening to completely destroy the Cody family. There’s Craig and Deran, still waiting for the money to move, with the former passing the time by snorting coke off the GPS that tracks the cash. There’s J, whom Smurf orders to break up with his teacher because such a relationship could draw unwanted attention to the family. And, of course, there’s Pope, trying his best to keep it together after killing Catherine.
The thing is, explaining away Catherine’s absence to Baz isn’t so easy. He doesn’t believe she’d just up and leave without Lena. So, Smurf comes up with a plan that will hopefully benefit everyone. She shows Baz the money they used to pay off Vin, and plants the idea in his head that Vin came to the house to threaten everyone, including Catherine. Pope, seeing this, can only play along.
With J receiving his orders from Smurf, he heads to Alexa’s house and — you guessed it — has sex with her again, before confronting her with the idea that Yates asked Alexa to sleep with him. She tells him the truth, that Yates used Alexa’s drug charge to blackmail her into sleeping with him, but insists what they have is real.
Meanwhile, back at the Cody house, Smurf has another problem to deal with. Paul shows up at the door — Smurf can barely conceal her disdain for this man’s stupidity — and starts making demands. Apparently, his new life of crime has emboldened him. He tells Smurf he wants a larger cut ($150,000) because they couldn’t have done the job without him. He says the delay in moving the money is because of him, so if Smurf agrees to the bigger payday, the money will be released and everyone will be happy.
While Craig and Deran follow four trucks that could have the money, waiting to establish which one has the barrels in the back, Pope and Baz kidnap Vin and bring him to an abandoned warehouse. While Pope listens, Baz beats the hell out of Vin as he’s tied to a chair. He asks him over and over again what he did with Catherine, but of course, Vin has no answers. Eventually, Baz gives up and Pope tells him to go home, that he’ll “take care” of Vin, who’s on the verge of death at this point.
NEXT: A man should have a gun (read more at the source … )
After weeks of teasing a big job, it’s finally time for the Cody boys — along with the perpetually nervous Paul — to pull off their heist of the military base. The money is in place, the plan looks solid, and their cover is intact. Now, all they need to do is the hard part: actually accomplish the job.
The heist gets off to a good start, as the guys make it past the military checkpoint rather easily. Their fake IDs, story about heading to the paintball park, and good ol’ American country music seems to have worked in fooling everyone. They find their way into the paintball game and, from there, set out on their own and move through a tunnel to meet Paul.
He finds them on the other side, where the boys have changed into military uniforms. They snag a key from Paul, who rushes off as quickly as he can, and hop in a Hummer. They make their way to a ventilation shaft and Pope, Craig, and Baz snake their way into Building 15 while Deran waits with the truck outside, watching for anything suspicious. So far, so good.
Once the guys make it inside the lockup, they get to work. They grab the real money and swap it with the fake cash Pope ironed out. They replace a bunch of barcodes and tracking numbers, and after hiding from four officers who briefly come inside the building, move on to the next part of the plan. That means stashing the money inside barrels of diesel, and after Baz does some quick thinking and manages to get the levels of the barrels just right, he calls Deran for the pickup.
Deran pulls up and they take off, bringing the truck to get demolished before heading home, where Smurf is waiting for them with freshly baked apple pie. The guys are ecstatic about pulling off the job, even if it’s not officially done yet. Baz is charged with the first watch of the money, which is being tracked, so the boys can snag the barrels once they’re on the move. Still, so far it’s a job well done.
But this is the second-to-last episode of the season, and as Animal Kingdom has already been renewed for more, that simply can’t be the end of the robbery. See, there are threats to the Cody family lurking all around. Not only is Paul calling Baz and checking in with him (like a complete idiot), but Catherine is throwing a wrench into the whole operation.
She shows up at Smurf’s house while the guys are executing the job, doing her best to put on a faux-congenial attitude with the woman she hates. The visit isn’t about making amends with Lena’s grandmother, though. It’s about grabbing some money and skipping town. She sneaks out to the laundry area and snags $10,000 from behind the dryer before taking off with Lena, thinking she’s been truly sneaky.
However, Smurf’s smarter than that. After Lena spills the beans about her mom having a cop friend, Smurf is suspicious. Then, when she goes to finish her laundry, she realizes $10,000 is missing. She doesn’t know for sure it’s Catherine, but she can put two and two together. Something’s up.
NEXT: Reverberations (read more at the source … )
For weeks now, the Cody boys have been planning their biggest heist yet. They’re used to small-time robberies, stuff that — as Deran points out — even a monkey could be trained to do. Now they’re planning on stealing money from a military base that’s heavily guarded by marine patrols. Everything needs to be perfect, but that’s easier said than done, especially with this group of stoned surfers.
The biggest wild card, other than perhaps J, is Paul. He’s definitely in on the job, but it’s clear he’s a little hesitant, letting a little moral crisis creep in on his subconscious every now and then. He’s freaking out over the details of the plan, snapping at Baz when he’s not specific enough about where the cash will be. Part of his hesitation is they can’t figure out a way to get the money out of the base. They need the cash to be in Building 15, but rerouting it there from its usual holding place in Building 13 would mean drawing attention to Paul. So they come up with a plan, and it involves J.
Speaking of J, he’s not too happy that Alexa has been spying on him. He tells her at school that if his family had found out about her and her spying, he’d probably be dead. She offers a deal for both of them to go to Detective Yates and come clean, but J refuses. He tells her she needs to stay away from him and the two separate, but not before Nicky sees them and assumes the worst.
That sends Nicky to the house to…wait for J? I don’t know, she mostly just needs to be there in order to create conflict. After all, Smurf can’t have Nicky seeing her father planning a heist with the Cody boys, now can she? So, Smurf sends Craig out to the driveway to get rid of her. The two take a ride to the beach, smoke some weed, and talk about Paul and J. Then Nicky says she wants to leave and do some coke. The question is: Do they do more than that?
That’s an important question, because the answer just might ruin the whole military-base operation. See, Paul is obviously a wild card, but J is just as much of a variable, especially since he’s still protective of Nicky. Anyway, Smurf needs him to pull off the first part of the plan, something that would allow Paul to move the money to Building 15 without anyone getting suspicious. J agrees to the gig, and for now it seems like he’s all in on being part of his family’s criminal activity.
But how long until Detective Yates is on to them? She’s meeting with Catherine, trying to convince her to turn on Baz and start a new life with her daughter under witness protection. She lays out all sorts of gory details as to why she should. It was Smurf who ordered her parents’ house to be burned down, killing them in the process; it was Pope who actually did the deed; Baz knew about the whole thing, hence why he called her to sneak out that night. Is it enough for Catherine to flip, though?
NEXT: Only the Pope can iron the bills (read more at the source … )
The Cody family really wouldn’t be the Cody family without a few lies. Their whole dynamic involves lying to one another, lying to themselves, and lying to other people. It’s what they do. Sure enough, “Goddamn Animals” begins with a lie, and it’s one that leads to an enlightening episode for the character of Smurf.
You see, Smurf is going away to Vegas for the weekend with her beau Toby, leaving the boys to do whatever they please. She gives them $1,000, some mediocre paychecks, and tells them to keep an eye on a work phone while she’s gone. While J is spilling a few details to Alexa about his messed up family, Craig and Deran are planning to throw a party while Smurf’s in Vegas.
Here’s where the lies come in. When Craig catches up with Deran and Adrian on the beach, inviting the latter to his party, he tells them that he just saw Toby and that he has no clue what this whole Vegas trip is. So, why is Smurf really gone for the weekend, and why didn’t she tell the boys about it?
The first clues we get to Smurf’s real plans involve her seeing a man from her past. We don’t get to know much about him, but Smurf has paid him to mess with some cameras at an auto shop. “Stealing cars now?” he asks before asking about Craig. “Does he still look like me?” he asks. This is the first time we’ve seen one of the boys’ fathers, but the interesting thing is, he’s hardly relevant to the story. Smurf didn’t leave town to see him.
Instead, we see Smurf at an auto body shop, using the name “Rachel” and showing interest in buying a classic muscle car. Smurf and the older salesman spend some time talking about the car and drawing up the paperwork. Then, Smurf sees an old photo of him hanging in his office; it’s the same sunny surf photo from last week, the one where Smurf clearly recognized who was in the picture.
Meanwhile, back at home, Pope’s old prison buddy Vin is once again hitting him up for a job. He’s pissed about Pope stealing the last one, so now he wants in. He brings Pope to a bank job but he refuses to go through with it, saying that it’s clear they’ll get caught. Vin’s not too happy about the rejection, even going so far as to threaten Pope by revealing his love for Catherine to Baz, and then threatening Baz himself if he doesn’t get a cut of a job sometime in the future.
Vin won’t have much of a claim at all if Baz can’t rope Paul in for the job though. He’s the one variable. So, Baz spends much of the episode buttering him up, making sure that he’ll be receptive to the plan when the phone Smurf gave them finally rings. He lets Paul use the Charger and gives him $5,000 as a “thank you” when he takes some not-so-legal financial advice.
NEXT: The Origin of Smurf (read more at the source … )
Remember how Baz was greasing up Nicky’s dad, Paul, in order to maybe use him as a mark for a job that involved breaking into a military base? Well this week’s episode starts with Baz and Paul gunning that beauty of a car Paul noticed in the previous episode down the open road, the two bonding over like, guy stuff or whatever. You know, engines, speed; those kinds of things. Baz is getting closer to Paul, creating a rapport and sense of trust, and it’s all because he has a big idea for a heist.
The episode also starts with a less fun trip than the one Baz and Paul are having: Smurf has to pick up Pope from prison because he got busted failing a drug test. Pope is livid, saying he didn’t do it, but that doesn’t matter to his parole officer. Smurf knows what the real deal is though. Pope was likely busted because of what she was putting into his food without him knowing.
After we learn that Alexa Anderson, J’s teacher, is roped into this whole CI business because she tried to buy five grams of heroin off an undercover cop — teachers these days! — we head back to the Cody house and see Baz unveiling his plan. Or, at least, part of his plan. He tells the family, minus J, about stealing a bunch of money from the military base and how he gets the sense that Paul only needs a little push to screw over his employer.
Deran and Craig are down with the idea because they’ll pretty much do anything, but Pope isn’t so sure. He says it’s too dangerous and complicated, and that they should stick to their simple jobs. Smurf seems to agree, but she’s also willing to let Baz continue to get close to Paul and see how things play out.
Here’s the thing with the Cody boys though: They’re fickle. So, when Baz tells Deran and Craig to hit Paul’s house that night and steal a few things, Craig throws a hissy fit and refuses to go because he’s supposed to go to a party with Ren. He tries to stand up to Smurf alongside Deran, but when Deran backs down Smurf just lets Craig off the job and slots Pope into his spot.
It isn’t much later that Craig is really wishing he had done the job. After getting super high and having sex with Ren in the back of the restaurant where they’re partying, she reveals that she’s figured out he was the one who left her for dead. She says she’s going to do the same to him, and her buddies jump him while he’s naked, tie him to the chair, and start cooking enough heroin to make him OD.
Just as they inject the solution and Craig freaks out, they laugh and let him know it’s just saline with a little tea for coloring. They want him to get $6,800 to make up for what he took from Ren, then they’ll let him live. That forces Craig to put in an embarrassing call to Smurf, who shows up to bail him out, but not without telling him that he needs to get his life together real quick.
NEXT: Family comes first (read more at the source … )
If you haven’t noticed, Smurf’s collection of “sons” consists of mostly man-babies. Sure, they have adult bodies and even pseudo-adult lives, but when it comes to standing up to their mother and asserting their independence, they’re seriously lacking. At least Deran is doing his best to separate from Smurf, holing up at his own place and refusing to come home even as she puts her boys back to work.
Their next job is to rob some shipping containers, but Pope isn’t too happy about it. He wants to go bigger and better, but he can’t convince the rest of the family. With Deran gone and Baz unable to bring him back, Pope is certainly outnumbered, more prone to the whims and control of Smurf and Baz than before.
For awhile, it doesn’t look like Deran is coming home anytime soon. He’s surfing and hanging out with Adrian — and as Smurf points out, he has a history of just taking off, even disappearing to Belize for five weeks at some point in the past. With Baz unable to get the job done and bring Deran back, Pope decides to step in. He goes to Deran’s apartment, cleans it up a bit, and waits all night for him. Alas, he never shows.
That’s because Deran is too busy being a total creep. First he teases Adrian’s friend, who’s clearly more than just a friend, and then breaks into his apartment and has sex with him to assert his dominance. Adrian tries to break things off and say they can’t keep going on like this, with Deran hating himself and hiding his sexuality, but it doesn’t look like anything is going to change. Also, that Belize trip? That’s right, Deran went there with Adrian.
Back at the Cody house, Smurf has invited Nicky’s parents over for dinner. It’s a way to make them feel comfortable with Nicky spending so much time there, but also to make sure Nicky’s father stays out of their business. The dinner is a success, but J takes off shortly after and immediately raises Smurf’s suspicions.
J’s secret plans are attending the surf-photo exhibit his teacher, Alexa Anderson, invited him to in the previous episode. The two spend the night discussing the meaning of the photos and then head back to her place for a drink. When Alexa gets close to J, putting her hand on his leg, he panics and decides it’s best he take off. Clearly, there’s something going on there beyond the typical student-teacher relationship.
Meanwhile, Baz, frustrated with how everything is going, visits his other woman, Lucy, to blow off a little steam. The two end up talking about Smurf and the hold she has on her boys, and Lucy insists Baz needs to get back to doing jobs on his own, like he used to do with her brother, Marco. Baz seems to think it’s not such a bad idea, but the question is, can he really disentangle himself from the Cody family and Smurf’s control? The odds are certainly against him.
NEXT: Momma’s boy (read more at the source … )
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 … )
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 … )
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