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 … )
Ben Robson has a distinctly English accent, so can he pull off a surfer dude drawl in TNT’s Animal Kingdom? If he uses the voice he previewed for us, then he can hang ten with the best of them.
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 … )
TV’s newest crime family just landed a second season. TNT has renewed Animal Kingdom, the Ellen Barkin drama about a family who surfs by day and steals by night.
The series, which airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET, is based on the Australian film that scored Jacki Weaver an Oscar nomination. In addition to Barkin, the show stars Shawn Hatosy (Southland) and Scott Speedman (Felicity).
“Animal Kingdom has signaled the new tone for TNT dramas and is moving the network in the direction we hoped it would,” Sarah Aubrey, EVP of original programming for TNT, said in a statement. “I’m confident that our strategy of working with high-caliber talent and then getting out of their way will continue to pay off.”
Also renewed by Turner are two TBS comedies, Angie Tribeca and Wrecked. Tribeca, starring Rashida Jones and produced by Steve and Nancy Carrell, returns for a third season, while the Wrecked, a parody of Lost, will be back for a second season.
“A year ago we began reinventing TBS, and thanks to the incredible talent behind these shows, we’ve come a long way in a very short amount of time,” said Brett Wietz, EVP of original programming for TBS. “Pulling the trigger on renewals early allows us to build on our success by giving fans new seasons more quickly.”
Angie Tribeca airs on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET and Wrecked on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
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 … )
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom  > Season 01 > Promotional & Episodic Photography > 1.03 – Stay Close, Stick Together
» Television Productions > Animal Kingdom  > Season 01 > Episode Screencaptures > 1.03 – Stay Close, Stick Together
PEOPLE.COM – Say hello to Hollywood’s newest heartthrob, Ben Robson.
The Newcastle upon Tyne, England native, 32, made a name for himself as one of the stars of History’s Vikings, and his latest role has him going from the rugged life of a sea-rover to that of a sandy SoCal bad boy in Animal Kingdom. Robson, who plays a troublemaking lothario in a twisted crime family in the new TNT drama, is quickly earning his spot as one of Hollywood’s sexiest new breakout stars.
Here are five things to know about the actor.
He didn’t know he wanted to be an actor until after he finished school.
“I got into it very late. I went to university and [finished] out at 25, and told my parents I didn’t feel I was doing the right thing and that I wanted to go to acting school. I didn’t finish until I was 27. Acting was something that kind of came later. I was always interested in it, I love film and the escapism of it all and that was always my interest. It was actually when a friend told me at University that he wanted to go into acting I was like ‘Oh my god I always wanted to do that.’ ”
His first professional acting role was on Dracula: The Dark Prince.
“I was sitting in Romania with the director and producer and tell me Jon Voight was on the way over from America because he is going to be playing opposite of you. I was just like ‘Oh my god that’s an Oscar winner!’ He really was an incredible teacher and a very generous person. It’s very surreal as a first gig to get to work with him and it gave me a lot more confidence to carry on in what I was doing.”
Wielding a sword as a Viking isn’t his only special talent.
“I used to play a lot of soccer and was pretty good at it. I could do a lot of kick-ups and freestyle tricks. But I haven’t seen many soccer scripts coming around recently so it’ll be a while before anyone gets the chance to see any of that. I’ve always really enjoyed sports, it was the one thing I really liked at school. I just loved being able to get outside and run around for a while.”
He doesn’t mind his heartthrob status
“You appreciate anyone who is enjoying anything you’re doing which is obviously a lovely thing to hear. It’s lovely to speak with the fans and people who are supportive in what you’re doing and who are interested in how you’re doing.
He could see himself working behind the camera.
“I’d really love to get into writing and I’d love to direct one day. That might be waiting a little so I can learn more, but I’d love to just keep working with great people and on interesting subject matter that you can really sort of delve into. I’d just like to be in a position where I can continue to do this for the rest of my life.”