animal kingdom season 1 episode 10 ellen barkin finn cole

Animal Kingdom Season Finale Recap: Arrested Developments

At least until you get to the poll at the bottom of this recap, no one can say that Season 1 of Animal Kingdom didn’t go out with a bang: By the end of “What Have You Done,” one character had eaten lead, another was in handcuffs, and J had revealed whether he would be playing for Team Cops or Team Robbers. Which was it? Read on and find out!

SCAPEGOAT | As the episode opened, Smurf was as concerned about why the Codys’ stolen loot hadn’t moved in two days as Baz was about Catherine. To keep him from getting anything more out of Lena than hazy recollections of a man driving Mommy’s car, Smurf produced the payoff money that Vin had returned and said that the ex-con had threatened them all — especially Catherine.

That being all Baz needed to hear, he had Pope lure his fellow jailbird into an ambush, then beat him to within an inch of his life. When Vin refused to either cop to killing Catherine or all-the-way croak, Pope sent Baz home. “I’ll take care of it,” Andrew promised. Only his idea of doing so wasn’t to finish the job, it was to drop off his barely-breathing old pal outside a hospital. Yeah, like that isn’t gonna come back to haunt him!

animal kingdom season 1 episode 10 finn coleRAISED STAKES | After J was ordered by Smurf to dump Alexa, lest the Codys’ criminal empire get sucked into a Mary Kay Letourneau mess at his school, Sandra and Patrick reminded the teen — as if what, he’d forget? — to let them know the minute the dough showed up at his grandma’s. Later, he called his teacher on banging him just to get him to rat out his family but let her reassure him that what they had had become real.

Meanwhile, Paul showed up at Casa Cody and informed Smurf that there was a slight delay in moving the money. And, before she could say, “Tell me something I don’t know,” he added, “I’m the one that delayed it.” However, as soon as she agreed to increase his cut from $100k to $150k — you know, just so he’d “feel respected” — then, the plan would get right back underway.

COP-BLOCKED | True to his word, Paul subsequently did get the money moving, and after some messy, Laurel-and-Hardy-esque difficulties retrieving the loot, Deran and Craig made it home to celebrate — at least until J confessed to Smurf that he was being pressured to tip off the police and instructed her to hide the cash.

animal kingdom season 1 episode 10 ellen barkinNext thing we knew, the house was being (pointlessly) raided, and Yates was ready to send J up the river for choosing robbers instead of cops. Unfortunately for her, the minor had recorded Alexa admitting that she’d shagged him on the detective’s orders. Unless Sandra wanted the D.A. to find out, that was check and mate!

IN THE CROSSHAIRS | As the hour neared its conclusion, Paul returned to Casa Cody naively thinking Smurf would send him home with $150k rather than deposit his cut in a bus-station locker weeks later (as any sensible criminal would — duh). Of course, all he left with was a disturbing eyeful of Nicky with every father’s worst nightmare Craig.

Next, Smurf meant to chew out J for lying to her but mostly wound up praising her grandson’s “brass balls” and cunning. “You play your cards right, you can do well with us,” she said. And, as a token of her admiration, she gave him — what else? — a gun (which he ultimately looked tempted to use on Nicky’s new boyfriend, didn’t you think?).

animal kingdom season 1 episode 10 shawn hatosyDIVIDED THEY FALL? | Finally, Pope had it out with Smurf over Catherine and the fact that, although it was him that Mom turned to for “all the dark and terrible s—,” Baz had always been her favorite — and he wasn’t even her real son. In the end, Pope declared that he wanted his cut all at once (vs. the usual installment plan) and intended to get his own place. Smurf, he argued, was “sicker than I’ll ever be.” He just might be onto something there, too.

Anyway, off that confrontation, Smurf shot and killed Isaiah; J watched as Sandra and Patrick arrested Alexa; and Pope lied to Baz that nope, Vin hadn’t said anything “at the end.” (Then again, even if Pope had killed Vin, what could he have said with his mouth as full of blood as it was?)

So, confession: After my lukewarm initial review of the show, I wound up getting hooked. In fact, I’d give the finale a solid B. How about you? Grade it in the poll below, then hit the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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51 Comments
  1. worthymagic says:

    Outstanding season finale. Best new show of the summer. Killer Smurf for President. More Balls than that other lady.

  2. Julia says:

    I am unsure if the teacher was arrested because of being with a minor or because her “cooperation” was a failure. Can you clarify??

    • TheSecretary says:

      There was no way the cops could out her for being a minor without admitting they’d orchestrated the relationship. I interpteted her arrest as sour grapes. She was the only one they could arrest after they lost their shot at the Codys, so they took their angst out on her.

    • flipgirl24 says:

      My take was that since they didn’t get the goods on the Cody family, their deal was void so they were arresting Alexa for dealing heroin.

  3. Melissa Foley says:

    HUGE FAN!!! Can not wait for season 2! The twists, the turns, suspense have looked forward to Tuesday nights to watch!
    The cast is amazing and really deserve to know how great the show is because the characters they play!!!! 💯🔝

  4. Gary Pierce says:

    Can’t wait for this twisted family to go down in flames

    • Gary Pierce says:

      Can’t wait for this twisted family to go down in flames. And what idiot writer
      thought the chevelle was a 63, that was really funny.

  5. Tonu says:

    Great show

  6. tallsy says:

    It took a couple episodes but I grew to like the show.

  7. Suzan Acosta says:

    The best show ever !!

  8. flipgirl24 says:

    I was interested in this show from the beginning because it was different from anything else on TV. And well, anything with Ellen Barkin is interesting. (Still not used to her being a grandma though) The show didn’t grab me at first bit it did after every episode. The actors are great -especially Ellen Barkin, Scott Speedman and Jake Weary. The only one I wasn’t too keen on was Pope. He didn’t seem to have any depth-until this episode. When he was reaming Smurf for playing favorites, he finally revealed some personality and less creepiness. I wish seasons didn’t end because I could use a show to watch on Tuesdays. The scene when Craig and Dean were getting thrown around in the truck was funny but I felt myself saying ‘come on guys, get your act together’ because that is what Smurf would say.

    • Shellbell9261 says:

      I felt the same regarding Pope just showing a ‘creepiness’ in the character…until I watched the original Australian movie…and that is the real Pope. Furthermore…the actual family both movie and series are based on in real life (Pettingills of Australia)…one of the brothers was that way…pure psychopath…disassociated…remorseless…cold blooded.
      Throw that in with the somewhat incestuous relationship with Smurf…jeez…no wonder he has dead eyes..(I’ll never forget the strip club scene…the only way he could be satisfied was behind the girl…making her say
      “No…we can’t Andrew”…
      Took place not long after the scene where Pope is standing in Smurfs room…she says “Andrew?”…(1st time i had heard her call him Andrew)…and he ends up ‘spooning’ her.
      Complex character all in all…IMHO 😉

  9. Paulyn says:

    Can’t wait for season 2. Great show.

  10. Taylor Cole says:

    Am I the only one thinking Jay coming for all of them. Excited for season 2!!

    • Birk says:

      I agree, J”s uncle Craig and his ex girlfriend who is now sleeping with Craig for access to free drugs are probably first on his list. Did you catch that last scene with J holding the gun Smurf gave him looking out to the backyard where the Cody family were with a glimmer of hatred in his eyes..

    • Weezy says:

      Exactly how I took it. I think Smurf is actually his main target though. He will probably start with Craig though because A) he is pretty much an idiot that you could work up VERY easily and B) he is not only banging Jay’s girl, but he also made it a point to try to alpha dog Jay which makes it seem more like a relationship that I initially thought.

      I like the actor that plays Craig, but that character is such a joke. Now he’s raping minors by offering drugs and seems to want to keep her around (as opposed to all the girls he has on the side). I still think the only real reason for this is to keep her dad playing ball. Once they get past this current job, he will likely kick her to the curb.

  11. Renay says:

    Please increase the episodes per season! For me, Season 1 was too short!

  12. Infinite says:

    Gosh, this season ended to quickly for my liking! Awesome episode and awesome show!

  13. Birk says:

    The best new show of the summer by far and I admire the bravery of TNT for bringing an adult oriented show to their network.. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for season 2

    • Michele dela Croix says:

      Actually it was supposed to be a showtime series,but they passed on it good for TNT season 2 needs to happen now.

  14. trish says:

    I
    the finale was INSANE !! cant wait for season 2

  15. Weezy says:

    See I thought the ending alluded to J going after Smurf next season. Like he played it this way to bide his time and get everyone to trust him so he can make a major move next season (perhaps take out multiple members of the family). It just looked to me like he was mostly staring down Smurf at the end.

  16. Darryl says:

    That girl will be strung out before summer. Kid was trying to help her, She was too dumb to see it…

  17. Albin says:

    It definitely took two or three episodes to like and by the end it turned into love!
    If they play their cards right this will be the next BreakingBad! They definitely build up the characters in this season with a phenomenal ending. Can’t wait to see how this show will evolve.

  18. A thorlin says:

    The violence is too much as well as the pathology is overkill Ellen Barkin has no redeeming qualities and the way she and Pope
    Carry themselves makes it more difficult to
    Like them

  19. Laura Engler says:

    Show did not grab me at first, but the compelling new look at Ellen Barkin made me watch the weirdness. I got hooked on this sinister show and am now a huge fan! Love Finn Cole…his character is a good enough reason for me to tune in next season, and I can’t wait!

  20. Jean says:

    I saw the finale……why did Smurf shoot that guy at the end. Somehow I missed that connection.

    • Lorie Gregory says:

      Jean, she killed him because her mother got shot and killed doing a store robbery with him when Smurf was still a young girl. The show showed that in flashbacks

  21. Debra says:

    Great acting by the whole cast. One of the last scenes, when Pope tells off Smurf, that was intense. That guy nailed that scene!

  22. Debra says:

    My forecast…I think Jay and Alexa are secretly conspiring to somehow expose the Codys and be together in the end. Just guessing.

  23. Nancy says:

    Loved this first season! Looking so forward to next season! The acting is supur!!! The creators, directors, and full cast members should take home a Emmy in 2017!

  24. Great storyline the way everything was set up for the grand finale. The Big Heist went down everything fell in place. Producer and the writers have set up a great new season. Can’t wait!!!!

  25. KingTheMessiah says:

    Why is no-one bringing up the fact that Craig is a pedophile dirtbag? He basically challenged a kid to a fight over a girl he ain’t got no legal business touching.

  26. Jo Cave says:

    The Tv show’s closest characters to all the people that this show is loosely based on are Smurf and Pope. The rest of the family were all like them. Smurf is a silly name for her.

  27. Patrick says:

    The one thing most people don’t realize is that 16 is the age of legal consent in most all 50 states now. The old myth of “18” is outdated. Alexa would’ve been in trouble since she was a teacher.

  28. Paulette Symonette says:

    It left me feelin unfullfilled…guess its cause am an animal kingdom junkie..

  29. Wanda Pearce says:

    Great show looking forward to next season

  30. Francine says:

    I forgot to add this comment with my first comment on how awesome the show is – please someone get rid of Niki. She’s an annoying little brat.

  31. BAH says:

    I love this show. It’s like a train wreck. Didn’t the Cody’s set Paul up by stashing money in his government car? I thought that’s what they did before the heist but then nothings been said about that. Also between 55 gal containers marked with red spray paint and driver shoved into one- Wouldn’t cops figure out something was smuggled out?

  32. Cleo Myrick says:

    I am hooked,can’t wait for the next season!

  33. Michele dela Croix says:

    As always with a great tv show the network will make us wait for 6 mos to start the next chapter in the saga of Animal Kingdom which I hate. I want to see the next episode next week !!!

  34. lenny w says:

    I wish the show kept on. All the characters are spellbinding especially Ellen Barkin. I think J is going to be a force in this show. Of course will Baz find out what happened to his girl friend.

  35. Totally awesome. Always expect the unexpected. Hooked, Hooked and Hooked. Can’t wait for next season.

  36. Sheri wetzel says:

    This show is better than sons of anarchy…. it blows me away every week.. hate to wait so long till next season… great show finally!!… love smurf she is so demented…lol

  37. Animal Kingdom is the show for those who missed the alpha make vibe of Sons of Anarchy. I love the show, great to see Sean Hatosy from Southland back in a regular series, and Ellen Barkin is amazing as a modern Ma Barker. Long may this show run! Best new show of the summer by a mile.

  38. Mr me says:

    This flick is riviting and keeps you on edge. Smurf as ugly as she is makes me excided enough that she can give me somptun.

  39. KatiSmith says:

    Never once got bored. My new addiction. Can’t wait til season two!!!!