Animal Kingdom Recap: Death Wish — Plus, [Spoiler]'s Surprising Return


Season 4 of Animal Kingdom got oh so much wilder with Tuesday’s episode. Not only did Smurf embark on a farewell tour to rival Cher’s, but J moved himself to the top of Mia’s hit list, Craig and Frankie’s relationship hit an extra-pointy fork in the road, Deran got stuck between a rock and a hard place, and one of the Codys got a blast from the past. Which one? Read on…

‘SHE’S NOT OUT THERE GETTING A TAN’ | As “Tank” began, Angela interrupted Pope’s regularly-scheduled staring at Lena’s name on her former closet doors to inform him that Smurf had spent the night poolside. “She wants you to see her,” Angela suggested. Pope tried not to take the bait as he left for work at the bar, but he couldn’t help himself. He’d no sooner passed his mother by than he’d doubled back and asked what she wanted. Needless to say, she instantly made him regret it. “Do you remember Tank?” she asked, smirking one of her more sadistic smirks. Apparently, Tank had been a cat that Julia and Pope had had as kids. When it had disappeared, Julia had suspected Pope of doing something to it, Smurf delighted in telling him. Somehow, Pope managed to huff off without issuing a snarky, “Good talk, Ma!” Later, Angela reached out to Smurf, who was busy ignoring calls from the most proactive doctor’s office I’ve ever heard of. Instead of simply say thanks or even no thanks, Smurf mocked Angela’s attempt to turn over a new leaf and warned her that Pope is “very unpredictable, especially if he likes you.” When finally Angela’d taken all she could, she stalked off, leaving dangling in the air a chilling question: “Did you ever tell your boys what you did to Julia?”

animal-kingdom-recap-season-4-episode-4-tank-renn-returnsMeanwhile, Mia arrived at J’s swanky place to discover that the code and locks had been changed — and all of her stuff had been thrown out. Luckily for him, her response wasn’t to pull a Lencho on ‘im. She just called Tupi, broke in and trashed the joint. The one thing that seemed to be spared as they made like cats knocking glasses off of counters was the vault — it only had papers in it, Mia told Tupi. So he shouldn’t bother trying to bust it open. (Of course, he still pissed on it. And she would’ve been a lot more interested in it if she’d realized that — at least I suspect — those papers reveal that J, not Morgan, ripped off Smurf’s properties.) Shortly, Craig laid out for Pope, Deran and J the plan to make off with the pricey poker-chips statue while it was in transit from the museum. It sounded fool-proof enough, but J still had concerns: The rich d-bag buyer had met Craig in person. And the only person vouching for the guy was Frankie — what did they even know about her, really? As the meeting broke up — J’s concerns having been brushed aside like broccoli in front of a chocolate fountain — Pope admitted to his nephew that he shouldn’t have believed what Smurf had told him about Julia. Hell, he shouldn’t have ever believed her about anything. “She’s been lying to me my whole life.”

animal-kingdom-recap-season-4-episode-4-tank-renn-returns‘CAN YOU JUST CLEAN UP OR MOP OR SOMETHING?’ | Later, Adrian got the shock of his life when he emerged from the shower to find… Smurf, in his and Deran’s place. With lasagna. WTH? First, she complained about everything from the mediocre oven to the fact that the guys didn’t keep their vodka in the freezer, then she asked what the boys had planned for her imminent birthday, went fishing to find out if Deran was with his brothers and, finally, asked how her youngest son was. “He hates me,” she noted. And Adrian tried to say nah, but as we all know, “you’re a very bad liar, Adrian.” Weeeird drop-in! At the bar, when Deran wasn’t trying to turn down the volume on Pope’s fastidiousness, he was fielding complaints from J. The teen argued that they’d agreed to keep working with Smurf until their money-laundering operation was strong enough to cut her out. Now they were working with this woman they hardly knew, taking unnecessary risks just because Craig wanted to get laid. In response, Deran reminded J that he was awfully new to the family business, and if he didn’t like the way things were working, his time would be better spent finding them a safer job than moping around and whining. (Snap!)

animal-kingdom-recap-season-4-episode-4-tank-renn-returnsWhen Deran got home later, he wished he had stayed at the bar. First, Colby was waiting outside to tell him that Ox’s body had been identified. Then, he learned about Smurf’s odd visit from Adrian, who added that Deran and his brothers had better have something epic planned for her upcoming birthday. Upcoming? “Her birthday’s not till November,” Deran said. That evening, Smurf paid a surprise visit to Craig’s that was every bit as strange as her visit to Deran’s had been. When Craig zonked out, Smurf told Frankie, “Don’t ever have kids. They never turn out the way you want them to.” Frankie couldn’t have kids if she wanted to — she’d had a hysterectomy. Too bad, said Smurf. “You woulda made a good mother. It’s not a hard job, it’s just a thankless one.” Across town, J joined Olivia at a blowout at Benji’s financier father’s ridiculously posh digs and immediately asked too many questions. “Nobody talks about their parents’ money,” Olivia had to tell him. “OK?” Back at Casa Cody, Pope was prepping for the heist and therefore extra shut off from Angela. So she made her move, in a way, forcing him to admit that he wanted her to stay. “Smurf told me that you were dangerous. Are you?” she asked. “No,” he answered (Shawn Hatosy reminding us how easy he makes it look, getting a word to sound almost like a sob stuck in the back of his throat). Finally, Angela all but sealed the deal we saw her making from the start when she ended their conversation by copping to a crush she’d had on him when they were kids. It’s just a matter of time, that hookup.

animal-kingdom-recap-season 4 episode 4 tank renn returns‘SMURF DOESN’T LIKE ANYONE WHO’S NOT IN THE FAMILY; SHE BARELY LIKES US!’ | The next day, Adrian was busily hoping that the evidence he turned over would be enough to get Jack arrested and get the DEA off his case. In other words, Adrian was busily deluding himself. We’re not after Jack, Agent Livengood clarified for him. “We’re after his boss’ boss.” What’s more, Adrian should’ve told him that Deran was his boyfriend, not his roommate. “There’s a difference.” (Oh, Adrian… !) At Craig’s, Frankie told her lover that she thought his mom was lonely, which sounded as silly to him as a day without beer. When Deran arrived for the job, it was clear that J had gotten in his head about Frankie. Nonetheless, the heist went off without a hitch. That is, until Frankie explained that Craig & Co. wouldn’t get paid until Raoul paid her. “I can’t go back to my family without our money!” he hollered. So Frankie took him to a storage unit, from which she withdrew $40k to tide them over. “This is how I do business. I’m not trying to screw you,” she reiterated. “I’m not the one you should be worrying about,” he replied. (Yeah, even on a good day, I’d prefer not to be on Pope’s bad side.) When J swung by his secret pad, he seemed surprised to find it trashed. “That bitch,” he muttered. Umm… what had he expected, a thanks-for-kicking-me-out card from Mia? At least his safe was, you know, safe. Smelly but safe. At the same time, Renn — a very-pregnant Renn — went knocking on Craig’s door. “Can I crash here tonight?” she asked. And since he was on the outs with Frankie, sure, she could.

animal-kingdom-recap-season 4 episode 4 tank renn returnsAs “Tank” neared its conclusion, Colby showed up at Deran’s bar and asked him to help fence some stolen watches. When Deran refused, Colby theorized that Adrian was working with Jack — given the surfer’s losing streak, there was no other way to explain how he was remaining on the tour. What’s more, Adrian’s “not working with Jack without you,” Colby surmised (incorrectly, since Deran hadn’t even come close to guessing what was going on until his frenemy had tried to spell it out). That being the (well, Colby’s imagined) case, Deran could either help him out with the watches or cut him in on his action with Jack and Adrian. Or else… ! When Pope returned to Casa Cody, he was livid to discover that Smurf had painted over Lena’s name in her old bedroom. But when he tore through the house looking for his mother, he was stopped in his tracks by the sight of her, passed out, mouth bloodied, on the bathroom floor. In that instant, he went from furious Hulk to scared little boy before our eyes. Aaand in our 1970s flashbacks, Janine’s bond with Colin intensified after he suffered a PTSD incident while camping out with their gang. She wouldn’t even let the other guys laugh at him. Instead, she pointed out that on a bank heist, they needed people to think they were dangerous. “Colin makes you dangerous,” she spat. So “show some goddamn respect.” (Did Janine actually love the guy? I always thought she was too broken a person to love. But maybe back then… )

So, what did you think of “Tank”? Were you surprised J would risk ticking off homicidal Mia that way? Do you suspect Renn is having Craig’s baby? And could the grave Adrian’s digging himself into get any deeper? Hit the comments.

GET MORE: Recaps