Warning: The following contains spoilers from Tuesday’s Animal Kingdom.
The reason Season 4 of Animal Kingdom has been spending so much time in the past became a whole lot clearer in Tuesday’s episode, Joseph Morgan’s first as the ’70s-era version of Colin’s brother, Jed. Turned out, the abusive survivalist had been hording gold for decades and by now, Smurf reckoned, had likely accumulated enough to make her last job a doozy. Read on, and not only will we go over the details of her scouting mission, we’ll cover Pope’s heartbreaking reunion with Lena, the bombshell we were all sure Renn was gonna drop on Craig, and the terrible “Get Out of Jail Free” card that Deran was offered on Adrian’s behalf.
‘WHEN WAS I FUN?’ | As “SHTF” began, Angela continued playing Pope by suggesting that if Smurf was gone for good, he must be in charge now. But she was so obvious about it that even he couldn’t completely miss her resemblance to Lady Macbeth. Meanwhile, Deran tried to assure himself as much as his boyfriend that Adrian wasn’t going to prison. “I’m gonna deal with Livengood,” Deran promised. Mm-hmm. Adrian’s one request? “Not his kids, OK?” That same night, J called a meeting with his uncles to present them with the loot that he’d retrieved during his “talk” with Mia, and to promise that this sort of thing would never happen again. “No, it won’t,” Pope angrily agreed, “’cause if it does, you don’t get another chance.” Afterwards, Pope revealed to his brothers that Smurf had cancer. The hellcat was officially out of the bag.
Speaking of the erstwhile Janine, in our ’70s flashbacks, she and Colin paid a visit to Jed’s compound, where she learned about his plan to turn the bunker he was building into his own personal Fort Knox. She also quickly deduced that he wasn’t just a nutso sleazebag who’d hit on his brother’s girlfriend (though he was certainly that, too), he was, as Colin put it, a “psycho son of a bitch” who terrorized wife Laney and, no doubt, their kids, too. As you’d expect, Colin and Janine didn’t stay long. When the brothers’ reunion ended in fisticuffs, they split, Janine announcing at that inopportune moment that she was pregnant. In present day, Smurf showed up at Jed’s looking to buy some guns — or so she said. What she really wanted to do was scope out his bunker. “What’s back there, baby?” she asked, eyeing a door that looked thick enough to have been a bank vault’s. Mission accomplished: She knew exactly where Jed was keeping his shiny fortune.
‘ARE YOU TRYING TO GO TO PRISON?’ | Back at Casa Cody, Angela once again pulled her puppetmaster routine on J. Big mistake. When she let slip that Pope had told her about the botched festival job, J suggested that they use his tracker to try and locate Smurf. What he was really doing, of course, was taking her straight back to the rundown neighborhood where she and Julia used to score drugs, and playing so nicely that she never suspected that he was setting her up to get high (which, after he left her alone with a wad of cash, she did). At the same time, Deran recruited Craig to drive the getaway car so that he could attempt to scare Livengood into leaving Adrian alone. But Deran was so sketchy on the details that Craig had to figure out for himself that holy crap! His brother was gonna mess up a cop?!? Pissed that Deran hadn’t trusted him — and wouldn’t even tell him why he was so desperate to rough up Livengood — Craig bolted. Later, he learned that Tasmin had found Renn passed out bleeding in her bathroom. But both Renn and her son — a whopping 11 lbs. — were fine. “I think he’s yours,” she finally admitted to Craig. And heaven help the kid, Craig was sincerely happy about it.
Back at Casa Cody, what began as Pope tidying up Smurf’s bedroom turned into an emotional spiral that led him to seek out a startled Lena outside her ballet class. When the little girl’s adoptive dad told Pope c’mon, he couldn’t just show up like that, Pope, looking his most like a sad puppy, shared that Lena’s grandmother was dying. But really, “I just needed to see her,” he said before leaving without incident. At Deran’s bar, who should saunter in but Pearce, full of “information” about Ox and Colby? Mind you, the detective wasn’t really there to grill Deran about those lowlifes. He wanted to suggested that, if Deran wanted to help his boyfriend, Pearce would be glad to intervene… provided he informed on Smurf and Pope. And just like that, Deran knew the feeling of being sandwiched between a rock and a hard place. As the hour drew to a close, Pope was surprised to find Smurf home. Also alive. She was in an awfully good mood, too. She asked Pope to gather the crew for a meeting. “I have a job for us,” she said, “and this time, I’ll be joining you. You boys have been having all the fun for way too long.” Hilariously, she added, “Oh, and baby, would you please stay out of my bedroom?”
So, what did you think of “SHTF”? Will robbing Jed really be Smurf’s last hurrah? Would Deran ever rat out his family for Adrian? And does Craig have it in him to be a father — sorry, make that a decent father? Hit the comments.