Warning: The following contains spoilers for Sunday’s revealing Animal Kingdom. If you’d rather watch first, read later, do what the Codys do when they hear sirens: vamoose!
Early on in Sunday’s Animal Kingdom, it looked like poor, lost Pope was considering being baptized along with some other folks on the beach. (Amy, where are you?) But then he ran into an old prison buddy who’d heard about Angela. Um, heard what about her? “She passed away, bro.” Apparently, some dude named Shane had beaten her to death or was there or… Anyway, what Pope did next probably won’t surprise you as much as what he did after that. Read on for all the details, as well as to learn what Pam wanted from the Codys and which of them made a mistake that was sure to cost them big time.
‘LET ME DO ALL THE TALKING’ | In the 1980s flashbacks put forth by “Family Business,” Janine was inspired by overhearing some cops talk about procuring prostitutes even as they stiffed their waitress. “If they’ve got enough money to pay hookers,” she told the hash slinger, “they’ve got enough money to tip you.” The waitress was sympathetic, though, especially to Jerry, whose wife had just left him and whose mother had cancer. Armed with this new info, Janine hatched a scheme to purchase herself a policeman. Step 1: Steal a car. Step 2: Get pulled over for speeding. Step 3: Suggest to Jerry that “maybe we can take care of each other… now… and in the future.” Afterwards, she paid off Andrew and Julia — their cut for helping with the job, she said, to Jake’s chagrin. Maybe she shouldn’t be teaching them stuff like that? What? she replied. “It’s a family business.” Later, when he wanted to know what was going on between the two of them, she suggested that he ask his wife. If he couldn’t lighten up, she added, “you can always go home.”
In the present day, when Renn got home late from Reno, Craig was as pissy as a colicky baby. Though she reported that her pal Maya was marrying a 50-year-old d-bag, he was into real estate — a business at which she thought that Renn might excel. Craig was all for it, but Renn wasn’t sold on the idea. “There’s a big difference between selling condos and coke,” she noted. Which was exactly why Craig loved the idea. Just then, he received a text from Deran informing him that Pam had asked for a meeting at the house. Well, demanded, more like. When Deran had said that the time wasn’t good for him, she’d instructed him to “make it good,” informed him that she’d be bringing lunch and… click. I could not love Pam more if I tried. When she arrived at the Codys’ place — sorry, her place — she introduced son Phoenix, a formerly famous skater, and granddaughter Lark, sharp as a dagger, and inquired about Julia. Always a buzzkill of a question, that. When Pope arrived late, he said that he remembered his Auntie Birdie… but in a way that left ya wondering whether he really did. Finally, over ribs, Pam got down to business.
‘THERE’S A JOB I NEED DONE’ | The Codys wanted Smurf’s empire. Pam wanted them to obtain for her a safe containing… well, she wouldn’t say what, only that it was something with which its owner would prefer not to part. “Knowing your mother, I suspect you all have the skills to do it,” she went on. And if they did, they could begin earning back everything that she was set to take from them. They could just contest the will, J noted. They’d lose, Lark said in such a way that it was all but impossible to doubt that she was right. When Pam excused herself, Phoenix admitted to the Codys that 20 years ago, he got into a drunken fight in which a guy was killed. Marion, who owned the company he skated for, said that he’d take care of it… but kept the vic’s shirt with Phoenix’s blood on it to blackmail Pam. So why didn’t she use her own people to do the job? It’s hard to find criminals you can trust, Lark explained. And though no, they didn’t trust the Codys, they were at least motivated.
Inside, Pam approached Pope and expressed her condolences about Julia, adding that her death must have been hard on Smurf. “My mother didn’t give a s—t about any of us,” he fired back, “especially Julia.” With that, he took off, and Pam returned to the group to tell J, Deran and Craig that they had 24 hours to decide. If their answer was yes, Phoenix would supply them with all the details. If it was no, she wanted them out of the house by week’s end. Upon leaving the meeting with Pam, Pope chased down Shane and then, quite literally, chased Shane until finally he damn near drowned the lowlife, crying, “Why didn’t you help [Angela]?” and asking the same question of Smurf and Julia. Why had Smurf let her own daughter die? Meanwhile, having decided to accept Pam’s offer, vague as it was, J and Deran were shown around the skate shop by Phoenix, who, to their surprise, worked there. Marion had been like a father to him, he said. And he hadn’t known all that long about the blackmail. Anyway, the Codys would be in touch. Where there was a will — and they had one — there was a way to get to the safe.
‘IF THERE’S ANYTHING YOU WANT TO THROW MY WAY… ’ | While all of that was going on, Craig and Frankie met with her fence, who eagerly accepted Smurf’s jewelry and hoped to begin a more substantial business arrangement with Craig. Oh, and “how’s Vladik?” the guy asked Frankie. “He’s been asking about you.” Only after she and Craig left did she admit to him that Vladik was “someone I’d prefer to avoid.” Things had gone steadily south for her since Raoul, it seemed. But say, “J’s the one who approached me about the fence,” she pointed out, “so why are you here?” With that, he followed her into her car and began making out with her. Lord, Renn is gonna see shades of red that she never even knew existed (and possibly use Mom’s money to keep Craig away from Nick forevermore). Back at the Codys’, upon learning that J hadn’t had any offers yet on the condo, Deran suggested that he lower the price. In other words, suck it up and “take a loss on money you stole from us.” In turn, J suggested that Deran rent out the house he never stayed at, Deran suggested that J take out a loan on the bowling alley, and so on. They’d probably still be at it as you read this, had Pope not returned from nearly drowning Shane…
Back at Renn and Craig’s, the new parents had another tiff not when she tasted Frankie’s lip gloss on his lips (she didn’t) but when she admitted that she’d taken a bump to stay awake and needed to feed Nick formula for a while. ”Your priorities are a little messed up right now,” said Craig, defining irony with absolutely no awareness that he was doing so. Regardless, he’d go get the formula. No, Renn wanted to go herself. Hmm… what was up with that? At the Codys’, Pope, breaking down before our eyes, told Deran that he couldn’t help with Pam’s job. “I can’t stay here,” he added as he threw some crap in a bag. The house was too haunted, and it was taking a toll, causing him to do things he couldn’t even remember doing. OK, said Deran. “You’ve had our backs for so long. Now we have yours.” Pope, Deran said, should go and do whatever he had to and then come back… only Andrew wasn’t sure that he could ever come back. That night, Deran returned to the house with his things and informed J that Pope was gone. As such, he was moving back in “to keep an eye on things.” Maybe he’d even rent out his house like J had so helpfully suggested.
So, what say you, Animals? I can’t be the only one loving Pam. And how crushing was Shawn Hatosy during Pope’s breakdown? Hit the comments, then click here to see what EP Daniele Nathanson says about the episode’s implications.