TNT’s Animal Kingdom
Season 3, Episode 7: “Low Man”
Directed by Cherie Nowlan
Written by Eliza Clark
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Broke From the Box” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Incoming” – click here
The scene left at the house is bloody, in the aftermath of Nicky (Molly Gordon) shooting herself while high on heroin, so J (Finn Cole) has cleaning to do. At the same time, he’s supposed to be gone looking into the job. Deran (Jake Weary) and Billy (Denis Leary) are casing the armoured trucks pulling out of the weed op. Well, Billy’s simultaneously working on dividing the family further, trying to plant devious seeds in his son’s mind about J. Everyone’s wondering about the kid, though. Pope (Shawn Hatosy) and Craig (Ben Robson) are curious where he is, as well.
At the house, J gets cleaned up. But he also finds an old face has turned up: Paul Belmont (C. Thomas Howell), and he is pissed. The dad has turned up looking for answers, looking through all Nick’s things. He knows the family’s got issues, and he knows J left his daughter outside the ER bleeding out. “As far as you‘re concerned she‘s dead to you,” Paul makes clear to him. Things almost get real sketchy when Mia (Sohvi Rodriguez) turns up, gripping a gun in her pocket. But Paul leaves, then J kicks Mia out, too. Christ. What a mess! Not that J doesn’t deserve it. Nicky was stupid to shoot up, but she didn’t deserve being left like that, either.
Not all the brothers are thrilled about the latest job. Billy and Deran are rushing things, which Craig questions. But they all need money— another spot of contention, seeing as how the whole family needs cash. Such is the mess of the Cody Gang. A perpetual state of chaos. In addition, while J is absent, Billy wants to take his place. Pope really hates that, seeing as how he’s witnessed the destruction that guy has already brought on the family back in the day with Smurf (Ellen Barkin).
Then there’s Pope needing to deal with Lucy (Carolina Guerra), she tells him he has to go to Mexico: “It‘s about Baz.” He lies to the others, telling them it was his “parole officer” calling for a piss test. Oh, man. So many little lies and hidden truths amongst one family. While Pope’s lying to his brother he’s also worrying about what Deran has been up to on the side with Colby (Matthew Fahey) and the other guys. More lies, as Deran tells big brother he isn’t doing anything, right before he goes to talk about another job with none other than Colby himself waiting out on the street.
Things in prison are rough. Smurf’s little friend she got sent back to general population is talking trash. This isn’t good, and grandma’s being offered a shank to protect herself. She refuses, but it’s worrisome to say the least. Not as spry without her gun these days. Doesn’t help she and Mercedes (Tracy Perez) get housed in a cell together. In the meantime, J keeps getting stuck between a rock and a hard place outside. The lawyer is whispering nasty shit in his ear about Smurf’s situation, sowing seeds of doubt. He’s got to go to Deran and explain why he wasn’t at their meeting earlier.
In Mexico, Pope goes to see Lucy, who’s heard things from a guy who heard about “a murder in Oceanside,” a.k.a Baz’s death. She and Marco (Joseph Julian Soria) take him to see a guy in the local jail. The guy tells him a story that a “rich white lady” paid to have her son killed. Someone from a gang was paid for the job. Word is, the son stole from mom. Oh, shit. This is going to get increasingly ugly from here on.
At prison, Smurf has a fresh black eye, and she gets a visit from Dt. Pearce (Gil Birmingham). She’s starting to crack. She wants to make a deal for herself, in order to get away from the brutality. Now she’s reached her breaking point, offering up her boys for the chopping block. HOLY CHRIST! I never imagined that would happen, but then again, she’s one hell of a snake.
J’s beginning to have independent thoughts, wanting to not be the “errand boy” for his grandmother. He goes to see her in prison later. More than ever, their relationship is getting worse, more antagonistic. He lashes out, making it clear that if she doesn’t hold onto him she’ll have nobody left. And this is really cracking the divide between the entire family wide open. Unprecedented levels of deception about to occur in the fallout. After that she sees Dt. Pearce, who demands to know about some “real crimes” the Cody boys committed. However, she’s still playing her own games until she gets every last little thing she needs, and refuses, for now, to give up any further info.
Deran is out with Linc (Damon Erik Williams) when they run into Adrian (Spencer Treat Clark). AWKWARD, indeed! That night, Deran goes over to Adrian’s place to talk. He’s got issues with opening up to people he doesn’t know, and the comfort of Adrian knowing all about him and his family isn’t so easy to give up. Not as if he and Linc are exclusive, though it’d be nice to see him do whatever his heart wants most, regardless of his ultimate decision between the two men.
The lads are geared up for their job, including Frankie (Dichen Lichman) driving their truck and Billy on board despite Pope hating his guts. Their heist is ready to go, after their short planning period. Nevertheless, they’ve got lots of gear, as usual. J and Deran are doing the heavy work, zipped up in body bags, locked in a crate. They’ve got the oxygen tanks necessary for the ride in their coffins.
In prison, Smurf is taken to processing. She’s given her personal belongings. Then she’s released into the free world. Whoa.
A great episode. Really love the direction this season has taken the series, there’s lots of intense drama, and there are still big secrets currently being unveiled to those kept in the dark. Can’t wait for more. “Incoming” is next time.