TNT’s Animal Kingdom
Season 4, Episode 11: “Julia”
Directed by Shawn Hatosy
Written by Daniele Nathanson
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Exit Strategy” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Ghosts” – click here
Back in the day, Janine (Leila George) was watching that belly grow while she and Colin (Grant Harvey) continued to provide for their soon-to-be twins— despite the fact they only thought they were having one— using the pregnancy as a cover for robberies. They knocked over a diner. Colin pretended to use the pregnant stranger for cover, gathering wallets and cash from the register, threatening that “mom and baby die” if any sirens started blaring.
J (Finn Cole) finds his Uncle Pope (Shawn Hatosy) watching over Angela (Emily Deschanel), locked in the bathroom detoxing. The nephew acts like he has no idea about what happened. He tries to tell his uncle he knows how Angela is, because he saw it growing up alongside Julia’s addiction. Angela is almost a second chance for Pope, to try and make right the mistakes he made with his sister.
Craig (Ben Robson) is learning to be a dad, wrapping his baby “like a burrito” while Renn (Christina Ochoa) has cocaine addicts blowing up her phone to get their fix. Neither of these parents have a typical family life. They each need to make significant change in their day-to-day for this kid to have a chance.
Then there’s Deran (Jake Weary), left with a heavy head after what Smurf (Ellen Barkin) told him she knows. He has to tell Adrian (Spencer Treat Clark) that mom expects him to “handle it.” Cody family realities are crashing down around them, like they weren’t hanging by a thread already. Deran, in no uncertain terms, explains to Adrian there’s two options: leave or die. Things aren’t so easy for him, either. He goes to Craig, asking his big brother to get passports. Craig wonders if there’s anything to worry about, considering what Adrian knows. He still agrees to help. All about family.
Soundtrack note: Grateful Dead’s “Ramble On Rose” plays in the scene with young Janine
An interesting moment comes in one of the flashbacks to younger Janine. We see her and Colin sneak into a house in Oceanside. This is the same place she lives as present day Smurf. She had big dreams, already coming up with ideas to renovate. He was surprised she wanted to “settle down.” Janine had no intentions on being normal. She wanted to continue living the outlaw life with a backyard for her child to play in and a safe place to lay their heads. SO MUCH distance between then and now— so many broken dreams.
Angela admits to Pope, at an NA meeting, all the reasons she actually came back. She tells the group, looking directly to him, she only showed up to get money out of Smurf: “It was all a con.” After the meeting, she keeps pushing about Smurf’s “house of horrors,” and how Pope abandoned his sister. The truth hurts. He appreciates it, despite the pain. So much of his existence is built on lies. It all leads to Angela telling Pope how J took her to place where she used to score for lunch.
“Nobody tells me the truth”
Soundtrack note: J’s cleaning to “Black Water” by Timber Timbre
Guess who’s back? Frankie (Dichen Lachman). She comes to the house so she can have a talk with J by himself. She’s looking for a crew for another job. Pretty bold. J isn’t going to take the bait right away. She tries to bond with him and suggests things could go wrong after Smurf is gone. Now, he’s taking the bait.
Colin and the crew got back with $26K from a heist. Manny (Rigo Sanchez) didn’t appear too pleased like Jake (Jon Beavers), Colin, and Janine. They do the toast that later became a Cody family motto: “May we all get what we want, but never what we deserve.”
It wasn’t built to last.
When the crew were at a store a cop showed up, getting suspicious about an APB on the robbery with a pregnant hostage. Everything went sideways. Colin shot the cop. The cop’s partner returned fire, then Manny and Jake joined the shooting. They got away. Unfortunately, Colin took a bullet. He bled out and died at the wheel. Manny figured it was time for Janine to go on her own. She wasn’t letting that happen. She pulled a gun on Manny, forcing him and Jake from the car.
At the house, Angela accuses J of pushing her towards drugs again. She gloats about getting closer to Pope than ever, that thin veil of pretending she actually cares about J slipping. She’s actually a shitty person, manipulating Pope, no matter if she levelled with him about the truth on other things. She played a part in Julia’s addiction, and she exposed J to heroin at an early age. Father Gore (a former drug addict himself) has no sympathy for this lady.
Pope’s decided he doesn’t trust J anymore. He’s going to kick his nephew to the curb once Smurf dies. Will that push J towards Smurf once more? Could get ugly. In the meantime, Deran’s readying to say goodbye, and the Cody boys are prepping the next job.
Janine drove off with Colin’s corpse in the car with her. She went to see Jed (Joseph Morgan). He helped take care of things. They buried Colin and the car in a deep hole in the ground, out in a field. She said goodbye to the man she loved, the father of the two children growing inside her.
Soundtrack note: “Run From Me” by Timber Timbre plays here
A majorly awesome chapter in Animal Kingdom! And it’s been a season full of great episodes. Any ideas for what’s going to happen? It’ll be wild, no matter how it goes down. Plus, we’ve already gotten confirmation that Season 5 is a go. Lots to look forward to in the future.
“Ghosts” is next. Two episodes left.