Animal Kingdom 5×03: “Free Ride”

TNT’s Animal Kingdom
5×03: “Free Ride”
Directed by John Wells
Written by Bradley Paul

* For a recap & review of 5×02, click here.
* For a recap & review of 5×04, click here.
Father Son Holy Gore - Animal Kingdom - Ashy PopePope’s woken up next to the pool, covered in his mom’s ashes. Deran’s waking up with a couple hot dudes on the beach after what was clearly a threesome near the ocean. Elsewhere, J’s continuing to try keeping his legal stuff to himself and away from his uncles. He’s also got kids working for him stealing things. That’s a great sign. Back home, Pope washes Smurf’s ashes off; y’know, it’s all part of the grieving process! He makes sure to wipe up any trash of ash left. At home, Craig and Renn are living a somewhat normal family life, at least compared to the rest of the Cody family. They’re two parents trying to get through a normal day. Only they get interrupted by people wanting to buy drugs, and that pisses Craig off, confronting Renn about it. Not quite a normal family after all.

Another flashback. Little Pope was already into knives and stabbing stuff as a boy. Janine was preparing to go someplace for “a lead on a job.” But not like, a legit job, surely. Pam wanted to know more, questioning her friend about the job. She threatened to call Family Services if Janine got picked up by the cops, too. Tough love is necessary sometimes. Yet it doesn’t appear like Janine was too worried about any of that. She was gonna do what she was gonna do, regardless of opinions. She went to meet none other than Jake and Manny, after all that time, and after screwing them over hard last time she saw them. She wanted to pull a job at Marcus’s place.
In present day, Deran and Craig meet up at the bar while the former hits the beer early. They talk about the “Trujillo job” and the smuggler’s plane. Deran worries about ending up “headless hanging from a bridge somewhere” if they wind up fucking with a cartel, whereas Craig is incredibly naive about the realities of a drug cartel. Bless Craig’s heart but he is the dumbest of the family.
Father Son Holy Gore - Animal Kingdom - UnicornThe Cody brothers and nephew are gearing up for the big climb to the plane’s location. It’s kind of like a fun backwoods adventure, except it’s all to steal illicit drug money. Lots of work, though. If anybody’s up for it all it’s the Cody family, given their penchant for extreme sports and robbery; a match made in heaven. Plus if they get caught in the act somehow they’re able to pass it off like they’re just mountain biking. As reckless and violent as the lads can be they are pretty bad ass, as well. While Deran, Craig, and J head into the hills on their bikes, Pope’s left with the vehicle. They make it to some rocks where they have to do some climbing. Up top, J gets the drone into the air so they can have a better look for the plane. They soon see the crash, not too far from their location.

Back in the day, Manny caused a distraction while Janine and Jake sneaked inside Marcus’s mansion to rob the place, just like old times. They each took a room, stealing everything they could get their hands on from gold to jewellery and anything else. Janine nearly got caught, but she and Jake were able to slip out without any repercussions. However, did any of that come back to bite Janine in the ass? Is there any way that might’ve blown back on Pam later? Hmm. The three of them split the money, which went to Janine, and the jewellery, as well as the other stolen items, which went to Manny and Jake.

The Cody brothers and nephew make it to the plane, where they find a dead man inside. They start working on getting the goods out, finding a bag full of drugs rather than cash. Oh, shit. Looks like J got bad intel. Not what they were hoping to find out there. Worse, a drone that doesn’t belong to them turns up overhead. Could that be the cartel? Fellow criminals who got a lead on the plane? People are firing shots from the distant hills, too. A shitty situation for the Codys to be in, especially on bike. Pope hears the shots while there are people on the road headed their way. Things are getting rocky, for sure. Pope runs one guy on an ATV off the road but the other escapes, going up towards Deran, Craig, and J. Doesn’t help when Craig’s tire goes flat. They stop, only for shots to get fired at them, as J tries to quickly patch the tire. They get back on the trail and head down over serious terrain. But they come to one last steep incline and have to do a wild jump to get down to level ground again. They make it past that without any injuries, soon reuniting with Pope below.
Father Son Holy Gore - Animal Kingdom - Pope, Bird of PreySo it appears J didn’t get bad intel. He knew they’d find drugs up there, and he’s made a deal with Pete to get the drugs sold. This is when all J’s business secrets come out. Pope tells his brothers about the bowling alley and laundromat, the condo, all of which he purchased with stolen money from Smurf. Although the brothers see it as them being stolen from, too: “Thats the same thing, J.” The brothers don’t see this as their nephew trying to help the family, they view it as deviousness. Deran tells Craig afterwards about the DEA agent, considering they have tons of drugs lying around. Craig says “play it cool” until the DEA backs off. Yeah, right. Inside, Pope asks J about what happened when Angela died. He’s seeking ways to grieve and move past his own mother’s death. He just can’t open up enough to talk about it more.

Another flashback shows little Pope and Julia playing Connect Four. Pam immediately asked about Marcus’s place, which she heard was robbed. She knew it was Janine; not exactly hard to tell. Janine treated it all like a joke. Pam didn’t want to mess around in that shitty little world, but Janine didn’t see any real future for herself so she was doing whatever it took to merely survive. She also demanded a “finders fee” from Janine for the trouble. You can’t really stay on the high horse like that, Pam. But I guess money’s money. After that she sent Janine packing. Then Janine called Jake.

Deran’s recent hookup(s) from the beach come find him at the bar. They’re hungry for more. They had a fun time with Deran, even if he’s reluctant to talk about it much across the bar. Although he isn’t running away from it, either. Back at home, Craig finds Renn pissed off at him for supposedly slamming her latest customer on the sidewalk. He tries to make clear they can’t be selling drugs out of their home. He doesn’t want their child growing up without a mother. Renn’s facing a tough decision, given she doesn’t know what else to do aside from deal. And she’s too independent to even let Craig fully help. Sound familiar? They do say boys often gravitate towards women who remind them of their mothers, for better or worse.
More hot gay sex on Animal Kingdom with Deran and the married guys. Though the sex becomes more about power for Deran here. He’s not in a good place psychologically. I worry for Deran, a lot. At the same time, J’s being told they have to hold onto those drugs a while longer until Pete can find a buyer wholesale. He runs into an old friend Allie at the beach, one of Nicky’s friends who reveals that Nicky married a Marine.
At home, Pope continues trying to get over the death of Smurf.

Soundtrack Note: The last song is “I’ll Never Know” by A.A. Bondy.
Father Son Holy Gore - Animal Kingdom - Pope Grieves

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