TNT’s Animal Kingdom
5×05: “Family Business”
Directed by Janice Cooke
Written by Vanessa Baden Kelly
* For a recap & review of 5×04, click here.
* For a recap & review of 5×06, click here.
Pope’s walking on the beach when he comes upon a bunch of Christians and a big cross. One of them is a guy Pope knows, John. He hears about Angela dying and that someone beat her to death. John says a guy named Shane (Jeffrey G. Barnett) might’ve been there. This sends Pope into a rage. John tries to get him to stay and be part of the church’s ceremony. But Pope’s got other ideas. Meanwhile, Deran gets a call from Pamela about meeting at Smurf’s old place for lunch. He’s hesitant, especially given he’s not even living there anymore.
Then there’s the state of things with Craig and Renn. She’s thinking about getting into real estate and he’s supportive of her moving from condos to coke. He has other things on his mind after getting a text about Pam coming to dinner. Another flashback takes us to young Janine with her kids at a diner, hearing cops talk like misogynistic dickheads and watching them not tip a waitress. She offers the waitress a bit of cash and she hears about one of the cops, Jerry (Joseph Edward Dooley), who’s got a sad personal story. This gives Janine an idea for her crew’s next job.
At Smurf’s house, Deran and J continue to argue over the family estate. The uncle doesn’t want to listen to his nephew, even if it means jumping into things quickly. J doesn’t have much support from Craig, even if Uncle Craig doesn’t agree with his brother. Doesn’t matter because the Johnsons are there to see them. Quite the awkward introduction, especially with a mention of Julia’s death and Pam calling it her house. Pam’s already looking the place over and planning on renovations.
Eventually Pope gets to the house, not recalling Pam immediately until he starts to remember all the old times when she babysat him and Julia. Is a trip back to the past going to be good for him? Probably not. Right now, the two families sit uncomfortably outside to eat barbecue together. After everybody eats Pam says she’s going to let the boys earn back Smurf’s estate. She has a job that needs doing; something of “great value” requires stealing. There’s a safe Pam wants. The Cody boys want to know more, like what’s inside the safe, but Ms. Johnson’s tight lipped. It’s deal or no deal. Sadly, there aren’t many options for the Codys, even if Pope insists his mother wasn’t of sound mind when making changes to her will. Pam’s son Phoenix (Alimi Ballard) explains he accidentally killed someone years ago and there’s collateral in that safe. Inside, Pam talks to Pope, asking more about Julia’s death. He fast turns to rage about Smurf; that complicated, complex relationship rearing its ugly head. Then he’s out the door. Pam gives them all a day to think over their decision on the job. If they refuse to do it, they also have a week to get out of the house. Damn, girl.
So the Cody lads talk things over. J worries about trusting Pam. Deran says they ought to scope out the job, him and J. He thinks this is the best way forward to get what belongs to them back. Another flashback returns us to young Janine, using little Pope and Julia in her and Jake’s latest scheme. They were trying to pull a fast one on a hotel valet so they could get the keys to a Firebird. Janine took the car for a wild ride, drawing attention of her target cop, Jerry. She used this moment to work her way into Jerry’s head.
In current day, Pope’s out looking for Shane, chasing the guy down the street and through a convenience store. Shane gets himself a stolen bike only to wipe out and Pope grabs him. He claims he didn’t do anything to Angela. Pope beats him and holds him under the waves, screaming: “Why didn‘t you help her?” He also starts mumbling Julia’s name. There are too many painful parallels here that bring Pope back to his sister’s death, blaming himself for not being there for Julia.
Phoenix takes Deran and J through to have a look at the skate clubhouse where they’ve got to pull off the job. The big issue is there’s always somebody there. They may have a way in through renovation. Elsewhere, Craig’s with Frankie, hooking up a way to fence some jewellery, and potentially a further line of future business. There’s also a continuing uneasy tension, sexual and otherwise, between these two. An unhealthy relationship in every sense. Right now, they’re jumping back into bed; or, well, the front seat of a car.
Pope says he’s leaving. He’s packing and ready to go. Deran wants to know what’s happening, he sees blood on his brother’s hands. Pope tells his brother he’s “forgetting things” and he’s having problems. He tells Deran about “looking for ghosts” and hearing Smurf’s voice. He breaks down the worst we’ve ever seen. He can’t stay in his mother’s house anymore. Deran understands, but Pope believes he’ll never be able to come back there again. Another flashback shows Janine rewarding her kids after the car and cop incident. She and Jake talked more about their relationship. He didn’t know what was going on, and she was nonchalant about it, to the point of disinterest. We see Deran tell J about Pope leaving. He doesn’t see it being a problem for their job. He’s also coming back to the house. It’ll be very strange having Deran and J under the same roof again while they battle over the estate.