TNT’s Animal Kingdom
5×09: “Let It Ride”
Directed by Loren S. Yaconelli
Written by Bill Balas
* For a recap & review of 5×08, click here.
* For a recap & review of 5×10, click here.
Pope’s back home but has he genuinely moved on? Not to mention the whole family’s in a mess with Deran and Craig fighting, both of them fighting with J. The nephew’s left back in a similar place to how it was when his mother died, being stuck in the middle of his uncles. We see J get an escrow cheque for five hundred and thirty thousand dollars, from the condo. This will get divided between him and his uncles. Right now the uncles are trusting their nephew with more business, getting their assets liquidated. Is that a good idea? J’s probably got other ideas about money and the family business after nearly getting murdered by Uncle Craig in the pool. For the time being, J’s trying to come up with a better method for liquidating than Smurf did when she was alive and running things.
Flashback to Janine and Jake, preparing for another job. They were waiting on Manny because it was a three-person gig. They talked about Jake’s relationship with Cheryl. He wasn’t sure he wanted to patch things up and go home. Janine got talking with a dancer from the strip club where they were hoping to pull the job. Manny didn’t show so they couldn’t do the robbery, and the dancer offered to essentially keep them on call, for whenever the time was right.
Back to current day. The Cody boys are hanging out drinking beer while watching a downhill skate competition that involves chugging a beer, then riding down the hill. What could go wrong? The host lists last year’s many various injuries right before the comp gets going. A couple competitors take spills on the long way down. A young woman manages to beat everybody out, sliding through the finish line. After the comp’s over, Deran and Craig run into the Son of a Beach owner hoping to “support the community” and they make clear the guy’s not wanted. The comp gets broken up by cops soon, sending everybody running. J and Pope get pulled over by the nosy cop we’ve seen before. The cop’s also got the family police file J asked about previously; hmm.
At home, Pope’s trying to get rid of the old and bring in the new, tossing all sorts of junk from his room and replacing it with fresh things, from the mattress and the bed frame itself to the lamps and the dresser and everything in between. Is it that simple? Can Pope escape his mother’s grip when he can’t stop thinking of her, or his dead sister Julia? Meanwhile, Craig’s trying to help out his brother’s bar when he also discovers Renn is still dealing, unbeknownst to him.
Flashback to Janine and Jake looking for Manny at his place. They found him inside, bloody and half conscious. Apparently Manny had a run-in with a guy called Pete, related to his gambling debts. Janine was pissed, considering Manny left her kids alone to go deal with his bullshit. Worse, Manny owed $10K. This had Janine ready for a fight. Uh oh.
J and Deran go to a rundown location where the files are meant to be left. They find the boxes; just the amount shows how much info the cops have on Smurf and her family. So, the lads get digging into the mountain of boxes and papers. Right away we see Baz’s murder file is there. What could all this reveal to the brothers and J? And could it only make their family fall apart quicker? Later, the uncles and their nephew look through the files together, while Craig’s stressed out over Renn. They’ve each got their own personal files, too. They see a file on Jake, as well. Then they all discuss whether to keep the cop on their payroll, agreeing it’s a good risk.
Flashback to Janine grabbing a gun from underneath her mattress. She and Jake were going to pay Pete a visit, though she didn’t let him know any kind of plan, choosing to rush off in anger instead. She went to see Pete—whom we can safely assume was Pete Trujillo’s father—at the garage. She gave him the $10K to cover Manny’s debt. And then, the prospect of doing business together arose. We also figure out later that this is just Smurf’s way of having Manny under her thumb, finding ways to control the men around her as a woman in a viciously toxic masculine world.
Craig goes home and immediately starts searching for Renn’s drug stash, wondering where she’s been hiding the product. He can’t find anything, until he starts digging in the feminine hygiene drawer, locating what looks like Renn’s hidden drug cash. He’s waiting for Renn when she gets home, confronting her about her drug dealing. Isn’t it hypocritical, though? He’s running around playing contemporary outlaw, then acting like she’s doing something more horrible than him. His “go get a real job” comment is hilarious coming from his lips, though his “shitty mother” comment is pure sexist trash.
At the same time, Deran and J meet the cop and tell him they’ll pay $1K a month. The cop refuses, saying he knows more than is in the files. He knows about the DEA poking around, the “aiding and abetting” Deran’s been doing to help Adrian stay away. He offers to let the Codys know before Agent Livengood “drops a warrant,” and gets himself a better monthly offer. But what will Deran do about Adrian? What if he has to stop sending money? However, he claims it’s not him sending money.
We see Pope following the cop when he’s alone. He tracks the guy into a Mexican restaurant, watching him. The cop comes over for a chat, wondering why Pope’s keeping an eye on him. Pope wants to know why the cop wants to work with the Codys. The cop says it’s purely about economics; he doesn’t get paid enough, and he doesn’t like working security for Coachella on the side, either. This is an uneasy situation and there’s really no telling what Pope might do eventually.
Elsewhere we find J talking with Lark again, bringing by money as a retainer “for future services” in case the family needs them. The Codys are looking to expand, so they need someone smart to get “creative” when necessary. Lark doesn’t want any part of the criminal shit, even if she’s doing stuff for Pam; but that’s family. She’s not sure why J’s changed his mind so quickly about dividing the family business. He says things have worked themselves out. In spite of reluctance, Lark’s ready to deal with J, if the money keeps on coming through, anyway.
Deran has to go confront Adrian’s sister Jess (Lily Rains) about the money she’s been sending her brother. He tells her about the DEA situation. She says the whole money sending is untraceable, yet he advises her to stop because the DEA’s onto it. Jess wonders what Deran planned to do for Adrian, but he says it was her brother’s fault getting mixed up in “drug trafficking.” Deran further warns the DEA aren’t playing.
Back at home, Pope continues to take “the Smurf shit out.” He has a talk with Deran, who apologises for how messed up things have gotten with the DEA and Agent Livengood. He apologises for not killing Adrian. But Pope says that isn’t him. Perhaps the brothers are coming together again, for the first time in a long time, despite the shitshow perpetually around them. The best thing these men can do is support each other, after years of trauma delivered unto them by Smurf.
Later at the bar, Craig’s trying to keep the bar full of people for Deran and his business. He tells his brother that Renn left and took the baby. He’s worried she won’t come back again, now drowning himself in beer. Then the owner of Son of a Beach drops by to bitch about the stolen food vender, as well as talk shit to Deran about not going pro. This starts a fight between the Cody brothers and the rival owner with his friends. Probably not great for business, but certainly marks the territory.
“How you like that metaphor, bitch?”
Across town at the skatepark, Pope’s reclaiming his lost youth.