TNT’s Animal Kingdom
6×03: “Pressure and Time”
Directed by Shawn Hatosy
Written by Bradley Paul
* For a recap & review of 6×02, click here.
* For a recap & review of 6×04, click here.
Flashback to Janine cooking breakfast for young Pope, asking how his community service was going. He preferred community service to juvenile detention. Smurf just says: don’t get caught next time. Then she shits on Julia for working a job at the mall instead of stealing for a living like her mama. Even Pope thought it was good his sister had a job. But Janine didn’t want a life any better than her own for her kids.
In current day, Pope finds a group of young folks skating on his vert ramp. He goes off on them, knocking one dude down and tossing his skateboard. It doesn’t make much sense to anybody other than Pope.
At the bar, Deran and J get the cash from the job at Gia’s place. There’s only one thing their new fence couldn’t get rid of: “blue diamonds.” The diamonds are too recognisable. This fence doesn’t want to get on anybody’s radar for the heist at Gia’s; no good for anybody. With diamonds, there’s often a paper trail, a police report about stolen items, and so on. J doesn’t want to sit on the diamonds. At the same time, Craig’s nowhere to be found and a cleaning service keeps calling Deran instead. He’s off somewhere with Vince playing pool and drinking club sodas, even banging Vince’s ex-wife in the beer cooler while his new pal eats wings.
Flashback to Janine going shopping at the mall where her daughter was working. She was only there to talk shit, as always, and maybe learn a few things about new anti-theft technologies along the way. She put down “minimum wage” and paying taxes. More motherhood of the year action from ole Janina Cody.
A cop named Louise Thompson (Moran Atias) has been brought into Riverside County to look into cold cases—one of which is Catherine’s case, after Catherine’s corpse was dug up recently. That’s not good news for the Cody family, especially not Pope. Across town, J brings the diamonds to a gemologist who’s been on the Cody family payroll for a long, long time. A brief moment here about Julia; sadly J can only ever see his mother as a junkie, incapable of seeing what Smurf did to her, but then again he’s not able to grasp what Smurf’s done to him, either.
Another flashback of Pope going into a church while doing community service. He was, already at that point in his young life, seeking some kind of salvation from his tortured existence. He met a priest, Father Kirby, and asked about the crucifix. The priest explains the pain inflicted upon Jesus, and that Christ supposedly “died for our sins.”
Deran gets his big brother to go help him with the apartment Craig owns. He and Pope go visit a guy who’s not what you’d call happy to see them. The tenant blasts a hole through the door with a shotgun, rather than move out as requested. This sends Deran and Pope scrambling for cover. Soon, big bro has an idea. Deran distracts the tenant long enough for Pope to get a jump on the gun-wielding maniac. Pope pulls some crazy shit, then he and Deran get the tenant subdued, along with the gun. The tenant’s unhappy because Smurf made a deal with him decades ago. He’d rather die than leave his apartment. Pope thinks they should honour Smurf’s decision, so Deran has a solution for where the tenant can move.
Craig’s off to visit Renn, wanting to talk about their relationship. He wants her to come home, so they can parent their child as a couple. Things get heated. Craig is angry because he’s getting sober while Renn continues to get high. Hopefully this doesn’t push him over the edge and off the wagon. Simultaneously, J’s with another gem guy, Eddie Pham, looking for a price on the stolen diamonds. The diamonds look fine to Eddie, so an offer’s made, and then J’s told: “Don‘t come back.”
Flashback to Smurf trying to bribe Julia into quitting the job at the mall. She had a guy bring by a nice stolen convertible for the daughter to test drive. This gave Julia a few moments with Janine that weren’t about judgement. Yet underneath it all, it was, again, Smurf trying to control her children by keeping them dependent on her for everything. The only time Smurf was ever happy was when her children were living only for her, certainly not when they were living for themselves. She didn’t want to instil any of her kids with morals, only narcissism and greed.
At the bar, the uncles and the nephew gather. J tells his uncles about Eddie’s place, full of gold and tons of cash. In the midst of it all, Craig falls off the wagon, reaching for a beer; he’s not given any support for sobriety by his family, definitely not from Deran, and it’s yet again an ugly sight to witness between supposed brothers.
Craig winds up over at Vince’s shop, where the latter can obviously see the former has fallen back into alcohol. But we see Craig’s upset over it, he knows he’s doing wrong. Yet he feels like people like him when he’s “drunk and high.” He’s clear-headed enough to see it goes all the way back to Smurf and her influence. Perhaps Vince can give Craig a positive influence now, or is it just too late? He’s got a mini-gun for them to fire, trying to give Craig another outlet for excitement other than getting fucked up.
J and Deran are looking into Eddie’s business, trying to get concrete info on the business, how much cash is on hand and if it’s on location, plus more. J thinks there’s an in with Eddie’s brother Arthur, who gets treated like shit by Eddie in front of customers. Might be exploitable. Interesting moment as Deran contemplates whether “one brother would turn on another like that.”
Another flashback shows Smurf go into Pope’s room, closing the doors so they had privacy. She laid down in bed with him and he almost reverted to a childlike position, curling inward. She saw a pamphlet from the church and talked about a creepy priest. She didn’t want her first-born child to stray away from her too far and get any ideas she didn’t approve.
In current day, Pope finds the young skaters back on the vert ramp. This time he opts not to do violence. Instead he hops up on the ramp with his board and drops in alongside the skaters. Might be that Pope’s changing. He’s at least trying. And he’s recapturing some of the youth he lost. At the same time, Louise is with Lena, now a few years older than she was when her mother died. She asks Lena if anybody else was with them the day her mother disappeared. The girl replies: “Uncle Pope was there, too.” Whether or not Pope changes is one thing, now we wait to see if the law catches up with him before the violence of his criminal lifestyle does.