TNT’s Animal Kingdom
Directed by Aric Avelino
Written by Carla Frankenbach
* For a recap & review of 6×04, click here.
* For a recap & review of 6×06, click here.
At night, J and Deran are staking out in an alleyway somewhere looking for a specific vehicle. They have a chance to talk a little. The nephew asks his uncle about how he is, and Deran mentions “shit with Craig.” Deran says he’s concerned about Craig’s new sponsor. At the same time, we see Vince and Craig doing a job together; seems Craig’s branching out away from family business, feeling a bit at home with the bikers. They’re off jacking a truck, though the driver’s still inside the cab with a sex worker. The woman leaves while the driver gets KO’d, and the gang finish the job without any further hassle.
Flashback to Smurf planning her family job. She was trying to get Pope to eat instead of doing a job on an empty stomach, but he was too mad at her to do anything except fume. She, as usual, tried to make it seem like this church job was the best thing for them. She even attempted using the Bible’s conception of “fate” and “destiny” to try talking Pope out of his feelings. And he did what was asked of him. They went out to the rectory and started gathering up items to steal, only to nearly get caught by a man turning up unannounced. Julia was there with the getaway vehicle, but it was a close call. Back at the house, Baz laid into Pope about the trouble on the job, and their relationship was clearly not in a nice place.
The Pham job is gearing up now that they have the location of the celebrity’s mansion where the Eddie-involved party will take place. Arthur’s delivered some fake jewellery for the job already. J’s got all kinds of schematics to help them with planning. A great moment when Deran shows up needing to iron a patch onto a shirt, requiring older brother Pope to take over. Later, the guys go for a meeting with Raj, but Craig’s a little late. When Craig does show up they’re able to get the meeting started. Pope goes straight to signing his name after a quick skim, whereas J’s more inclined to take some time with the paperwork. As of now, it seems the Cody family money is in good hands, and the boys are continuing to bring in the cash. On top of it all, J finds out that Penny’s husband is back, so they have to relax things. She tells him: “Don‘t call me.” Not a good situation, as Pope tells J afterwards. Everything they all do reflects back upon the family as a whole.
J’s paying a guy off to use a septic tank over the weekend. It’s a guy J knows from back in the day. J actually finds out his mom’s old place was torn down. This makes him pause for a moment before saying the “place was a shithole.” It’s not often that J thinks about his mother these days, or at least not openly in the narrative of the show. Even Pope has been thinking about Julia less and less. Yet the history of the family is always swirling, all around them.
Pope gets a call from the skatepark. There’s been an injury. Simultaneously, Dt. Louise Thompson is in jail talking to Pope’s old buddy Vin, looking for any info on Catherine. The former cellmate says Pope considered Catherine “his wife” and couldn’t wait to get back to her. When Pope makes it down to the skatepark he finds his young friend Taylor with a gaping wound in his arm. The undercover kid tries to play it off, but there’s a lot of blood. Pope says they’re going to the hospital and he’ll pay for it. At the hospital, Pope runs into Amy for the first time in ages. They catch up a bit, in spite of him trying to rush out of there before she noticed.
Craig tells Vince he doesn’t want any more part in further jobs together. He didn’t like the sloppy work. He’s more into sure things and lessening any chance of going to jail. Speaking of jobs, Deran’s over posing as a fire department official, sneaking his way into the celebrity’s house to check things out for their plan. He’s escorted inside by a woman named Hannah who’s in charge of the party. He talks a good game about permits. He says they’ll need a week or two to get them, but Hannah’s client Brock won’t have that. Deran arranges it so he has to be present to make sure the proceedings go well, though Hannah insists he can’t be in uniform when he’s there.
Flashback to Pope opening the safe from the rectory. He found rosary beads and a very old leather-encased Bible. He had to hand it over to Smurf, who looked it over, noticing the text is from the late 1800s. She was only thinking of how to pawn it off for a good deal of cash, again pushing things in a bad direction with her son. It led to Pope taking the old Bible back to the church and laying it on the altar. He was found by Father Kirby and lashed out violently. He beat the priest, even though Father Kirby kept telling him: “Jesus forgives you.” Eventually he ran out of there, albeit deeply troubled by what he’s done.
At the bar, Deran and Craig catch up even if they’re not on great terms. Deran worries that his brother doesn’t have his back anymore. He’s scared about the upcoming job. Craig says things are difficult given the visibility of all of them considering the amount of paparazzi outside Brock’s house. The convo between the brothers doesn’t go a whole lot further before Craig walks off again. A bit later, Deran’s visited by some guys opening their own spot nearby, and they’ve come to pay him off so there’s no issues like other establishments who’ve tried to do business in the area. At the house, J receives a visit from Lark, who’s not happy about the lack of communication. She’s curious if J’s new girlfriend knows about his work. “You don‘t know me,” J says, and Lark agrees. It’s obvious that nobody knows J because he keeps himself at arm’s reach, and he generally gets himself into bad romantic situations because of it.
Pope finds Taylor sleeping under the halfpipe at the skatepark, so he decides to give the kid a place to stay instead. He brings Taylor back to the house and breaks out an air mattress the kid can sleep on, but tells Taylor not go inside the house. He even offers up a sandwich. That family instinct in him was passed on by Smurf; probably the only good thing his mother ever gave him, and the flashbacks continually prove that. At the bike shop, Vince meets with Craig. He’s got a motorcycle ready for Craig. He wants to thank him for a wake up call. He says he “got used to the chaos,” and Craig knows the chaos is addictive. Craig says the best way to not go to jail is stop doing dumb jobs. Pretty simple stuff. Across town, J stops outside Penny’s house brazenly and she goes out to meet with him. She says he shouldn’t be there, but she also doesn’t want him to go. They kiss and then they fuck right there on the back of the car in the driveway with her husband inside asleep in the living room.
Another flashback shows Pope returning to his mother with a bruised fist.
Janine offered kisses for her boy to make it all better.