TNT’s Animal Kingdom
Directed by Ramaa Mosley
Written by Vanessa Baden & Carla Frankenbach
* For a recap & review of 6×08, click here.
* For a recap & review of 6×10, click here.
The title of this episode comes from Gethsemane, a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives which is connected to Jesus Christ. Deran and J are worried about the night before when Pope revealed Dt. Thompson knows the truth about Catherine’s death. They can’t find him, though, after they want to talk more about things. They don’t know if the cops could be preparing a search warrant. They have no clue what to do. So the uncle and nephew head for the skatepark first to search for Pope. Meanwhile, Dt. Thompson is meeting with Dt. Hutchins, hoping to get Pope pulled in for the gun in the car; that way she can question him.
Flashback to Baz returning to the house in spite of everything with Smurf. He obviously would’ve preferred a roof over his head than having to fend for himself. Julia tried to mend the bridge with Pope, but he wouldn’t even speak to her. He had no problem with mom, unaware she orchestrated the whole reveal of Baz and Julia in the first place. Just the worst kind of toxic atmosphere amongst a family.
Penny calls J after her sister overdoses. Thankfully her sister is alive, just hospitalised. J refuses to come to the hospital while he’s tracking down Pope. Not a good relationship move if he’s actually trying to be with her. Although I suppose a looming murder charge for his uncle probably takes precedence. At the same time, Deran goes looking for Craig and finds Pope instead, in the old room Catherine and Baz once shared, the room where he murdered Catherine. “This is where I killed her,” Pope tells his little brother.
Renn wants to leave Oceanside. She sees it as a place that keeps sucking her back into a bad life, and she’s not wrong. She wants to leave for Texas, or anywhere. She asks Craig to go, but he remains too attached to Oceanside, for whatever reason; probably mostly out of comfort. At home, Deran brings Pope back, then he and J argue over what’s best to actually do with him, from get a lawyer to get him out of the country. After a bit of arguing, Deran agrees to go with a lawyer. Then J has to rush off to deal with Penny’s situation so that their relationship doesn’t entirely crumble. There are a LOT of spinning plates currently for the Cody family.
Flashback to Julia trying to talk to Pope. She said that she and Baz were planning to tell him eventually. Pope felt it was “not right” for Baz and Julia to be together since they were technically family. But as Julia said to her mother, Baz is not actually a brother to them. Funny enough, Pope wasn’t as mad at Baz, and that’s where the misogyny was shining through, particularly for Julia, who gave up attempting to fix things with her brother. We also see Smurf purchase the property that Baz came to own. She was trying to push him towards bigger things; or, mostly, away from her daughter. She gave him the keys and made clear: “No more teenage drama.” It wasn’t a fun thing when Julia found out. She advised Baz that accepting things from Smurf was a bad idea, yet he came from nothing, so all the perks were thrilling. He thought it might prevent them from having to sneak to see each other. Julia saw it as isolation.
All the Cody boys are heading home to deal with Pope’s issue, as Pope lies in bed, simmering in the guilty memories. Deran asks Pope while they’re alone if he knows what the cop has on him, but Pope doesn’t know anything other than the fact Dt. Thompson has the truth, even if he doesn’t know how she came about it. The Codys aren’t used to being in the total dark about things. They always have an in. This time they have nothing to work with, and Dt. Thompson is a very tenacious person. She’s out getting more info from Taylor about what’s happened between him and Pope, hoping she’ll find out something that gives her a further leg up.
Craig turns up at the house and finds out that Pope killed Catherine. A shocking piece of news to hear, for sure. Craig goes to confront his older brother, asking for answers about what happened to Catherine. He pulls Pope forcefully out of the bed and into the shower, turning the water on. He tells Pope to get dressed and they’ll meet in the living room. It seems to snap big brother out of his mental fog. They have a family meeting afterwards and Pope explains everything for his brothers and nephew. Craig’s not happy to discover there was a murder in his bedroom. He’s angry Pope didn’t refuse to do it, but Deran recognises that none of them said no to their mother.
The boys have a lawyer ready to represent Pope in case things go bad. They hear about Dt. Thompson getting a confidential informant killed a year ago, which is why she’s had problems with the department. It might be a way to discredit the detective eventually. The lawyer found out Dt. Thompson is filing charges involved with Pope assaulting Taylor. He says they have to bring him into the station and get processed, to get on the right side of things properly. It’s all the more difficult since Pope is “a convicted bank robber.” But they’re going to face this head on for the time being. Pope tearily reminisces about the old days by the pool with Deran when Baz was on the grill and they were eating piles of ribs after a job to celebrate.
Flashback to Smurf inviting young girls home from the beach, forcing Pope to hang out with them. She dictated his life back then, and even in death in the present day she continues dictating how things are going in his life. She brought Pope inside to help make snacks, asking him which girl in the pool he liked best. “Which one do you want?” Smurf asked her son. Again, the psychosexual games were at play. Smurf advised her son: “Take what you want.” So Pope awkwardly brought one of the girls to his room. The reality was the girls were sex workers Janine paid. Julia saw it all happen, knowing Pope needed to get away from their mother; they all did.
At the station, Pope is formally arrested for assault by Dt. Hutchins. They go through the Miranda rights and the whole procedure. It’s all a show until the lawyer can settle things. Pope’s brought back to an interview room, where he comes face-to-face with Dt. Thompson again for the first time since their late-night motel meeting. Certainly a change of scenery for them. Pope immediately requests his lawyer, but Dt. Thompson pushes by bringing up Catherine’s daughters, and it gets at Pope a bit. The detective talks about what Lena remembers the night her mother died. Lena recalls it all. Dt. Thompson pulls out a photograph of dead Catherine after being dug up. “Animals got to her pretty fast,” the detective says, sinking the figurative blade into Pope slowly. The cop tries to get to Pope even further, pushing with more guilty. She recognises that Pope does feel bad underneath it all. Then Dt. Thompson reveals she got her info about Catherine from Amy, who’s now “an accessory” to his crime since Amy knows the truth of Catherine’s murder. She says Pope knows “the path to redemption” is to confess his sin.
Will Pope actually give it up? That’s what Dt. Thompson tells Deran, anyway.
At home, Craig and J receive a troubling call.
Apparently Pope did confess. Or, it’s what the cops are claiming. Is this the end of the Cody empire?