Animal Kingdom season 3 episode 8: Smurf returns

ANIMAL KINGDOM -- Photo by Eddy Chen/TNT -- Acquired via Turner Press Site
ANIMAL KINGDOM -- Photo by Eddy Chen/TNT -- Acquired via Turner Press Site /

The boys pull a heist that doesn’t go exactly as planned and Smurf comes home to a cold welcome party on the latest Animal Kingdom.

The actual heist doesn’t last long, about 20 minutes, but it’s the aftermath that takes up most of the episode. The guys have moved on from banks and army bases to robbing planes. Deran and J sneak on board with their usual cat burglar, holding people at gun point skills. It’s a successful heist, and a well made one. Suspenseful enough in their limited screen time with the right amount of excitement for a typical Animal Kingdom episode, though it can’t live up to the church or army base heists.

Though they get away with the money, they parachute off course and end up stranded in the desert. They bury their gear, without marking the spot I might add, and start walking. After a few minutes, or maybe hours, with Deran glaring at J for getting the coordinates wrong, they run into a lone house where a woman and her three kids live. They try threatening her into giving up her car but she is utterly underwhelmed by their gun and ominous black clothing. I actually thought she was going to start rolling her eyes at them, that’s how unimpressed she looked. Outside of Oceanside, the Codys aren’t as intimidating as they think.

There was no way either of these two, the sympathetic J and the thug with a heart of gold Deran, would have shot a woman in cold blood in front of her children. In the end, they pay her ten grand for a ride.

Don’t mess with Pope

While the two youngest Codys are robbing the plane, the others are waiting in a tension-filled truck. As if Pope didn’t hate the cockroach enough, Billy starts whining about turning the radio on. Like a kid in the back seat, he complains nonstop as if he was a five-year-old denied ice cream. Pope taps into his crazy side when Billy tries to turn the radio on himself, by grabbing his hand and threatening to break. Funny enough, Billy actually seemed surprised by this reaction. Oh poor Billy, don’t you know? Everyone wants to break those money-grubbing hands of yours.

To make it even better, Craig sleeps through most of it. One of the best moments of the episode and he falls asleep, good going! We finally get some insight on why Pope hates Billy so much, and it turns out Billy isn’t the easy-going dad he claims to be. According to Pope, the man locked him in the closet and left him there for two days, and Billy’s only defense is “it was a day and a half.”

More from Drama

The scenes here also points out the incestuous relationships between Smurf and her sons. Billy makes some disgusting jokes about Pope being attracted to his mother and wanting to have sex with her.  Eventually, Pope can’t take it anymore and throws Billy out of the car and leaves him there. Pope did what the entire fan base wants to do and that’s why we’ll always love him, no matter how many people he kills (most of us at least).

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Animal Kingdom
ANIMAL KINGDOM — Photo by Eddy Chen/TNT — Acquired via Turner Press Site /

Smurf and Frankie

Smurf leaves prison and taunts Pearce anyway she can, gloating with a smile that says “I’m the Queen.” But the Queen is without her royal subjects and comes home to an empty house with just a topless Frankie sunbathing. The two woman remain uncomfortably in each others presence for the day, halted only for a moment so Smurf can make a call to Billy and scare the “dude” right out of him.

Frankie quickly starts playing nice with Smurf, even if she was a little intimidated at first. Frankie is not like the other girls on the show, she knows how to play the game. She is endearingly wonderful to Smurf, runs her a hot bath and gets her a beer. Cuddling up to the Queen to stay in the house longer. Unlike Cath or Nicky, Frankie is smart and knows how to survive.

Daddy issues

Deran might not think the world of his father but he’s not seeing the slimebag in him either. Billy is latching onto Deran like ants on a wet fruit roll-up in the middle of summer. They meet up at the bar later and have another bonding session. Daddy dearest not only wants money and a place to stay, but he also wants Deran to call him “dad”. Billy might as well have asked for a kiss on the cheek based on Deran’s WTF face.

Deran gets the news of Smurf’s release through Billy and whatever joy he was feeling melts away. He visited her the least, in fact he didn’t visit her at all. His fear of her shows how desperately he’s clinging to his new independence. He’s still afraid of his mother’s ability to turn him into a frightened little boy weeping in her lap.

Over a couple of beers, Billy confesses that he tried to take Deran with him when he left Smurf. Tells him that he wanted to be a father to him, but Smurf called the cops and got him arrested. Deran’s always been a bit of a lost soul and this story clearly touches something in him but I don’t believe it. There’s something wrong with Billy, not in a psychopathic sense, but in a sick sleaze bag sense. I doubt he ever cared about Deran, he probably pulled the story out of his ass.

ANIMAL KINGDOM — Photo by Eddy Chen/TNT — Acquired via Turner Press Site
ANIMAL KINGDOM — Photo by Eddy Chen/TNT — Acquired via Turner Press Site /

Smurf, pie and a staring contest

The boys come home, minus Deran, and are shocked to see matriarch Smurf standing in the kitchen. Craig is the only to greet her, while the others stand anxiously by the door. One by one, each gets their own greeting and each one is as strained as the last. Remember in the last episode when J told her off? Well, she remembers. “I missed you baby” she whispers in his ear and hugs him the way a snake hugs a mouse. Then comes her greeting to Pope, her most and least favorite son. They mention Baz and Pope, partially convinced that she’s responsible, doesn’t think she has the right to grieve over his death. He looks at her Baz tattoo, grabbing it harshly and asks if it hurt. Though the hidden question within it was, “did it hurt to murder your own son?”

Next: Animal Kingdom recap season 3 episode 7: The Codys plan a job

The last scene of the very uncomfortable dinner they have is her and Pope having a staring contest. Sizing each other up for a later showdown. Fans of Psycho Pope better get ready because he’s coming back.

What did you think of this week’s episode of Animal Kingdom? Leave your comments below and don’t forget to catch a new episode next Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. on TNT.