Animal Kingdom season 3 episode 10 recap: Billy robs the bar

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

Things are falling apart for some and coming together for others. Billy reaches his breaking point, Pope tries to get Lena back and Smurf is on the hunt for her money on Animal Kingdom.

This episode of Animal Kingdom starts with Lucy, someone we haven’t seen that much of this season, in Mexico and for the first time we get to see what she does when she’s not with the Codys. Turns out she’s a brutal cartel queen. Out in the middle of the desert with her is none other than Tina, the woman from Smurf’s jail, watching from afar. She was sent there as part of the “Lucy job” Smurf is paying Pete for but we find out the job is not to kill Lucy but to kidnap her brother, Marco.

J, living back at the house and playing nice with Smurf, is taking care of business while he works towards creating his own empire with Mia’s help. He knows Smurf has business with Pete and wants her to find out what it is; Mia continues playing both sides without showing real loyalty to either one. J is also going along with his idea from before which is to let Smurf launder their money while he buys up other business on the side without her knowledge. He picks a bowling ally and a laundromat. I’m sure he thinks it’s real clever picking a laundromat to launder money through, he always did have a rather dry sense of humor.

I think John Wells has a thing for laundromats, if you watch Shameless you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Relationships aren’t easy

I’m sorry for all the Linc fans, but I’m happy to say…”hit the road Linc and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more, no more.” Linc is gone and Deran doesn’t care in the slightest.

After Craig tries to patch up the rift he thinks he put between them, Deran admits that he never liked Linc and the only appeal to their relationship was that with him he didn’t have to be a Cody. In the end he runs in to the arms of his real security blanket, Adrian, for comfort and ends up laying his head on his lap like he used to do with Smurf. My heart swelled as much as the Grinch’s on Christmas Day.

ANIMAL KINGDOM-TNT — Acquired via Turner Press Site
ANIMAL KINGDOM-TNT — Acquired via Turner Press Site /

Now that Deran’s relationship is almost fixed, Craig has his own issues coming up and I don’t think anyone saw this coming. Ex-girlfriend, if we can call her that, Renn comes back to town pregnant. She claims Craig is not the father, but she’s probably just be saying that because he’s such a screw up. The news hits him harder than he expected, and he’s disappointed that Renn isn’t pregnant with his baby. As the failure of the Cody family, Craig wants to belong to something but is unable to follow-up on any of them. He still has feelings for her and apparently has some paternal instincts stirring up now, maybe this will become his character arc for season 4. I can’t imagine Craig raising a dog, or a goldfish, let alone a human child. Remember the two pit bulls he had in season 1? Where the heck did they go?

Pope breaks down

Pope should not be dealing with this alone but he seems to be the only one who cares about Lena, outside of Smurf (allegedly). He spends most of the episode trying to contact his niece after social services removed her from his care. First he walks in the office without scheduling an appointment, then he gets confused about why he would need an appointment, and then he waits for what is probably a couple of hours staring at his hands.

Shawn Hatosy gets a chance to show off some of his acting skills here when the social workers seem reluctant  to help him. They’re only following protocol but he’s desperate to get a hold of Lena, fearing what’s happening to her in the care of strangers. Most of all he pleads, pleads, to see her just so he can explain what’s happening. He knows that she’s scared and doesn’t understand where she is. “When I was in the foster care system I did not know what was happening. Nobody told me what was happening. Nobody!” It’s heartbreaking to see Pope, intense and unpredictable Pope, break down in tears as he remembers the first time he was taken away as a child. He blames himself for Lena’s predicament and he wants to fix it.

More from Drama

Smurf may be cold-blooded but I think it’s becoming clear that she loves her sons in her own way, Pope especially. Moments away from falling down a dark tunnel inside his mind, shown by a high-pitch static sound only he hears, Pope turns to Smurf for help. Without Baz to control him, he has no one else to run to when his mind breaks, but it’s easy to see that she’s dealt with it numerous of times in the past. She takes one look at him and knows something is wrong, calling him Andrew instead of Pope. No matter how much he claims to hate her she is the only one able to pull him back, showing just how deep the damaging bond between these two goes.

It’s in the middle of this when Billy makes the mistake of being alive and speaking once more. Saying some more crude remarks like he did in the truck during the weed heist. Pope is like a damaged pit bull, capable of snapping at the slightest thing and he charges at Billy ready to kill. He isn’t fooling around either, he fully intends on killing him, holds his head under water while he beats him. He only stops when Smurf tells him too.

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

Everyone has had enough of slime-ball Billy

When I say everyone, I mean everyone, even Frankie. First off, he pays a visit to his favorite son and tries convincing him, once again, that J shouldn’t be in charge of the money. Same song and dance he’s been playing since showing his wrinkled face on the screen (no offense to Denis Leary’s face). He starts ranting about paying bills (YEAH RIGHT!) and deserving his cut of the job until Deran eventually hands over J’s phone number and a couple hundred bucks. This is where Deran makes the grave mistake of opening his safe, which is in a every viewable spot right by the door, in front of Billy who glances hungrily at the wads of cash inside.

Later he tracks down J to get what he’s owed but instead of talking it out, he slams him against the wall and threatens to “bled him dry.” We all know J isn’t as innocent as he looks and he’s not at all fazed by Billy’s attempt at playing tough. In fact he looks irritated, then downright bored. Believe us J Baby we’re as tired of him as you are.

Beaten and empty-handed, Billy decides to leave, but Frankie knows a good thing when she sees it and stays behind.

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Heartbreak and peanut butter

Smurf finds the family that took Lena in and drives Pope over to see the house. It’s a nice house owed by a nice family, with a pool and a trampoline. Now that Pope knows where she is, his conscious can rest for the moment. The relief in his eyes shows just how much pain he’s been in for the past 48 hours. Lena is more of a daughter to him than she ever was to Baz and he’s been ripped in half.

After taking care of her fragile son, Smurf goes to deal with a freshly delivered Marco. He’s brought to Smurf blindfolded and tied to a chair, playing dumb when she demands to know where her money is. After a few minutes of them going back and forth, she pulls out a jar of peanut butter and begins an unusual torture method. Wiping peanut butter on his genitals and enclosing caged rats on him. Either she believes Marco was the brains behind stealing her money or she just thought he’d be easier to grab than Lucy. Either way Marco is going to talk eventually.

While that’s happening, Billy makes one final appearance before leaving Oceanside and robs his own son’s bar. He doesn’t seem conflicted at all about it, walking right past Deran with his stolen money. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, he leaves a note on the safe saying “At last I remembered your birth date. Change your combination.” Giving such a note to a guy like Deran, who’s insecure and has only ever wanted to be loved his whole life, is cruel. Heartbroken, Deran goes to Smurf who digs the knife in deeper by sharing the real version of Billy’s “I wanted to be a dad story.”

Animal Kingdom season 3 episode 9 recap: J makes nice with Grandma Smurf. dark. Next

A few episodes ago, Billy told Deran that he tried to take him with him when he left Smurf. That they drove all the way to Las Vegas before Smurf called the cops. Now the truth comes out, and it’s Billy actually kidnapped Deran in order to trade him for $1 million dollars. Smurf got him back for $600 and a bag of drugs.

Deran has been trying to get away from the Cody life for a while, but being back-stabbed by his own father might be what pushes him back in. Hopefully not, but he’s close to having a mental breakdown soon. My eyes started watering at the end here, seeing the look of raw pain in Deran’s eyes is a harrowing experience. I hope they track Billy down and leave him in the desert for good this time.

What did you think of “Off the T…”? Will Billy be back? Or is he gone for good? Don’t miss next week’s episode of Animal Kingdom on Tuesday 9:00 p.m on TNT.