Animal Kingdom season 3 finale: A death and the start of a war

Animal Kingdom -- Ep. 312 -- Photo Credit: Jesse Giddings / ©2018 TNT All Rights Reserved
Animal Kingdom -- Ep. 312 -- Photo Credit: Jesse Giddings / ©2018 TNT All Rights Reserved /

On the season 3 finale, J shows his true colors as Pope reaches the point of no return. There’s no turning back for some as Adrian officially becomes a criminal and Smurf sets her sights on baby J.

In what felt like the start of something instead of the end of it, the season 3 finale of Animal Kingdom is setting up the chess game that is no doubt season 4. It’s going to be torture waiting a whole year to see it happen.

Business begins as usual in the Cody house, Pope isn’t sleeping and Smurf acts concerned but is probably just irritated that his focus isn’t on her and the motherly breakfast she whipped up. Craig is in bed with Frankie and he wisely warns her about Smurf’s hatred of other women, but the warning either goes over her head or Frankie is really the psych Billy claimed her to be. Frankie has either overstayed her welcome on a show she doesn’t fit in or she’s scamming Craig. Who knows.

Deran and Adrian are also doing what they do best (no, not the horizontal tango). They’re surfing with Deran dropping low-key hints on how much he worships the ground the other walks on, and Adrian acting like the carefree dork he usually acts like. This indeed is just an act though. Adrian obviously has some issues that he is keeping to himself, hence the troublesome drug smuggling.

Smurf knows what J is playing at

In case you forgot what J did last episode, here’s a recap. He sold some of Smurf’s properties while she was in jail and blamed it on their lawyer, Morgan. To cover his tracks, he threw Morgan in the middle of the ocean along with a bucket of chum and she drowned. R.I.P Morgan.

Now, Smurf is suspicious of her absence and decides to investigate. With Pope leashed to her side, Smurf goes to Morgan’s place and notices that it’s not the house of someone who went on the run. Wine bottles was out, coffee is still in the pot, and the closet is full of unpacked suitcases; wasn’t hard to determine something unfortunate had happened to her. The next shot is a graphic image of Morgan’s corpse washed up on shore, her eyes picked out from seagulls and her skin discolored from rot.

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Smurf gets hip that something isn’t right and reads the documents detailing the property sales that J sold and it turns out that he had a notary with Alzheimer’s sign the papers and sold the properties to fake companies made up of his uncle’s initials; ADC (Andrew David Cody), CWC (Craig William Cody), and DCC (Deran Cameron Cody). The notary also lives in a home two blocks away from where J and his mom lived. Those are all the clues one needs to know.

More pointless Craig and Frankie

Seriously, I don’t see the point of their relationship. Craig hasn’t been doing anything with the family this season and it feels he’s moved over into a spin-off series without anyone knowing. Craig is unable to start his own life without someone else leading the way. He went down to Mexico to start a Tequila business, which lasted about as long as you’d expect, because he had Renn with him. He used to try to do his own jobs but that was before Deran got his own life, and Smurf no longer has time for her middle son’s issues, so Craig is left to aimlessly wonder around. Frankie is probably only a plot device to show Craig a new type of crime life, but it feels like the series cut her out of a different show and crudely glued her on.

Together, the lovebirds rob the art snob they met last week. Stealing not just his artwork, but everything else. Craig lives for thrill and robbing a big art dealer, making a heavier haul than usual in a non-violent way, probably didn’t leave much of an impression on him. The whole time he was lazing about, not really paying attention to what was going on. When they finish the job, they hang around and celebrate with ice cream and crack rocks. If Craig’s heart eyes were any bigger they might have a three sizes too big Grinch situation on their hands.

Animal Kingdom — Ep. 313–©2018 TNT
Animal Kingdom — Ep. 313–©2018 TNT /

House hunting

Deran and Adrian are continuing their house hunting and have found a place by the beach for 1.3 million. The show makes it clear who’s the bread-winner, Deran is all macho as he stands in front of Adrian and addresses the realtor like he’s the only one standing there. Kind of cute in a “I’m your man so let me provide for you” kind of way, but we all know he’s whipped.

They pick the place they want but Deran needs more money if they’re going to buy it. It’s implied that Adrian is putting up little to no money, but considering how much Deran makes being a criminal and how financially unreliable being a traveling surfer is, that’s not surprising. Deran goes to Smurf for the extra money, and he shockingly reveals his intentions of moving in with Adrian. Thought you didn’t want her involved in any part of your life? Why did you tell her that? That woman would hand over 100K if one of them called her “mommy”, he didn’t have to tell her what the money was for.

Give her credit for acting civil enough and inviting Adrian over for dinner though. That was surprising.

Lucy is gone for good this time and Mia’s past comes back

Tina, Pete and Mia drive down to Mexico and assassinate Lucy on what I’m guessing were Smurf’s orders. Lucy’s brains splattered all over the windshield and her son Carlos saw the whole thing. R.I.P Lucy, I really liked her.

Meanwhile, I don’t know if anyone remembers, but a couple of episodes ago Mia broke into someone’s house and was confronted by an old woman. The woman asked if Mia was ever going to visit an unnamed man in prison and when asked what to tell him when he got out, Mia’s response was “tell him I’m dead.” This man is actually more of a boy and is Mia’s old flame. He’s only on-screen for a moment but he’s bad news. Mia welcomes him home with very impassive sex (at least on her end) and then we get two hints at a possible pregnancy. Smurf tells J to be careful with Mia because she doesn’t want another mouth to feed and then the unwanted boyfriend comments on how Mia would look good with a baby.

I wasn’t a Mia fan until this episode. She’s scared of the people in her life and appears to have real feelings for J.

Pope’s breakdown and Deran’s guilt

There’s so much going on and the show chooses now to mention characters we’ve either forgotten about or thought were irrelevant. The guy that got shot earlier in the show, Ox, died in Mexico and Deran is overcome with guilt. He goes to see Ox’s mother to tell her about her son, but is unable to tell the struggling 7 months sober woman who her son, one of his childhood friends, is dead. Guilt has picked away at Deran a couple of times now and it’s probably going to lead to something next season.

They’re all having a hard time but Pope is having the worst. Smurf does something no mom should do and sends a prostitute over, knowing it’s what will further break Pope’s fragile mind. It unfortunately works and Pope is back to the mess he was in S1. After an uncomfortable sex scene, Pope drives erratically around town without a shirt and ends up hitting a few cars. A woman gets out to confront him but he smashes her windshield with numbed violence. He ends up running to Amy, the woman from the megachurch, and cries in her arms about losing Lena.

Animal Kingdom — Ep. 313 — Photo Credit: Jesse Giddings / ©2018 TNT All Rights Reserved
Animal Kingdom — Ep. 313 — Photo Credit: Jesse Giddings / ©2018 TNT All Rights Reserved /

Dinner and a drug board

The Cody’s have dinner together, with Adrian there, and Smurf announces that she split her  properties into equal shares. Each boy has their own set of properties that they can do whatever they want with. It’s Smurf’s way of giving them their independence while also holding them close. J on the other hand seems unhappy about it. As Craig and Deran share which properties they got, J refuses to share what he’s been given. He doesn’t even look at the paper.

The mood is ruined by a bloody Pope charging in, giving Smurf the chance she needs. Following him into the bathroom, she tells him that she didn’t want to be a mother until she held Pope and Julia in her arms for the first time. “I’ll always be here for you”, she says. It’s his worst nightmare but also his dream come true. She finally succeeded in reeling him back in.

Animal Kingdom — Ep. 313 — Photo Credit: Jesse Giddings / ©2018 TNT All Rights Reserved
Animal Kingdom — Ep. 313 — Photo Credit: Jesse Giddings / ©2018 TNT All Rights Reserved /

The last few scenes involve a cliffhanger of Adrian getting stopped at the airport and the police drilling a hole into his surfboard. The board has drugs inside but the episode leaves it there. Then J does what I knew he’d do since the beginning of the series. He stands over a sleeping Smurf and promises to take away everything and everyone she’s ever loved. The act of kicking Julia out of the house and letting her fall into drugs will finally come back to bite her, as Julia’s son reveals that he’s never forgiven the matriarch for what she did to his mother.

The very last shot of the season shows Pope and J staring at each other in the dark. The two people Smurf has twisted and hurt the most, two men who are more alike than most would think. They are equally as dangerous, but J is better at hiding who he is.

dark. Next. Animal Kingdom: What we want to see in Season 4

“The Hyenas” is accurately named, the episode showed a pack of hungry hyenas scrambling for their piece of the pie. Animal Kingdom season 4 will come back next summer, most likely in May, and will answer all of our questions. How will Adrian get out of the drug jam? Will Smurf get back at J like she did Lucy? Will Pope be his mother’s pit bull again? Is Frankie using Craig or does she true have feelings for him? What is going to happen to Mia?

What did you think of the Animal Kingdom finale? Leave your comments below.