Animal Kingdom recap: Who’s going to bake the pie?

Animal Kingdom ep08 "Ambo" via TNT/Turner Press
Animal Kingdom ep08 "Ambo" via TNT/Turner Press /

In Animal Kingdom Season 4, Episode 8, the Southside criminals meet an unsuspected obstacle in their robbery scheme and Deran figures out a way to get rid of the detective harassing Adrian.

There are only five episodes left of Animal Kingdom Season 4 and we still don’t know if it’s been renewed or not. This is giving me anxiety. “Ambo” is the most intense episode of the season yet as the boys carry out a risky job that quickly goes south, and for those who dislike Mia, I have some very good news for you!

By the way, present-day Smurf is unfortunately absent for the episode, so we’ll have to wait to see who she armed herself with an arsenal for next week. The young version, however, continues the unbelievably dull  “How Janine Cody Became a Mom” saga. It’s a shame because actress Leila George is going a fantastic job.


Just to get this over with I’m going to run through a quick sum up. The crew goes to Pam’s house in search of their stolen property but surprise, surprise, she skipped town after stealing $8,000. I now see why Smurf ditched these guys; they’re not very bright.

Knowing they won’t find any clues in the house, Smurf bribes a neighbor boy with a high sum of $2 to tell her where Pam and her son went, but instead of telling the guys what she learned, she instead confronts Pam herself.

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Animal Kingdom had four years to come up with Smurf’s twisted childbearing ideology and the best they could do was a short girl talk with Pam who claims that having a child means you’ll have someone who will always love you, and so Smurf’s plan to make a crew of strong men that are forced to love her was born. I just expected a little more.

Pam gives back the van and they split the money, though Smurf pretends she found the vehicle on the side of the road when she returns to the crew. Only Colin gets the full story and the shared use of the cash prize.

Animal Kingdom – 408 ph: Eddy Chen ECP42036.JPG
Animal Kingdom – 408 ph: Eddy Chen ECP42036.JPG /

When the robbers get robbed

The job of stealing sound equipment from the festival was probably handled quicker than any of their previous jobs, but it was also one of the best. The fact that they had the guts to carry it out in a public place with people walking around was unbelievable, and then they top it off by knocking out a bus of rappers and groupies with an oxygen tank so they can pull their jewelry/bling-blings off their unconscious bodies. Never seen that before.

Everything goes smoothly until they’re on the road and a huge truck smashes into them, and two masked people rob them! You don’t usually hear about robbers getting robbed in the middle of the job. The assailants steal the bag of jewels but before they flee, one of them tells Pope, “say hi to your nephew”, and anyone who has the pleasure of recognizing Tupi’s voice knows exactly who the idiot is.

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Okay, we’ve seen Tupi in maybe three, four episodes, and even I was able to recognize his voice. So how come Mary Jane Watson could never figure out who Spider-Man was or anyone else in a superhero movie? That’s always bugged me. But anyway…the boys get robbed and Pope already knows who it is (not sure how since I don’t remember him meeting Mia or Tupi) and J goes to finally deal with Mia, something I’ve been waiting for since Baz died.

Animal Kingdom ep08 “Ambo” via TNT/Turner Press
Animal Kingdom ep08 “Ambo” via TNT/Turner Press /

Goodbye Mia

J goes to Pete to get permission, I guess, to kill Mia and the moronic Tupi. Once Pete confirms the pair pulled an unwarranted job, he kills Tupi himself, leaving him on the floor like an ugly rug he just wiped his feet on and gives J the choice how to deal with Mia. She’s his problem and he has to make the decision himself, and he decides to shoot her.

Before he does though, Mia owns up to Baz’s death and that Smurf ordered the hit. J was already leaning towards the murder solution, but that confession might have been what pushed him over completely. He may not have particularly cared for Baz but she killed one of his own and worse, her loyalty can literally be bought.

Can’t trust someone like that, so, goodbye Mia. Not sure what the point of your character was and the reason to bump you up to a series regular just to kill you off in Episode 8, RIP.

J later tells Pete that Smurf is dying and, while wearing a good portion of Mia’s brain matter, tells him that from now on he’ll be dealing with him.

Animal Kingdom ep08 “Ambo” via TNT/Turner Press
Animal Kingdom ep08 “Ambo” via TNT/Turner Press /

Adrian and Deran

The other major storyline outside of Mia and the job is Deran and Adrian. Now that everything (except Colby’s death) is out in the open between them, Deran is searching for a way to get Adrian out of the mess he’s landed in and his answer is blackmail.

He’s instructed Adrian with finding out information about the DEA agent in charge of his case, locating where he lives and learning whether he has a family or not, which Adrian is uncomfortable with. However, as Deran eloquently puts it, he’s going to have to do some uncomfortable things if he wants to get out of this uncomfortable situation. Adrian starts second-guessing the plan again when Deran calmly asks if the detective’s car has a kid’s seat in the back, putting an uneasy feeling in all of our stomachs.

Deran seems like the nicest Cody, but remember, this is the same guy that had his romantic rival thrown off a boat and shot a guy for even suggesting he’d blackmail Adrian. He’s like a mob husband.

At the beginning of the episode, we see Adrian half-heartedly ask Deran about Ox’s death only to have Deran claim he’s not a killer, an answer that is going to come back and bite him later. I’m a D x A fan and don’t want them to break up, but I can’t see their relationship surviving if things continue the way they’re headed.

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Don’t miss the next episode of Animal Kingdom on Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. ET on TNT.