Animal Kingdom recap: Joseph Morgan guest stars as Uncle Jed

Animal Kingdom ep09 "SHTF" via TNT/Turner Press
Animal Kingdom ep09 "SHTF" via TNT/Turner Press /

This week on Animal Kingdom in the episode SHTF, Smurf meets up with someone from her past and J tries to get rid of their unwanted house guest.

Animal Kingdom Season 4, Episode 9 picks up a few hours after where last week’s episode left off with Mia’s death and shows J struggling to control the situation he’s unknowingly created. With his trademark constipation face, J returns the stolen money but doesn’t tell the guys about killing Mia. Not sure why though because I doubt they would care.

Despite his promise that it won’t happen again, the others have lost faith in his leadership, especially Deran who is already being stretched too thin. They don’t trust that he’s got everything under control. After everything’s cooled down and all the brothers are together, Pope tells them about Smurf’s cancer.

The Livengood situation

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Following up from the events of the last episode, Deran is dedicated to his plan of forcing Livengood’s hand in dropping Adrian’s case, despite Adrian’s plans to take the consequence of his actions and go to prison. He’s prepared for a sentence but Deran isn’t.

The man is in denial and even so, he swears not to let anything happen to Adrian. “I’m gonna protect you inside. If it comes to that.” Adrian holds back some of the wrath and fear of his vigilant boyfriend by asking him not to hurt Livengood’s kids, proving once again that he’s the voice of sanity in Deran’s life.

Enlisting the help of an unenthusiastic Craig, Deran follows Livengood to a bar armed with a bat in the backseat, but that’s where Craig pulls the breaks. It’s one of those rare moments where Craig starts making sense.

You can’t walk into a bar regularly attended by police officers, with a face as battered as Deran’s, holding a bat and expect to get away with bashing a someone. Without Craig there to help, Deran opts against the plan but it’s not long after this when he’s visited by none other than Pearce himself.

The detective offers Deran a deal, turn over his mother or Pope and he’ll think about helping Adrian. With Smurf already on her death bed, this seems like the best solution but nothing in life, or fictional crime life, is ever that easy. I say turn the woman in, she’s dying anyway.

Animal Kingdom ep09 “SHTF” via TNT/Turner Press
Animal Kingdom ep09 “SHTF” via TNT/Turner Press /

Colin’s brother Jed

Smurf was absent last week but she’s back now and is busy visiting an old friend, and when I say friend, I mean someone she’s about to screw over. This confrontation is split with this week’s Janine flashback, that are only interesting thanks to the presence of Joseph Morgan who most will probably recognize from The Originals.

Morgan plays Jed, Colin’s unhinged older brother living on a farm where he prepares for the end of the world. No one seems to like him, his wife is scared of him and Colin stands on eggshells when in his presence, but Janine looks at him like a feral puppy in need of housetraining.

Jed, just hours after meeting her, details his master plan of collecting at least a million dollars’ worth of gold so that he’ll be prepared for when society collapses. Money is worthless without the value behind it, but gold is pure value, or so he claims, ignoring the fact that if society collapses gold will be as worthless as paper money because without a currency it’ll hold zero value. Guess he’s not much of the survivalist if he reveals his master plan to a strange woman he just met.

Years later, Janine is back, and it’s clear that she plans on robbing the secret bunker where Jed keeps his alleged gold. I think she also wants to get back at him for being cruel to Colin or something because before young Janine and Colin left the farm, the brothers got in a fight leaving Colin with a dejected bloody face and Janine with prominent worry lines on her forehead. She also picked that moment to tell him that she’s pregnant. Sometimes it feels like the Janine x Colin moments are from a different show.

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Pope sees Lena again

Not much went on with Pope in this episode of Animal Kingdom but one thing he did do was visit Lena. Poor Lena looks as sad as she always did but that’s probably just because of Pope. Her adoptive father claims she’s happy (even if she doesn’t look it) and asks Pope to come back for a scheduled visit, but instead, he leaves while looking back at Lena one last time.

J tries getting rid of Angela

J is sick of Angela and honestly, who isn’t? Pope isn’t but he’s not in his right mind, so we’ll forgive him. Pope would love a Goldfish cracker if it gave him a hug.

Angela’s got an itch about Smurf’s will, being strangely obsessed with its location and it’s making her look beyond suspicious, might as well wear a sign saying, “up to no good”. Apparently, J agrees, he still thinks she’s the rat and decides to get rid of her as quietly as possible.

Using the lure of Smurf’s will, he takes Angela to the run-down part of town where she and Julia used to go to buy drugs. I don’t know how Angela couldn’t see past this facade even after he suggests they buy tacos from a guy Angela used to purchase from personally, armed with more than enough money to buy two tacos. Gives her like a hundred dollars when all she needed was maybe five. He’s trying to push her off the wagon.

J ends up leaving her there in the drug zone and our last shot of Angela is her aimlessly wandering down a pier, the noises and sights around her warped into pulsing sounds and blurred images. Did she cave? I’m not sure.

Craig is a daddy

Something good happened to Craig this week in Animal Kingdom; he became a daddy. Renn gave birth to a healthy baby boy who I’m calling Crest until they reveal his real name, and one of the first things Renn says is “I think he’s yours.” Not that we didn’t already assume that, but it’s good to hear aloud.

Later while Renn is sleeping, the nurse brings in baby Crest and offers Craig the chance to hold him, and the moment is so damn sweet I couldn’t handle it. Craig is a daddy, Pope and Deran have another nephew, and J has a cousin. Keep Crest away from Smurf.

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