Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Animal Kingdom - In the Red/The Center Will Hold - Review: "No Money, Mo' Problems"

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

Animal Kingdom - In the Red/The Center Will Hold - Review: "No Money, Mo' Problems"

Share on Reddit

I'm back, friends! Am I late? Absolutely. Is it part of my charm? I choose to think so! Will it happen again? I'd like to say no, but if we're honest, probably. But don't worry! Despite the efforts of both my life and my laptop, I've managed to get this out to you all. Before we dive into this, I'd like to start by giving my sincerest apologies to J for my baseless accusations. You just looked so suspicious, man. I couldn't help it. But he's in the clear now that we finally know who did the deed. More on that later. First, let's remember where I left you two episodes ago!

Keys to the Kingdom
Craig, after hurrying home from Mexico to join everyone in mourning Baz, revealed to Deran that he would be returning to Mexico with Renn. He insisted that there was nothing really left for him in town, and, with everybody doing their own thing now, he needed to find his own thing. That thing is apparently Mexico with Renn.

Deran, other than mourning Baz, wasn't up to too much. He's still got his bar, and it looks like he'll just be diving into the bar after Baz's memorial.

Pope easily handled Baz's death the worst, probably because they just made amends about the whole Catherine murder thing. He swore vengeance upon whoever murdered Baz, and decided he would live with Lena in her house she didn't have to miss her bedroom.

Smurf is still in jail. She didn't take Baz's death too well either, but she controlled herself a lot better than Pope and was still able to work a little manipulation magic on J, even though her grief. That's talent.

J did his best to figure out what to do regarding the finances. Spoiler: it's not going well.

Baz is still dead. More dead now than before I'd say, since some time has passed. He's dead. Just like his wife. Who was killed by Pope.

This Week's Prey

In the Red
The first episode post-Baz starts with the thing we've all been waiting for: a job! And this job's got everything: fast motorcycles, window blowing, intense music, stealing cars, speeding through traffic. It all goes so smoothly, I was very proud of the boys for pulling it off. Then we got some shocks. Deran is the first to take off his helmet to reveal handsome fresh haircut. Bye bye long hair. We only get about a second to process this, though, before we see our other boys without their helmets, only to find out they aren't our boys at all. Deran's running a job without the boys! And running it well at that! After the job, he heads back to deposit the money in his safe at the bar, then heads inside to start getting ready to close things up. One of the patrons at the bar this evening happens to none other than Adrian, otherwise known as THE most forgiving guy on the planet. Not only are they on good terms after everything they've been through, but Adrian is totally there to get it on (which they eventually get to after a so-adorable-it-hurts interaction), and if Deran messes things up with them this time I'm never going to forgive him. Adrian's a nice boy and he deserves to be treated right!

Deran is easily having the best night out of all the family members. As Smurf continues to hate her prison while her roommate just hops onto the toilet next to the bed, Pope agrees to let a nightmare-plagued Lena (wolf dream tonight) stay up and watch a little TV. Pope leans further into dad mode by trying to explain the wolves really aren't scary before realizing he would likely be dealing with wide-awake Lena all night. Meanwhile, Nicky and J are hosting a party at Smurf's, which I'm willing to bet any amount of money was Nicky's idea, evidenced by the fact that J is spending the party in the kitchen working out finances on his laptop. He's not really in a party mood since Smurf is actually in mountains of debt at the moment and he has no idea how to fix it. No solid view on what Craig's up to this evening, but if I had to guess, I'd bet he's having a party.

The next morning, Craig and Renn get real cozy in an outdoor shower in Mexico, while Pope continues to be exponentially better at this father thing than Baz ever was. He tells Lena she needs to get ready for school, and even encourages her to eat breakfast because breakfast is important. She then gives him a note from her teacher requesting to speak with him, which immediately worried me that Lena was lashing out at school. Deran's morning consists of him making breakfast to share with Adrian and conversing with Adrian about the future. Adrian's been pursuing his pro surfing dream but hasn't been doing well and sponsors will no longer back him, which prompts him to decide to go back to college. Deran thinks college is a big waste though and tries to encourage Adrian to keep surfing because he sees Adrian's talent (or is blinded by love, the jury's still out there). J's boring night of finances isn't much different from his boring morning of finances, except now he's meeting with Smurf's lawyer to deal with it. Unfortunately, selling a building or two isn't an option either as it would give the cops access to records which they could use against Smurf. Unless, of course, he does a private sale to Smurf's lawyer, which would make her the new owner of the buildings. J is not about that.

Over at Baz's house, Lucy shows up (how dare she!) to give Pope the police report of Baz's death (ok, fine, I'll allow it). They have a bit of a bonding moment as Pope reveals that Lena has been getting bullied at school because of her dad, with other girls hitting her and telling her that her father was a criminal. Kids can be super cruel. He wonders how can keep forcing Lena to go to school when this is happening, and Lucy ends the bonding by asking if Pope is getting any help with her. He firmly replies that he doesn't need help. Later, Pope sits Lena down and tells her about how Smurf never made him go to school because there was no point when all he was doing was getting into trouble because he hated school. She tells him how much she hates it at school and Pope does the greatest thing ever and lays out private school brochures and tells her to pick one she wants to go to. Why is Pope my favorite now? Who let this happen?

Deran has a pretty full day ahead of him when his boys show up at the bar to tell him someone from the job got picked up. He bails the guy out of jail, and takes him on a very long, silent car ride. The whole time he swears he didn't say anything and that he got picked up for a completely different charge. Deran takes him to a cliff and forces him face down in the dirt at gunpoint and says that if the guy ever says Deran's name again, he'll find him, and if Deran's in jail, one of the other Codys will find him. Deran hammers home that this is scary by claiming that he's the nice one in the family before firing his gun right next to the man's ear, which his ear drum is not too pleased about. When he's done being Dark Deran, he drives to the beach to talk to Adrian who is finishing up a surf session. Deran tells Adrian he belongs on the upcoming surf tour and casually offers to give him $50.000 to make it happen. You know, cause he's just got it laying around. Adrian insists that Deran doesn't have to keep trying to apologize (man, he's the best), and Deran says that he wants to do this for him. I'm sure nothing will go wrong! But, actually, everything will. Probably. There's no happiness allowed here.

In Mexico, Craig and Renn are at a nice rager when Craig enters his room and finds a kid going through his things. He brings the kid out by the pool to figure out who brought him, but nobody claims the kid. Craig gives the kid a nice wad of cash, and there's a nice moment for a second before Craig tosses him into the pool. He still has that money though, so I don't think he should be too upset about being thrown into a pool. Later, the party is interrupted by an intimidating group whose leader drops a bag of coke right in front of Craig. They're all upset about the parties that have been happening since Craig moved in. Oh, and that kid actually belongs to this scary coke dude. They're a little peeved that the boy was thrown into the pool and the end up going to town on Craig and beating him up pretty badly. I guess they're taking a pretty firm stand about how the boy is to be treated.

Also taking a firm stand is Smurf. While a little prison scuffle plays out in the background, Smurf is approached by another inmate talking about a job she needs help pulling off and is willing to cut Smurf in on it. She doesn't know what this girl is talking about, though, because she's "just someone's grandma." Which really isn't a lie since her grandson shows up to talk to her later. Of course, they're talking about illegal bills they have to pay related to her criminal organization, but she's still a grandma. Smurf tells J that he needs to pay every single bill that's coming up and that she knows he keeps a "Plan B" stash somewhere because he's just like her. She goes into manipulation mode by starting to say she can find someone else if he can't handle things, but J, always eager to prove himself, insists that he can handle it. When she meets with her lawyer later, she yells about trying to get out of her murder charge, but Morgan tells her that they don't really care about the murder and are trying to find a way to get her on everything. Not the best news for sure. When she's back to playing cards and dominoes later, she starts asking her group about Alvarez, the girl who asked for help earlier. Looks like Smurf is cooking up a plan.

As J leaves his visit with grandma Smurf to go dip into his secret stash, he runs into Trujillo's daughter waiting for him outside. She's come to collect, and when J tells her he'll get it to her in a few hours, she insists on accompanying him to get the cash. And by "insists" I mean she just hops into his truck so he doesn't have a choice. J asks her to wait in the car while he goes to grab the money from his old friend Dina's bathroom, but she of course doesn't listen and inserts herself into J's conversation at the front door. Dina asks if she's Nicky, and she goes along with it, but J puts a stop to it real quick. Dina invites them in for dinner, and Mia graciously accepts despite J's insistence that they have things to do. During this time, Mia learns about J's mom's overdose, to which she responds that, basically, her mother's death was worse because she got stabbed. A little insensitive if you ask me. Later, after J has gotten the cash, they head back to the car, and she admits that maybe her first impressions of him were wrong. Mia asks who Nicky is, and when he doesn't answer, she decides that now is a good opportunity to climb on top of him, and they get it on in the front seat of J's car. He returns home later to find that he's missed the weekly family dinner they have for Lena, and that Nicky has purchased a ton of things from Amazon because we love product placement. Nicky even throws in a nice reminder that you don't have to pay for shipping. She's confused about why J is so upset about money and asks why they're still hurting after they pulled the car job. The car job is news to J, so he walks in to have a chat with Pope and Deran, which is also the first time Pope hears of the job as well. J says he doesn't care, but that he needs the family cut to pay the bills and opens up about the financial woes. He asks for their cut of the money Baz gave them and learns that they've spent it all, so now the only option is to pull off an expensive job for around $100k. Just in time for a heist, Craig shows up with Renn to greet them. Sort of. He's actually been beaten very badly and says that everything he had has been stolen. So, you know, he's been better. Honestly, he could probably use the money from a new job as well.

The Center Will Hold
We pick up the next episode on the night of Baz's murder, and cruelly have to watch the murder all over again. We then follow the hooded figure this time instead of watching Baz take his final breaths, and the hood comes off to reveal something that took away a few of my breaths: Mia freaking Trujillo! I already wasn't a huge fan, but way to put the icing on the cake! I can't wait for Pope to find out, it'll make Catherine's death look easy (jk, that'll never be easy. RIP you wonderful mother).

Back to present day, Smurf approaches Alvarez in jail to talk about the job she mentioned. Turns out there's a pill mill in National City (no, this won't be a Supergirl crossover unfortunately) and they just so happen to take in about $100k a week. How convenient! Smurf agrees to get it done, but wants a 70/30 split, which only flies with Alvarez is Smurf is getting the 30. Smurf argues that her guys are taking the risk, so Alvarez kindly raises Smurf's cut to 35. After getting a "Baz" prison tattoo, Smurf reports back to Alvarez that when her boys (J and Pope) scoped out the job, it was riskier than they thought, so she once again demands the 70 portion of the cut. Alvarez explains that she's got bills, too, and Smurf graciously comes down to a 50/50 split, which prompts Alvarez to say "I shoulda listened to what they said about you, Smurf," before walking away. She's right. She shoulda listened. And Smurf proves that point later when she plants heroin in a balloon inside of Alvarez's cell, which lands her in isolation with another drug charge, and giving Smurf full profits on the job.

Deran and (mostly) Craig have a fun side adventure during the day, mainly revolving around what Craig is going to do with himself now that he's back. After Renn mentions an apartment she's going to check out that day (leading to an intimate moment Nicky awkwardly walked in on) Craig kicks it into gear to start figuring out how he'll pay for his half of the rent. After failing to get money from the more mellow, and less lecture-y Deran, he tries every cash stash he knew about in the house, only to find them all empty. When he checks the last one, Nicky (in the process of making Smurf's classic Vodka Cran) tells him J had to use it all to pay bills, much to Craig's disappointment. Nicky then opens up about how Deran doesn't like her, and Pope hates her because of all the parties she throws. Craig basically gives her a keep-doing-you talk before heading out to hit up an old friend for $600 that he's owed. This leads to the roof-top chase scene I didn't know I was missing as the friend tries to escape from Craig. Craig eventually tackles the guy, who rolls right over the edge of the roof. Craig catches him and tries to hold on, but his shoulder got ripped out of its socket and the man plummeted two stories to the ground. I'd argue that he wouldn't be in as bad a shape as he ended up in, but I've also never fallen off a roof before, so I couldn't say. When Deran fails to pop the shoulder back in place later, they head off to the hospital to get it fixed. The nurse(?) the comes out to look at Craig happens to be an old surfing pro Craig loved and I'm almost positive this guy was flashing eyes at Deran the whole time. I could be wrong, but it looked pretty eye flashy. Renn eventually shows up to take Deran's place in the waiting area, and Craig gives her what little money he could wrangle up for the rent. Turns out, though, that Renn is actually looking to get this apartment with her friend, not with Craig. He acts tough, but it clearly hurts him.

That morning, J is prepping to check out the National City job, and Nicky begs him to let her be a part of it. She even tries to seduce him by naming the different parts of a gun that she knows. What a life. He insists that he has to go and ends up meeting with Mia the Murderer who tells him that he's late again on his rent, and asks for another extension, which she says she'll grant if he does a thing with her later. After J and Pope check out Smurf's job (of course, Pope has no idea of Smurf's involvement), J meets up with Mia again for the "thing", which turns out to be a barbecue of sorts that Trujillo is throwing. After pulling a fake intimidation on J about the extension, he sympathizes with J and says he understands, but also that he's not getting another extension. He does get food and alcohol though, so that's a plus. He also gets some action with Mia in a storage room, which is bold move by J to sleep with Trujillo's daughter at his own barbecue. As their getting their clothes and guns back on, J gets a voicemail from a distressed Nicky, who has gotten herself into a bit of a jam.

After mentioning how much Pope hated her throwing parties, Nicky was getting the car washed when she bumped into an old high school classmate. Still holding on to a desire to fit in and be popular, Nicky invited the girl and her friends to a party that will have a bunch of alcohol and cocaine. Being the not-too-intelligent girl that she is, she headed off to a drug dealer and did some coke with him for a bit, listening to his DJ music and dancing around the room. Afterwards, she tried to take off with the bag of coke for free, despite apparently already owing this guy $1,000. She claims that she's good for it, but he gets a bit forceful about the subject before resorting to the classic drug dealer scenario of "pay me or blow me". J finally shows up to get her, sans cash, which doesn't make our friend too happy. J name drops Pope though and the guy backs off, allowing him to leave with Nicky. Nicky still kept the coke in her bag though, so he starts to follow them with a baseball bat. Luckily, J brought Mia along, and she took care of the problem. He's not dead, but he's also probably not going to mess with them anymore. Nicky later has her small party, which mostly consists of her sitting alone while everyone else talks to each other. It was actually kinda sad to watch. J watched it from the kitchen though and just let it be. Mia then comes in to declare that she's sleeping on the couch for a bit, and J doesn't do much, because what can you really do?
Pope's day revolves around Baz/Lena for the most part. After dropping a scared Lena off for her first day at school, Pope attempts to fulfill his promise to her and wait in front of the school all day until she gets out. This doesn't pan out though, because a security lady for the school comes over to point out that a grown man sitting outside of a school all day is a tad creepy. He puts up a brief fight, but ultimately leaves and starts trying to piece together some evidence in Baz's murder using his car and the police report. When J comes to ask him to scope out a job, Pope joins and ends up being a bit impressed with how much J has put into planning things out. It's not perfect by any means, and Pope guides him a bit by telling him to check for basement, but he's still pretty impressed. So much so that he brings Lena to Deran's bar later so he can tear into him about not sticking with the family. Deran offers to throw over some money, but Pope says they need him, not his money. He tells Deran to step up, which I assume is what leads to Deran and Craig destroying one of the condos they own by breaking things, peeing it, and letting some cats loose. That or he's sabotaging for some reason, but I think it's helping somehow. While this happens, Pope is out on the beach with Baz's car and sets it ablaze before walking away.

Animal Instincts
Man, this show is good. They pack so many things into one episode, and there's so many subtle moments that will lead to a great payoff later, I'm sure. I will have to say, my MVP's at the moment are Renn and Adrian. Adrian was beaten up by Deran in a bathroom stall in the middle of blowing him, and was also screwed over a couple times, while Renn was literally left to die by Craig, and even stole some of her stuff in the process. These have got to be the two most forgiving characters. What great hearts they have!

While I enjoyed seeing Craig frolic around Mexico for a bit, I'm glad he's back home. I think the season would have felt a little disconnected if we had to keep checking in on Craig and Renn. Plus, the Craig/Deran dynamic got a great benefit from this. Craig has always gone to Deran to pick up his messes, and Deran always let him do, it despite the lectures. Now, we have a much more subdued Deran who has sort of given up on trying with Craig. He's still there for him and everything, but he's stopped trying to change him. I think Craig sees this a little bit, and it might finally force him to grow up if this path continues, which I really hope it does. Their relationship was one of the highlights of these past two episodes. Also, I really hope the eye flashes I think I saw from the nurse to Deran weren't actually there. I don't trust Deran to abstain and not disappoint Adrian. He's got a history of disappointing Adrian, you know.

Oh yeah, let's talk about Mia! I don't want to like her because, you know, she killed Baz and how dare she, but also I kinda really like her. She's fierce, she's formidable, and she will absolutely kill you if you cross her, all of which just makes for a fun character. Also, she might end up putting an end to Nicky and J, which has never been a fantastic relationship and really should go away at this point. But, we'll see what's to come in the future!

Favorite Sights
Deran's new 'do
Deran and Adrian
Deran and Craig
Papa Pope (maybe Daddy Pope to avoid the Scandal confusion. I do love alliteration, though. Pappy Pope?)
Lena. Always Lena.

Which of these episodes was your favorite? Did you have any suspicions at all that Mia was the killer? Did anybody else see that nurse flashing those eyes or am I just insane? Sound off in the comments below!

Sign Up for the SpoilerTV Newsletter where we talk all things TV!


SpoilerTV Available Ad-Free!

Support SpoilerTV is now available ad-free to for all subscribers. Thank you for considering becoming a SpoilerTV premmium member!
Latest News