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Animal Kingdom - Homecoming - Review

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Tonight is the finale, friends! Are you all as pumped as I am? I'll assume you are. After last week's developments, there's sure to be some really fun things coming up in tonight's episode, so let's do a quick refresher as we prepare ourselves for the hour of bliss we'll experience before being forced to wait a year for more.

Keys to the Kingdom

Craig learned that Renn is pregnant, though she claims it's not his baby. While kind of bummed about being a dad, he certainly didn't jump at the opportunity when Pope proposed that Craig should adopt Lena. Also, he was quick to turn on J when things went bad, but Deran stopped anything bad from happening.

Deran continued to be happy with Adrian. He did a great job of handling Craig's reaction to Pope's kidnapping.

J was nominated to meet with Lucy and lead her to the warehouse where Smurf was holding Marco, assuming it was because he was expendable. He seemed to become less expendable, however, when he saved Smurf's life during the shootout Marco started.

Nicky. Nicky who?

Pope got kidnapped and almost killed after Marco started a shootout that ultimately ended in Marco's demise. While being held, Lucy is able to tear away any doubt Pope had regarding whether or not Smurf killed Baz, which he made sure to Smurf know he was aware of when she rescued him later.

Smurf started a huge mess. She had Marco kidnapped to force the boys into helping her get back what Lucy stole from Baz's stash of what he stole from Smurf's stash, which was stolen from everyone. She ended up getting her stuff back but nearly lost Pope in the process. To get him back, she was forced to finally admit out loud to Lucy that she had Baz killed. The mystery was finally solved, in case you still had any doubts about her ruthlessness.

This Week's Prey

Deran starts his day by having breakfast with Adrian, after which they eventually go and look at a house they're thinking of purchasing together. It's a bit expensive, but between the cut of the jewelry money Smurf gives Deran and the money Adrian secretly just got by agreeing to smuggle drugs inside his surf board, they can probably afford it. J starts his with a morning run and also ends up seriously considering a place to buy. The Cody's have new house fever! After his run, J is greeted by Smurf with an envelope of cash. She claims it's his cut of the jewelry, as well as Baz's cut and J should have it since he was Baz's son. Before he runs off to take a shower, Smurf questions him about a late payment reminder she received, but he tries to pass the buck to Morgan by saying she had him sign a bunch of papers he was told were coming from Smurf. This sets Smurf down a path, though she'll first need to deal with the path Pope has been on all morning. After purchasing a handy solution to inject and kill Smurf with, he returns to Baz's house to discover that Lena's room is missing some things. Pope shows up at Smurf's demanding answers and she explains that she will be adopting Lena since Pope would never be allowed to due to his record. She makes it clear that the only way he'll get to be in Lena's life is if she's under Smurf's legal care. This obviously puts a little hiccup in his murder Smurf plan. But, this frees Smurf up for a bit to start down her path to figure out what Morgan did. She shows up at Morgan's and directly confronts her about a building that was sold in her absence via a private sale to a holding company. Hmmm, sounds like a familiar idea. She denies any knowledge of the transaction and throws J under the bus by revealing he came to her asking about holding companies. Morgan promises to look into it and sends Smurf on her way, while J nervously watches her leave from across the street.

Pope later returns to Smurf's, a bit unhappy with all the pink things she's gotten Lena, because Lena doesn't like pink. She tries to explain how much work raising a child is and attempts to get into his head about Baz, but Pope ignores it and doesn't accept the cut of the jewelry money Smurf tries to give him. Soon after, Lena arrives back at Smurf's and gives Pope a giant hug. It's adorable. When Lena checks out her room later, she is not happy about all the pink and Pope tells her to pack a bag. He takes her back to Baz's house to gather some more things, which leads to a discussion about Lena's foster home. She talks about how they were going to be a family, prompting Pope to remind her that he's her family. She responds with "But I make you sad" and "You're always sad", which just completely shattered my heart. Pope then brings her back to her foster home and tells her she can stay with them. He has a beautiful goodbye scene with her where he tells her he'll always look after her. She grabs his hand and he gives her a big hug before leaving her to her better life. Pope returns home in the middle of Lena's welcome back party, sans Lena. He tells her that the foster family is going to adopt Lena, and Smurf is going to let it happen or he'll tell everyone she had Baz killed. She starts telling him that he's confused and they've all been worried about him. She wants him to stay with her so she can keep an eye on him. If he stays, she'll forget all about Lena.

Craig (who earlier received a cut of the jewelry money from Smurf) has been spending his day with Frankie since she picked him up from the beach and told him to get dressed. She brings him to a fancy party at a fancy house full of fancy stuff, where the host greets her as Anna. Immediately sporting a brand-new Australian accent, she introduces Craig as Danny, whom the host has apparently heard a lot about. Throughout the party, the host talks to them about the renovations he wants them to make in the house, and the art in his house. He asks Craig a bunch of questions/opinions, most of which Frankie answers for him. For some reason, this is not at all suspicious to the host. When the party moves outside, Frankie brings Craig to a room full of very expensive wine. When Craig hears the value, he marvels at how easy it will be to break in, but Frankie tells him that won't be necessary because they'll be able to just walk right in. They then get it on in the wine room.

Now, J's day has evolved quite a bit from his simple morning jog. After spying on Smurf, he meets up with Mia to grab keys to a boat. He tells her that Smurf thinks Morgan's been skimming money from her, and she asks if he thinks it's true. He claims he doesn't know, but he takes his borrowed boat out to greet Morgan in the middle of her swim and demand she get on the boat. He binds her with tape and brings her way out to the middle of the ocean, 10 miles from the shore. Once there, he begins emptying a bucket of raw meat into the ocean, appropriately concerning Morgan. She realizes Smurf has no idea that J is doing this and comes to the conclusion that J is framing her. Once he's happy with the amount of meat in the ocean, he cuts open her arm restraints before slicing one of her legs. She falls to the deck and grabs a weapon to smack him in the face with. She manages a slight cut, but J is hardly slowed down. He throws her into the water and drives away, clearly a bit shaken by this probable murder he's just committed. Back on land, J invites Mia to the house he saw on his jog and informs her that he has purchased it for them. Well, mostly her because he won't actually be living there quite yet. He's very secretive about where he cut the money, as well as the cut on her face, and tells her he's doing this because he needs someone he can trust who isn't a Cody. When he shows up in the middle of the party that is no longer for Lena, Smurf intercepts him to ask about his day, as well as the cut on his face he tried to hide with sunglasses. He claims he was hanging out with friends who were back from college, but it's not clear if Smurf is actually buying this. Especially when she tells him she's been trying to call Morgan all afternoon to no avail. She explains that she's going to look over every line of the books and she'll find everything Morgan may have taken from her. Things look scary for J

Animal Instincts
Not that J hasn't always been on a fairly dangerous path, but I'd argue that this new one he's started venturing down is easily his craziest. He's already resorting to murder (unless she somehow survives) to get rid of his problems, and these problems have only just begun. This is going to be a dark path for sure, though it seems this family has a way of corrupting people, so this was bound to happen eventually. Until he started stalking Smurf, I actually believed for a moment that he might not know what was going on. That thought definitely left my mind after he left Morgan to die in the ocean. J vs Smurf is a battle I could watch for a long time. Previously, Baz was Smurf's only intellectual rival, but his cold, dead body proves that he wasn't quite smart enough. J, however, just might be. If there's anyone that might be able to take on Smurf and when, it would be J.

While I'm loving the good place Deran and Adrian are in right now, I can't help but worry about it. It's too happy, and this show doesn't deal in happy. I'm sure Deran will find out about Adrian's drug smuggling, but I'm not sure if that will cause friction, or bring them closer together. Their scenes right now simultaneously bring me joy and Stress.

This was a great episode to lead us into tonight's finale, giving us plenty of things to explore. Other than, of course, J's journey, Pope's life after giving up Lena should be fun to watch, as should Adrian's drug smuggling. This is also the first time in a while I've been excited to see where a Craig story goes. He's always just kind of been there, really, but pulling this job with Frankie is certainly a fun plot to explore.

Favorite Sights
Deran and Adrian. Always.
Pope and Lena reunited
J and Morgan's homicide boat ride
Pope letting go of Lena

Do you think Morgan is really dead? Can Pope cope with being back under Smurf's thumb without Lena to look after? Is there even a slight possibility this show will just let Deran and Adrian be happy? Sound off in the comments below!

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