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Animal Kingdom - The Hyenas (Season Finale) - Review + Poll

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Wowee, what a ride that was. Where do we even start? There was so much that happened, along with a ton of setup for where season four is headed. I couldn't be more excited for this show right now. Due to my excitement and the fact that last week's episode will be directly next to this one in the "Animal Kingdom" tag, we will forego my normal refresher of the previous episode and jump right into this week's finale.

This Week's Prey

Craig's journey this week takes him on his heist with Frankie. Under the guise of remodeling company Ana Camille Associates, they arrive at the fancy house from last week which is now unoccupied for a bit. They enter with the key they've been given and turn of the alarm with the code they have before Craig asks what they're stealing. "Everything" is the answer. They walk through the house as Frankie details how everything will be sold and, once the house is empty, they reward themselves by stealing some ice cream from the fridge and doing some drugs. Just like the cool kids! They end up staying the night and Craig wakes up in the morning naked and alone. It's fully possible Frankie won't cut him in on the job, but she left him a message on his chest telling him the keys are in the car and that she won't rip him off. Guess we'll just have to find out how far her word goes. All that matters is they had a good time.

Deran has been having a decent time as well. He spends the morning surfing with Adrian and offers to join him on his next flight so they can keep spending time together. Adrian says it would be cool, but it's a tad halfhearted, so Deran backs off on it a bit. They then go check out a house Adrian wanted to look at and even though it's a little small, Deran decides to put a cash offer in on the house. Probably because Adrian wanted it and he wants to make Adrian happy. Also because he really needs to stop living at his bar. He then goes to Smurf to ask when he'll be getting the rest of his Lucy money so he and Adrian can buy the house. She says she'll get him the money and insists he bring Adrian to dinner tomorrow. Tomorrow's a busy day though. A parole officer comes to Deran to ask if he's seen Ox around because he broke parole. He tells the man he hasn't seen Ox in months and he's just a business owner now, but the officer looks around skeptically before giving Deran his card and leaving. This guy could be trouble. Deran finds Colby to ask about Ox and learns that the doctor he sent Ox to in Mexico wasn't able to fix him and he died. They can't very well tell this to anybody without incriminating themselves, however, so nobody has been informed of Ox's death. Deran tries to tell Ox's mom later, but he is unable to do it. After Smurf's dinner/property distribution, Deran drops Adrian off at the airport. Adrian makes his way through security checkpoints but is soon apprehended because they've discovered a surf board full of cocaine. Poor fella.

Smurf and Pope spend a lot of time together this week. They start out on a mission to locate Morgan by going into her house. They find no indication that she's living there and her car is missing, but all of her clothes and suitcases are still in the house. Smurf's next step is to have Pope take her to get copies of the paperwork for the sale of the buildings. Turns out all the holding companies are the Cody boys' first, middle, and last initials, which makes Smurf question if they're all in on it. Pope assures her that this isn't the case, so she decides the next stop is to the notary who stamped all the files. It's a solid lead. However, the man ends up being in the Alzheimer's unit of a nursing home, so he obviously couldn't have notarized anything. What's more interesting is the fact that this place is two blocks away from where J used to live, which doesn't get past Smurf. When she gets a call later that Morgan has been found dead, she and Pope discuss what this means. Smurf head out to meet her boys from the Lucy job and sends Pope a gift while she's away: a high class prostitute. My first thought was, "She reminds me of Amy" which turned out to be very ironic. After a lot of thrusting and crying, Pope runs out for a shirtless, aggravated drive through town, runs into a car, beats that car with a tire iron for a bit, and ends up on Amy's front porch crying about Lena being gone. Amy is momentarily shocked to see him again and initially tells him to leave, but Shawn Hatosy's Pope breakdown is too devastating to resist and she ends up holding him on her front steps. I haven't thought about her all season, but I suddenly really want this relationship back. During Smurf's fried chicken dinner, she passes out folders to her boys (minus Pope) containing the properties she owns, all even split between them. J gets an additional gift with his folder in the form of a watch that was initially meant for Baz, now engraved especially for him. Pope comes back to clean out his very bloody hand and Smurf comes in to ask what happened. She is simply met with Pope's signature "Maybe I hate you, maybe I hate myself" glare as she continues to talk and tell him that she'll always be there for him no matter what.

And now for our boy, J. After J and Mia start their morning breaking in the new apartment (probably not for the first time), J meets up with the man who runs the bowling alley he has now purchased, though he claims to just be a guy working for the new owners. He tells the man the new nightly deposit plans and tells him to prepare the finances for him to look over later. That night, Smurf greets J as he's coming home by telling him that Morgan died from an apparent boating accident. Morgan also apparently stole three properties from Smurf under layers of holding companies and with a stolen notary stamp from an old guy. She says that Morgan is Smart and asks J if he's that smart before warning him to careful. When he asks why, however, she spins it as a warning to be careful with Mia (who she was able to meet earlier that day when she went to talk to her guys) to avoid unplanned children. Mia, by the way has been taken on a drive as punishment for not staying away from J when she was told to. The next day, this drive comes to an end in Mexico where she is made to murder Lucy. Seeing Lucy onscreen always makes me nervous since you never know what she's going to do, but I absolutely did not expect to see Mia in Lucy's back seat ready to blow Lucy's brains out. It was the first time I've truly been shocked in a while. As this murder is taking place, J works on covering his tracks by grabbing all the paperwork he's been storing in an old car and burning anything potentially incriminating before Smurf can get her hands on it. When Mia returns from Mexico, she finds a man in her apartment who says he heard she was dead and asks if she's missed him. I'll assume this is the man whose mom we saw confront Mia in an earlier episode. After they have some naked time that Mia is 100% not into, she tells him he needs to leave because the place belongs to a guy she's working and he'll be back soon. Before he goes, he asks if she'll be cutting him in, to which she responds "Don't I always?" I don't know if I trust that she won't betray J, but I definitely trust that she's not going to be giving this guy anything. Another thing I trust is J's plan for Smurf. After looking at the watch she got him engraved with "For J. My Very Smart Boy. Smurf", he goes into her room and whispers into her sleeping ear that he's going to take absolutely everything from her. If anyone can, it's J. Upon exiting the room, he meets eyes with Pope who is just standing creepily in the hallway. You know, like Pope. They say nothing to each other, and Pope returns to his room. What does that mean?!

Animal Instincts
Despite wishing the final shot was a little more of a cliffhanger, this was an excellent finale. There were plenty of payoffs, raised stakes, and even a couple shocking moments with Lucy's death and seeing Amy again. I was completely invested in every scene of this finale and am already dreading the wait for next season.

After three seasons of seeing J's motives/loyalties flip back and forth, we can finally say for sure that his ultimate goal is to take Smurf down. It's always been a possibility, but watching him whisper it into Smurf's ear and finally confirming it was so satisfying. I was really hoping to see her eyes slowly open when J walked away. Even though we didn't see that, however, I'm still pretty positive Smurf heard everything he said, which could really be J's biggest mistake so far. With everything Pope knows and has been through, I'm not sure if Pope would be an asset to J's mission or an enemy of it. I could see it going either way, honestly.

Speaking of Pope, man that breakdown was painful. I was shocked to watch him show up at Amy's and even more shocked to see her actually want to comfort him. Maybe now that she's had time to process and realize he's just really, really, really, very, extra damaged, she'd be open to getting back together with him? I don't advise it, but at the same time I really like their relationship, mainly because it was so good for Pope.

Some things I'm excited about for next season: seeing if Amy comes back; seeing how serious things get between Frankie and Craig, and if Renn will show up to say, "Yo, it's actually your baby, Craig"; watch J and Smurf passive-aggressively fight for power; watching J confront Mia's old/new man; whatever happens with Adrian's drug bust, and I really hope they won't make a deal with him to go free if he turns on the Codys.

Favorite Sights
Lucy's death
Deran and Adrian
Pope and Amy
J's promise to Smurf
Frankie's job

What did you think of the finale? Were you excited to see Amy again? Which plot point are you most excited for next season? Sound off in the comments below, and I'll see you next season!

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