Animal Kingdom season 3 episode 9 can be defined in a multitude of different ways, whether it be a story about Deran trying to manipulate those close to him, Billy and Smurf’s surprise reunion, or Smurf’s decision in general to try and reclaim the authority that she once had.
Above all else, we would label this story one of desperation. For Smurf, she sees some of the writing on the wall now. She recognizes that the boys don’t necessarily need her to pull almost seven figures for some of their heist jobs. With that, she made a series of different chess-moves tonight to ensure that she still had some element of power within the family’s complicated relationships. For starters, you can look at the manipulation that she put it with J and the finances, and then with Billy to determine how much money they really all made on the weed job. (Her sleeping with Billy is probably the last thing we expected given their tumultuous history, but here we are.) Eventually, she was able to discover more of the true value of the job and from there, she seemed to be intent on both covering her own tracks and making sure that Pope, Deran, and the rest of the crew know that they will never be free of her.
It was one thing to establish a grave-site for Baz; it’s a different thing altogether to get burial plots for almost everyone. This is Smurf saying that she will always be there, but it is unconsciously also a grim reminder that more of these characters are probably going to get themselves killed.
Even though nobody died tonight, this episode did still offer another reminder as to how lonely some of these characters will become as a result of their actions. Deran’s crazy life and infidelity is eventually going to come back to haunt him, even if it hasn’t altogether just yet. Meanwhile, Pope also had Lena taken away from him by Child Protective Services, realizing that he was not offering her much in the way of a stable home environment. They had every reason in the world to want to do this (they’re mostly right), but you could see the devastation that Pope had over it, given that being a surrogate father was one of the few things keeping him human.
As to where the remainder of this season goes, we imagine a few more explosive revelations regarding Baz’s death, but also some reminders that this family is doomed to fall apart so long as the family and business continue to be so intertwined. There’s just too much greed and too much power-tripping going on to have it last.
Animal Kingdom season 3 episode 9 wasn’t the best episode of the season in the sense that there were no elaborate action sequences or, save for Billy and Smurf, shocking moments we’ll remember for many weeks to come. Yet, it does still remain one of the most compelling seasons largely because you’re seeing Smurf still try to establish her old dominance on an ever-changing world.
What do you think about Animal Kingdom season 3 episode 9, and are we on the verge of the Smurf empire toppling over? Sound off right now in the comments!
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