Let’s be honest here: Animal Kingdom season 3 episode 10 has to be one of the darkest episodes of television that we’ve seen in quite some time. We saw Billy almost drowned, physical and psychological torture, and Pope struggle with the fact that Lena was with anyone who was not him.
A lot of this was about money, but some of it was about authority and characters still trying to find a few different ways to flex some of their muscles and show how formidable they are. We really saw this with Smurf more so than anyone else with what she did with Marco. This has to be the first time we’ve ever seen torture where mice slowly gnaw somebody’s skin off, but here we are. She was that desperate to find some of the money that she’d lost.
The other person who was desperate to get their money tonight was Billy, who went off into a tear when J wasn’t giving him his money as soon as possible. He threw insults at various characters, nearly died at the hands of Pope (hence the drowning), and then also robbed Deran’s bar safe before taking off. Smurf also told Deran at the end of the episode — after Billy seemingly skipped town for good — that he had previously kidnapped him and held him for ransom.
Is Denis Leary leaving the show? Given that he is developing a new series, it was bound to happen at some point this season. We would be somewhat surprised if he comes back after this, unless of course we see the Cody boys form some sort of plan to try and murder him. Yet, we don’t think that they will. He’ll likely just skip town, find somewhere else to be, and they’ll focus on the jobs that are right in front of them. Maybe there will be a collision course down the road, but the biggest surprise to us is that Frankie didn’t go with him — at least at first. We’ll see if she is still around next week.
The winner of “saddest story of this episode” is clearly Pope, who had just one terrible thing happen to him after another this week. We cannot quite say that we’re shocked that he was thrown out of the CPS offices, given that this felt like the way it was going to go from the moment he first showed up there demanding information on Lena. He got nothing from them, but one of the best moments of the episode was Smurf taking him outside her new foster parents’ home and explaining the good life she could have there. It may have offered him peace, and this Smurf was such a contrast to the one who was torturing Marco in this same episode. That’s a real testament to the performance of Ellen Barkin and how grateful we are that this character is out of prison.
Bar none, Animal Kingdom season 3 episode 10 is the best episode of the season. It tied together Billy’s story in a way that made sense, as Smurf clearly laid low so that Deran could experience for himself why Billy was a terrible person. This was all a long game for her, and it’s clear now that moving forward, the death of Baz and other heist jobs can take center stage without interruption.
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