Entering Animal Kingdom season 4, it probably feels fairly clear already that we’re on the cusp of family warfare. In one corner, you’ve got Smurf — the established veteran, and the person who’s been running the show for most of the show’s run. In the other corner, you’ve got J — the relative newcomer, but also the fast learner and the one who seems to be very much into the idea of being a power broker. He’s fine with killing, he’s fine with deception, and he’s also fine with freezing Smurf out.
As we learned last season, Smurf being imprisoned was really the worst thing for that character in more ways than just one. An obvious downside of her being locked up was not being hands-on in the action, but what she did not realize was that J would start to feel like he didn’t need her at all. That’s where things got to at the end of season 3 and now, Smurf may be in a position that she’s not used to — having to sit on the sidelines a little bit and feel a sense of desperation that she’s perhaps never quite felt before.
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So does this have all of the makings of an epic Animal Kingdom arc for season 4, and should the two become full-on enemies before the end of the season? Within this article, we thought it would be fun to map out both a specific case for and also against it.
The case for the rivalry to expand – You can argue that this is the most exciting thing that Animal Kingdom could do — expand this rivalry outward to the point where all of the Codys are forced to directly pick a side and come to grips with whatever the consequences may be of it. We don’t think that any of them necessarily want to make that choice right now, but if they are forced to get involved in the feud, that could create an emotional ripple effect that could eventually sever this entire family. The very thing that brought them together could be the thing that rips all of them apart and it feels like there’s almost an element of Shakespearean tragedy that can be found within that.
The case for a slower build – We would personally make the argument that maybe a full-on war between Smurf and J is better saved for a season 5 (which seems likely to happen), mostly so that you can spend the next batch of episodes really building up the distrust and amping up the stakes to another level. We don’t think that conflicts on this show have to rise quickly and with family, they can also be messy. We could foresee either Smurf or J making a drastic move to take out the other, but we don’t see either of them being at the place to make that happen just yet.
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Just be sure to visit the link here right now! Remember that season 4 is going to be coming to TNT next month with new episodes.
What do you want to see coming up on Animal Kingdom season 4 with Smurf and J, and what do you think some of the central themes could be? Remember to share right away in the comments. (Photo: TNT.)