Animal Kingdom season 4 episode 4 review: Does Smurf want to die?

Smurf and JThrough most of Animal Kingdom season 4 to date, we’ve seen a continued health crisis for Smurf, and we’re starting to feel as though it is one of her own doing. She knows that she has cancer and that she’s dying and yet, she’s not doing anything to possibly make it better (or as better as it can be in the case of cancer). She’s ignoring the doctor phone-calls and just going about her business in the most erratic way possible.

What were some of Smurf’s actions tonight? Think in terms of her going over to Deran’s place (via sneaking in, mind you) and telling Adrian that she has some sort of birthday party coming. Then, she also decided to paint over the wall bearing Lena’s name, much to Pope’s eventual dismay. She did whatever she wanted whenever she wanted to do it and coming out of this episode now, it really feels like she just wants to die. She was found unconscious again at the end of the episode… or is it worse? We’re starting to think that she will not make it out of this season alive.

What is so strange about all of this is that going into season 4, the easiest assumption to make was that we were gearing up for some sort of epic showdown with Smurf in one corner and then J and the other. At this point, we’re starting to think more that this battle isn’t anywhere near as predictable. You’re going to have a chance to see Smurf do battle with J, but also the entire Cody plan. Because she’s so near death at this point, she doesn’t have anything to lose and there’s nothing that J can really do in order to hurt her. As a matter of fact, she may actually just welcome it and have no problem with some terrible stuff coming her way.

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Beyond the world of Smurf this week, it remains clear that plenty of other characters are finding themselves in the middle of some tough times. We don’t know how else you can describe what’s going down at the moment with Craig, who finds himself standing over a canyon between Frankie and his family, losing his footing on both sides. Frankie wants him to trust her and follow along the way that she goes about her business — which is great for her, since it obviously benefits her to be able to continue doing whatever it is she thinks will help to raise her profile and continue to amass an empire.

Unfortunately, her payment methods are causing some problems with everyone else, given that they want to operate on a system in which they get their money however quickly they possibly can.

Guess who’s back?

In the closing minutes of the episode, a pregnant Renn returned, asking to crash at Craig’s place for the time being. We’ll see just where their relationship goes at this point but with all he’s mixed up in at this point, that’s hardly the best place to raise a kid. It’s hardly a good place for anything.

Meanwhile, Pope continued to try and keep Angela at arm’s length while she openly pursued him, planting the “I had a crush on you when we were little” seed and making it seem as though the two were almost always destined to be together. It may not be the case but for her, it certainly doesn’t hurt to lay things on as thick as possible. Anything to try to get his attention.

Oh, and for J, he’s got a robbery problem to deal with moving forward — given how much this guy seems to be a few steps ahead, maybe him returning to his Josh persona for a brief period of time was a step back.

CarterMatt Verdict

Animal Kingdom season 4 episode 4 brought you in a look at Smurf’s mortality and a story that promises to be one of the more intense ones that we’ve seen — mostly in terms of us questioning Ellen Barkin’s future on the show. Can the show go on without her? Do we even want it to go on without her?

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Then be sure to visit the link here! That is, after all, where you’ll get both a review for this past episode plus more of a preview for what’s coming up next.

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