Is Ellen Barkin leaving Animal Kingdom, and the role of Smurf once and for all? Spoilers from Tuesday’s episode are within…
There’s no need to beat around the bush too much on the subject of Barkin’s future, given that tonight’s episode makes the character’s fate more than abundantly clear: Smurf is gone. Janine Cody died near the end of Tuesday night’s new episode, in the midst of a massive shootout at Jed’s compound. It was the death that the character wanted, one that she found so much more preferable to going out because of cancer.
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Of course, some of the circumstances surrounding Smurf’s death didn’t go fully as planned — she wanted to die at the hands of Jed’s crew, and not so much being shot in the back by J to ensure that she didn’t kill Pope or anyone else. Yet, she got her wish of not having to die on a hospital bed.
As for Ellen Barkin, Animal Kingdom is at a great loss without her on the show moving forward. You can argue that Smurf was one of TV’s best characters, an angry and ruthless crime boss born out of tragedy. She got mixed up with dangerous people at an early age and soon after losing Colin, she was forced to make her own way in life. She built a crime empire where she ruled the roost of Oceanside for decades. Barkin played her like a bat out of hell for four seasons and while Animal Kingdom has lost people before (see Scott Speedman), this is the one that will have the largest total impact and it’s almost impossible to picture what this show is going to look like without her.
Given Smurf getting diagnosed with cancer earlier this season, you can argue that this death was a long time coming. Yet, that doesn’t make it easy to lose someone who was such a foundational part of the story — especially in the way in which it happened. With Smurf out of the picture, what does this mean for the Cody boys?
Are you going to miss Ellen Barkin on Animal Kingdom?
Are you sad that the character is leaving the TNT series? Be sure to share in the comments, and stick around for some other news on the show. (Photo: TNT.)