Tonight’s Animal Kingdom season 4 finale found itself forced to take on quite a challenge — telling a story with Smurf dead. There’s no walking any of this back and instead, the only thing that can be done now is trying to move forward.
Yet, for the Cody boys, doing this was no easy task. They couldn’t even come together on how best to remember Smurf, let alone what to do with her business. They did decide to have an impromptu memorial service, or at least some sort of “party” to bring people together. It was a way to show that the Cody clan was still together, and in a lot of ways, also allow them to get the worst part of the process over with.
Take, for example, the return of Billy, who claimed that he was around in order to make amends for his past and to pay back Deran after he snatched some of his money away from him last season. He also got into it with Pope, who eventually did realize that he wasn’t going to kill him and the best thing that he could instead was to just move forward from what happened.
Then, there was also the arrival of Jake in the present. You’ve seen bits and pieces of him in the past but tonight, we learned more about him as Craig’s father, and how Smurf basically forced him to stay away from his son for the majority of his life. Jake’s status in season 5 remains to be seen, but we do think that he could prove to have some sort of role. The same goes for Pamela Johnson.
Who is Pam? You’ve seen her here and there throughout the Smurf flashbacks, but after she got away from Jed, Pam was the person who was first there for her. She helped her out, and it sounds like they have a history of continuing to work together. (We could see some of that in season 5.) Pamela seems to still be alive and, more than that, she’s the person who was left most of Smurf’s possessions in her will. With that, the Codys suddenly have an incentive to work together — they’re trying to ensure the truth about the will doesn’t come out, so that they can try and manipulate the will in order for it to say more or less whatever they want it to say. They can start to pull the strings a little bit and do whatever they need to in order to get by.
Whether it be intentional or unintentional, Smurf shafting her own kids plus J was a way to bring everyone together. J told the guys that he’s been funneling some of Smurf’s money already into other properties, including the bowling alley. Meanwhile, Angela is the one who brought them Pamela’s name and J relied on Frankie to dig up information about where she was. The Cody boys stood up for Angela after she revealed that her brother Mike was out of prison, and when they stood up for her in the closing minutes, that suggested that they are going to be a part of the crew for some time.
Is Adrian gone?
We think that the death of Smurf, plus also Pope’s emotional confrontation to Deran, changed everything. Deran realized just how badly he needed to be there around the family, to help Pope and make this family better. He loved Adrian, but he couldn’t leave with him and he also couldn’t stand the idea of Adrian going to prison. He wanted Adrian to leave, and eventually he did — just not with Deran at his side. Their love story may be over, given that in Adrian’s mind, Deran chose his family over him.
Tonight, the Animal Kingdom season 4 finale delivered an episode that didn’t have the shock value of the exit of Smurf. Yet, it was a compelling story of mourning and, somehow, characters coming together despite the odds. It almost felt like a pilot for the next generation of the show to go along with an end to this season.
What did you think about the Animal Kingdom season 4 finale?
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