We’re a pretty substantial ways into Animal Kingdom season 5 at the moment and when you consider that, it feels high time to talk about one of the show’s most polarizing elements. By that, of course, we mean the flashbacks to Smurf’s origin story.
From the moment that Ellen Barkin was written out of the show late in season 4, it was clear that the writers wanted to keep the legacy of this character alive. With that, they’ve kept Leila George around and established a huge role for her in the past; she’s almost off on her own show a lot of the time, and the flashbacks end up giving some episodes a disjointed feel. Sometimes, it feels like the flashbacks are there simply for the sake of having them; they don’t always add some huge revelation to the overall narrative.
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Ultimately, the biggest problem that the flashbacks suffer from is the idea that they have to be included in every episode when in reality, they don’t. It feels shoehorned in at times when really, they would be better on a sporadic basis to better inform the present-day plot.
Another thing we’ve wondered is this: Why didn’t TNT consider just having a Smurf prequel? There’s clearly enough material here to make it work and ultimately, it would made the entire universe better. George is more than capable of carrying a show and these stories could have the depth they deserve. The flashbacks feel underdeveloped in the current form and ultimately, that makes it even harder to enjoy what’s also happening in the present.
Do you think that the flashbacks are helping or hurting the story on Animal Kingdom season 5?
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