Animal Kingdom series finale: Why no Ellen Barkin appearance?

Ellen Barkin Animal Kingdom

We’re a couple of days removed now from the Animal Kingdom series finale, but why not have a conversation now about Smurf? Or, to be specific, the Ellen Barkin version of her?

Even though the TNT drama gave you an appearance from Scott Speedman as Baz in its final run of episodes, there was no reprisal from Barkin as her former character. What was the reasoning for that?

If you haven’t seen our full review for the Animal Kingdom series finale as of yet, go ahead and watch it below. Once you’re done, remember to SUBSCRIBE to Matt & Jess on YouTube for some other discussion moving forward.

In a new interview with TVLine, showrunner Daniele Nathanson notes that there was a specific reason behind not doing any sort of scenes featuring Barkin or Shawn Hatosy as Pope:

“I think as we pushed into Pope [more and more after Season 4] and sort of [Hatosy] taking the mantel of the top of the call sheet but also sort of the elder of the family, we thought it was better to stay in the present there [rather than return to Barkin’s Smurf].”

We know that when Barkin first left Animal Kingdom, there were some frustrations that she had at the time. While we do think that Smurf eventually had to die at some point in this story, it didn’t have to be as soon as it was. Ellen was brilliant as this role!

Just in case you were wondering how Barkin feels about the show these days, she made it clear on social media that “it doesn’t take guts to replace an older woman with a young one,” with the younger one being Leila George, who played Smurf in flashbacks. Take a look at the exchange at the bottom of this article.

Related – Is there any hope or chance at all for an Animal Kingdom spin-off someday

Do you think the Animal Kingdom series finale should have included more of Ellen Barkin as Smurf?

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