[WARNING: THIS REVIEW/RECAP WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM SEASON 4, EPISODE 2 OF TNT’S ANIMAL KINGDOM]

Alas! The past storyline continues, the drama between Pope and co. continues, J is questioned by a detective about the disappearance of Morgan, and Emily Deschanel (Bones) arrives to a very unwelcoming Smurf. Couldn’t she at least smile?

The episode begins with the brothers splitting the money from the job they did in the previous episode. Craig corners Pope to discuss his attempted suicide rampage against the police, but it doesn’t go as planned. Craig asks what will happen if the others find out. “Don’t tell them,” Pope exclaims. Of course, Craig does eventually tell Deran and suggests getting Pope away from Smurf by giving him a job at the bar. Deran understands, however, that giving Pope a job at any bar, let alone his, isn’t the best of ideas. But by doing a favor for Deran, it’s possible Craig may convince his brother. Maybe Pope can sell ice cream? It is very hot, after all. Pope is still upset about his situation. Smurf tells him, for the millionth time it seems, that she gave him everything. “What the hell have you given me?” Pope cries. “Nothing! I have nothing! Nothing!”

Still from “Angela”

Meanwhile, as J arrives at the bowling alley to drop off hella money in the safe, Detective Andre interrupts to ask a few questions about Morgan. Where were you on the day she “drowned?” Why were you at the pier? We have you on camera….did you catch any fish? Blah blah blah. This concerns J, as he now believes that he is in the crosshairs of the police department. Smurf later tells J that a detective stopped by to see him and hands him the detective’s card. Smurf impresses that if J is in trouble and needs help that he must go to her first and foremost. It’s eventually revealed that Detective Andre, however, was paid by Smurf to shake J down and ensure that he didn’t kill Morgan. While they didn’t get him to admit anything, I believe Smurf may very well still be suspicious.

Another thing: I absolutely despise Tupi. J finds Mia’s “foster brother” just chillin’ in the office. J handles the situation extremely well, though. Rather than mercing him right then and there, he simply kicks him out and tells Mia to keep her friends out of the office and off the property. J’s not dumb, either. Do we really think that he doesn’t know there is more to that relationship? Anyways, Mia can’t keep him away and he eventually returns to make a very observant point about the money J has in the safe. “I’ve seen where he keeps you.”

Still from “Angela”

Now to the past: young Smurf chooses to sleep with another member of the crew, Colin (Luke Harvey), after they ditch the car they used to rob the bank. This may not be the best decision she has made and will ultimately lead to a split among the gang. Cutting off your hair? Okay. Sleeping with your boyfriend’s friend? Stick to the haircuts. They are already dealing with inner tension, and this will not help them become more successful criminals. Jake asks, “Where’d you do it?” and we all know he’s not talking about the location they ditched the car.

Frankie takes Craig, her new “fiancé,” to meet the guy that will give them their next job. He wants them to steal an art piece for an extra sliver of cash. Did I mention that it was a supposed $800,000 job? She pitches them the job around the fire pit at a party. Adrian leaves before she goes into detail, avoiding having any knowledge that could incriminate Deran at a later date. His police contact asked him who his roommate was earlier, and he spilled Deran’s full name. It’s just a matter of when Adrian will be forced to rat the Cody family out.

Still from “Angela”

Smurf has been off this episode, too. She seems lethargic and almost as if she is getting careless, or possibly losing her edge. She calls upon Craig to reveal where he keeps his OxyContin. But it may be more than just that: it could be a significant health issue. Why do I make that claim? Perhaps because Smurf collapses in her hallway at the end of the episode. Was it because Julia and Pope’s old druggie friend, Angela, arrives at her doorstep looking for them? Smurf greets her with a $100 bill to send her off. “That’s what you want, isn’t it?” She comes back later, conveniently when Pope is the only one home. When Smurf returns she offers to get pizza for all three of them. Angela says that the pizza was on her, slapping the $100 back on the counter in front of Smurf.

Overall, this was a solid, entertaining episode. It’s heating up for sure. Tune back in next week for another review/recap.

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