[WARNING: THIS REVIEW/RECAP WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM SEASON 4, EPISODE 3 OF TNT’S ANIMAL KINGDOM]
Review/Recap of “Man vs. Rock”
Firstly, there is absolutely no scenario in which Smurf dies at the hands of someone—or something—other than Pope. It just won’t happen. But last night’s episode of Animal Kingdom revealed that Smurf has melanoma, and that she didn’t want to live past 30 to begin with. In the flashbacks, she tells Colin the story of a lioness in the zoo that is 20-some years old and has to have her meat cut-up and fed to her to be able to eat properly. Colin then scares her by accusing her of stealing cash from him. He waves a gun in her face and even goes as far as to shoot directly to the right of her face, at the window. “See, you do want to live.” Jake has officially warned her that she’s now Colin’s property but that she wasn’t objectified with him. Sure. One thing is certain, though: young Janine is way too destructive to be an asset to the gang.
Deran and Craig visit the museum to scope-out the sculpture which Frankie wants stolen. They both are skeptical about their chances of pulling off the job without causing too much chaos. Frankie explains to Craig that he’s thinking of it like a job when he really should be trying to tackle it as a puzzle. “Man vs Rock,” as she calls it. Frankie brought the puzzle to him, not the Cody family. Craig then regurgitates those exact words to Deran after she leaves. Meanwhile, Deran has decided to let Pope work at the bar; mostly just “lead” janitorial duties. Pope reprimands Deran for not cleaning his fryer and changing the oil sooner and throws a dead mouse on the table in front of his brother. Maybe Pope will lend his supposed OCD skills to getting Deran an “A” rating for his bar.
Pope does confide in Angela, which may not be the best idea. J reveals what Angela was truly like during her druggie days. Forcing both him and his mom into a few dangerous positions, including having J shoot her up. He also tells Pope that she’s a consistent liar and fraud. Angela, presumably, overhears this conversation as she watches on Smurf’s monitor. After a few other scenes, we return to Smurf’s where Angela admits to Pope that she is a great liar and didn’t tell him the whole story to begin with; further manipulating the situation. Pope is basically like, “Eh, this is good enough,” and proceeds to snuggle with her. Both Pope and Smurf attempt to coerce J into catching up with her, but he declines several times. He knows how the game is play.
For most of the episode J has been searching for a new, crooked lawyer. When he thinks he has found a good prospect, the lawyer tells him that he doesn’t do that work anymore. “A piece of advice, kid. Pay your taxes.” Mia and Tupi meet with an old friend, Lencho, who Mia had previously dated at the age of 12! She doesn’t seem to happy to see him. When J picks her up later, he’s still on his bullshit: talking about how he gives her money and a place to live so she must do what he says. She agrees to his task, but demands that he takes her to get a set of wheels. Instead of jacking a car, she straight murders Lencho in broad daylight while he’s out doing yard work.
Craig devises a plan of action: vandalize the museum parking lot to draw the guards before tagging the pieces inside. He tells Frankie that it was a genius idea because rich men like to gloat until something is ruined. The owner of the piece then decides to have it moved later on during the week. That’s when the group will hijack the piece: during transportation. Before we knew it, the episode was coming to an end. Tupi was freaking out about his dead friend, but more specifically about how he has no one to hit licks with. He threatens to rob “that white boyfriend” of hers. Smurf officially gets the call that she has skin cancer and that it has spread to her liver, bones, and lymph nodes. Uh oh.
What I do appreciate is that Smurf is a looming threat in the background this season. I’m not quite sure what she’s up to, but it can’t be pleasant.
I give this episode a solid B-