Hot on the heels of last week’s fourth season premiere, the second episode of TNT‘s Animal Kingdom “Angela” packs just a hard a punch as its season lead-in. Of course, if you haven’t seen last week’s episode “Janine”, there are of course hella spoilers. If you haven’t seen it and intend to, you should probably go watch it. Go on, and then feel free to come back and jump right in.
You’re good? Excellent! Then let’s go! Major spoilers ahead!
Quick recap: last week we saw Pope (Shawn Hatosy) get super death-wish MMA unhinged, Mia (Sohvi Rodriguez) conspire with Tupi (Eddie Ramos) against J (while still helping J? It’s unclear where her true allegiances lie), Adrian (Spencer Treat Clark) go informant for the DEA in order to avoid jail time for being a drug mule, and we saw the boys pull off a great first bank heist of the season.
Oh, and we get groovy 1970’s flashbacks of pre-Smurf Janine (Leila George) and the crew that she ran with.
Okay! Now that we’re all caught up – that was a crazy episode. In this week’s episode, we meet the titular Angela (Emily Deschanel)… but we’ll get to that later.
We pick up right where we left off last episode: J (Finn Cole) is divvying up everyone’s cut from the heist, Craig (Ben Robson) gives Pope the third degree about exactly what’s going on inside his head, and Smurf (Ellen Barkin) flashes back to the 70’s again as she’s taught the pecking order in a crew.
Craig, on the cusp of a new job with Frankie (Dichen Lachman) , proposes that Deran (Jake Weary) give Pope a job to keep his mind occupied. In an epic honest quote, Deran says,”No one will hire him because first of all, he’s a felon and two he’s scary as shit.” I couldn’t agree more, Deran.
J is questioned by a detective about Morgan’s death (which of course he totally is responsible for), and he mostly lies to Smurf because he thinks he’s in hot water with the cops and she can make whatever evidence for a circumstantial case against him go away. Smurf of course is smug, but doesn’t let her feelings show beyond that.
We see Adrian meet with his sponsor slash drug supplier – a dude named Jack. Surprise twist: Deran has absolutely no idea Adrian is doing this, much less has anything to do with drugs or the DEA.
Tupi once again lives up to the cardboard cutout stereotype of “Angry Latino gangster” by threatening his girlfriend Mia (“Maybe you like being a white boy’s whore” Ooh, real menacing, Tupi) and making clear his plans to rob J in some fit of jealousy. Mia rebuffs him by telling him she’s playing the long con. Is she really, or is she just in love with J? My money’s on some weird mix of both, but J needs to wise up and kick her two-timing murdering ass to the curb. (In case you forgot, she’s the trigger man who killed Baz because he’s on Grey’s Anatomy…I mean, on Smurf’s order.)
And finally… halfway through the episode, we meet the Angela. She comes by the house looking for Julia and only finds Smurf, the bearer of sad news that she’s dead and quite frankly, she’s 4000% over all of her shit. Apparently they have a past, and it’s not one that causes Smurf to think highly of her or deem her good enough to be involved in their current lives.
Smurf bribes her to go away and that seems to be that. …until Angela stakes out the place and waits until Smurf leaves, then gets Pope to let her in to reminisce.
Of course, things with Smurf aren’t all they seem; she tells J that she made the investigation go away, but delivers thinly veiled threats against him if he doesn’t keep her in the loop. In the next scene, we find out that Smurf called in and paid off a retired detective friend to fake the whole thing in order to scare him into giving her information, hoping he would confess to the murder so she could use it against him. Well, she got half of what she intended at least.
Angela and Pope have a heart to heart by the poolside about life post-prison, which ends with him inviting her to stay with them while she gets back on her feet, much to Smurf’s disliking.
Craig floats the idea of helping with Frankie’s job to the boys, under the condition they don’t tell Smurf.
Back in the swinging 70s, Smurf cheated on her boyfriend Jake with another member of their crew… which will undoubtedly cause drama.
Finally, we end with Smurf dramatically collapsing in the hallway. No, really – something is medically wrong and everyone is asleep.
Does she die? Will Lassie run and get help for Smurf? We have no idea! Now the countdown to next week starts, because I need to know what happens to my favorite fictional criminal family. Perhaps most importantly, what does Angela want and will J be excited to see a face from his past? Only time will tell in what was another adrenaline-bursting episode of Animal Kingdom.