“Animal Kingdom” Season 4, Episode 3 “Man Vs. Rock”: Smurf May Have Met Her Match [SPOILER REVIEW]

Man vs. rock…Pope vs. Sanity…Boys vs. Smurf… this week’s episode of the CW‘s Animal Kingdom “Man Vs. Rock” is like trying to figure out a brain teaser…while upside down on a roller coaster.

So last week’s episode left off with Craig taking Frankie’s art heist job to the rest of the boys, J feeling Smurf close in on him…and ended with Smurf collapsing in the hallway.

So, does Smurf live to fight another day? You better believe it.

We’re right out of the gate with 70s Smurf (Leila George) throwing caution to the wind and getting stoned at a pool party, ignoring the warnings of the boys on her super groovy crew™. She takes a float in the pool when the herb starts to kick in and she drifts off to the present day, in one hell of a perfect transition.

animal kingdom
TNT

Meanwhile, back in the present with Smurf…

Present day Smurf (Ellen Barkin) is terse as she undergoes an MRI, presumably to figure out why she collapsed all dramatic like last week. But do any of the boys know about this? That remains to be seen.

J (Finn Cole) shops around for a new lawyer in a weird and slightly menacing scene, and he doesn’t get his way. Aww, poor J. I would feel bad for him if he didn’t act so dumb sometimes. But maybe I’m just biased because of how massively shortsighted he is with Mia.

Frankie, Craig, and Deran scope out their art heist: it’s a massive puzzle to solve. The “art” is a 3 ton rock sculpture in a seemingly impossible to move office building plaza. It’s a real brain teaser for Craig to figure out – a man vs. rock situation.

Deran gives Pope a job (after Craig begs him to for his mental health benefit) cleaning up the bar after he got a B on his health department inspection.

Mia Continues to Be a Deceptive Little Brat

Her only goal it seems is to make J’s life miserable. Why is she still around? I digress though. She goes off on J telling him she’s not his employee (uuuhhh… girl. He pays you and gives you a place to live in exchange for you helping out with things around his properties. That’s the definition of “employee”).

Then she tricks him into being her wheel man; she shoots an ex-boyfriend point blank in broad daylight on his Abuela’s front lawn. What a terrible person and cardboard stereotype of “tough Latina criminal chick”.

Of course, saying J isn’t too happy about his forced involvement of this is a massive understatement. Always the careful one, he freaks out and hot wires his own truck to make it look stolen, just in case someone saw. He then blows up at Mia and kicks her out of the apartment. About damn time, son! Kick her to the curb and get back to building your empire!

animal kingdom
TNT

In an inspired bit of creative problem solving…

Craig tags the office building where the art piece lives…and also tags the art and creates a little mischief. He explains to a bewildered Frankie that this solves their problem: this will cause the owner to move the art to a more secure location, giving them prime opportunity to steal the art when it’s in transit.

Tupi freaks at the death of Mia’s ex-boyfriend what’s-his-name and storms their gang poker night freaking out, all but pointing a finger at Mia’s loyalty. He tells her they hit the white boy now instead of on her timeline.

Other notable things in this episode: Angela gets a job at a diner, and young Smurf compares herself to a lioness, saying she’d rather die young than subject herself to longevity at the cost of her independence. J finally sees Angela, a reunion he’s not too happy with, probably because he blames her for enabling his mom’s addiction and indirectly causing her death as well as a lot of headaches for him and his mom. “Whatever you’re working here, I’m not gonna screw it up,” Angela tells J. Maybe she’s the only one here who actually sees him for who he is and what he’s doing…and that makes her a target. Maybe.

animal kingdom
Animal Kingdom/TNT

Oh! I almost forgot!

Smurf has melanoma that has spread through her lymph nodes, bones and liver as well. That’s right, it looks like cancer is going to take down one of the most notorious criminal matriarchs…but not if she has anything to say about it, I’m sure.

Only time will tell how Smurf handles this, especially now that her boys are pulling jobs without her. Does this mean they’ve finally outgrown their mother?

Is it time for next week’s episode of Animal Kingdom yet?

About Adriel

Adriel is a jack of all trades, but television has been her obsession almost as long as writing and storytelling have. Currently, she works helping bring a myriad of television shows to life through work on screen, on the page, and in production.

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