“Animal Kingdom” Season 4 Episode 9 “SHTF”: Another “Set-Up” – But a Fun One [SPOILER REVIEW]

This week’s episode of TNT’s summer action-heist drama Animal Kingdom was sadly another “set-up” episode for a job that will go down probably next week, so “SHTF” was kind of light on action – though we did learn more about our characters and where they’re headed.

Spoilers ahead – and no. Before you ask? We have no idea what the title means, either…

So, let’s go character-by-character:

In the 1970s, somewhere in on a farm in the desert, Collin and Janine road trip out to see his brother, Jed. He’s a controlling, wife beating, P.O.S. survivalist type who we learn is stockpiling gold. Also he’s an asshole. (I’m sure that’s so we won’t feel bad when present day Smurf takes all of his guns and gold in some form of retribution for events we haven’t seen play out yet!)

Back in the present, we find out where Smurf (Ellen Barkin) has secretly run off to, and no, it’s not Vegas. Spoiler: It’s Jed’s farm, with nobody else there this time except for him, his guns, and a giant underground bunker / safe. Is Smurf casing her next job? The magic 8 ball says, “yes.”

animal kingdom
TNT

J (Finn Cole) is still manipulative, but this time in a way I can jive with. He lures Angela (Emily Deschanel) to place she used to score and then leaves her there with a nice chunk of change… motive, opportunity, and means – the perfect storm for a recovering addict. I would feel bad for Angela… if she weren’t so annoying. I low-key hope she falls off the pier and becomes the next shark bait (ooh ha ha).

(Speaking of shark bait – quick note. In last week’s article, I mentioned that Mia was J’s first kill – I had forgotten and was not counting when he played “hide and get eaten by sharks” with Smurf’s lawyer. My bad! Though, to be fair…does it really count if the sharks do the actual killing for you?)

Ren had her baby – a massive 11 pound boy (who she hopefully won’t name Crest); yes, it is indeed Craig’s and he gets all emotional when the nurse asks if he wants to hold him. Aww, I needed a cute sappy moment from them – maybe Ren will suck up her pride and realize that they make a great couple and live together happily ever after in domestic beach-side bliss.

Deran (Jake Weary) is all twisted up about his boyfriend Adrian (Spencer Treat Clark) most likely going to jail, but Adrian, even though he’s terrified about the prospect, is mature about it and realizes that he made these decisions and now must live with the consequences. Deran wants to beat up the Federal Agent with a baseball bat. Clearly, they are having a domestic disagreement over how to handle the situation.

Pope (Shawn Hatosy) is still on his shit: he roadhoused Smurf’s bedroom, cornered Lena in her new life with her new family (a big no-no), and – oh yeah! He told his brothers that Smurf is dying of cancer. Oops, so much for keeping that a secret. Way to go, Pope, you messed up yet another thing. Congrats.

To the surprise of all the boys, Smurf shows up at the end of Animal Kingdom declaring that she has a job for them – all of them. I mean, she couldn’t let the boys keep having all the fun, now could she?

Animal Kingdom season 4, episode 10 “Exit Strategy”: Smurf (Ellen Barkin) orders the Cody boys to plan a dangerous job while she orchestrates an elaborate party at the house. J (Finn Cole) tries to ally himself with Pope (Shawn Hatosy), but learns he’s in way over his head. Craig (Ben Robson) responds to a challenge to his newly formed family with Renn (Christina Ochoa). Directed by Nick Copus and written by Matt Kester.

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.