“Animal Kingdom” Season 4, Episode 10 “Exit Strategy”: The Not-So-Calm Before the Storm [SPOILER REVIEW]

Okay, so this week’s episode of TNT‘s Animal Kingdom “Exit Strategy” still isn’t the heist episode we’ve been waiting for, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. Still not convinced? Let’s break it down.

Smurf is back and lays out the job for the boys: it’s the farm with the stockpiled gold she made an impromptu visit to last episode. Spoiler: they are not happy with how Smurf is treating them – and yet? They still start planning for the job. *Sigh* When will the boys learn that they should either just accept the learning curve of planning their own heists or accept Smurf’s overbearing helicopter-heist love?

Oh yeah, and speaking of Smurf… how does she celebrate her return from her surveillance vacation? She throws a rager of a house party, complete with a taco cart, loads of booze, and Pope wrestling Angela through the house. But more on that last one later…

animal kingdom
TNT/Animal Kingdom

In the past, Janine is still barf-y because she’s totally pregnant… and she’s still not quite sure what she wants to do about it… and frankly, her beau isn’t sure either. They just know they don’t want to be like their parents. At least they’re back to robbing banks though… right?

J’s girlfriend/fling/”thing” (I already forgot her name) totally has him pegged for the sociopath and manipulative thief he is, so she does the most logical thing she can think of: gets evidence on him and his past and uses that to blackmail him and demands J pay her 10 grand a month and do all her homework. Good job, Olivia. (Oh right, that’s her name.)

Speaking of Olivia, she’s mainly just pissed that J ghosted her after the music festival. I mean, he didn’t have to go full “Pope after that church job” and keep dating her for ages, but come on, dude. Did you really just forget about her? I mean, he has had bigger fish to fry, but still, this could jeopardize his and the family’s future. J, friend, you may have messed up here.

animal kingdom
TNT

We wrap up the saga of J vs Olivia with J turning her in to her professor, who’s suspending her and probably kicking her out for violation of the honor code. She approaches him all hurt that he didn’t cave to her childish, spoiled demands…and J responds by threatening her. Good job, J. Do you really think that’s going to make her go away? My all-knowing Magic 8 Ball says, “NOT LIKELY.”

Speaking of sagas, Craig has baby mama mama drama – that’s right, Renn’s mother shows up and demands to adopt and raise her kid, because she has that much confidence in the two of them as parents, given their “lifestyle”. This gives Craig an out to raising a kid, something that he’s clearly unsure of and probably terrified of, but he stands up for himself, Renn, and their new son (who they name Nick).

Deran is still eaten up about Adrian’s situation, and it doesn’t help matters that Craig keeps pressing him about why he wanted to beat up a cop. Speaking of that, Smurf now knows who’s been talking to the cops, and she tells Deran to handle the situation before Pope dies. Ruh-roh.

Oh, and when I mentioned Pope and Angela? He tracks down where Angela’s been and goes postal when he suspects her of using again. When he drags her through the house party? He’s searching for tracks, all while she’s screaming. Way to show kindness and caring, Pope. He eventually gives up and locks her in a bathroom to sober up. Honestly, he’d make a great serial killer – if he were ever so inclined. I mean, using random objects like a skateboard to barricade the bathroom? Brilliant!

And that’s where we leave off on tonight’s episode. Hopefully next week, we’ll put all the plans to use and finally get on with operation: gold heist.

What are your thoughts? Because as we inch closer to the season finale, I have no idea what’s going to happen – I can only hope we see more classic Smurf torture…with or without the jar of strategically-placed peanut butter. I know one thing for certain, though: J is going to either get caught or become even more ruthless… and I am here for all of it.

Catch Animal Kingdom next Tuesday night at 9 p.m. ET on TNT for “Julia”:

Animal Kingdom season 4, episode 11 “Julia”: Pope (Shawn Hatosy) grows suspicious of J (Finn Cole) when Angela (Emily Deschanel) reveals the circumstances of her disappearance. As the threats against Adrian (Spencer Treat Clark) loom larger, Deran (Jake Weary) scrambles to find a way out. Craig (Ben Robson) navigates new complications in his relationship with Renn (Christina Ochoa). Janine (Leila George) takes on a different role in the crew’s latest heist as she plans for her future with Colin (Grant Harvey). Directed by Shawn Hatosy and written by Daniele Nathanson.

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.