Tuesday, June 11, 2019

REVIEW: 'Animal Kingdom' - Smurf Gets Some Compromising News About Her Health in 'Man vs. Rock'

TNT's Animal Kingdom - Episode 4.03 "Man vs. Rock"

As Craig feels the pressure of pulling off Frankie's increasingly complicated job, J grows frustrated with Mia. Deran tries to get Pope out of the house. Smurf decides she needs answers.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of TNT's Animal Kingdom.

"Man vs. Rock" was written by Bradley Paul and directed by Solvan Naim

This hour confirms that Smurf's health has severely been compromised. Sure, it takes until the end of the episode but it is revealed that she has skin cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. It should be very fascinating to see how that changes things this season. The flashbacks are putting into context how she never expected to live past thirty. She was constantly tempting fate to see just how long she would survive. And yet, she is still alive. Her crazy boss confirmed that she had that desire. She would fight for her life when the situation required it. That also showed just how crazy she was as well. She has survived and thrived because of that quality. She is still actively trying to control her family as well. She wants to make her boys dependent on her at all times. She doesn't know that they are planning this massive job with Frankie though. That is coming together very quickly. There is already a specific time in which they can steal this massive sculpture. Deran didn't believe that it could be done because there were simply too many obstacles. But Craig found a solution in vandalizing the sculpture to the point where the owner would want to move it to a more secure location. That provides them with the opportunity to steal it. It should just be fascinating to see if everything can once again come together perfectly for this job to go off without a hitch. The family is keeping secrets from each other. Not everyone is well. Craig and Deran are concerned about bringing Pope in on this job. They don't see him as a stable person. He is walking around with a death wish. Deran gives him some purpose in hiring him to clean the bar. That's just a small job though. It could be just as important that Angela is back in Pope's life and already forming a close, intimate relationship with him. That could be very transformational. Of course, he doesn't have the same history that J and Smurf have with Angela. They know that she shouldn't be trusted. And yet, she is still in the house. She is there because they have more pressing concerns elsewhere. Smurf is having these tests done to figure out what specifically is wrong with her. She could use that information in order to beat her boys into loyal submission once more. She's not afraid to use illness in order to earn good will and adulation. But the family could also feel the impulse to keep more and more from her. She may no longer be the bold and inventive leader of this crew that she has always been. She is vulnerable which leaves her open to so many attacks. Of course, the boys aren't really stepping up in a major way that can actually challenge her yet. J continues to clash with Mia because they have conflicting ideas about what their relationship is and the identities they have within the criminal world. J is trying to work a long con in the hopes of financial windfall for himself. Meanwhile, things are more personal to Mia as she needs to take out just some of the threats who could disrupt her plans. Of course, she is also keeping those plans very close to the vest. That makes her motivation and purpose this season a little vague though. She is a dangerous and terrifying presence. But it's also hard to get a good reading on what she actually wants. Does she aspire for more with J? Or is she just stringing him along until she can steal all of his money? She may actually be successful in the later because he is distracted by trying to find a lawyer, avoid Smurf's influence and deal with the sudden return of Angela.