Tuesday, June 18, 2019

REVIEW: 'Animal Kingdom' - The Latest Job May Change the Way the Cody Boys Conduct Their Business in 'Tank'

TNT's Animal Kingdom - Episode 4.04 "Tank"

The Cody boys are thrown by Smurf's increasingly unnerving behavior as she shows up in unexpected places. J realizes he needs to set his own plans in motion if he wants to lead the family. Deran gets disturbing news from an old friend. Pope struggles to resist the advances of Angela.

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.

"Tank" was written by Addison McQuigg and directed by Megan Griffiths

Smurf is wandering around her life at the moment. Her cancer diagnosis has truly disrupted her unlike any previous threat she has encountered. The flashbacks once again highlight how she has survived so much tragedy throughout her life. She was abused by countless people. She only allowed herself to love a select few. And even then, there was an incredible amount of distance where her family had to fear her as well. She doesn't share her health issues with anyone. Angela and Frankie can sense that she's not well. They have that clarity because they aren't too close to the situation. They are objective in all of this. They don't really care about Smurf at all. The boys do though. They always live in the shadow of her influence. Even when they pull off a job without her, she is their first concern because of how she could potentially lash out. J is getting all of his ducks in a row so that he can come to the family with an offer they can't refuse. He wants to lead this criminal enterprise. Right now though, Smurf isn't doing anything to keep her hold on that power. She isn't actually doing anything. Sure, she still unnerves people when she suddenly shows up. But she's not an active participant in anything that is currently happening. Instead, she is drinking and snorting drugs while reminiscing about the past. She's in such a weird headspace because this could be the thing that finally kills her. It's her body betraying her after all these years. There are even people who are willing to help her. They are concerned that she isn't taking this seriously. And yet, she once again ends the episode passed out on the floor. This time it's from apparent blood loss. That's a troubling sight for Pope because he was so enraged that she painted over Lena's room after he told her not to. He finds her not in the position he is used to seeing. In this moment, she is vulnerable and needs help. She can't fight for herself. That's a unique position for her this season even though it's such a weird use of the character in this particular episode. Her concerns are completely tangential to everything else that's going on. There are some big thematic strings that connect everything together though. In the past, Smurf suggests to her crew that robbing a bank isn't the only way to score a big payday in this line of work. There are more places out there with a ton of money and with less obstacles preventing them from stealing. The series so far has shown how her family has come to embody that mindset as well. They are always looking for the out-of-the-box idea that will lead to wealth and prosperity for this family. Smurf could sit atop her perch in the family home. She no longer had to go out on the jobs even though she was the one still running the business. And now, the boys are used to conducting these jobs in a specific way. It's all about instant gratification. They steal in order to get money immediately. They need it in order to keep their various interests and businesses afloat. They manage to steal the massive art piece with no problems whatsoever. All they need to do is create enough of a distraction for the security car that is following the overhaul truck. After that, they can just hand it over to Frankie and her guy. She promised more money than the Cody boys have ever gotten from a single job before. And yet, it's not a payoff that comes immediately. It's not an instant tradeoff. Frankie has to keep the sculpture in safe storage while continuing to negotiate with the buyer. Craig didn't think he needed to know this upfront. But it's enough for him to be concerned afterwards. He views this as the decision that could cement the idea that Frankie can't be trusted. Her jobs may not be for this family. She conducts herself in a different way that has been very lucrative to her. Sometimes it takes an outside influence in order for a group of people to change their ways. The Cody boys have just always been reluctant to do so because of Smurf's hold over them.