Tuesday, June 25, 2019

REVIEW: 'Animal Kingdom' - The Cody Family Retaliates Following a Perceived Betrayal from Frankie in 'Reap'

TNT's Animal Kingdom - Episode 4.05 "Reap"

Pope learns disturbing details about where Smurf has been, and the revelation puts Angela's spot in the house in jeopardy. Adrian's return to Oceanside leads to a confrontation with Deran, as J lays the groundwork for a new job.

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.

"Reap" was written by Matt Kester and directed by Cherie Nowlan

Smurf has always tried to teach her boys to keep the business in the family. Everything worked out when J came to live with them. He has become just as enmeshed in this world as his uncles. And yet, it's difficult for Smurf to trust anyone in her boys' lives. She doesn't know what angle they may be playing. And yes, the show absolutely makes the audience fear that Frankie, Angela, Ren, Mia and Adrian are trying to deceive and take advantage of the Cody family in some way. That appears to be the general mode for the female characters of this show. It's the same exact formula in the past. Smurf suggests a job to her crew and the leader doesn't initially want to do it. He sees Smurf as a threat to his leadership. He wants to remain focused on pulling off bank heists. But she may be coming in with a more lucrative idea that could ensure the crew isn't camping in the wilderness all of the time moving forward. In that situation, Smurf proves her ability to create and find jobs that lead to prosperity. Frankie wants the Cody boys to level up as well. There is certainly the understanding this season that the Cody family isn't as wealthy as they have always felt. J keeps showing up in these extravagant houses and apartments where his classmates live thanks to their rich and successful parents. He is walking into a world that he has never experienced before. As such, he's always looking for a possible way in to rip off the wealthy in order to keep his various businesses afloat. He needs to put together a job in order to prove to his uncles that he has the same skill set as Smurf and can easily replace her. Now, most of the family doesn't know that Smurf is sick and probably dying. It will continue to be interesting to see if Smurf and Pope can keep a lid on that information as well as if Smurf will actually die at some point this season. That would be a significant shakeup to the overall show. She sees her boys as making the biggest mistake. They betrayed her most important rule. She never wanted them to be working with people outside of the family. They were suppose to come up with these jobs themselves and be smart enough not to get caught. And now, they welcomed this opportunity from Frankie and it feels like they are being hurt because of it. That feeling then extends to them actually attacking the billionaire who hired them for the job. That proves that things will remain at the status quo for the foreseeable future. He is unlikely to hire these guys again. It may even sour his relationship with Frankie overall. She was trying to push a message of consistent work. And yet, it's also a story about how the wealthy feel the impulse to cheat people out of their hard earned money because they have the resources to make the less fortunate hurt in a way that could be destructive to their lives. The Cody boys may have created another enemy. One that may be more powerful because of the vast fortune and connections he has. That's on top of the sudden return of Detective Pearce, who has been trying to take down this family for a long time. Adrian may not be able to navigate out of this personal mess by himself. He may have to rely on Deran and his family in order to emerge unharmed. But that will force an even more awkward conversation than the one they have here. Everyone is running hot at the moment. But it also feels like the show is at a transitional point for the season. That comes from so many plots happening at once that could build into a systemic sense of attack against the Cody family. It's coming from law enforcement and the people the family has wronged. That could be very dangerous. And yet, only time will tell just how serious these threats could be to everyone's stability and safety.