Tuesday, July 9, 2019

REVIEW: 'Animal Kingdom' - J Presents His Job to the Family While Deran Has an Honest Talk With Adrian in 'Know Thy Enemy'

TNT's Animal Kingdom - Episode 4.07 "Know Thy Enemy"

J gains favor with Smurf as he puts together the plan for a new job, while Angela learns more about what Smurf's been hiding. Craig explores his new relationship with Renn and Pope struggles with his changing role in the family.

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.

"Know Thy Enemy" was written by Vanessa Baden Kelly and directed by Laura Belsey

The season is really meandering at this point. The audience should feel that Smurf is acting more reckless than she ever has before. She approaches her detective friend out in the open. She no longer has concern for consequences. She feels free because of her grim medical diagnosis. She is mostly acting to wrap up everything so that her family doesn't have a mess to deal with after she dies. She still wishes to project strength and stability. And yet, word of her failing health is already starting to get out. J and Angela are hoping to use it to their advantage. They have big plans for how to step up in this specific world. Meanwhile, Smurf wants to prove that she is still on top. She won't be defined by her illness or confined by its side effects. She is choosing not to seek treatment. As such, the show is really writing itself into a corner regarding the seriousness of this moment. The writing is very blatantly on the wall that she is going to die this year. But it's just proving to be a slow and agonizing death that no one has ever seen coming for her. Everyone expects her to be facing pressure from outside forces that wish to take her down. In the past, she never wanted to stay in one place for too long because that could lead to capture and exposure. She didn't trust Pam and had every right to be. Pam stole from the crew. That hardens the lesson of this experience that she has then passed down to her boys. And yet, the show is still just toying with the audience. It wants tension to remain high because the family largely knows that someone is talking to the police. Smurf demands a name before she goes on this trip to parts unknown. But there's no clarity of whether or not she receives that information. Instead, the focus is on how Deran is reacting to the news that Adrian has become an unwilling informant. That honesty is refreshing. It also shows just how strong this relationship is. Deran will do whatever it takes to protect the man he loves. It is just further punctuated by him also believing he can handle all of this by himself. That didn't work out for Adrian. Now, Detective Pearce is back in the picture demanding information about the Cody family. Smurf has to deal with that once more. Meanwhile, Pope fears that Deran is just willingly sharing that he killed a guy to Adrian. That's not the truth at all. But Deran does a poor job lying about it. Deran and Adrian are preparing to fight against the forces conspiring to take them down. However, that remains a bunch of rising action at this point. The tension is clear from the severity of the crimes and the likelihood that the family probably won't get away with their crimes forever. But again, it's hard to get a good reading on if the audience should take this threat any more seriously than all the previous ones from throughout the series. Another significant portion of the show is devoted to J plotting the next heist for the family to pull off together. That too is mostly just introducing all of the details here. J has the connection to this festival. He brings the job to the family and learns which items from backstage will be the easiest to move afterwards. It is all trying to prove that he has the knowledge and conviction to lead this family moving forward. And yet, all of that will depend on if the job goes smoothly. His uncles mostly point out the problems with this plan. But there is every likelihood that they will follow through on it. As such, it mostly seems like the show pointing out the details the audience should be aware of moving forward that may possibly be rewarding at some point. The same is also true of Angela's continued presence. It's learned here that she actually got out six years early. That would infer that something more is going on with her. The show is just choosing to give out information very slowly while asking the audience to constantly look at her with suspicion.