Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8 Review: Revelation


Welp, Pope and Thompson’s faceoff went about as well as you’d expect, which is to say not good at all.

While much of Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8 meandered with Deran, Tommy, and J’s side quest for “booty” and the coked-up misadventures of Craig and Renn, Pope’s revelation about Thompson is what served as any semblance of a plot throughline.

The Thompson news and confession about Cath certainly put a damper on the mood.

Facing Thompson  - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8

Back in 1992, Julia and Baz were going at it like the horny teenagers they were, and the only surprise was that it took Andrew so long to realize what was happening.

Did they think they were being slick and hiding? They sucked, if so.

Smurf Plays Games - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8

It’s hard to believe they even tried to keep their relationship under wraps when you had Baz tracing circles along her arm and constantly sending Andrew away. Julia was sticking her hand down the guy’s pants and palming the family jewels like she was trying to Cody them.

The indulgent way they treated Andrew with kid gloves, playing in his face with their promises of movie nights and group hangs while stealing looks, feel-ups, and suck downs when they thought no one was around, was offputting.

Andrew had a lot of things going on with him, but it’s irritating how they selectively infantilized him. As the season progresses, it’s like he’s a pawn to everyone in the house in some capacity.

Baz seemed smug, and he was the most aware of Smurf being onto them. He never faced the type of backlash that Julia did, so in that sense, how much did he love her if he subjected her to Smurf’s wrath, manipulation, and mind games?

Behind His Back - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8

The two of them casually fooling around in front of people’s faces was so reckless and dumb that there was no way it wouldn’t blow up in their faces.

Andrew did not handle the news well, literally retching after catching his twin bobbing for Baz’s apples via his happy stick, and we’re left to ponder the layers behind why this scarred him so much.

Presumably, he bought into the notion that they were all family, making him the only one since Baz and Julia vehemently opposed the idea. However, he also had an attachment to Julia that was difficult to interpret.

The teens may have been playing Uno, but Smurf was the one playing her cards to perfection. She totally set things up for Andrew to find out about Baz and Julia, and she knew he’d react poorly to it.

Under Her Spell -tall - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 5

She also knew that if she gave Baz an ultimatum, he’d leave, and she could use that to play with Julia’s head. Her incredibly crass and blunt dressing down of Julia, where she laid all the blame on her for ruining the family, was vicious.

The timelines remain off here, so we know it’s not the last of Baz or even Baz and Julia hooking up if we’re still assuming that he is J’s father. But the origins of that dynamic are complicated.

Smurf: Do you know how hard I’ve worked for us to have a decent home? To create this family? For you to just ruin it.
Julia: What the hell did you just say?
Smurf: Andrew told me about you and Baz.
Julia: It’s not even like that. It’s not just sex. Baz actually loves me.
Smurf: So now you think you’re a woman? Do you know how to make a teenage boy hard? Maybe. It’s not rocket science. He’d stick it in a snotty Kleenex if he thought it was still wet. That’s just reality, little girl. Better get used to it.

And this incident highlighted how much Smurf hated her daughter as another woman.

Tommy is always this character who lurks about in the background. It turns out he’s been biding his time and waiting for the chance to run a job with Dera and get his break into the Cody life of crime.

Tommy Wants In - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8

Deran calling J for this was unexpected, but the two of them have come a long way in their relationship. It was such a petty, insignificant job, but it was something for them to do for fun.

And Deran was right about them expanding their network if this is what they wanted to continue to do. Despite getting caught in the middle of things, the boys had fun.

Deran and J both seemed to take their roles as criminal mentors seriously and hazed Tommy a bit as he got his break into the job and lifestyle.

Deran and J’s How to Be a Criminal 101 class was a success and one for the books. They’ll be telling stories about it.

Coin Heist  - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8

It was interesting to see J on the other side of this as an expert who was teaching someone else the ropes. It certainly had a full circle vibe to it, especially alongside Deran.

He seemed to take some glee in stapling up Tommy’s leg without any meds just so the lessons and mistakes would burn into his mind.

Tommy: Wait, let me get some of that nitrous.
J: No, you want to remember the pain. It stops you from doing something stupid again.

Initially, J seemed resistant to the whole thing, but he genuinely enjoyed himself by the end. And it was another way we’ve seen how much he genuinely enjoys this lifestyle and what he does.

The job distracted him from the news about Julia’s husband getting permanently stationed there. His obsession with checking into the guy and grasping at anything to hem him up is disappointing.

Dr. J - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8

J is genuinely smitten with Penny. It’s such a messy relationship, and it’s surprising how gone he is for this girl.

When the Codys are gone for people, it never turns out well. Craig can attest to that.

Craig and Renn trying to come down from that terrifying experience with Nick is understandable. You felt for him when he shared that he hadn’t gotten any sleep.

And Renn was wound up and visibly rattled, on high alert the whole time. But it’s how they opt to deal with things that make it disturbing and toxic.

Because Your Toxic  - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8

They can’t deal with their emotions head-on; they must hurl themselves into some destructive behavior to cope. You can’t have both of them like that at the same time.

It’s sweet that they got to spend the day with Nick and did it together, but something tells me they’ll be at odds again because of him.

Nick deserves a stable family and at least one parent, so someone has to shape up.

The sex is fine. Craig never gets any shortage of sexy scenes. What started as an animalistic release of pent-up emotions as Renn mounted him like a stallion became akin to lovemaking as she used her body to express things she didn’t have the words to say.

Joy Ride  - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8

But then she went and did a bump of coke to take the edge off, and Craig joined her. He’s had slips with his sobriety, and it’s not a straight pathway, so as upsetting as it was, we also know it’s not something he couldn’t come back from.

However, for the rest of the installment, we saw these two super high parents engage in a marathon of reckless behavior that could’ve gone in a reel to justify why Nick should be taken from them.

Renn driving like a madwoman while high out of her mind with Nick in the back was disturbing. She robbed a corner store, stealing lotto tickets on top of that.

And after Nick got kidnapped, you’d think the last thing they would want is a bunch of random people in their home placing bets where they punch each other’s lights out and take people’s rent money.

Holding Nick  - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8

Craig knew he hit bottom when he woke up in some woman named Ginger’s house he didn’t even know; with his cell phone gone, Renn went off to score again, and baby Nick was crying his heart out because he hadn’t gotten changed or whatever else in hours.

The reality sank in during that moment. Anything could’ve happened to Nick while they were on their bender.

Craig: Hey, we’re going to be fine.
Renn: Yeah, I know.

Renn is not cut out to take care of a child. He’s not the greatest either, but at least he was trying to get his life on track and stay clean.

We only have a few installments left, so perhaps they’re gearing things up for Craig to actually become a responsible adult for the sake of his child and breaking some troubling patterns.

Tension with the Deran -tall - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 4

Most of the notable content that progressed the primary storyline this season, if you can call it that, happened with Pope.

We’ve been waiting forever for him to figure out that Thompson is on his case and learn what that’s about.

I loved how thoroughly he went through everything, from all the cereal boxes to the security footage and the rest of the house.

Pope isn’t a dumb man, so the top of the hour showing those scenes was infinitely more satisfying than his impulsive moves with Thompson once he confronted her in the motel room.

A Lil Interrogation  - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8

The way he eased into interrogating Taylor and roughing him up until he got to the truth is Pope at his scariest and finest.

Taylor folded with ease and admitted that Thompson had been threatening to violate his probation, so that’s how he got caught up with her. Taylor’s assessment of Thompson as “a bitch who doesn’t do shit the normal cop way” couldn’t be a more apt descriptor.

Taylor: I can’t get rid of this bitch! I can’t, okay? She doesn’t do shit the normal cop way!
Pope:She dirty?
Taylor: I don’t know. She’s scary.

Taylor was instrumental in Pope setting up his elaborate plan to confront Thompson in her motel room. And the confrontation started off exciting.

I love when Pope surprises and bests a person. Thompson showed up in his home and violated his space, so turnabout was Fairplay in him doing the same.

Relentless Pursuit -tall - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 4

But then the typically tacit Pope was so angry at Thompson that he talked way too much, making assumptions about what she wanted even though the information Taylor gave him didn’t concretely support that she was a dirty cop who needed a payoff.

And Pope’s approach to her as a police officer was unfathomably risky and showed his cards not only as someone who would need to pay police off but as a dangerous man capable of murder.

I only wish he had confided with the other Codys before he made this move, and they were able to look into Thompson before he faced off with her.

To assume she wanted a payout operated under the assumption that she was familiar with what he and the others did, so it should’ve required a family discussion prior to action, or it should’ve tipped Pope off that this was about something other than the Codys robbing people.

Caught Vulnerable - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8

Pope was behaving like a total Neanderthal in those moments, and while he was the one who thought he got the jump on Thompson, he played right into her hands.

He couldn’t even contain his shock when she asked him about Catherine and brought up Smurf and Baz.

Pope: So how much?
Thompson: What?
Pope: How much do you want?
Thompson: Nothing.
Pope: Bullshit. You’re leaning on a snitch. You’re creeping without a warrant. You are looking for a payoff. Parasites. That’s what cops like you are. But I don’t feed parasites because you give ’em a little blood, and they just keep on sucking. No, the only way to deal with parasites, you squeeze the life out of them. You just squeeze it. You know what I mean?
Thompson: Who killed Catherine Bellend? You? Baz? Your mother? You wanna kill me? I’m already uploading my notes. They’ll come right after you. You wanna kill me, Andrew, go ahead. You’ll kill another woman. You might not. They can only fry you once.

Pope went from pointing out that Thompson was skulking around illegally, not playing by the books, which only supports that she DOES NOT have a damn case because everything thus far is inadmissible, to being shaken by her.

And he put an end to Deran and J’s casual, happy night of laughing and celebrating their swords and coins by shocking them with this news about Thompson and the truth that he killed Cath for Smurf.

Sitting in Wait  - Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 8

We have five installments remaining of the series, and at this juncture, the Codys at least know an antagonist is coming for one of them, and they can figure out how to get from beneath this.

I can’t even begin to guess or imagine what that will entail.

Deran: You alright?
Pope: A cop has been tailing me.
Deran: Since when?
Pope: I don’t know.
J: And?
Pope: She knows.
Deran: She knows what?
Pope: That I killed Cath. I did it for Smurf.

Over to you, Animal Kingdom Fanatics.

What did you think of Pope and Thompson’s first meeting? What will happen with Craig and Renn? Did you like Deran pulling the job with Tommy? Sound off below.

You can watch Animal Kingdom online here via TV Fanatic.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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