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Animal Kingdom stars break down the Cody family's rules to live by

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TNT

A version of this story appears in Entertainment Weekly’s Summer TV Preview issue, on stands now and available here. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

The Cody family may not follow laws, but they do have their own unique set of… rules. Heading into season 2 of TNT’s Animal Kingdom, those principles are more important than ever as the brothers break away from their mother (and caller of the shots), Smurf (Ellen Barkin). Here’s what they need to keep in mind as they set out on their own.

Family First
The saying takes many forms: Blood is thicker than water. Loyalty is everything. The list goes on. But for the Cody boys, it’s the foundation of everything they do. “Love your brothers, and always have their back,” says Scott Speedman, who plays adopted Cody brother Baz Blackwell. “I don’t think there is [an episode] without that.”

But that bond will be tested in season 2 when the brothers butt heads sans Smurf. “It’s everyone trying to find their own identity within the family,” says Ben Robson, whose Craig Cody is the muscle of the family. “And everyone has very, very different opinions of how things should be run, which adds up to a lot of conflict and great storytelling.”

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Don’t Talk
While we don’t technically know if the Codys have seen Fight Club, they do observe the title organization’s first rule. “You’re going to get caught. Things go wrong when you do a heist,” Shawn Hatosy says. And as the only Cody to serve time for a job gone wrong, Hatosy’s Pope knows this better than anyone: “You just don’t talk. You don’t rat anybody out.”

Don’t Kill
The Cody boys are thieves, but they’re not murderers. “Unless our lives are threatened, we don’t hurt people,” says Jake Weary, who plays Deran, Smurf’s youngest. That is, unless you’re talking about Smurf’s oldest — Pope. “I broke that rule a couple times,” Hatosy says with a laugh. “But at least, on the surface, we don’t kill people.”

No Guilt Allowed
There’s no time to think about what’s happened in the past because there’s always the next job. “There’s very little guilt in this family,” says Finn Cole, whose J is the newest addition to the clan (he’s technically Smurf’s grandson). “We do these things and we stand by them.”

Respect Your Elders
This is where things get tricky in season 2. How do you honor thy mother when you push her out of the family business? “There’s a natural hierarchy of this family,” Weary says. “If one power is diminished, the next takes over. It’s a kingdom, and they’re each trying to find their own place within the family. But there’s also this inherent power struggle within it.”

Animal Kingdom returns Tuesday, May 30 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT.