Animal Kingdom recap: Child Care
Remember how Baz was greasing up Nicky’s dad, Paul, in order to maybe use him as a mark for a job that involved breaking into a military base? Well this week’s episode starts with Baz and Paul gunning that beauty of a car Paul noticed in the previous episode down the open road, the two bonding over like, guy stuff or whatever. You know, engines, speed; those kinds of things. Baz is getting closer to Paul, creating a rapport and sense of trust, and it’s all because he has a big idea for a heist.
The episode also starts with a less fun trip than the one Baz and Paul are having: Smurf has to pick up Pope from prison because he got busted failing a drug test. Pope is livid, saying he didn’t do it, but that doesn’t matter to his parole officer. Smurf knows what the real deal is though. Pope was likely busted because of what she was putting into his food without him knowing.
After we learn that Alexa Anderson, J’s teacher, is roped into this whole CI business because she tried to buy five grams of heroin off an undercover cop — teachers these days! — we head back to the Cody house and see Baz unveiling his plan. Or, at least, part of his plan. He tells the family, minus J, about stealing a bunch of money from the military base and how he gets the sense that Paul only needs a little push to screw over his employer.
Deran and Craig are down with the idea because they’ll pretty much do anything, but Pope isn’t so sure. He says it’s too dangerous and complicated, and that they should stick to their simple jobs. Smurf seems to agree, but she’s also willing to let Baz continue to get close to Paul and see how things play out.
Here’s the thing with the Cody boys though: They’re fickle. So, when Baz tells Deran and Craig to hit Paul’s house that night and steal a few things, Craig throws a hissy fit and refuses to go because he’s supposed to go to a party with Ren. He tries to stand up to Smurf alongside Deran, but when Deran backs down Smurf just lets Craig off the job and slots Pope into his spot.
It isn’t much later that Craig is really wishing he had done the job. After getting super high and having sex with Ren in the back of the restaurant where they’re partying, she reveals that she’s figured out he was the one who left her for dead. She says she’s going to do the same to him, and her buddies jump him while he’s naked, tie him to the chair, and start cooking enough heroin to make him OD.
Just as they inject the solution and Craig freaks out, they laugh and let him know it’s just saline with a little tea for coloring. They want him to get $6,800 to make up for what he took from Ren, then they’ll let him live. That forces Craig to put in an embarrassing call to Smurf, who shows up to bail him out, but not without telling him that he needs to get his life together real quick.
NEXT: Family comes first
So, Pope and Deran hit Paul’s house and take his TV, laptop, briefcase, and then make it look like a bunch of amateurs did the job. That sends Paul, who’s out with the whole family and J, home to see the damage. J takes a look around and everything starts to set in. He remembers overhearing Deran and Craig talking about breaking into someone’s house, and he’s not stupid. He knows it was his family that did this.
Back at the Cody house the next day J does the one thing he thinks he can do in this situation. After he asks Deran about the job, who tells the kid that he’s just the grunt doing the work given to him by Smurf and Baz, he decides to break up with Nicky to protect her. He doesn’t exactly do it gracefully, and she’s super confused about the whole ordeal, but he gets it done. If only it was that easy.
You see, J gets caught in a lie. He tells Smurf that Nicky broke up with him, but Nicky runs into Baz at her house and tells him what really happened. That leads to Baz calling J and meeting him on the beach “for a beer.” Once J is there he lies to Baz too, not knowing that he knows the truth. So Baz confronts him, telling him that everyone outside the family is a mark and that “family comes first.”
J doesn’t seem to accept that though, telling Baz to stay away from Nicky and her family. Baz isn’t about to listen to this kid though. He tells him he’s lucky to even be having this conversation, that if this was anyone else, they’d get hurt (or worse) for nearly ruining plans for his big job.
That conversation puts the heat on J for the first time. Back at the house Baz tells Smurf that they may have a problem, and she already seems to know what it is. So not only does she have Pope figuring out that he’s been secretly getting meds, she also has J perhaps failing to fall in line with the rest of the family. That’s dangerous for business, and she knows it.
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The episode ends with Baz and J heading in separate directions. Baz is closer to Paul now, as Nicky’s dad reveals that there were classified documents inside his briefcase that was stolen, and that it could cost him his job. That’s just the vulnerability Baz needs. He tells Paul that he can call some guys and see about getting his briefcase back.
Then there’s J, heading over to Alexa’s house, fueled by anger and getting this much closer to opening up and spilling the beans about what his family is doing. Things are getting dangerous for J, Alexa, and the entire Cody clan, and it’s probably only going to get worse from here on out.