Animal Kingdom recap: Man In
The Cody boys and Paul plan their big heist, but J threatens to ruin the whole operation
For weeks now, the Cody boys have been planning their biggest heist yet. They’re used to small-time robberies, stuff that — as Deran points out — even a monkey could be trained to do. Now they’re planning on stealing money from a military base that’s heavily guarded by marine patrols. Everything needs to be perfect, but that’s easier said than done, especially with this group of stoned surfers.
The biggest wild card, other than perhaps J, is Paul. He’s definitely in on the job, but it’s clear he’s a little hesitant, letting a little moral crisis creep in on his subconscious every now and then. He’s freaking out over the details of the plan, snapping at Baz when he’s not specific enough about where the cash will be. Part of his hesitation is they can’t figure out a way to get the money out of the base. They need the cash to be in Building 15, but rerouting it there from its usual holding place in Building 13 would mean drawing attention to Paul. So they come up with a plan, and it involves J.
Speaking of J, he’s not too happy that Alexa has been spying on him. He tells her at school that if his family had found out about her and her spying, he’d probably be dead. She offers a deal for both of them to go to Detective Yates and come clean, but J refuses. He tells her she needs to stay away from him and the two separate, but not before Nicky sees them and assumes the worst.
That sends Nicky to the house to…wait for J? I don’t know, she mostly just needs to be there in order to create conflict. After all, Smurf can’t have Nicky seeing her father planning a heist with the Cody boys, now can she? So, Smurf sends Craig out to the driveway to get rid of her. The two take a ride to the beach, smoke some weed, and talk about Paul and J. Then Nicky says she wants to leave and do some coke. The question is: Do they do more than that?
That’s an important question, because the answer just might ruin the whole military-base operation. See, Paul is obviously a wild card, but J is just as much of a variable, especially since he’s still protective of Nicky. Anyway, Smurf needs him to pull off the first part of the plan, something that would allow Paul to move the money to Building 15 without anyone getting suspicious. J agrees to the gig, and for now it seems like he’s all in on being part of his family’s criminal activity.
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But how long until Detective Yates is on to them? She’s meeting with Catherine, trying to convince her to turn on Baz and start a new life with her daughter under witness protection. She lays out all sorts of gory details as to why she should. It was Smurf who ordered her parents’ house to be burned down, killing them in the process; it was Pope who actually did the deed; Baz knew about the whole thing, hence why he called her to sneak out that night. Is it enough for Catherine to flip, though?
NEXT: Only the Pope can iron the bills
As it turns out, the plan to get J into the military base the day before the heist is pretty crazy. There’s a bike lane that runs through the middle of the base, and the Cody boys want him to get past the checkpoint, hop the fence, and set off the sprinklers in Building 13 so Paul can have a reason to move the money from that building.
Somehow, this insane plan goes off without a hitch. J even gets caught, as two guards catch him trying to leave the base, but they let him go when he says he just wanted to check out some of the helicopters up close. I mean, really?
Anyway, with that done, the rest of the plan is in motion. Craig and Deran are ironing bills — at least until Pope comes along and takes over because of the terrible job they’re doing — and Smurf is trying to keep everyone on the same page. Even Catherine seems to have decided against flipping on Baz, but she does start packing bags for her and her daughter.
Of course, here comes another wrench in the plan. Vin, Pope’s prison buddy, has no interest in being paid off. He was under the impression that he and Pope would be running lucrative jobs together when they got out, so he feels abandoned now. He doesn’t have a sympathetic ear with Smurf, though, who runs him off the property with a shotgun pointed at his chest. Still, Vin apparently knows a lot about the family, so this might not be the last time he tries to insert himself into their lives.
Things get way more complicated and emotionally messy after that. Not only does Pope tell Baz about some of the horrific things that happened to him in prison, J also asks Baz if he’s his father, considering Baz and his mom were an item at one point. Baz freaks out on him, telling him it doesn’t matter anyway because J is a grown man now. Judging by the violent interaction with his own father later, though, Baz is clearly shaken.
So what about this whole business between J and Nicky? Well, the show is playing coy with whether Craig and Nicky fooled around. Deran seems to think they did, but Craig shrugs off his slight accusations with “I can keep it in my pants.” Nicky tells J she did have sex with Craig, but she might just be mad after seeing him with Alexa. So, it’s all up in the air.
However, the truth of it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that J thinks Craig slept with Nicky. Why? Because just as the guys are getting the job underway — showing up at the military base with a bunch of fake money, guns, and fake IDs to get them inside — J is visiting Alexa with tears in his eyes. He’s going on about how his family ruins everything that’s good and innocent. And the episode cuts to black. That leaves a lot up in the air, but it should make for an exciting last few episodes of the season.