Animal Kingdom recap: Judas Kiss
While the Cody boys try to rob the military base, Catherine and J threaten the family in different ways
After weeks of teasing a big job, it’s finally time for the Cody boys — along with the perpetually nervous Paul — to pull off their heist of the military base. The money is in place, the plan looks solid, and their cover is intact. Now, all they need to do is the hard part: actually accomplish the job.
The heist gets off to a good start, as the guys make it past the military checkpoint rather easily. Their fake IDs, story about heading to the paintball park, and good ol’ American country music seems to have worked in fooling everyone. They find their way into the paintball game and, from there, set out on their own and move through a tunnel to meet Paul.
He finds them on the other side, where the boys have changed into military uniforms. They snag a key from Paul, who rushes off as quickly as he can, and hop in a Hummer. They make their way to a ventilation shaft and Pope, Craig, and Baz snake their way into Building 15 while Deran waits with the truck outside, watching for anything suspicious. So far, so good.
Once the guys make it inside the lockup, they get to work. They grab the real money and swap it with the fake cash Pope ironed out. They replace a bunch of barcodes and tracking numbers, and after hiding from four officers who briefly come inside the building, move on to the next part of the plan. That means stashing the money inside barrels of diesel, and after Baz does some quick thinking and manages to get the levels of the barrels just right, he calls Deran for the pickup.
Deran pulls up and they take off, bringing the truck to get demolished before heading home, where Smurf is waiting for them with freshly baked apple pie. The guys are ecstatic about pulling off the job, even if it’s not officially done yet. Baz is charged with the first watch of the money, which is being tracked, so the boys can snag the barrels once they’re on the move. Still, so far it’s a job well done.
But this is the second-to-last episode of the season, and as Animal Kingdom has already been renewed for more, that simply can’t be the end of the robbery. See, there are threats to the Cody family lurking all around. Not only is Paul calling Baz and checking in with him (like a complete idiot), but Catherine is throwing a wrench into the whole operation.
She shows up at Smurf’s house while the guys are executing the job, doing her best to put on a faux-congenial attitude with the woman she hates. The visit isn’t about making amends with Lena’s grandmother, though. It’s about grabbing some money and skipping town. She sneaks out to the laundry area and snags $10,000 from behind the dryer before taking off with Lena, thinking she’s been truly sneaky.
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However, Smurf’s smarter than that. After Lena spills the beans about her mom having a cop friend, Smurf is suspicious. Then, when she goes to finish her laundry, she realizes $10,000 is missing. She doesn’t know for sure it’s Catherine, but she can put two and two together. Something’s up.
Catherine might be the least of the family’s worries. At the same time the job is going down, J is at Alexa’s talking to Detective Yates and Catherine’s cop friend, Patrick. Yates is leaning on him hard for information, but J isn’t really budging. He’s given them some info, but it’s clear he’s holding back, that he’s not totally willing to rat on his family — either for fear of being harmed, or because he still feels loyal to them for some reason.
With J barely giving up enough information for Yates to do anything with, she formulates another plan, which of course involves something shady. She wants Alexa to seduce J. By sleeping with him or giving him the impression they’ll be together after this is all over, she thinks J will trust Alexa enough to want to wear a wire and implicate his family. Alexa is obviously not down with the plan, but that pesky drug deal lingers, so she doesn’t have much choice.
When the cops leave to grab some dinner for the group, Alexa and J sleep together. J is buying into the whole thing, but Alexa looks dead behind her eyes. She wanted out — and she clearly cares for J — but she knows this is wrong. That burden shouldn’t fall on her, though; Yates is the one going too far to get a conviction, using people as pawns to get her way. Patrick even voices his disdain for how Yates is manipulating both Alexa and J.
Speaking of manipulation, Smurf uses her hold on Pope and his endless love for Catherine to get him to do her dirty work after the boys are back from the job. She tells him about Catherine’s cop friend and about the missing money. She says Catherine needs to go, that she’s needed to go for a long time because of the way she manipulated Pope and then left him.
Pope, still reeling from his time in prison and everything else coming his way, goes to see Catherine. Was he going there to kill her, or was he hoping to hear her out? We’ll never really know his true intentions. They’re lost in the tragedy. He finds her bag packed with passports and cash, and when Catherine tries to save herself by getting him into bed and telling him she loves him, he suffocates her with a pillow, crying in anguish the whole time.
While Pope buries Catherine — with Lena asleep in the backseat of the car — J calls Smurf to let her know he’s staying the night at a friend’s house. It sets off Smurf’s alarm bells, but Craig tries to calm her down, saying J is sleeping with his teacher. Craig seems satisfied, but the restless look on Smurf’s face at the end of the episode suggests she’s not sold.
Thus, the stage is set for the season finale. Baz heads to Catherine’s and sees only Lena sleeping in her bed; Yates tells J he needs to wear a wire in the Cody house, but he seems hesitant even as Alexa begs him; and Deran is on the money watch. Everything’s in place for an exciting finale… Now, there’s nothing left to do but wait.