Animal Kingdom (S03E01) “The Killing”

Animal Kingdom’s  first episode of season three shows the fallout from the shooting of Baz (Scott Speedman) from many perspectives. The first, and most important, Baz dies from those injuries. This puts the show in an interesting place (as sad as I am as a fan to see Speedman leave the show).

Pope (Shawn Hatosy) spends the episode breaking the news and looking at most everyone as a suspect. He lies to Lena (Aamya Deva Keroles) about what actually happened to her father, threatens J (Finn Cole) and just treats Nicky (Molly Gordon) like crap. I understand that it’s easier to feel anger rather than sorrow, which is what is driving his aggressive behavior right now.

We last saw Lucy (Carolina Guerra) leaving Baz in the street to bleed to death and going to his house to rob him blind. Well.. she’s back, with tears in her eyes, saying that she loved Baz. She admitted that she left him when the ambulance and police were on their way, but forgot to mention taking everything from inside the walls of Baz’s house. She’s looking pretty guilty in my book. Showing up to save face.

Deran (Jake Weary) and Craig (Ben Robson) seem legitimately broken by the news of Baz’s death. Craig’s phone wasn’t getting messages, so he was late in getting the news. Pope, Deran and Craig have a touching moment of brotherhood by the pool while J was just watching. He hasn’t really said much of anything (which is normal for him).

Smurf seems pretty broken up about Baz (crying, shaking ect..), but who knows with her. I would like to believe that those emotions were true, but she did hire someone to go and look for the things in Baz’s house. She finally confirms that Baz was indeed J’s father. After the big reveal, she drills him about the whereabouts of the stash. J claims not to know anything, just like he told Pope. Smurf gets a visit (and a Frappuccino) from Pearce (Gil Birmingham) offering her a deal. One which will see her do time and J walk free. He also seems to want Pope in a jail cell for a long time. Time will tell if she will take said deal or stay silent.

J doesn’t seem real upset about Baz’s death, which Pope notices. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything, if you remember, his reaction to his mother’s OD was about the same. I don’t think that J would go that far for Smurf, even if he wasn’t particularly close to Baz. I just don’t see him committing murder, at least not yet.

I found the end of the episode to be a beautiful tribute to Baz. A beach memorial with the boys (and girlfriends ect) with leis and surfboards. They made a circle with the surfboards and threw the leis in the middle.

I have no doubt that Pope will find the responsible party… and they better run far away! The retaliation will be brutal, one of the things I love about Animal Kingdom.

Tune in next Tuesday at 8pm Central on TNT for episode two of Animal Kingdom!