The Cody family took us on a wild ride this season, but they saved he best part of the ride for last. And, I'm not talking about Deran and Craig's unexpected truck journey (though that was intense!)
Death, insanity, and betrayal all had a part on Animal Kingdom Season 1 Episode 10 with betrayal being the main focus of the hour.
I don't think anyone will argue when I say that J is the man. I might not reward him with a gun like Smurf did, but I would have no problem shaking his hand for a job well done.
I wasn't sure what to expect when he was leaning on the wall while Smurf was counting all the money. He looked scared out of his mind, and he probably was. But, I was floored when he told her about the cops. That I didn't expect.
Looking back, it's clear he was working his game all along. The minute Alexa told him about the cops was the minute the gears in his mind started working. Before that he was looking to her as an escape, but he caught on pretty fast that she was only befriending him (and sleeping with him) to save herself.
He knew he was in trouble, and he needed a way out. The kid has been on survival mode his entire life, so he knows how to figure things out when the pressure's on.
But, the kid was cool as a cucumber as he figured out his plan. He played everyone, and he's still playing everyone, because I don't think he's done. It may look like he's on Team Cody, but his loyalties aren't with Smurf and sons. They're with his mom.
My mom, she hated them, but she hated you more. In the end, she's a Cody, and I'm a Cody, too.J
Still, Det. Yates should have listened to Patrick when he told her she was going too far. Had she not pushed Alexa to use J, maybe things would have turned out differently. Maybe J would have trusted her and helped her bring the family down that his mother hated so much.
As we learned, this wasn't the first run in Yates had with J. It was a bit of a surprise that Yates had tried to use J's mom to get to Smurf and gang when J was a child. But, it wasn't surprising to learn that Yates bullied J's mom the same way she did with J and Alexa.
Yates deserved the verbal slap in the face J gave her, but the best part of the entire raid had to be Smurf's snarky comment to her when she asked about the money:
Det. Yates: Where's the money?
Smurf: I don't know what you're talking about, but if you'd like a ham sandwich, the fixin's are in the fridge.
After all that drama, I'm not buying into J being this kid that doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing. And the funny thing is, he's got a lot of his uncles in him. He's got a bit of Baz and a bit of Pope rolling around in there. Makes you wonder which of those two might really be his father.
Didn't anyone else think of Pope when J was staring out the window at the end?
Baz was another surprise this hour. After an entire season of him basically blowing off Cath, it was almost unbelievable how crazy he got about finding her.
He obviously really loves her. If only he had listened to her about Pope before then maybe they'd be living the happily ever after dream. But it's a little too late now. I can't even imagine what he's going to be like when and if he finds out what Smurf and Pope did.
It was rather clever of Smurf to point the finger at Vin. She sort of killed two birds with one stone with that one. The only thing is, Pope let the guy live. I understand he may feel loyal, but how could he kill Cath and not this guy who has been causing trouble for the Codys since day one?
He was one cold bastard as he let Baz go all crazy on him knowing he had nothing to do with Cath's disappearance. Maybe he was trying to make penance by letting him go? Pope is a confusing one.
Part of him seems gentle and caring and the other part seems cold and calculating. It's like he's got two sides fighting with themselves over who's going to control his sick mind.
It was great to see Pope finally stand up to Smurf. He nailed it on the head when he called her out for being such a manipulator.
God, you are so twisted and such a goddamn coward. If you had any balls at all you would've told Baz the truth, but now you just told me.Pope
Yet, he still showed what a momma's boy he really is when he whined that she loved Baz more than him, her real son. I don't think Pope will ever be able to break away. And, I'm guessing that he's just pretty pissed off that she made him kill the one woman he loved. I'm pretty sure he regrets it, though I think he rather likes seeing Baz all crazy about it.
Pope calling Smurf a coward must've set something off in her, because she took off to finish the job she couldn't before. She shot Isaiah in cold blood, but not before she let him know who she was.
But why does it seem like she's going to be leaving the family? Is she going to turn herself in? Or is she just going to run away?
I'm guessing she didn't hide the body. Too bad her and Pope got into a fight before, otherwise he could have cleaned up her mess.
While there was plenty of tension in the finale, there was a little bit of fun too. The entire scene of Deran and Craig in the back of the truck, while intense, was incredibly hilarious. I can only imagine the fun they had while filming that scene. What some people will do for money, huh?
After that adventure, they deserved that 12 grand they lifted from the take. Too bad Smurf is such a mean mom.
Animal Kingdom was a blast from the beginning of the season to the end. What do you think? Did you enjoy the season finale? Will you be tuning in for season 2? Hit the comments and share your thoughts!
If you missed any of the insanity, you can watch Animal Kingdom online right here via TV Fanatic!
Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.