The Cody family motto could be: Whatever It Takes. But, it's not just the Codys who are willing to do anything to get what they want.
Manipulation is at the heart of Animal Kingdom Season 1 Episode 9 as the pieces are moved into play for next week's big season finale.
I have to admit that I'm highly disappointed in Pope. I really wanted him to be the good bad guy, but he's just too wrapped around Smurf's little finger for that to ever have played out.
What Smurf wants, Smurf gets, and when it comes to her boys, she's the queen of manipulation.
Pope is the easiest one for her to mess with to get what she wants. I hate to say it, but the guy is pretty simple. Smurf could have waited to tell Baz about Cath, let him deal with her. Instead, she took the easy way. She went to Pope.
I'm not quite sure if Pope actually went there to kill Cath, but I'm pretty sure that's what Smurf was hoping. After all, didn't Smurf manipulate Pope to kill Cath's parents?
I really want to believe Pope was going to give Cath a chance. If she didn't lie to him maybe she'd still be alive. Maybe he could have just have run off with her.
He loved her. He certainly didn't want to kill her. But, family comes first, and Cath was only a peripheral member of the Cody family. But, I have to wonder, did the betrayal come knowing she lied, or was it when she told him she loved him while they were having sex?
I can't say she got what she deserved, but all of her actions were just stupid. She never should have gone to Smurf's to steal money. She should have just left with Lena. It was also pretty dumb for her to seduce Pope to get out of her situation.
He knew what she was doing, but he took advantage of the moment anyway. His heart wasn't in it, though. He knew what he was going to do to her. He knew the minute he found the suitcase.
How could you be passionate knowing you're going to kill the woman you love more than anything?
It was painful to watch him smother Cath. I did not see that coming at all, but he really had no choice. Pope isn't all there, and mama's pull is way too strong.
At least he didn't kill Lena, so that's something.
I loved how Pope left everything perfect. I think he gets that from Smurf. The way she cleans the house shows a serious Type A personality. You know, control freak. But, Pope has no control. His mother pulls the strings.
Another control freak is Det. Yates. Yikes! She was circling around J like a shark going in for the kill.
Not only did J have to deal with her, he had to deal with sicko Alexa who can't seem to think of anyone but herself.
How the hell does this woman live with herself knowing what she's doing? I guess when your ass is on the line, you'll do anything no matter how unethical.
I still can't get that sex scene out of my head. I think I'm scarred forever.
Things are not going to end well for J. Yates is pulling the strings for Alexa, and Alexa is pulling the strings on J. J is pretty lost in the wind at this point. The best thing for him to do is to just take the wire and then run away. Forget Alexa. Forget Yates. Take some money from behind the dryer and go.
But that's not going to happen. He's too far in. He's going to wear that wire, and the house of Cody is going to come tumbling down.
If J doesn't go down with them, what happens then? I'm going to guess that not all the Cody's are going to go down. Someone is going to be left standing. God help J if that person is Pope.
But, there might be some relief for J. If the Cody's get busted for this job, J might not be their first suspect. It's already been set up that Cath has gone to the cops. And there's always Paul.
So J might actually get lucky.
The boys certainly got lucky with their heist. There were some pretty intense moments, but overall it went exactly as planned. I loved how Smurf made an apple pie for when they got home. Deran just dug into it like a little kid, stopping to kiss his momma before he went off to enjoy his dessert.
It was a simple act of love on Smurf's part that really highlighted how twisted and sick this family is. A reward for a job well done, like good grades on a report card. Something that a normal mom might do. But, as we know, this mom is far from normal.
Smurf knows something's up. She can feel it. She can smell it. That final shot of her outside looking up at the trees was bone chilling. She knows. Moms just know.
Will she survive? Will any of the Codys survive? Or is this end?
What did you think of "Judas Kiss"? How do you think the season finale will play out? Hit the comments and share your thoughts.
If you missed any of the action, you can watch Animal Kingdom online right here via TV Fanatic to catch up.
Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.