Pope is on a suicide mission.
There was a possibility that Pope had every intention of doing in Smurf, but by the end of Animal Kingdom Season 3 Episode 12 there was a strong indication that the suicide kit he bought was for himself.
It's a lot less messy than a gun.
Pope only wanted the best for Lena, and when he couldn't be the one to provide it for her, he did what he thought would be in her best interests. He knew what it was like being raised by Smurf and knew that it was the worst thing that could happen to his niece.
It didn't matter that he'd be an integral part of Lena's life again. He didn't want Lena to be as messed up as the rest of them under Smurf's manipulative, watchful eye.
Lena would never be able to escape from the family business. She'd never have a normal life under Smurf's watch.
When Lena told Pope she was looking forward to having a sister and that she liked her foster family, Pope knew what he had to do. He kept his promise to Baz and Catherine that he would take care of Lena.
As hard as it was for him to let her go and as much as it killed him to do it, he did the right thing.
Smurf didn't truly care about Lena, anyway. She got Lena back as a way to get to Pope and bring him back into her fold. If that weren't true, then she wouldn't have so readily agreed to Pope's terms.
Deran: I think you need to do something to keep yourself busy in between jobs.
Deran: Because, man, you get weird when you don't have anything to do.
Lena was only going to get in the way and be a constant reminder of Baz and Catherine, and Smurf couldn't have that.
She needs Pope to do her dirty work, and she needs him to have a clear mind. Why else would her conditions not to pursue Lena be that he had to move back home?
Smurf is a sick woman.
And what kind of dirty work does Smurf have planned for Pope?
Killing J is at the top of her list. Despite his efforts to convince her that Morgan was behind the Carlsbad property sale, it was evident Smurf wasn't buying it.
She hasn't trusted him since he mouthed off to her in prison, and she knows he's up to something.
I don't know why I thought that J might have been Pope's son. At some point during Animal Kingdom Season 1, the idea that Pope might be J's father was tossed out there, and it's something I latched onto for some reason.
Even though the idea of incest is gross, it wouldn't be surprising if something sexual happened between Pope and J's mom. There are no boundaries in the Cody household.
All you have to do is go back to Animal Kingdom Season 3 Episode 11 when Smurf walked in on J taking a shower. It's not the first time she admired her grandson naked. If that's something that's done at the top level, then there's a good possibility it could trickle down to other family members because it's made to look like normal behavior.
It wouldn't surprise me at all if Smurf pulled the same nasty crap on Pope when he was J's age.
Baz always claimed he was looking out for you. I never bought it. I think he wanted you weak. Made him feel strong. You boys were very competitive.Smurf
If you recall, during Animal Kingdom Season 1, there was a lot of inappropriateness occurring between Pope and Smurf. And who can forget Craig's naked walk through the kitchen to yell at Smurf for making noise when he was trying to sleep?
But the idea that Pope could be J's dad was effectively killed when Smurf told J that Baz was his father and that's why he was getting the $10 grand.
She's giving all the boys money to try to earn back their trust after the disaster with Marco. She wants J to be in on it, but she's playing different games with her grandson.
I don't know why J would think he could get away with selling one of her properties and pocketing the money for himself. Did he think she'd never ask any questions?
Morgan was genuinely surprised at Smurf's accusations, and that was enough for Smurf to know that J was behind everything. She's known Morgan far too long and knows the lawyer wouldn't do anything to screw her over. Morgan's afraid of her, as she should be.
J made a costly mistake leaving Morgan in the middle of the ocean with only a cut to her thigh. Someone is going to rescue her and then the shit is really going to hit the fan. She's going to come at J like a shark smelling blood, and she's going to tell Smurf everything -- including that tidbit about J coming to her to work out a deal.
I put J in charge because he's a smart kid who doesn't know a damn thing about real estate.Smurf
Depending on Mia isn't getting him anywhere either because Mia is working for Smurf. I bet she's reporting everything he's doing. I wish, somehow, she would slip up so he could see what's going on and have a chance to save himself.
And the only one who does have a chance is the one that I would never have thought would have been able to get out from under mommy's thumb: Craig.
I'm not yet sure what Frankie's endgame is, but she's Craig's path to freedom. That girl has lofty goals, and she genuinely believes in Craig. I hope she's not a pipe dream. Is it possible Smurf made a deal with her to become Craig's buddy?
There's been no answer as to why Frankie is still hanging around now that Billy is gone, and Smurf wouldn't let her stay unless there was a good reason.
There's a lot to contemplate as we head into the season finale. How it all turns out will be anyone's guess. How do you think the season will end?
Will J outsmart Smurf? Will Morgan resurface? Will Mia's secret be revealed?
Is Pope's suicide kit for him or Smurf?
Will Frankie take off with Craig, or is she just taking orders from Smurf?
Hit the comments and share your thoughts!
If you need to catch up, you can watch Animal Kingdom online right here via TV Fanatic!
Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.