Officer Chadwick is delicious, isn't he?
And no, I'm not solely talking about how hot he is either, though he is scrumptious. He's been such an unexpected surprise this season.
Admittedly, the turnabout of his character is still enough to give a person whiplash. Nevertheless, his antics by the end of Animal Kingdom Season 5 Episode 10 were nothing if not entertaining.
For the most part, the hour did what a few installments this season have where a good chunk of the hour, roughly half, in this case, has you mindlessly following along with the lives of the Codys in the present and past as you wait for something exciting to happen.
And then the excitement kicks in, and you're leaning forward in your seat because they have your undivided attention.
And sometimes, those moments of excitement make up for the underwhelming bits that have unquestionably plagued the season.
It was another hour of character study, and Craig was front and center in that department.
The misadventures of coked-out Craig continued.
Of course, he's heartbroken, which made him more reckless and a giant ball of anger and sadness with pretty hair.
The embattled mid-sib's reeling since Renn left him.
Pope: You alright, man? Renn took off?
Craig: You told them?
Deran: Maybe you should go home and sleep it off.
Craig: Well I can't do that man, alright? There's too much baby shit.
Ironically, HE can't sleep at his own place because of all the baby shit, so he's been squatting with a bunch of delinquent teenagers at Deran's abandoned condo (because Deran can't stay there because of his Adrian shit), which apparently is still intact and not burnt to a crisp.
The sight of an oversized Craig chilling on his brother's deck getting high and drunk with a bunch of teens like Oceanside's crankier Peter Pan and the Lost Boys was as hilarious as it was pathetic.
Craig's lack of self-awareness is disappointing. He's livid about Renn taking off with Nick, and he does have some right to be, but he also refused to take accountability for his part in their issues.
It was almost puzzling to hear how much he missed Nick and how Renn leaving with him hurt Craig so much. We had exactly one installment where we saw Craig spending quality time with the kid, and he pawned him the moment he got a chance.
Maybe now he can appreciate what he lost and take some steps toward getting some of his shit together. Of course, it would still require him to ease up on the coke.
It was cringe-worthy when he barged into Renn's mother's home. She never cared for him in the first place, and his behavior wasn't exactly proving her wrong.
Plus, he's such a big guy that it felt like he lost sight of how his behavior came across to a single woman in her home alone. Although, to her credit, she wasn't intimidated by him at all.
As much as the woman is the absolute worst, she may have a point about taking the baby if Craig and Renn carry on with their hot mess express.
Interestingly, Pope expressed the most sympathy for Renn, at least willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, when he noted his brother's terrible state and learned that Renn took off with the kid.
Craig turns to his worse vices when he's not doing well. The one good thing about him turning up at Frankie's was that he had a moment of genuine vulnerability with her telling her about Nick and how heartbroken he is.
And he got some actual sleep after days of being on a bender. Craig and Renn can work things out if they learn to communicate and compromise. It's doubtful she'll be away for too long, and maybe when she returns, they'll actually be a family committed to each other.
You can sense how much he cares about Renn, even when he was at Frankie's place, and she noticed it too.
Deran: Renn took off.
Pope: With the baby? Why?
Deran: It's pretty messed up taking a kid from his dad.
Pope: Well, we don't know what's really going on.
The two of them have such an odd relationship, but what's unfortunate is that J asked him to get a connect from Frankie that they can steal from, and Craig plans to deliver. It's the second time they'll screw Frankie over.
What's concerning is that Frankie's new place does look as if she's hiding out. Also, in her last interaction with Craig, she shared some issues she was having. She worked for someone who wasn't pleased with her, and despite her downplaying it, she seemed worried about her life.
Burning Frankie again may have fatal consequences for her. J didn't bat an eye at screwing her over, and Craig questioned it, but he went for it anyway.
But J is ruthless, and that's only grown stronger. He was callous when the pieces for their next job were falling into place. He didn't think twice about the blowback Frankie could face, even though he's using her as his fence.
Craig: So you want me to ask Frankie whether we can burn another one of her contacts?
And it was hilarious when he was watching Craig and Deran squabble over Deran's condo, and he turned to Pope as if he was sick of these two idiots and couldn't believe he was stuck with them.
J's bonding with Pope is intriguing on its own. He views Pope as the most ruthless of them all, and he's not dissuaded by this new, zen version of Pope either.
J makes his moves and all, but it almost seems as if J's respect for Pope has grown since Pope threatened to hunt him down if he left. He seems more comfortable recognizing some level of authority that Pope has.
Their chop shop bonding was great.
As an aside, it's ridiculous that Deran failed to tell his brother that Peter is no longer a viable option for things and that they burned that relationship. It's the type of information a person needs to know.
If Deran would just share things with folks more, the Codys could've avoided a lot of issues. Nothing good can come from Pope growing angrier and showing up at Pete's laying down threats.
No way things between the Codys and the Trujillos end there, and it's likely that things will get even uglier.
But it forced Pope to get creative with how he disposed of his truck, and breaking it down and giving away the scrap metal to a junkman who roams neighborhoods for it was pure genius.
Pope: You know what drives me crazy?
Pope: Unforeseen obstacles, you know? You just want to get on with things, life, work, family, then some jackasses get in your way and try to stop you.
J: Like when you're driving and an animal runs in the road. You swerve, maybe you spin out, you drive off the road and crash. You go straight, you hit the animal, lot of blood, and you keep going, something like that?
J: So if an animal gets in our way we just run it over right?
J thought so, too, and he didn't mind helping out. He couldn't help using that experience to bond further with Pope with his metaphor about running over animals or anything that gets in their way.
J doesn't mind putting anyone down if they pose a threat, and he's making it known. He's not the least bit apologetic about it. J shared that with Pope, but he also figured Pope is someone who agreed.
In a sense, it made you ponder their roles.
Pope has always been the enforcer and never had a choice in the matter. But now, he's the presumed leader of things, and while that doesn't stop him from enforcing or being the protector, it's evident that J can be the person who does the dirty work the others can't as well.
I wonder who J had in mind when he was saying all of that. He's always been vocal about his stance regarding Adrian. But he could've had Pete in mind, too.
But given the issues with Livengood as well, who's to say J wouldn't have been plotting the death of a federal agent before Chadwick took Livengood out.
The entire situation with Livengood up until this point didn't feel like high-stakes. The frustrating part about this storyline was how ludicrous it was that Livengood was deadset on harassing Deran like this in the first place.
As a federal agent whose witness fled the country, you'd think that Livengood would be angling to get Adrian back or fighting to keep his job after a colossal eff-up.
You guys ain't seen nothing yet. Liquor board, Oceanside PD state cops I work with them all, and I will bring every one of them down on you until the end of time. Don't look at him, look at me because I'm the one who is going to be in your nightmares every night. I'm the one who's going to be haunting you...Livengood
You wouldn't expect him to spend his free time harassing Deran and making the Codys' lives hell in retaliation. He wasn't getting anything out of it, and he didn't have enough on them, so why keep at it?
His priorities should've been elsewhere. Livengood knew where Adrian was. For someone who supposedly had power and pull, he should've been working an angle to get Adrian back himself.
His vendetta against the Codys because of Deran felt silly. Plus, he'd disappear for episodes at a time, so it was hard to take him seriously as a genuine threat when he felt more like a pesky gnat.
It was almost laughable that the badass DEA resorted to pulling strings with the Liquor Board and abusing his authority to get Deran's bar shut down.
That's it? It was more stupid and juvenile than anything else.
It's probably why it was believable that Parker and his Son of Beach bros were behind it instead.
Deran was pissed beyond measure at the whole thing, so I suppose it was effective. In the end, that anger drove him to demand something from Chadwick, and he was unprepared for it.
Did they dupe any of you with the Chadwick betrayal? Oddly enough, it didn't feel believable that he would turn on the Codys and work for Livengood. It would've been such an unusual angle to work, and he had only recently gotten anywhere.
Chadwick: It's all set. They'll all be there.
Livengood : You sure we need all of them?
Chadwick: You want to put pressure on one Cody, gotta get the other Codys to do it.
Livengood: And you think they will.
Chadwick: I've been working these guys. They only care about themselves. None of them are going to jail for Adrian I promise you that.
Chadwick proving his point and value and using the death of Livengood to negotiate better terms made much more sense.
As awful as it sounds, I couldn't help chuckling when he shot Livengood during his outlandish villain soliloquy. Livengood legitimately sounded like the antagonist from a cartoon.
Chadwick is rather amusing, and when you consider how terrible the Cody boys are at communicating and updating each other, of course, he'd want all of them there to make sure there was no confusion about the events and what was happening.
I love Chadwick right now, but he's too much of a wildcard. He's giving off more psycho vibes than Pope and J combined.
He doesn't seem like someone that can be reined in, and his motivations are unclear. They don't know him well nor what he's capable of, and that's scary for many reasons.
He killed a federal agent with a second thought and left them there to clean up the mess.
Whenever it gets out that Livengood is missing or dead, then wouldn't that shift more heat to the Codys? He didn't make his vendetta against them a secret.
Many felt Chadwick's payout was too low, and apparently, he agreed. He used this to negotiate something bigger and better. However, I'm unsure if this makes him an asset or another liability.
Chadwick: You asked me to do something so I did.
Deran: No, no, not this!
Chadwick: I had to get him out here somehow so I told him I've been working you guys and uh, that I wanted to be a Fed. You should've seen his face. I mean he practically came in his skivvies. I think I've uh proven my usefulness to you guys. This kind of service comes at a higher price. Five grand. Two grand a month going forward.
If this is how he takes care of problems, what did the Codys sign up for then? They could've killed Livengood themselves.
Those final moments were exciting, though, and the Codys' reactions to Chadwick were priceless.
In the flashbacks, it's on with Smurf and Max.
The man is ruthless and a jackass, and there was no way that Smurf and the guys could keep working jobs and giving him cuts. The rules changed at Max's will, and they were always at his mercy.
Max gave them the rundown about his territory, so their Mac truck haul of VCRs shouldn't have warranted a payout. But Max is greedy, and he gets off on flexing his power and authority.
What kind of person looks at the five bucks Smurf gave the twins as a sign that he should threaten her kids to get money out of her?
It was such an intense scene, especially when Pope jumped in front of Julia to protect her.
Houston Towe and Scarlett Abinante are so good in their roles. They play well off of one another.
You know that feeling you have in your chest right now like a ball of fire burning in your belly? I have that too. Don't worry, that man is never going to bother us again.Smurf
Julia's innocence and sweetness are so heartbreaking when you consider how her life played out. It breaks my heart to know that she never stood a chance.
She was such a sweet, kind-hearted, sensitive soul, and sadly, Smurf had no patience for that. She could barely comfort Julia properly without throwing in comments that implied Julia was weak for getting emotional.
Smurf's preference for Pope stemmed from relating to him in some ways and fostering things like his anger. She had a different tone and vibe when she comforted Pope. You could feel the preference she had for him.
Billy was back, and he's such an odd character. But he appealed to Smurf -- maybe it was his quirks and confidence. Something tells me that he's key to how Smurf will come after Max and take over.
Over to you, Animal Kingdom Fanatics.
Did you see those last five minutes coming? Do you trust Chadwick? How do you feel about Craig's spiraling? Hit the comments below!
You can watch Animal Kingdom online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.