TNT’s Animal Kingdom What Have You Done TV Show Review. Animal Kingdom: Season 1, Episode 10: ‘What Have You Done,’ was a logical conclusion to the season, but not as satisfying as I had hoped. After all that drama-rama, acting out, and bad behavior, what we were left with was a promise of more of the same, ‘good’ guys left feeling sore about it, and a warning about the ‘quiet ones.’ Well, I wanted comeuppance, not a season 2 preview; but as season finales go, this episode delivered more of a double-down, than a payout.
For starters, the obvious application of the title wasn’t applied where any viewer – left crying WTF, after last episode – would expect. Pope (Shawn Hatosy) serving as the executor of Smurf’s (Ellen Barkin) will made for another bait-and-switch effort – the big payoff coming from the far end of the family’s intrigues, while everyone braced for fallout involving Baz (Scott Speedman) & the two other Clan heads.
I suppose the upside, to everyone thinking you crazy, is that there’s not much in the way of someone like Pope ‘acting strangely’ – and no one should be surprised by his demeanor around Baz, after the fact.
Loose lips on Lena (Aamya Deva Keroles) has become something of a minor plot point, these last two episodes; only now, it was Smurf sweating the details. Frankly, I’m still not sure why Pope had taken Lena along, for the Dirty Work ride. There had to be some ironic value to Smurf being protective of Lena, in the face of Baz’s efforts to get a lead on Catherine’s disappearance. Otherwise, I’d be tempted to think her as demented as her personal hammer, Pope. Well, for consistency’s sake, at least she knew how & when to wield that hammer; so it was time to take the momentum from one swing into the smashing of another loose end.
Vin (Michael Bowen) had been kind of a petty annoyance, as loose threads go; so serving as Smurf’s raw meat, to trailbreak Baz, was about as useful a direction to take it as any. Unfortunately, that direction still left it loose, as a matter of the larger, historic conflict between Pope & the rest of the Cody clan.
The loosest thread of the season got a real tug, finally, as Smurf dealt with the only ghost from her past to truly spook her. I imagine there could still be something more to that bit of history; but I suppose it would be moot, after the episode’s events.
As much fun as it can be, watching Craig & Deran (Ben Robson, Jake Weary) screw up slapstick style, the consistency to it has just been depressing. Maddening, when I think that Graig cost me my Renn fix – but that’s besides the point. This particular on cue screw-up seemed that much sillier, since a professional trucker would likely notice barrels of waste oil, rolling loose in the back of his truck, a lot sooner. C & D grade Cubs not keeping tabs on the trucker was kind of a given, I suppose, just so the hijinks would ensue. Were we to assume that the trucker didn’t see either of their faces? I’m not sure if the details to their end was all that important.
What was important was the resolution to the Det. Yates (Nicki Micheaux) leverage play. From certain angles, the big reveal of the season seemed almost tacked on; but it made sense to some degree. It seems both Yates’ hamfisted insincerity, and J’s intellectual inconsistency, were dropped at our feet for deliberate effect. The two had a history – and J a secret – that left J as the slow blade no one saw coming, because everyone was too busy worrying about where he was going.
Even if it was a quick fix resolution, there was enough of a satisfactory back-spin to it – warranting at least some comeuppance for one of the show’s bad actors. That said bad actor turned out to be on the right side of the law: that was the showrunners’ way of hinting how far they’d like to take this outlaw roadshow. My reservation at this notion could be summed up with one title. Weeds. Still, the one real resolution we did get earned J formal pack status (Epsilon Dog?) – complete with a whole new set of teeth.
The post-showdown celebration seemed premature. Call me paranoid, but after dealing with a Law Dog like Yates, I’d worry about a personal drone catching the prize retrieval on video. There was way too much in the way of premature celebration, in fact. Series longevity demands future conflict – including the currently unresolved/ yet to be realized variety. What we’ve been left with, however, inspires neither excitement nor apprehension.
Paul (C. Thomas Howell) felt disrespected (and, boy, was he), but tucked tail at the sight of his daughter under Craig’s paw; Pope had another one of his turns, regarding Vin, bit the hand that feeds him, and declared himself a Lone Wolf; Yates will be after J, in a personal way; girl drama, between J & Craig (‘cause costing me Renn couldn’t possibly be enough for Craig, nawww). Until further notice, that’s what season 2 was left to work with.
J contemplating demonstrably long-term, destructive thoughts – about how & where to apply his new teeth, while regarding the Cody clan – was meant to reassure that season 1 of Animal Kingdom had only scratched a well polished surface. I could’ve done with a deeper gouging, myself.
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