TV Show Review

TV Review: ANIMAL KINGDOM: Season 2, Episode 6: Cry Havoc [TNT]

Ellen Barkin Animal Kingdom Cry Havoc

Animal Kingdom Cry Havoc Review

TNT‘s Animal Kingdom, Season 2, Episode 6, Cry Havoc ignited the war we knew was coming. Javi (Alex Meraz) showed that he is a serious threat. Smurf’s (Ellen Barkin) history caught up with her and J (Finn Cole) suffered for it.

Cry Havoc evoked a sinking feeling in the stomach from the moment J dropped his books and picked up his gun in the opening credits.  He guarded Smurf while she hit up the family vault. For a moment, it seemed like he could stand up to the thugs harassing his grandma. Adrenaline pumping, gun at the ready, J looked tough as nails. Then, he left her alone. Sure, Smurf pushed him away, but any one of her sons would have refused to leave her unprotected if she was going to meet a murderer. Things went way south from there.

Smurf’s stubbornness in refusing to ask her sons for help cost her $300,000. The money was stolen by Craig’s (Ben Robson) father no less. That loss caused Javi to lose all patience. It was interesting watching the small scene where Javi was standing, drinking, waiting for Smurf until dusk. I bet in his mind, he gave her all the time in the world to make things square with him, before he declared war.  The scene felt like watching a little boy waiting for his mother to come home. He had waited for Manny to die. Javi got tired of waiting. He decided to kick in some doors.

J’s manhood took a herculean hit in Cry Havoc when Javi and his goons breached the Cody compound. One moment, J was lip-locking with his ex and, the next, he was scrambling toward his phone, or his gun, whichever he could reach first, in order to protect Nicky (Molly Gordon).  He failed completely.

He failed to protect Smurf and he failed to protect Nicky. These were hardened men, invading his home. They tortured two teenagers for information. J never appeared more small than in that moment.   No matter what he could get his hands on, J was a young man ill-equipped to deal with the monster on Smurf’s heels.

Finn Cole and Molly Gordon outdid themselves in this episode. Every moment of the home invasion was frightening. Javi got his hands on the new little boy in Smurf’s life and enjoyed every minute of torturing J. What made the scenes worse was that we knew no one was coming to the rescue.

That brings us to the plot developments in the Cody boys’ lives. Pope (Shawn Hatosy) is falling in love. Amy (Jennifer Landon) has gotten under his skin, or Pope simply wants something in his life that does not have Smurf’s name on it. Unfortunately, that means he runs afoul of Baz’s code of conduct. These two alpha males are bound to continue to clash in this game. By the way, did Pope actually burn the checks??

I especially liked Pope’s candor. He says exactly what he means. “I don’t want to be free.” Pope does not want to lose his chance at love. Who cares about the consequences? He is serious about Amy and the church. What I also love about Pope is that he comes when mom calls and tells him she needs him. A son always does. The determination on his face when he saw his mother vulnerable, and the damage that Javi caused, was chilling. I cannot wait for Pope and Javi to meet. Please let that be soon!

Deran’s (Jake Weary) new legit lifestyle as a business owner will be facing a new host of problems. For instance, a protection racket by way of committee. “Just pay the money…He’ll make your life hell if you don’t.” ‘He” being Mark Liston (Andy Favreau), the head of the business society of which Deran is a new member. Does Mark know who he is messing with? Deran is already well-protected. Although, Deran is not used to navigating politics in legit business. He is too honest, trying to over-compensate for his criminality. He wants his bar to be his clean getaway, but I have a feeling that Mark will show him that nothing is clean.

Cry Havoc had Baz (Scott Speedman) completely frustrated with his team. No one was listening to him. Pope ignored his commands and advice. Deran refused to let his bar be a laundry. Most importantly, Baz knows Catherine did not leave him. Before, he just suspected. He was somewhat manipulated to think she would abandon her daughter. He became emotionally crippled because of it. But… $22,000 does not just stay untouched. Baz’s suspicions have been reignited. There will be hell to pay if and when he puts the pieces together. I bet Smurf will not be able to find a scapegoat this time.

Craig went off and acquired clean piss at gunpoint! Yes, the lovable buffoon robbed someone of his pee in order to acquire a key position for the next job. It was like he just woke up one morning and thought, “today I will be useful.” He took initiative – coke-headed, clumsy initiative – but initiative nonetheless. Will he become a planner too?

Cry Havoc was largely about J and Nicky, who endured one of the most horrifying nights of their young lives. J succumbed to torture and gave up the stash house. Nicky, poor thing, got a bitter taste of the danger that comes along with her desire to be a  part of the Cody criminal enterprise. J, unfortunately, could not protect her. So, what will she do now?

Javi emerged as the serious threat in Smurf’s life, capable of terrifying Smurf with blackmail, and infiltrating her home. We learned one more thing about Smurf’s past as well. “Trailhead and Ash” is a suburban paradise, and unmarked grave. Now, we know. money will not end what has started. Only a show of force will. Once her sons find out what has happened, they will protect the castle and their queen. Well, all except maybe Baz who is not certain about anything anymore.

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About the author


I am ...a lover of all things film ...a published poet with a law degree from Howard University School of Law ...a D.C. native, who frequents local and international film festivals ...a self-professed couch potato who can usually be caught watching anything produced by Joss and Jed Whedon. My favorite TV shows include the Buffy & Angel Series, Sons of Anarchy, Oz, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and The Shield. Still, I am open to everything on TV and Netflix, which is doing big things.

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