TV Show Review

TV Review: ANIMAL KINGDOM: Season 3, Episode 6: Broke From the Box [TNT]

Finn Cole Molly Gordon Animal Kingdom Broke From the Box

Animal Kingdom Broke From the Box Review

TNT‘s Animal Kingdom, Season 3, Episode 6, Broke From the Box showed us the only way for the Cody family to survive is together. Unfortunately, that did not include Nicky (Molly Gordon) – our tragic Ophelia. J (Finn Cole) was barely holding on to his composure in the face of Smurf’s (Ellen Barkin) challenges and the family’s suffering reputation. Broke From the Box put J under a slightly larger microscope.

Let’s start with the Cody reputation. Craig (Ben Robson) found out that the family has been the ultimate enforcer in the beach town since the inception of Smurf’s criminal enterprise. A smart queenpin would know that being kind to locals is the best way to ensure the safety of her operation. Smurf is smart. Somewhat stupidly, she kept all of the boys out of loop except maybe Baz.

Craig was astonished to see the true effect that the Cody’s have in the town. Without Smurf to continue her “philanthropy”, keeping the ledger black, the Cody’s broken family left a vacuum for other crews to infiltrate the town and throw their weight around. Craig stepped up. He knew it was imperative to show that the Cody’s were still a formidable force despite Smurf’s absence.

Speaking of Smurf’s absence, she might be facing a dire situation very soon. Her trial date was scheduled but with the added revelation that there is a witness against her. Smurf looked good and frightened. She took her angst out on J. Incredibly, she ordered J to seek out Javi’s crew to see who was possibly snitching. What?! I did not blame J for being hesitant to fulfill this request. Those guys tortured him and Nicky. He had no desire to seek those men out to ask them anything. Also, after everything that Smurf has done, it is a possibility that she is setting J up. How can you trust a liar?

When Smurf pulled that “I took you in and gave you everything…” card I was done with her. J was the one who kept them all out of prison in Season 1. Did she forget about that? He has paid his debt in full in my opinion. Now, he is doing her a favor by being the trustee of her estate. Like Nicky said, he could just clean out the accounts and take off, but that would paint a large target on his back. J is looking to be like Baz. When he goes, it will be a clean break. (BTW, if the writers are dipping back into the plot of the original film, is J the witness?)

Switching to Nicky. Poor Nicky spiraled into a tragic depression that consumed her. Honestly, we should have seen that coming. I would have preferred to see her snap out of her stupor and salvage her life. She could not go home, but was not at home with J and the Cody’s either. Nicky had a life before J, but somehow she could not tap back into it. She could not find a purpose outside of J. Mia (Sohvi Rodriguez) was the only one paying attention to her. It leaves me conflicted about Mia when she displays compassion.

I hate to compare these young women again but the plot seems hell bent on juxtaposing them so here goes. Mia has a mysterious agenda, pride and power. She can influence J with one well-placed whisper. Nicky, however, has lost herself, let alone her hold on J.  Everyone knew she did not belong there, except J.

Nicky was clearly Ophelia in this story. I was impressed with the writing on this point. She accidentally “suicided” herself while hanging with diminished capacity over a body of water. Bravo to Matt Kester for the Shakespearean imagery inherent in Nicky’s situation, which was consistent with Nicky’s tragedy in the original film. Honestly, I hope Nicky makes it. I hope she walks out of that emergency room and disappears with one purpose – survival.

In Broke From the Box, J was revealed to be a typical human and a typical gangster after all. He shuddered at his mandate to pursue his would-be murderers (who wouldn’t), he beat up some visiting gangsters, he wounded Nicky then abandoned her. Actually, it was prudent to leave her at the mercy of a hospital, but was it right? J’s choices are leading him down an even darker path than before. I am wondering what happens to the Cody’s if, or when, J breaks under the pressure he is holding.

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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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