What an installment!
It was on and cracking on Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 7 with feuding Cody bros, Deran and Craig, teaming up to take down and take out the Nazi drug dealing scumbag who took precious baby Nick.
Craig and Deran handled that shit, and it was the most thrilling aspect of the hour. It was Ben Robson’s hour to shine, and he did. He absolutely SLAYED with his performance on this one.
Does this mean that Craig and Renn are back together again, and Renn can stop being a dick to Craig about their child?
We’ve known for a bit that Renn’s drug dealing would affect her family somehow, but she was getting too big for her britches and didn’t seem to think that Craig’s concerns were valid.
It was remarkable how she’d have her primos supervising every time Craig came around to see his child, but they were nowhere around when Cole and his crew roughed her up and kidnapped Nick.
Her useless primos were only good for leading Deran and Craig to the dealer who worked with them, and that’s about it. Honestly, it shattered the illusion of Renn and her little operation as anything close to badass.
But when family calls, you drop everything. Craig went right to Deran, and Deran was all in and ready to help, no questions asked because that’s what you do.
After that little brawl, the two of them were sore as hell, but their differences were officially squashed when it came down to saving Nick.
Deran always acts like he doesn’t care about his nephew or have any interest in Renn, but he was the one who tried to keep Craig from going off on Renn, and he took bullets to the vest, bruising his ribs, and carried the baby out while Craig finished Cole off without hesitation.
Let’s be honest, will anyone miss the raging white supremacist in the meth lab? Likely no. But it does make you wonder if there will be some backlash from what Craig did.
The two bros going into the meth house, guns blazing, clearing rooms like two pros, was the type of excitement that had you leaning into the screen. It was pure badassery!
And even though we could guess Deran would be okay, it was no less nervewracking when he took four or five bullets to the chest and collapsed. But if we know anything about Deran, he can take a few licks and keep kicking.
The moment between the brother afterward was as sweet as they could get with each other. You could feel the love between them with that hug, and it was a good sign on Deran’s part that he acknowledged that Craig should spend time with his son and Renn after all of this.
It put things into perspective, and maybe Deran will ease up on Craig being family-oriented and daring to love his kid.
Hey, buddy. You were so brave today, like a little hero. Like a little Cody.
Renn seemed shocked that Craig still had his house set up for Nick, with the crib and all. There has never been a doubt that he loves his son with everything in him. And this nasty incident may have served as a reality check for her.
I felt for Craig as he was coming down from the day, fighting back tears. He came close to losing it all; nothing would have been the same for him. Michael Kiwanuka’s SolidGround was an excellent song choice.
Renn was there, albeit awkwardly, but perhaps this means they’ll be in a better place together, whether with their romantic relationship or simply as co-parents.
For all of Renn’s quips and commentary about the Cody family, it’s what she relied on and needed most when it counted.
Something about Craig saying Nick was brave like a Cody hit a bit hard when considering everything they’ve had to endure.
Deran and Craig held their own, and it was damn good to see, but can you imagine what it would’ve been like if J and Pope were in on it, too?
Craig didn’t want J involved at all, which was interesting.
But J and Pope were too busy on dates and things.
We see another connection between J and Penny as he met her sister and picked up instantly that Cindy is an addict. It was a sore topic for Penny, and she got defensive a few times when J spoke about Cindy and his own experience with his mother.
J: It’s hard. At first you’re pissed, and then you accept it, then you’re a caregiver and you forget to have your own life.
Penny: She’s my sister. I’m, uh, I’m going to help her through it.
Presumably, we’re supposed to believe that maybe J found his perfect match. And it’s with this smart, savvy woman who bears a striking resemblance to his mother, needs just enough saving to appeal to him without actually being needy, knows what it’s like to take care of an addict, and may not be turned off by his business ventures.
And, hey, perhaps that’s good for J, and Penny is his perfect match, and there’s the chance he can have a happy ending with this woman. However, Penny still seems suspect, and it’s messy that she has a husband.
He did his mini-boss thing when he disappeared into the kitchen and broke the owner’s nose for not being on time with his payments. And Penny seemed unfazed by the blood spatter passing as “ketchup” on his shirt and J playing coy when she asked him about things later.
Don’t be sorry. Be on time.
But what will be interesting is if Pope takes issue with Penny because of what happened at the house.
While J going on this date with Penny made you roll your eyes a bit, Pope’s excitement over his date with Amy was the cutest.
Pope is the gift that keeps giving this season with some of the funniest and most endearing scenes. The unexpected humor of Pope this season remains an absolute highlight.
It’s especially winsome when he’s in Mom Mode. Pope has become the Den Mom to a bunch of skateboarders at his skate rink, and it’s lowkey precious.
He was so invested in making those breakfast burritos for everyone, each of them carefully made with the precision that only Pope can muster, all because the kids don’t always get a lot to eat.
And Amy’s call coming through put him in such a good mood that he even agreed to J’s proposal about the non-profit thing they’re doing there.
What is it about Pope? Yes, he’s a killer and scary sometimes, but he’s also like a freaking puppy, and all you want for him is happiness and good things.
Pope has finally been living his best life with his skate park, reconnecting with Amy. And that’s what makes it so upsetting that Thompson is pulling her bullshit and is trying to take him down by any means necessary when she doesn’t even know for sure if he did anything!
Pope was as giddy as a schoolboy when Amy called and wanted to have dinner with him. Hell, even J seemed genuinely amused by Pope’s excitement and happy for him.
And Pope confiding in Auge and then taking his advice about scoping out the restaurant was adorable.
Only Pope would try to plan everything just right to ensure his date goes well.
And it did, too. Amy probably would’ve backed out for good if she didn’t hear that Pope was helping someone find her son. Whenever she thinks about what he did and what he said to her, she views him one way, but when she hears other meaningful things he’s doing, it reminds her that maybe he isn’t this bad guy.
Amy: I owe you an apology. I expect God to forgive me the way he promised, but I know that he asks that I do the same, and I judged you, when what I should’ve done was forgiven you. It’s God’s place to judge you, not mine. Not anyone’s. Forgive me. Please, forgive me.
Pope: You didn’t do anything wrong.
Amy: I did.
It was still unexpected when she apologized to him on the date. As a woman of faith, she recognized that it’s not her place to judge him, only God’s, but how can she expect forgiveness for things when she doesn’t forgive?
Forgiveness is one thing, but forgetting is a whole other beast, and while we’re Team Pope around these parts, she wasn’t irrational for not wanting any parts with a guy who confessed to her that he murdered a woman.
But, you know, all that aside, it was such a powerful scene, particularly when you saw how Pope was affected by her words. He’s not used to anyone ever apologizing to him or implying that he’s worthy of things like forgiveness or grace.
You could see how overwhelmed he was by all of that. Pope looked lighter than he’s been after that and looked hopeful, too.
Of course, that all changed when Thompson popped up again, posing as Taylor’s mom.
Pope went from floating on cloud nine to looking downright MURDEROUS in seconds. It must’ve taken everything in him not to murk Thompson right there. She’d be dead, buried, and forgotten if looks could kill.
They warned Thompson when she got to Oceanside that she couldn’t put whatever bullshit she used to pull before. She basically ignored that warning and went full speed ahead into this stalking, cat ‘n mouse, chess game of coloring outside of the law to nail a guy she doesn’t even know is guilty.
It’s still disturbing how she set up Taylor as she did. The kid is going through it enough, and she exploited the heck out of him and hung him out to dry. If something happens to him, she should be responsible!
This is a good day for me, I don’t have many good days. You’re disrupting it.
Thanks to her behavior, Pope is putting the pieces together, and he likely knows Taylor was setting him up. Taylor has gone ghost, and now Thompson is here.
Pope was too nice for letting Thompson into this car to help her look for Taylor. Honestly, the smart and logical thing would’ve been for her to accompany him into the buildings when he was asking around, so it should’ve raised some suspicions that she asked for help and then stayed in the car.
But now that she has access to Pope’s gun and took pictures of it, now what? She’s not obtaining anything legally — it’s ridiculous!
She did too much when she showed back up at the restaurant and interrupted Pope and Amy. It was creepy and raised all the red flags.
And she didn’t even hide that she was studying Amy’s license plate so she could run it later.
Amy has come around to Pope, and they’re warming up to each other again and starting something that could be sweet, and Thompson is about to ruin it and use Amy against Pope most likely.
But at least Pope saw the cereal! It took long enough. He has the confirmation from J that he didn’t touch it, so now it’s all clicking.
Taylor has gone missing, this woman posing as his mother is popping up and being nosy, and that power outage wasn’t really a power outage.
It’s like Thompson is deliberately provoking Pope, but does she hope he’ll slip up and say something to her? Is she hoping he’ll attack her and give her probable cause? What’s her angle?!
Meanwhile, in 1992, it seems Pope stuck with Andrew, so he’s never gone back from that. Once Smurf started calling him that, it was a wrap.
She’s so freaking creepy with how she treats the boys, lingering eyes on them, invading their personal space, the classic grooming. The entire scene of her talking to Pope as he came out of the shower, never giving him a moment to dry off without her eyes on him and getting into his head about Julia and Baz leaving him out, was icky.
She’s so manipulative. She toyed with Pope so much, arguably more than anyone else, and it’s always disturbing. She loved convincing Pope that Baz was the one driving a wedge between him and Julia.
Smurf: Have you noticed anything different about Julia and Baz lately?
Pope: Like what?
Smurf: I don’t know. They seem closer.
Smurf: They’ve been hanging out a lot, without you. You know we’re all family. I don’t want you to feel left out. Pope: I don’t.
Smurf: That’s good.
And her animosity towards Julia only kept growing.
Julia and Baz having sex in the house when Smurf and Pope were still around was dumb. And Baz couldn’t even hide that he’s been keeping late nights because of his sexcapades with Julia.
But Smurf knows how to get her talons in Baz. Once she offered him the chance to run their next job, she knew he’d set Julia aside to focus on that, and that’s what happened. It’s not telling how she’ll raise the stakes again to “put Julia in her place” now that she’s seen Julia’s underwear mixed up in Baz’s sheets.
And all of that following the conversation where Julia emphasized that Baz is not their brother or related to them. Julia knows her mother well, so maybe she should’ve kept all that in the drafts.
Smurf: I’m really happy you’re doing this job with your brothers. I think it’s going to go really well.
Julia: Why do you call him that?
Julia: Baz, you know he’s not my brother.
Smurf: OK, but he’s been with us for years, he’s family.
We’re not seeing much of young Deran and Craig, but what is notable about them in the flashbacks is how often Julia took care of them. It makes you think back to how unfazed they both were by her death.
The constant reminders of how dirty the Codys did Julia hits hard with every installment.
Over to you, Animal Kingdom Fanatics.
How great was that Craig/Deran team up to save Nick? What do you make of the latest with Thompson? Do you think Pope has a shot with Amy? Sound off below.
You can watch Animal Kingdom online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.