Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 10 Review: Clink


The Codys are about to pull off the most outrageous, dangerous, and essential job of their lives.

By the end of Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 10, the Cody trio agreed that they would bust Pope out of prison and leave Oceanside forever.

Is it even possible for them to pull off something like this?! And will Pope even cooperate?

Shit got real and fast with this installment, as the reality, or shall we say Animal Kingdom’s version of reality, sank in that Pope was willing to sit in prison for 25 to life for killing Cath, assuming he’d even last that long.

As in, seemingly, nothing will come from Thompson’s actions to get what she wanted. The expensive lawyers the Codys are paying had no decent solutions or challenged some of the many outlandish things that led to Pope’s arrest and imprisonment.

I don’t know how to feel about any of that. But we can give them a little credit for bringing up Pope’s history of mental illness to challenge why the confession should get thrown out.

It doesn’t address any other pitfalls of how demonstrably terrible they’ve handled the legality around this situation, but, you know, “plot.”

They pointed out that Pope didn’t have to confess, and it’s more apparent than ever that Pope is doing this as some penance. It hurts to see him like this.

He doesn’t have any plan. He simply feels in his heart of hearts that he’s somehow sparing Amy and Lena, and he’s tired of this death weighing him down.

Of all the things he’s done, including killing other people, for him, Cath was unforgivable, and maybe he finds some solace in his fate. But he proved to be challenging to manage in prison, and he faced the wrath of other people, including allies of the Trujillo family.

Pope: Did my family put you in here?
Inmate: Something like that.
Pope: How much does my family have to pay you to shut up?

They’ll probably start medicating him, too, which he wouldn’t want. It’s like Pope didn’t think beyond that moment when he confessed. Prison isn’t good for him, and he’d feel worse if he learned that J did something to Amy or Lena, or his brothers and J face a troubling fate because Oceanside turns on them.

Pope always stated that he couldn’t return to prison, so his willingness to sit in there now is shocking. But it was more disheartening that he wouldn’t even allow Finnegan’s men to protect him. All it took was a split second for someone to shiv him, and it could’ve ended up a lot worse.

Pope isn’t designed to last in prison for too long, so Deran and Craig’s genuine fear is beyond valid. I loved that Deran was the one who was taking him his precisely folded-up underwear, books, and other things.

It’s no surprise he’s been the one to visit him and keep an eye out since Pope went inside. The sentimentality that Deran displays is enough to move you because it’s that of a man who has already lost so much and can’t afford to lose his big brother too.

And Deran, as well as Craig, know that Pope has ALWAYS protected them and their family. It’s the role he was groomed to do since he was born, and he’s done it through and through the whole time.

Pope would do anything for us, even you. It’s not about the money, J.


They could carry on without Pope if they had to, but they don’t want that. With Smurf being the way she was and Baz always being the opportunistic one, it’s Pope who was probably the closest they had to a parental role who watched out for and protected them.

We haven’t seen more than glimpses and mentions of Deran and Craig in the flashbacks, but the twins were the ones who spent the most time with them and watched after them.

We could see how much it hurt both Deran and Craig that Pope was behind bars like some animal and how terrifying it was that he wouldn’t survive it.

There are so many layers to those dynamics, and we don’t always get the opportunity to delve into them, but that’s what makes the nuanced exploration of them when we do so compelling.

For Deran and Craig, they would do whatever they needed for Pope by any means necessary. Interestingly, Deran had positive conclusions from the meeting with the lawyers, while Craig was the pessimist.

There was so much more that the attorneys could have said and done, and that’s what takes you out of it a bit.. They brought up Lena’s testimony, but what Lena said was inconsistent with her initial recount of that night when she was younger.

Lena is still a child, and numerous experts would challenge the concept of these repressed memories resurfacing. Even if she believes what she’s saying to be accurate, and we know it’s the truth, it wouldn’t hold up in court at all, and it’s absurd that the police and prosecutor are pretending as if it ever would.

And the whole thing with Amy is frustrating. They reintroduced her and showed Pope and Amy reconnecting, giving the impression that she wouldn’t turn on him, but then they have this.

I don’t give a shit what Pope wants or doesn’t want. He put us in this situation, we decide what needs to happen and how we do it, not him.


Worse yet, we never saw any of the conversation or threats between Thompson and Amy. They’ve gotten into such a bad habit of telling us things without showing them to us with valuable, pertinent scenes taking place offscreen.

If Amy told all of this to Thompson, and it was legitimate, they wouldn’t have needed to arrest Pope on assault charges against Taylor. They could’ve picked him up for the murder.

But frustratingly we had to set all of these things aside for the sake of the drama and to up the ante on the stakes, making everything feel claustrophobic for the Codys as their empire fell apart around them.

While Deran and Craig were reeling from the potential loss of their brother, J’s trauma-based survival mode that often appears borderline sociopathic kicked into full gear. Regardless of how you feel about the kid and his actions, that’s honestly how he operates, and it’s its own tragedy.

J: What about Amy? She’s the real problem, right? And Lena?
Deran: I’ll talk to Pope about Amy, and no kids.Jesus.

J is a survivor and a problem-solver. All he wanted to do was find solutions and maintain everything they built. He was the one who arranged for Pope’s protection in prison, but it was entirely self-serving.

Despite the few years he’s been with the other Codys, J feared Pope would snitch on them the longer he stayed in prison, especially if he was hopped up on psych meds.

From J’s perspective, you can maybe understand some of his concerns since Pope confessed to murder when he didn’t have to, refused to change his plea, resisted the protection, and sent Deran away. Pope’s actions support the idea that he’s sacrificing himself to this fate and gave up.

As the person who always protected them, the idea that he’d welcome rotting in prison and leaving them hanging is enough to raise some flags. He doesn’t see the impact his choice has on the others.

But just because Pope wants to pay for his sins doesn’t mean he’d bring his family down with him. If he didn’t snitch about his family the first time he did a bid, why would he now? They were drugging him back then too.

J is the person who always has a contingency plan, so as much as J’s backup plan to kill his uncle and his mother’s twin is a freaking slap in the face and infuriating, it’s not particularly shocking.

The guy spent most of the hour plotting the demise of Amy and Lena, too. The fact that Deran had to remind J that they’re not offing a kid while J sat there looking downright demonic spoke volumes. Cole is so good at channeling a psychopath, and I can appreciate that J feels like the guy who wants to burn everything down again.

J reluctantly went along with the plan to break Pope out of prison for now, but he could still end his uncle’s life with a phone call. I wouldn’t put it past him to do it, too, which is scary when you consider Pope is the last person who could keep him in line a bit. If the others discover where J’s mind is, it’ll get ugly.

The tag line for the season has teased “Family until the end,” and they emphasized both in the present and the flashbacks during that Smurf and the twins pool scene that what makes their empire is that they’re family. Without the family, they’re nothing.

For a bit, it felt like J got sucked into the notion of them as a family, at least after Smurf died and Pope returned, but he’s all about the business.

He even suggested that they simply train someone else to take Pope’s role for future jobs, and he already had another one lined up for them amid all of this. As much as J’s mind works like a chess master, he’s not getting the whole picture regarding the family.

Regardless of what happens with Pope, the Codys are burnt, and Oceanside doesn’t trust nor respect them. J can lay down his threats or kill as many people as he desires, but the last shred of credibility and respect they had is gone, and they were hanging on by a thread as it is.

J: We might have to figure out a different arrangement.
Finnegan: Oh yeah?
J: If he’s not taking the protection we can’t have him in there solo, he’s mentally unstable.
Finnegan: What kind of arrangement?
J: A more permanent one. But only when I make the call.

People will come for them with or without Pope. As Tommy reminded Deran, the news is out that Pope killed Cath, which doesn’t look good; after all, he essentially took out his own family. If a family can’t trust each other and aren’t off limits, what does that say about anyone else?

Smurf is gone. They’ve burned all their bridges with people in Smurf’s network, from Gia to the Trujillos. Their version of a network is small in comparison. Ex-pats and gentrifiers overrun the everchanging city.

They lose protection and some control with Pope locked away, and no one has forgotten that beloved local Adrian disappeared and is presumed dead by many. The Cody family’s goodwill with Oceanside is gone.

The Codys have outgrown Oceanside, which Deran and Craig have recognized, but J doesn’t want to let go.

Deran and Craig’s conversation about Renn and Texas was telling, too. Under any other circumstances, a codependent Deran would’ve had a mouthful to say about Craig even considering moving away.

However, he gets it now. He even encouraged it in his way. If it’s something that Craig needs to do, so be it. But it feels like we keep seeing Deran’s reaction to everyone else, yet it’s hard to discern what he wants for himself.

What does Deran’s alternative life look like? He feels like everything is over, but what would be next for him?

He lost it a bit when someone stole (or maybe Tre repossessed) the surfboard. It was a clear sign of where they stand now. And his attempts at making amends with the Trujillos fell through.

Deran: Tina, name your price.
Tina: You can’t put a price on respect. Your mom knew that, kept your brother in check. Now she’s gone, your crazy brother is in prison. Your other brother is a junkie. People are coming for your weak ass family, and it ain’t just me. Respect, pendejo, you can’t buy that.

He tried to invoke the name of Smurf and their two families’ long history together, but they couldn’t ride on Smurf’s name.

It’s like it hit them all at once that there’s nothing there for them anymore, and they can’t fight against the inevitable. Breaking Pope out of prison, one of the ultimate jobs would be their last hurrah in Oceanside.

They understand what that means and the risks and Craig and Deran are okay with that. It’s J who doesn’t want to let go.

He spent all this time infiltrating, manipulating, taking over, building, and maintaining this decades-long crime family empire, and it finally got good for him. No way he wants just to abandon all of that for this notion of family he still doesn’t have a full grasp on or understands.

Craig: You know Renn invited me to join her in San Antonio today. Thought about it. I just don’t like Texas or Texans.
Deran: Well, maybe it’s time to go.
Craig: Yeah.

The Codys busting Pope out of prison feels impossible and absurd, yet I’m rooting for them with every fiber of my being. Of course, Craig comes up with the most insane thing ever, but a plan is a plan, and he’s not about to leave his brother behind.

And he’s right; Pope would do the same for them.

Other Thoughts:

  • The sexual energy between Baz and Smurf is so uncomfortable. Baz’s date saw how jealous he was when she took that teenage boy into the bedroom to have sex. The mommy issues are out of this world!
  • I loved everything about Julia and Pope’s conversation in the car. The love between the twins is so solid, and it breaks your heart that they ended up estranged.
  • Jasper Polish and Kevin Csolak’s chemistry as siblings is so underrated, and I genuinely love when they share scenes one-on-one.
  • Julia was always trying to make sure that Pope was okay. I appreciated that she vehemently informed him that his first time shouldn’t have been like that and that acknowledgment of him as a male victim of grooming. That said, it also felt alarming or like foreshadowing. I hope I’m wrong
  • Craig’s attempt to get Vince to do drugs with him was so freaking lowdown! After his bender with Renn, you would think he’d not be an asshole about that. I’m so glad Vince resisted.

I love talking to you. This is what’s important to me, Andrew. Me and you. No matter what happens with Baz or Smurf or anyone else, okay? It’s always you and me.


  • Vince turned out to be a good guy, and I respect how hard he keeps trying to help Craig. Their brawl was BRUTAL, but Vince still won’t give up on Craig.
  • They had so many notable quotes during this installment. Check them out!

Over to you, Animal Kindom Fanatics. Can they pull off a prison break? What do you make of J plotting to kill Amy, Lena, or even Pope if necessary? 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.

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