Animal Kingdom Season 3 Episode 1 Review: The Killing

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I can't say I'm surprised.

Baz's fate was revealed on Animal Kingdom Season 3 Episode 1. Even without the events of last season, Scott Speedman's addition to Grey's Anatomy was a bit of a giveaway.

Now the question of who was responsible for his death is up in the air.

Remembering Good Times - Animal Kingdom Season 3 Episode 1

I was sure that Lucy was behind it considering how quick she was to remove all the cash hidden in the walls of Baz's house at the end of Animal Kingdom Season 2 Episode 13. But after watching Smurf's interaction with the gang leader, there is a strong possibility that Smurf was the one behind the dirty deed.

If that's true, Smurf will have proven herself to be one of the best actresses on earth.

She put on a good show after Pearce told her the news about Baz. The immediate look of shock, the tears, the shaking. I was convinced her reaction was genuine.

Related: Animal Kingdom Season 2 Episode 13 Review: Betrayal

And why wouldn't it be? Although she and Baz had a major conflict, Baz was still her son and losing any child is devastating.

At least that's what she wanted everyone to believe. Pearce didn't seem too convinced, though, and he's going to keep pushing Smurf until he gets what he wants.

It's hard to believe that Smurf could be that cold, but it's clear that she's only out for herself. All she cares about is her money. She didn't even ask anyone about Lena.

Smurf Wants Answers - Animal Kingdom Season 3 Episode 1

How crazy is that? But if she were the one who ordered Baz killed, Lena wouldn't have even entered into her thoughts anyway.

Smurf took Pearce's offer to heart, and the idea that she might actually turn against her boys is real.

She's not going to be getting out of prison anytime soon, no matter what she does, so why not make everyone else suffer, too?

Pope, Deran, and Craig were genuinely upset about Baz.

They may have had their differences with him, but he was still their brother. 

Related: Get True Crime Files by ID via Prime Video Channels for Over 1,000 Real-life Mystery & Suspense Shows!

I loved that none of them were afraid to show their emotions, and them coming together on the patio was quite touching. 

Even more touching was how Pope dealt with Lena. He could barely contain himself as he told her that her dad might never be coming back.

It was too hard for him to tell his little niece the truth, but when she found out anyway when J couldn't stay in the truck like Pope asked, she handled the news like a trooper.

Pope Takes Charge - Animal Kingdom Season 3 Episode 1

Lena has been through so much; it's not surprising she's as indifferent as she is to all the havoc around her. That little girl is going to need some serious therapy when she grows up. 

Pope may think he's protecting her by keeping her with the family, but the best thing for her may be that she goes to foster care. 

He's going to be too involved in finding Baz's killer, and as much as I love Pope, he's not fully capable of taking care of Lena and business at the same time no matter how hard he'll try to balance both.

It's just not possible.

There's no way he's going to let Lucy take care of Lena. Right now, he's suspicious of everyone, including Lucy.

Related: Animal Kingdom Season 2 Episode 12 Review: You Will Be Gutted

It was galling of her even to feign shock over Baz's death.

Still, the fact that she admitted to the boys that she was there when he was shot and gave her reasons for running off seemed credible.

The only thing is that she forgot to mention the money, and that gives her a top spot on the suspect chart. 

Craig may run off to Mexico with Renn, and Deran has his bar, but Pope's number one priority is going to be finding his brother's killer.

Good luck to whoever killed him, because mercy won't be on their side.

Brothers Together - Animal Kingdom Season 3 Episode 1

Someone else to consider as a suspect, and this is a stretch, is J. He didn't seem too upset or shocked when he heard the news.

This tells me that he might have known what was going down -- if Smurf was the one behind the shooting.

I get that J had no serious attachment to Baz, and possibly even hated him, but the lack of emotion on his part is concerning.

It was an awkward moment when he was left standing outside the circle of brothers on the patio, not partaking in their moment of grief.

You had a good run, Janine. Better than most. Time's up.


They didn't necessarily shut him out, but it was a foreboding of things to come. He's always been an outsider, and the brothers are going to take a long, hard look at why Smurf put him in charge instead of one of them.

It was also disconcerting when Smurf told J that Baz was his father. Part of me wants to believe that J is above Smurf's manipulations, but another part of me thinks that he's still too green for his own good.

I still want to believe that J has an ulterior motive for everything he's doing -- like avenging his mother's death -- but if he wanted to stick it to the Codys, he could have done that back on Animal Kingdom Season 1.

For or Against

Maybe he is working behind the scenes with the Feds. Wouldn't that be a kicker? 

Maybe he wants to take everything for himself and run off somewhere with Nicky. It actually could be something that simple.

Nicky was actually more upset about Baz than J was. I loved that she was trying her best to help the guys through their grief by putting out plates of snacks for them.

It was one of the few times I liked her character. 

Bad on Pope for attacking her. She was only trying to help, but yet his irritation was understandable.

Related: Animal Kingdom Season 2 Episode 8 Review: Grace

The group gathering together at the beach for an impromptu memorial on the waves was fitting. They spent a lot of time there with Baz and created some great memories, so it was the perfect place to honor him when they threw their leis into the ocean. 

What I didn't like was Lucy being there. I hope Pope invited her so that he could keep an eye on her. She's still my number one suspect with Smurf a close second.

Animal Kingdom has proven to be one of the best shows of the summer, and I'm excited to share my Tuesday nights with the Cody family.

Baz will be missed, but I hope his absence will pave the way for more screen time for Pope. He's my favorite, and I can't wait to see him unravel the mystery of the Baz's murder.

There will be hell to pay for sure.

How about you? Were you shocked at Baz's demise?

Who do you think ordered the hit?

Will Pope take control of the family? What is J's true motive?

What will happen to Lena? Do you trust Lucy?

Hit the comments and share your thoughts!

If you need to catch up, you can watch Animal Kingdom online right here via TV Fanatic!

The Killing Review

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Animal Kingdom Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

Nachos? Jesus Christ. Does anybody look hungry? Nobody is hungry! Sit your ass down!

Pope [to Nicky]

Being a grandmother is the reward they give you for raising those bitches.