Animal Kingdoms, TNT’s crime drama, is back for its sixth and final season, and the stakes have never been higher. The four Cody boys are still trying to establish their reputations and livelihoods in Oceanside, still reeling from the loss of Smurf (Ellen Barkin). The past continues to influence the present in the double-header premiere, and the Codys are once again haunted by it. The TNT crime thriller tackles the question of whether the Codys will be able to make it out of this high-stakes lifestyle unharmed once more in its final season.
“1992” and “Rise” are both outstanding first episodes that establish the tone for Animal Kingdom’s last season.
The series continues to use flashbacks to depict Smurf’s early connection with organized crime, but the focus of the flashbacks shifts from Smurf to her children in Animal Kingdom’s sixth season. Pope, Julia, and Baz, now teens in the flashback episodes, have started doing their chores without Smurf, and they don’t go as planned. These flashbacks are serving a significant role in Animal Kingdom’s final season, which is to bring everything full circle.
“Rise” is undoubtedly the better of Animal Kindom’s two debut episodes. It provides a believable story about the Codys taking control of their own lives from a narrative standpoint. Pope (Shawn Hatosy) is shown reigniting his love for skating, which was tarnished when he was a youth by Smurf, while Deran (Jake Weary) establishes himself as a family leader.
He appears to have lost his soft spot for Craig (Ben Robson), and he’s grown progressively detached, making him more dangerous than he’s ever been. Craig is a lot more responsible now, and he keeps his distance from those who jeopardize his sobriety. Meanwhile, J (Finn Cole) continues to make his movements in the family’s best interests, to start over with new contacts and people on their payroll.
The Codys pull off their first robbery of the season in “1992,” which kicks off Animal Kingdom’s final season with a traditional bang. Unlike many of the Codys’ prior heists, this one comes with an unexpected twist. Rather than attacking the competitors, Gia asked them to loot, the Codys chose to rob Gia’s business as a form of retaliation for not doing business with them in season 5.
This heist’s worth isn’t in the shocking twist, but in the solidarity, it exhibits among the boys. This theft also features the unusual occurrence of all four Cody lads working together flawlessly. Pope and Craig get access through the building’s roof, while J uses fireworks to mask the sound of their forced entry.
Deran lends a hand by covering the cameras and driving the getaway car. The boys even go so far as to set fire to Gia’s warehouse, and the task still goes off without a glitch.
Julia had only been referred to as J’s mother until her on-screen arrival, when she overdosed in the season 1 pilot, leaving J in the care of his estranged grandmother and uncles. Animal Kingdom has already begun to clarify certain issues regarding Julia’s character in the two short episodes representing her as a teenager. As if her comments about Smurf’s habits as a child weren’t plain enough, “1992” and “Rise” made a point of highlighting her animosity with her mother, which is partly based on Smurf’s jealousy.
Despite their several setbacks, Pope, Deran, Craig, and J completed the season on the same page. Only time will tell who can be trusted, with Season 6 already presenting a few new faces to be wary of and the Codys’ list of enemies growing by the day. With all of the drama and skeletons from the Codys’ history still to be revealed in Animal Kingdom’s last season, it appears that the only certainty is that “1992” and “Rise” is just the tip of the iceberg.
Animal Kingdom Season 6 Release Date
Season 6 of Animal Kingdom starts on TNT on June 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. On the 19th, two new episodes will show back-to-back. On the TNT app, new episodes will be available the next day. “1992” is the title of the season premiere episode.