Animal Kingdom 5×5 Review: Family Business

family business animal kingdom season 5 episode 5 review
Pamela sharing her terms with the Cody men in ‘Family Business’ (Screengrab: Animal Kingdom Season 5 Episode 5)

The latest episode of Animal Kingdom, ‘Family Business’, ended up being a very talk-heavy installment as it set things up for what’s to come.

‘Family Business’ gave fans what they were waiting for. Pamela decided to show up at the Cody residence to offer them a deal. She has a complicated job for them. Even though she doesn’t trust them, at least, she knows they are motivated to say yes to her offer and start earning back Smurf’s estate. Accompanying Pamela were her son Phoenix and her granddaughter Lark (Phoenix’s niece).

I liked the dynamic between the Codys and Pamela’s family. While Pamela’s all about getting straight to the point and not sharing every detail, Phoenix and Lark were a lot friendlier.

Pamela’s job involved the Codys stealing a safe from a man named Marion. He’s the owner of a popular skateboard shop. According to Phoenix, 20 years ago, he got into a fight with another man while drunk. He ended up killing said man and Marion’s been blackmailing them because he kept the man’s shirt that also has Phoenix’s blood on it. Why is Marion blackmailing Pamela now? I have no idea.

Also, is Phoenix supposed to be queer? I say this because it felt as if Deran and Phoenix came to an understanding when Phoenix mentioned why he worked for Marion. As a young man, Phoenix wanted to do the opposite of what Pamela wanted. Being under Marion’s wing allowed him to stay away from Pamela and also fulfill his skateboarding passion. It kind of linked to how Deran, when young, wanted to do his own thing as a surfer and how he felt Smurf held him back from realizing his competitive surfing dreams.

I liked the ultimatum Pamela gave the Cody men. If they refused to accept her job in 24 hours, they would need to get out of the house by the end of the week. Also, there’s no guarantee that Pamela will give them Smurf’s belongings even if they did finish the current job. She’s playing with them and I love it. Pamela is the kind of woman who suffers no fools. She realizes the Codys have the skills to do her bidding, but they aren’t the type of men she’s afraid of. They look like spoiled children to her.

I laughed when Deran tried to appear as the alpha of the family in front of Pamela and Lark. Of course, he failed. It didn’t work in the previous episode and I highly doubt it will work down the line. Deran’s just too emotional to be the head of the Cody family.

Due to Andrew being the only one who knew Pamela when he was a kid, I was looking forward to their interaction. It took him a while, but he remembered her. She smelled the same to him. Even though I appreciated Pamela trying to reach out to Andrew, he’s clearly not in the right headspace to talk to her. Fingers crossed she will try again. After what he went through in this episode, Andrew needs all the help he can get.

Pamela offering the Codys a job to win back Smurf’s assets was something the fandom expected. However, I still don’t understand why Smurf decided to leave Pamela everything in the first place. Apparently, the two haven’t even been in contact in years. Pamela had no idea Julia had died. So, why did Smurf mention Pamela in her will? Was it her way to mess with the Cody men from beyond the grave? I would like some answers.

As for the rest of the episode, we got to see Craig go with Frankie to meet the new fence. The fandom’s hunch proved to be correct. Frankie’s in financial trouble. That’s the reason she wanted the 2% from every transaction the Codys made through her fence. Some man named Vladic has been giving Frankie trouble and she’s doing everything possible to avoid him. While I appreciated Craig worrying about Frankie, I wasn’t a fan of those two making out in Frankie’s car.

I guess Craig’s makeout session with Frankie will be used to cause more drama between him and Renn. They continue to struggle to be on the same page while raising baby Nick. The scene where Renn was adamant about being the one to purchase baby formula from the store was very weird. What is she up to?

Joshua and Deran also need to talk things out if they want to continue operating as a family. Joshua wasn’t a fan of Deran contacting Pamela on his own. And Deran’s still mad about Joshua buying a bowling alley and a condo with the money he stole from them. I enjoyed how the two tried to press each other’s buttons over what they should do with the properties they owned. At least, Deran had a point. He bought the bar with his own money. Joshua, on the other hand, bought properties in secret from the money he stole from his uncles. There’s a big difference and Deran isn’t going to back down until Joshua does right by him.

‘Family Business’ also answered what happened to Angela. Turns out, she’s dead and a guy named Shane’s involved. Even though I wasn’t a fan of Angela in the previous season, I’m disappointed about the writers killing her off. I was okay with her living her life offscreen. Her death caused more manpain for Andrew as he searched for and then gave chase to Shane. The entire sequence displayed Andrew’s worsening mental health. He’s forgetting things and hearing voices.

The confrontation with Shane turned into Andrew yelling at Smurf about why she didn’t help Julia. With Andrew finally deciding to leave the Cody house to be on his own, I have no idea what the writers have planned for him. I hope being away from the Codys will give him some clarity, but I doubt it.

Coming to the flashback sequence, we got to see how a young Smurf began forming her network in Oceanside. The way she handled the policeman Jerry was impressive. Smurf’s all about helping others to maintain some level of power over them. Jerry was facing trouble trying to earn money to help treat his mother’s cancer. Smurf striking a deal with him was a very Smurf thing to do. She will continue to give Jerry money if he looked the other way or aided in her criminal activities. Loved it! 

Some other thoughts and questions:

  • I would like to see Lark interact with Joshua. She appeared to be very smart.
  • Are Craig and Renn supposed to be in an open relationship? I would like to know.
  • While I liked Deran finally talking to Andrew about his wellbeing, it was a little too late.
  • Jake had a point about how Smurf shouldn’t involve her little kids in her crimes. But we all know she wasn’t going to listen to him.
  • The ratings for the fifth season of Animal Kingdom appear to be stable. Yay!

What did you think of ‘Family Business?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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