Animal Kingdom 5×9 Review: “Let It Ride”

Let It Ride Animal Kingdom Season 5 Episode 9 review
Joshua trying to smile for Lark in ‘Let It Ride’ (Screengrab: Animal Kingdom Season 5 Episode 9)

In Animal Kingdom season 5 episode 9, titled ‘Let It Ride’, the writers allowed the Cody men to work on their relationships. And Joshua decided to expand the family’s criminal empire.

After Deran, Craig, and Joshua got into an intense physical fight in the previous episode, ‘Let It Ride’ showed them coming together while Andrew continued his wellness journey. It’s revealed that Joshua did listen to Deran’s suggestion and sold off his condo to bring in some cash money for the family. Apparently, Smurf’s money-laundering system had some flaws and Joshua’s ready to fix those as well as find new ways to keep building wealth.

I couldn’t help but smile when Joshua presented his ideas to Deran. I get that Deran’s into running the family business, but he’s not as smart as Joshua. Deran’s not familiar with the legal intricacies of laundering money. He was also kind of uninterested while Joshua was talking. Deran might present a good idea or suggestion during a discussion, but I think even he understood that Joshua’s got to be the one to handle the books.

As someone wanting more interactions between Joshua and Lark, I liked seeing Joshua pay her to work for the Cody family. I was surprised to learn that Lark’s a legit lawyer and that Pamela kept her granddaughter away from the criminal side of things. Lark’s not going to get involved in Joshua’s plans (for now), but she’s willing to find Joshua a criminal attorney. Also, the smile Joshua gave her made me laugh out loud. That little murderer needs to work on giving a genuine smile.

Another one of Joshua’s goals involved paying Officer Chadwick. It was a risky move, but the Cody family needed someone in the police department and Chadwick did come through with providing the files Joshua wanted. While it made sense for Andrew to be suspicious of Chadwick, I doubt Chadwick will betray the family (at least, not yet). Chadwick was in need of extra money and the Codys were ready to offer him just that. I liked how he negotiated his fee and asked for more because he knew what he was worth.

Turns out, Chadwick knew about Livengood snooping around. Apparently, Livengood’s trying to get a warrant by using the fact that someone’s been sending Adrian money. Most of the fandom thought it was Deran who had been sending Adrian the cash. But ‘Let It Ride’ revealed that it was Adrian’s sister Jess who had been transferring money to her brother in Indonesia. And Deran couldn’t have that continue because Livengood was closing in.

The conversation between Jess and Deran was emotionally charged. She brought up some good points. What was Deran’s plan, in the long run, when he sent Adrian away to another country? Deran did give Adrian money to help set him up with a new place in Indonesia, but what then? Did he expect Adrian to learn the language, give surfing lessons, and figure out how to live alone in a foreign country away from his family? Jess wasn’t ready to sever her connection with Adrian even if Deran was willing to never contact him ever again (to keep Adrian and the Cody family safe). Jess even blamed Deran for playing a role in making Adrian get involved with drug trafficking.

Her words got to Deran and near the end of ‘Let It Ride’, he told Andrew that he should have been strong enough to deal with Adrian the way Smurf wanted him to. Deran’s choice to save Adrian’s life had put the entire family at risk. I liked how Andrew squashed Deran’s opinion. Deran’s not a killer. He did what he thought was right out of love. Andrew understood that. Here’s hoping Deran stops feeling unnecessarily guilty about his decision.

With only four episodes left, I’m looking forward to seeing how the Cody family will handle the Livengood situation. Deran did warn Jess about Livengood and how she should stop sending Adrian money. Let’s see if she does that.

The issue Deran had to deal with involved the owner of ‘Sun of a Beach’ and how that new bar was taking business away from Deran’s bar. Craig urged his younger brother to do something about it. Craig’s idea to ruin the party planned by ‘Sun of a Beach’ was a nice one. He promised to pay the food vendors double if they came over to Deran’s establishment instead.

The confrontation between Deran and his competitor reminded us that Deran didn’t like competition. The statement about how the broken surfboards decorating Deran’s bar were a metaphor for his failure to go pro as a surfer really pushed a button. Of course, Deran was going to beat the ‘Sun of a Beach’ owner up after hearing that.

But Deran can’t go around beating up every competitor, right? Things were rapidly changing in Oceanside even if Deran and Craig didn’t like said changes. The two of them need to get with the program because they can’t stop the inevitable. 

Coming to the flashbacks, they were about Janine gaining the upper hand on Manny. She paid Manny’s gambling debt to Pete Senior and opened the door to a new partnership with Pete Senior’s crew. With Manny now indebted to Janine, you know she’s going to make him pay.

The way her interactions with Manny changed, after making the payment, made me excited. Janine used her motherly voice to address Manny. It was the same voice an adult Smurf used when she wanted to manipulate her sons and Joshua. There’s always a catch when she’s showing affection to someone. You could see the worry in Manny’s face.

Also, seeing Baz’s mom during the flashback was an unexpected yet welcome surprise. I’m not against a baby Baz showing up soon. The current episode mentioned him a lot. The Cody men got emotional over finding Baz’s file in the boxes Chadwick gave them access to.

‘Let It Ride’ could be considered a filler episode. I liked it because it allowed the Cody men to regroup. And, in my opinion, it’s good to give the main characters a bit of a breather before things get intense again.

Other thoughts and questions:

  • Yes to Andrew throwing out everything Smurf bought for his room. It’s nice to see him decorate his space the way he wanted to. Also, he’s gone back to skateboarding. I just want him to continue getting better.
  • Cassandra sent Andrew a postcard implying that she and her son (whom Andrew helped kidnap in the previous episode) had crossed the border to Canada. Good for them!
  • I’m still waiting for Pam to play a bigger role in the present. I want her and the Cody men to interact more.
  • As expected, Craig and Renn got into a fight over her selling drugs and making her own money. I rolled my eyes at Craig wanting Renn to be more like Smurf and focus on cooking food and taking care of Nick, but not tapping into the criminal side of her personality.
  • Even though Deran had burned all of Adrian’s belongings, poor Deran’s still not ready to let go of the house he and Adrian bought. He even refused to allow Craig to take it even though he and Renn needed more space for Nick.

What did you think of ‘Let It Ride’? Are you glad to see the Cody men getting back to working together?

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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