Animal Kingdom 5×7 Review: “Splinter”

Splinter Animal Kingdom Season 5 Episode 7 review
Joshua after talking with Pete in ‘Splinter’ (Screengrab – Animal Kingdom Season 5 Episode 7)

‘Splinter’, the title for Animal Kingdom season 5 episode 7, was perfect for what happened. The Cody men are definitely splintered and I hope they can find a way to come together soon, because things are getting dangerous.

‘Splinter’ was all about setting things up for what’s to come. Relationships were tested and basically, no one is on good terms with each other right now. I can just feel things between Joshua and Deran escalating into an all-out fistfight in the next episode.

After Deran asked Joshua to deliver the incriminating shirt from the stolen safe to Pamela, Joshua told Deran about policeman Chadwick wanting to work with the Codys. Smurf had a deal with certain policemen that helped protect the family. Chadwick now wanted the same deal with the Cody men. I was surprised that Joshua told the truth to Deran. Joshua even mentioned how he had asked Chadwick to bring him the police files on the Codys to see if they were under some kind of investigation.

I really thought Joshua was going to keep the files a secret from his uncles and use the information to work some kind of angle. But I guess Joshua wants to gain Deran’s trust? I liked seeing Deran grow a bit worried about Joshua being interested in the police files. Deran hasn’t told Joshua about Livengood asking questions about Adrian and you know Joshua’s not going to appreciate Deran making the family vulnerable like that.

The truth about Livengood’s investigation was going to come out sooner or later. And that’s exactly what happened when Joshua went to meet Pete about finding a potential buyer for all of the drugs the Cody men stole from the cartel. Turns out, Livengood paid a visit to Pete which lead to Pete doing away with Joshua’s hidden stash. There’s no way Pete was going to risk going to jail because of the Codys. And with Pete telling Joshua about how interested Livengood was in Deran, I can’t wait to see what happens next. As I have already mentioned, those two are going to have a very heated confrontation. Young Murderous Nephew vs Youngest Queer Uncle. Let’s go!

Not only has Adrian been giving the Codys trouble through Livengood, but there’s also a rumor spreading in Oceanside about how the Codys allegedly killed Adrian off for some reason. I mean, considering the Cody family’s reputation and the fact Adrian hasn’t been seen in a very long time, such a rumor was going to take shape.

What the heck did Deran expect, though? That everyone was going to be okay with not hearing from Adrian, a well-known surfer in Oceanside, and basically Deran’s husband, for months and be cool about it? People were going to ask questions and such a rumor won’t disappear easily. Apparently, said rumor has already started keeping people away from visiting Deran’s bar.

Even though Adrian hasn’t appeared yet, I’m having fun with how the writers continue to mention him and keep making Deran deal with the consequences of helping Adrian run away to another country. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Adrian does appear during the season finale to cause even more drama.

I still keep coming back to the likelihood of Pamela offering assistance with getting rid of Livengood. We have heard her talk about how she believes Smurf wanted her sons to know she existed as someone they could turn to if they needed help. The flashback sequence in ‘Splinter’ (which I’ll get to in a bit) also showed Pamela arriving to lend Smurf a hand. Hmmm. Let’s see what happens.

As for the rest of the Cody men, I enjoyed Joshua’s interactions with Lark. Their grandmothers allowing them to handle their estate and related paperwork is something these young characters have in common. While I don’t want Joshua to hook up with Lark, I would like to see more of their conversations and how the new generation is taking care of their respective family businesses.

Craig’s regression in ‘Splinter’ is something I wasn’t a fan of. I understand that he’s angry at Deran for involving Renn in the job they pulled during the previous episode, but I think he could have tried to handle things with his younger brother a bit better. Craig wanted Deran to remain in Oceanside and not run away with Adrian.

However, things aren’t going the way Craig planned. He wasn’t expecting Deran to take the reins of the family business and have an ego about it. Craig’s not a fan of Deran making moves without consulting the rest of the group. Deran’s antics reminded him of how Smurf ran things. I really think these two brothers need to have a conversation and Deran has to listen and try to understand where Craig’s coming from.

The same goes for Craig’s argument with Renn. She’s not taking no for an answer and wants to be part of future jobs. But instead of helping her understand why he didn’t want her near the Cody business, Craig got into a shouting match with her. 

Seeing him have a house party and invite teens (under the legal age of drinking) made me roll my eyes. Of course, such young guests weren’t going to party the way Craig’s used to with older folk. Taking the younglings to the pier and then jumping into the ocean made me roll my eyes. Craig needs to get a grip. I was enjoying seeing him wanting to become a better father to Nick. Having him reenter his old fun-and-drugs-loving cycle is something I don’t want to see.

Coming to Andrew, his relationship with Cassandra is going to turn creepy very quickly. You can just tell he didn’t like Cassandra not being able to reconnect with her son Henry because her ex Liam was against it. Going for a swim in Liam’s swimming pool with Cassandra gave Andrew a sense of calmness. He wants to repay her kindness. But I’m worried about how Andrew thinks because his idea of repaying her in kind could involve hurting Liam and bringing Henry to her.

The flashback scenes in ‘Splinter’ involved Janine getting to meet Billy (Deran’s father) for the first time. Kudos to the casting team because the actor playing young Billy really resembled the older Billy (played by Emmy-nominated Denis Leary). She also got a warning from Max to start thinking bigger as a thief if she wanted to survive operating in Oceanside.

In an unexpected move, ‘Splinter’ also brought Pamela back into Janine’s life after Pamela brought Janine’s kids back home. I really thought the two never met each other after their argument in episode 3. But nopes. Pamela made it clear to Janine that she could always count on her.

In a way, having them reconnect makes sense and offers more context as to why Janine left her estate to Pamela after her death. Again, I have a feeling Pamela’s going to help the Codys somehow in the present. I do want to learn what happened between Janine and Pamela down the line, though. What caused Pamela to lose touch with Smurf for a whole lot of years?

Some other thoughts and questions:

  • Deran moving into Smurf’s room, after having his stuff thrown out by Craig from Craig’s old room, was a very bold move. Deran really thinks he’s the rightful heir to Smurf’s empire.
  • Renn beating up a young man and scaring off his other two friends to cement her position as a drug dealer not to be trifled with in Oceanside was cool to see. She knows how to handle herself in a fight.
  • Deran worrying about Andrew and calling his eldest brother to come back home was sweet. If only Deran can reach out to Craig the same way.
  • While Janine isn’t the best mother out there, seeing her being genuinely concerned about Andrew and Julia’s safety because she couldn’t find them at home was a welcome change of pace. We don’t get a lot of motherly scenes from Janine. But when we do get them, they help show a very different side to her, which I appreciate.

What did you think of ‘Splinter’? Can the Cody men come 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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