Animal Kingdom will be back for Season Two, May 30th on TNT. To warm fans up, we’ll do a quick piece each week until the premier. Since this Sunday is Mother’s Day, let’s show Smurf some appreciation.
On Animal Kingdom, Ellen Barkin plays the family matriarch, Smurf. How does she keep all these boys, who are twice her size, in line? The same way every mom does – guilt and manipulation. She however goes a little overboard. In the first season we see her drug Pope’s food and mess up his parole. (But let’s be honest, Pope needs to be on meds.) She stole her own dead daughter’s sweater and lied about it, pretending she and her daughter were so close that they had the same taste in clothes. She has so much power over them that she was able to convince Pope to kill Baz’s girlfriend, Catherine. Catherine is possibly the only woman Pope ever truly cared about.
- This first moment is probably Smurf’s least manipulative. It is “Mom Manipulation 101.” Craig is awoken by the sound of the coffee grinder – AGAIN. He comes into the kitchen buck naked to destroy it. She tells him he can do what he wants since he gave it to her. It stops him in his tracks.
He is visibly confused, and she “reminds” him that when he FORGOT her birthday, she bought the coffee maker and wrapped it for him. “I loved it, baby,” adding, “Will your girlfriends be joining us for breakfast?” Translation: Aren’t I a cool, forgiving, mom?
- She told everyone that it was too risky to fence the watches they stole because of the dead police officer. She makes everyone melt down their take of the heist. But she keeps a stash of the watches for herself. I wonder if she’s going to try to sell them down the road, or use them to blackmail the boys on the officer’s death.
- She kidnapped her own granddaughter at the grocery store. She never looked to see if Lena’s babysitter or mom was present. She knew perfectly well that Lena hadn’t been left alone. But she called Lena’s mom ungrateful and blamed her for the kidnapping.
- Just as Craig is telling Smurf he won’t work for her anymore, she tells him he has more potential than any of the other boys because he’s the strongest and fearless. Translation: You’re my favorite. This was right after she gave away his motorcycle to a bunch of thugs who pretended to give him an overdose of heroin. Nice.
- Finally, when Josh tries to leave town in search of the guy he thinks might be his father, Smurf shows up at the train station. (She knew where he was because she tracks the GPS on all the boys’ phones.) She suggests that Baz is Josh’s dad to keep him from leaving. “Your mom had lots of guys around. But only one she loved.” We may never know for sure if Baz is his dad, but this worked. Josh didn’t leave.
For good measure, here’s a manipulative moment to look forward to in Season Two. The guys may not be taking it anymore. Or they will turn on each other for her affections. Either way, it will be entertaining!
Next week we’ll cover some of Pope’s creepiest moments!
Picture Source: TNT Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom Season Two will air on TNT, Tuesdays starting May 30, 2017.
Animal Kingdom on TNT is the American drama based on the 2010 Australian movie by the same name. It follows the Cody’s, a crime family headed by Ellen Barkin’s character, Smurf. It features Scott Speedman, Ben Robson, Shawn Hatosy and Jake Weary as her biological and adopted sons. We are introduced to the family when Smurf’s cunning grandson, Joshua, comes to live with them after his mother dies of an overdose.