Welcome to the Season 4 weekly power rankings for Animal Kingdom, in which we assess who's a lion and who's a lichen in the Cody-verse.
Our players in the season premiere, from first to worst…
1. Smurf. Still the queen, styling a new silvery-blonde shade and studded leather jacket; still a monster, impassively watching Pope get pulped in an underground MMA match. Gets off the line of the week -- "a house is not a home until you trash it with the ones you love" -- and, in flashback, promotes diversity among thieves during a Point Break-esque bank heist.
2. Craig. Is our favorite man-bunned id-zilla becoming...perceptive? Enh. Anyone can see Pope's flailing, and Craig's relationship advice isn't hilarious because it's insightful -- but maybe getting ditched by Frankie taught him something? ...jk, she waltzes into his unlocked party sty to propose another job, and he's totally going to do it.
3. Craig and Frankie's accents. Improved...but still landing somewhere between Iceland and New Hampshire at times.
4. J. Should probably rank higher: he's running jobs, keeping Mia satisfied, and making useful hipster-richie friends at the college classes he's acing...but something about his icy heel turn is more irritating than impressive.
5. Deran. No one serves exasperated-sibling realness hotter, but his desire for a peaceful straight life has created a denial that will jeopardize the family thanks to…
6. Adrian. Sucking at both the confidential informing that's keeping him out of jail for that drug-packed surfboard, and the surfing that's keeping him in with Los Cody.
7. Mia. I liked her better when she was a teen Villanelle.
8. Pope. He "wins" his cage match, but does Pope ever really win? (Not at eating, which he's doing like he's still in prison.) The thousand-yard stare is even thousandier than usual, and he seems disappointed Craig didn't let him suicide-by-cop during the getaway he tried to botch.
9. CHiPs. Granted, if they're capable at chases, there's no show...but that was some Roscoe P. Coltrane vehicular incompetence.
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Sarah D. Bunting co-founded Television Without Pity, and her work has appeared in Glamour and New York, and on MSNBC, NPR's Monkey See blog, MLB.com, and Yahoo!. She's also the editor-in-chief and publisher of Tomato Nation, and true-crime blog and podcast The Blotter Presents