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. (Miss last week's rankings? View them here)
Our players in Episode 3, from first to worst…
1. Mia (Sohvi Rodriguez). Fed up with serving as J's errand girl, she executes Tupi's friend -- primarily, it seems, for nostalgically skeezing on her -- in front of J. Her response to J's frustrated inability to find a gangland lawyer ("try Yelp") is possibly the line of the week. Hard to tell if Rodriguez's performance is purposefully ambiguous or if she's just not that expressive, but it works for the character... [Last week: 2]
2. Craig (Ben Robson). He's flummoxed by the art-heist job 'til Frankie reframes it as a puzzle, and coos that she didn't hire the Codys; she hired him. Inspired by this (rare...and correctly so) confidence in his smarts, Craig figures out how to leverage the rich owner's fears to set up the theft. Also looks great in a suit. [Last week: 3]
3. Deran (Jake Weary) and Adrian (Spencer Treat Clark). Deran's snark is a consistent highlight (coming upon Pope staring at a turned-off TV, he murmurs, "Good show?") but the pointed dialogue he's getting to underline how guilty Adrian feels is clanky as hell, and it's off-brand for him to be the Cody who's this naive. [Last week: 4]
4. Pope (Shawn Hatosy). Okay, watching a TV that isn't on isn't great. The weird bonding with Angela when it's possible she was more involved with his late twin's demise than she's letting on also isn't great. But he takes the job Deran offers him -- complete with prim horror at finding a mouse in the bar's fryer -- so perhaps Deran's insistence on bringing him into the art heist will pay off with a helpful and focused Pope. ...HAHAHAHA it won't. [Last week: 6]
5. J (Finn Cole). Can't find a lawyer, doesn't understand what or who Mia is, nearly soils himself when she shoots Raisin Wine Kid...but at least I'm not the only one who thinks Angela's super-shady. [Last week: 5]
6. Smurf (Ellen Barkin). Flashback Smurf talks tough to her ex-boyf about nobody owning her, but she's drifting, getting high, and her turgid metaphorizing about old animals at the zoo reads like false bravado. (And: bra, lady, seriously.) It's far worse in the present, though, as Smurf is diagnosed with a melanoma, and it's metastasized everywhere. (Sunscreen, readers, seriously.) [Last week: 1]
7. Angela (Emily Deschanel). The revelation from J that he used to have to shoot her up, and that she stole Julia's stash and ditched them, is stern stuff, but she's not ranked last for that. No, she's ranked last for 1) only admitting to Pope how shit went down when she sees Pope and J talking on the security cam, and 2) having, in my opinion, an agenda we haven't seen yet. Points for asking both Pope and J why they're still bunking at the toxic Chez Smurf, but I suspect she wanted actionable answers, if you know what I mean, and what I mean is this: I think DOC gave her early release in exchange for spying on the Codys. [Last week: n/a]
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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!. Find her at her true-crime newsletter, Best Evidence, and on TV podcasts Extra Hot Great and Again With This.
TOPICS: Animal Kingdom, TNT, Ellen Barkin, Animal Kingdom power rankings