Animal Kingdom Season 5: Can J's Steath & Cunning Make Him The Alpha?

With the fifth season of TNT's Animal Kingdom blazing a trail back to our screens this July, Deran (Jake Weary), Pope (Shawn Hatosy), Craig (Ben Robson), and J (Finn Cole) face a whole new world now that Smurf (Ellen Barkin) has shuffled off this mortal coil. Heavy is the head that wears the crown (and it makes it an easy target, too) as the boys attempt to secure the family's seat at the head of the table. But they'll face those looking for answers about Smurf and others looking to challenge the Codys' power- all willing to spill blood to get what they want. But the challenges come from within, too- as Deran, Pope, Craig, and J each make it known that they're looking to lead the family into the future. Previously, viewers were treated to a key art profile of Hatosy's Pope as an "apex predator" – an unpredictable animal with a bad habit of feeding into his own worst (and violent) urges. This time around, the focus shifts to Cole's J. Unlike Pope, J is a hunter who lays low and pursues his prey with stealth and cunning. Those who underestimate him usually end up paying a price- a very dear one, as we've seen.

animal kingdom
Image: TNT

In the newest teaser for TNT's Animal Kingdom (premiering Sunday, July 11, at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT), the Codys want to make sure the world knows that "Bad is Back"… and business is good:

Here's a look back at the Season 5 trailer released earlier this month making the July return official:

In "Animal Kingdom" season five, Pope (Shawn Hatosy), Craig (Ben Robson), Deran (Jake Weary) and J (Finn Cole) are still dealing with the fallout from the events surrounding Smurf's death, including family members out for revenge. With their kingdom without a leader, the Cody family's struggle to maintain their fragile alliance, and to see which of them will come out on top. Meanwhile, they search for more information on Pamela Johnson whom Smurf made the beneficiary of her estate. And back in 1984, an increasingly volatile 29-year-old Smurf is forging her own path raising Pope and Julia and leading the charge on dangerous jobs with new and old friends.

Jasper Polish (Force of Nature), Darren Mann (Fortunate Son), Kevin Csolak (Boardwalk Empire), and Stevie Lynn Jones (Nancy Drew) are set to join the cast in recurring roles during what's expected to be a 2022 debut for the sixth and final season. Now here's a look at "who's who" during the show's final run, beginning with Polish's Julia- a beautiful, intelligent, and edgy. Although she's an excellent student, she's also the type of chick who sells tabs of LSD because she thinks it's cool. She's torn between loving and hating her mother, Smurf.

animal kingdom
Image: Screencap

Csolak's Andrew is intense and struggling with an undiagnosed mental illness. He possesses a simmering rage but also instinctively searches for redemption as he struggles with his darkest impulses. He is completely devoted to Smurf, to his best friend Baz, and his twin sister Julia. Mann's Baz is a charismatic opportunist who will do whatever is necessary to ensure his own safety. He's not above pitting the other kids against each other in his effort to ingratiate himself with Smurf, who sees him more as a partner (personally and professionally) than as her adopted son. Stevie Lynn Jones' Penny is an intelligent, beautiful young woman in her early 20s. A rule breaker in her youth, she's trying to stay on the straight and narrow. She's stuck in a loveless marriage to a Marine- though she and she and J will become dangerously close.

And since you're here…

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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