The big return. After nearly two years off the air, Animal Kingdom is returning with its fifth season on Thursday, July 11, and the stakes are at an all-time high.
When the series returns, Pope (Shawn Hatosy), Craig (Ben Robson), Deran (Jake Weary) and J (Finn Cole) still are reeling from the death of Smurf (Ellen Barkin). While some are in mourning and figuring out how to run their lives without their leader, other family members are seeking revenge.
Additionally, this season features the family searching for more information on Pamela Johnson (played by Pose‘s Charlayne Woodard), the beneficiary of Smurf’s estate — and why she was the one who Smurf chose to leave everything to.
“A big part of the Animal Kingdom world is the danger our characters face every day in this life they’ve chosen. We want to keep the audience guessing in a way that still feels real to our characters’ world. It’s called the Animal Kingdom for a reason,” executive producer John Wells told Deadline after the season 4 finale in 2019. “No one can live forever, and I think an interesting conversation the writers had was about the power dynamics of this family. What happens when the power shifts? How did Baz’s death change the family? How would the Cody boys survive without their mother? It will be fascinating to see our characters’ growth or reversion in the face of that loss.”
Since its 2016 debut, the series has circled around the Codys and their crime-filled activities, and will be following two different timelines: One is in the present, following the Cody boys, and the other will follow Smurf at 29, showing the inception of the ruthless family.
For the full rundown on the first four seasons, watch a full recap here.
‘Animal Kingdom’ Key Art.Without Smurf, anything can happen — and will — when season 5 debuts. Additionally, TNT announced this summer that the show will return for one final sixth season, featuring Kevin Csolak and Darren Mann as young versions of Pope and Scott Speedman’s Baz, respectively.
Season 5 of Animal Kingdom debuts on TNT Sunday, July 11, at 9 p.m. ET.