The Cody Boys on 'Animal Kingdom'..
Source: TNT

If 'Animal Kingdom' Follows the Film's Plot, It May Spell Disaster for a Fan Favorite


Sep. 24 2021, Published 10:48 p.m. ET

Spoiler Alert: May contain spoilers for Animal Kingdom Season 5.

TNT's hit crime drama Animal Kingdom follows the Cody family and their countless criminal heists under the control of the matriarch of the family Smurf (Ellen Barkin). Things are shaken up in the Codys' world when 17-year-old J (Finn Cole) moves in with his estranged relatives after his mother's overdose. The series is based on the 2010 Australian film of the same name, and even though it follows the movie's basic premise, the show has taken steps to distinguish itself.

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That being said, similarities still remain between both. The foundation of Animal Kingdom — J adapting to his criminal family— is taken straight from David Michôd's film. While the beginning of the movie and the television show start the same, both go entirely separate ways. The film pays more attention to the Cody family towards the end of their criminal careers and their dealings with unethical, vicious police officers.

The entire cast of 'Animal Kingdom'.
Source: TNT
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The series retains the characters and names but has delivered a more romanticized, beach town setting with adrenaline-filled action sequences and all sorts of drama. Since the series will be ending, fans wonder if it will incorporate more of the film in its fifth season. If so, could that mean killing off a fan-favorite character — Andrew "Pope" Cody (Shawn Hatosy)? Does Pope die in the final season of Animal Kingdom?

Does Pope Cody die in Season 6 of 'Animal Kingdom'?

In Season 3, Episode 1 of Animal Kingdom, Baz Cody (Scott Speedman), Smurf's adopted son, was killed, which somewhat aligns with the events in the film. In the movie, Baz (Joel Edgerton) is shot by a corrupt police officer, and in the series, under Smurf's orders, the Trujillos carry out a hit as revenge for Baz trying to steal her money. Even though how the characters were killed was different, both creations did have Baz meet his fate by being shot.

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In the movie, Pope (Ben Mendelsohn) is also shot. Smurf (Jackie Weaver) feels that "J needs to go" because he's a star witness to the prosecution, and after helping Pope and Darren Cody (Luke Ford) escape jail, he moves back in with Smurf. When J (James Frecheville) moves back in, Pope follows him in his room, and their conversation suddenly ends when J shoots him in the head. Could this happen in the final season of Animal Kingdom? J and Pope have had frequent tensions, especially in Season 1, but they have also had moments where they have bonded.

Pope and J tailing someone on 'Animal Kingdom'.
Source: TNT
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Could Pope become reckless and get out of control, leaving J to kill him to protect the family? Animal Kingdom has a habit of keeping audiences on their toes, so if J were to kill Pope, it could be for many reasons. Or the twist could be that Pope doesn't die in Season 6, with the series opting to not follow the film's lead. Smurf's character is still alive by the movie's end, but she didn't make it past Season 4 on the television show.

Pretty much none of the characters are safe until the very end. In an exclusive interview with Distractify, Shawn wouldn't divulge his character's fate, but he did say, when asked about how the Cody boys' story would end, "This is gonna be tragic." Who knows if Pops ends up dying in Season 6, but we hope he makes it out alive in the series finale.

Animal Kingdom airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on TNT.

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