J and Baz in a church on 'Animal Kingdom'.
Source: TNT

Is Baz Blackwell Actually J Cody's Father on 'Animal Kingdom'?

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Sep. 17 2021, Published 9:49 p.m. ET

TNT’s crime drama Animal Kingdom follows the life of J Cody (Finn Cole) after he reconnects with his estranged family following the overdose of his mother, Julia. J moves in with them and finds out pretty quickly that the Cody family isn't the average family. Ruled by their ruthless matriarch Smurf (Ellen Barkin), J’s four uncles — Baz (Scott Speedman), Craig (Ben Robson), Deran (Jake Weary), and Pope (Shawn Hatosy) — perform high-risk, edge-of-your-seat heists to keep their criminal empire afloat.

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Over the last five seasons, Animal Kingdom has had no shortage of drama and issues, with the majority being between the members of the Cody family. Among the problems that were presented in Season 1 was J trying to figure out who his absent father was. To his surprise, J finds out that the title may actually belong to his so-called uncle Baz. J is introduced to Baz when he moves in with Cody family, and that's also when he learns how he fits into the family since his mother never spoke about him.

Baz, J and Smurf talking in the living room on 'Animal Kingdom'.
Source: TNT
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When did Baz move in with Smurf on 'Animal Kingdom'?

Smurf removed Baz from an abusive upbringing and adopted him when he was 12 years old. So most likely, he moved in with her when he was adopted or was taken in by the family sometime before that. Smurf took Baz under her wing, and before long, he became involved in her criminal schemes and was second-in-command under the matriarch. In Season 1, Episode 3, Smurf talks to J about Baz after J asks her if she knew who his father was.

She tells him, "Your mom always had a lot of guys around, J. I just know she only loved one of them. I tried to make him feel like a part of the family. I could take him in. I could make him my son, but I could not make him her brother." When J asks Smurf if she is talking about Baz, he is met with silence. However, that isn't the last time that the topic of J's father came up between them.

In episode 8, J decides to go straight to the source to find out if Baz was his father.

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J talks to Baz and asks him if he's his father.
Source: TNT

When J confronts Baz, Baz doesn't confirm or deny whether he's the kid's father and says, "What if I am? It's too late to matter, isn't it?" He pretty much brushes J off, and just like Smurf, he also confirms that Julia slept with quite a few men back in her day. J knows that since Baz doesn't entirely shut him down, there is a possibility that he could be his father.

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During Season 2, Episode 13, Baz tries to make J believe that he's not his father when he finds out that Smurf made J the Power of Attorney over her properties. He tells J that one of Smurf's creepy boyfriends had sex with Julia while she was unconscious by the pool, "And nine months later, you popped out." Audiences were thrown for a loop, but it was apparent that J didn't believe the story.

So, is Baz really J's father?

In the Season 3 premiere of Animal Kingdom, it was revealed that Baz was, in fact, J's father; unfortunately, it came after Baz's death. When J goes to visit Smurf in prison, she says to him, It's horrible having your father murdered like that", and when J asks for confirmation that Baz is his father, she goes on to say, "'Course, he was, sweetie."

Then later in the season, she gives the audience and J more confirmation that Baz was his dad when she gives J Baz's cut of the money she had left in her storage. When J doesn't want to accept it, his grandmother notes, "That's Baz's share. You're Baz's son. The money belongs to you." It's unfortunate for J that Baz never told him to his face that he was his father.

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

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