Animal Kingdom : Finn Cole as Joshua J Cody, Smurf’s grandson who moves in with her and his uncles following the death of his mother, Julia, who was Pope’s twin sister. J is the only one who will challenge Smurf and wants to take power over her and her life. Animal Kingdom Season 3 premiered on TNT at 9/8c on June 14th, 2018. Finn Cole as Joshua J Cody – The Only One Who Will Challenge Smurf
Table of Contents
A new family member
Finn Cole, (Happy Valley) makes his debut in Animal Kingdom with a potentially series-changing performance as J. We wanted someone who could shake up our family dynamics, says Showrunner John Wells of Cole’s casting. J is Smurf’s (Ellen Barkin) grandson—Pope’s twin sister Julia was his mother. Following her death, J has been living in a boarding school and gets sent to live with Pope (Shawn Hatosy), Baz (Scott Speedman), Craig (Ben Robson) and Kelly (Serinda Swan). When he arrives, he reveals that he not only has some ideas about running things differently, but that there is a deep darkness inside him—something he hides from his new family for now.
Shedding light on different points of view
Finn Cole, one of four actors who will play young brothers in TNT’s Animal Kingdom, gives us his take on his character and working with Ellen Barkin. Q: I read that your character is a juvenile delinquent. Does that mean we might see you getting in trouble? A: It means what it says! He is a delinquent.
He was put into a detention center when we meet him. So he’s someone who’s been around the block once or twice and is looking for redemption. Q: Does that mean you get to do some fighting? A: Yeah, I get to fight Ellen Barkin! And she actually gets to beat me up quite severely in an episode—and I don’t mind her doing it at all.
Tricking someone into being wrong
In psychology, there’s a term called ego syntonic. This refers to when people like things that make them feel good about themselves. We all do it from time to time, whether we’re making conscious decisions or not. Sure, everyone can spot obvious examples of it (I don’t care what you think about X because I know it’s great!), but ego syntonic is often subtle. It can be present in perfectly rational decisions without us even realizing it. And that’s how marketers and advertisers work their magic: they appeal to our ego syntonic by creating messages that align with our existing beliefs and desires. And then they offer a solution to those desires. There are two main ways they do it: 1) by giving us something positive and 2) by taking away something negative. Let’s look at each one individually:
A positive message will tell you something is good for you, which is appealing because it makes you feel good about yourself.
New perspectives from different characters
For seven seasons, we’ve been following Pope’s rise to power in both TNT’s Animal Kingdom and CBS’ Criminal Minds. In season eight of both shows, we see things from a different perspective when Smurf ‘moves up’ and is no longer under Pope’s thumb.
When Smurf moves in with her grandsons on TNT’s Animal Kingdom (Friday nights at 9:00 p.m.), it gives us an opportunity to get inside her head without having her hide behind her tough exterior as she does with Pope. This new vantage point allows us to see how powerful she really is and that once she pulls everyone together, there will be no stopping them.
The coming together of two opposing personalities
Much of Animal Kingdom’s story is about Pope and Smurf. Each wants to lead her family, each will do whatever it takes to hold on to power and each believes she is doing what’s best for everyone. In many ways, Pope and Smurf are opposites: Pope is blunt, pragmatic and in-your-face while Smurf is calm, thoughtful and concerned with appearances. She has a reputation to uphold and a long history of being underestimated by those around her; she’ll often apologize before delivering bad news or cut off people who are talking out of turn, never raising her voice but always letting others know they’ve overstepped their bounds.
Powerful moments between siblings
Animal Kingdom is a family drama in which family roles have changed following one person’s death. A grandmother is trying to keep her family together after Julia Pope’s (Emmy Rossum) death. Pope was more than just Smurf’s (Ellen Barkin) sister, she was Smurf’s daughter and confidant. Now, with her gone, Smurf wants to keep her grandson close and make sure that his uncles are out of his life forever. Unfortunately for Smurf, it seems like she isn’t going to be able to get rid of them anytime soon and she has no choice but to share her house with them since they already lost their home.
In a few episodes last season, viewers were introduced to Pope’s other adult son, Michael Mike Pope (Brett Tucker), and his two daughters, Angel (Laura Tarver) and Sierra (Serinda Swan). As fans can imagine, their arrival brought some tense moments into an already-conflicted family. It was revealed that Mike abandoned Smurf in order to help raise his girls after Julia’s death, leaving him with some ‘splaining to do when he and his girls showed up on her doorstep. When asked why he didn’t return to Texas sooner when Smurf first started having health problems due to cancer, he said because they were busy trying to save their own lives after falling on hard times.
Roles are Changed within a Family Unit
While they are really more of a blended family than anything else, Pope and Smurf have three adult sons with whom they live; Jerome (Cuba Gooding Jr.), Bryan (Nelsan Ellis), and Craig (Shawn Hatosy). It has been years since anyone has seen or heard from their youngest son, Andrew (Johnny Whitworth), who is still away at school. Given that she’s Pope, it makes sense that Julia would be extremely protective of her husband, Frank Elwood Pope III. Also known as Gump, he’s an up-and-coming political candidate who will do just about anything to ensure his own rise to power.