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‘Animal Kingdom’: Everything to Know Before the Season 3 Premiere

Not caught up on Animal Kingdom? Not to worry. Us Weekly is highlighting the top moments from the first two seasons leading up to season 3, which premieres on Tuesday, May 29.

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From the moment Animal Kingdom kicked off, it’s been filled with action-packed moments – and they’ve yet to let up. TNT’s crime drama centers around the Codys, a dysfunctional family of criminals in Southern California. Janine “Smurf” Cody (played by Ellen Barkin) leads the family as the matriarch, with her four sons at her behest. Scott Speedman takes on the role of Baz, her adopted son, while Shawn Hatosy, Ben Robson and Jake Weary play her other sons Pope, Craig and Deran, respectively. Finn Cole plays her grandson J, who joins the family after the death of his mother.

TNT Animal Kingdom

During the first season, viewers quickly learned that while J may be the youngest, he’s been through enough that his age won’t hold him back. After his mother dies of a heroin overdose, he moves in with Smurf’s family, immediately getting swept up in the throes of a life of crime. Smurf plans elaborate heists, which the boys then execute. The family business usually thrives on this paradigm. Each of the boys seem bent on demonstrating their competence to Smurf in the hopes of getting to lead a heist of their own. As the season progresses, viewers learned that Smurf can be cloying, manipulative and cutthroat, but she always manages to keep their loyalty. A prime example of this flawed dynamic is when she convinces Pope to kill Baz’s wife, Catherine, after suspecting that she may be in communication with the police.

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Season 2 reveals even more family baggage: Craig’s deadbeat father, Deran comes out as gay, and Pope gets involved with a Christian woman when the family decides to rob a megachurch (needless to say, the relationship doesn’t work out). Perhaps most importantly, Baz finds out that Pope killed his wife at the request of Smurf, to which he retaliates by setting Smurf up for murder. All of these events begin to erode the foundation of trust within the family, and the season ends with Baz being shot by a hooded gunman whose identity remains a secret.

Season 3 promos show Baz being rushed to the hospital (will he live or die?), Smurf’s attempt to run the family from prison with J as her appointed right-hand, and a recurring new character played by Denis Leary. The overarching question becomes: Is the family strong enough to withstand this degree of corruption and tragedy, or will they fracture completely?

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Season 3 of Animal Kingdom premieres on TNT on Tuesday, May 29, at 9 p.m. ET.

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