'Animal Kingdom' Season 4 Is Coming to Amazon: What to Expect

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TNT

The fourth season of the TNT drama about the thieving Cody family takes a trip back in time. But this is no romp down memory lane: Flashbacks to the late 1970s show how devious matriarch Janine "Smurf" Cody (Ellen Barkin, above) learned the tricks of the criminal trade as a young woman (Leila George).

As Animal Kingdom executive producer John Wells puts it, "How in the hell did Smurf become Smurf?" 

'Animal Kingdom' EP Talks Saying Goodbye to Smurf and What's NextSee Also

'Animal Kingdom' EP Talks Saying Goodbye to Smurf and What's Next

Showrunner John Wells is breaking down the shocking episode and answering all of our questions.

In the present, things haven't calmed at all as Smurf faces her own mortality: a frightening health diagnosis, which keeps her sidelined from steering the family crimes. That means her offspring—loose cannon Andrew, aka Pope (Shawn Hatosy), determined Deran (Jake Weary) and irresponsible Craig (Ben Robson) as well as manipulative grandson J (Finn Cole)—all vie to call the shots, creating more vulnerabilities. 

Enter recovering addict Angela (Bones' Emily Deschanel), who has a past with the family and knows how they function in their dysfunction. "She sees this as an opportunity to come in and manipulate," says Deschanel.

Emily Deschanel Animal Kingdom Season 4

(Jesse Giddings/TNT)

But, no matter what dangerous game is being played, an unhappy ending could come for anyone. "It's the animal kingdom," reminds Wells. "People are going to die."

Animal Kingdom, Season 4, Wednesday, July 29, Amazon Prime Video