The Final Score is among us as the landmark series Animal Kingdom comes to an end.
After six seasons of thrills, action, heists, surfing, brawls, badassery, and so much more, we’ll say goodbye to the Codys, ending the chapter of this beloved summer hit series with Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 13.
The Codys have ruled our hearts and reigned supreme for six incredible seasons. But every chapter must come to its close.
And we can confirm that the series finale will have you on the edge of your seats from the opening all the way to the end credits.
They left everything on the floor with some tremendous and perfectly choreographed action sequences, emotionally wrought performances, and a few surprises.
You can anticipate a finale that delivers on the emotional notes every bit as much as the adrenaline-fueled action, brings character arcs to an organic end, and follows through in its execution of the series’ storytelling.
Fans will definitely be talking, for better and/or worse. And you’ll want to relive the series all over again.
TV Fanatic tried to score as much intel as possible in preparation for the series finale this Sunday at 9/8c.
Not only do we have an exclusive clip for you, but we got to speak with one of the brilliant minds behind the series, too.
We caught up with Animal Kingdom’s showrunner, Daniele Nathanson, who also penned the episode, to get some teasers about what we can expect in the explosive final installment of this series.
If you’ve watched Animal Kingdom Season 6 Episode 12, you know it was a pivotal turning point that set the finale up perfectly and still has us abuzz with all the possibilities.
J, Deran, and Craig are preparing for their most challenging job to date: freeing the eldest Cody from prison and making off with their respective spoils from the money they’ve amassed.
Deran and Craig have their contingency plans in place, each hoping to reunite with the loves of their lives, be it in Thailand or Indonesia.
And Pope is lying in wait, trusting that his brothers will break him free amid a perfectly orchestrated prison transfer.
But as we saw from the final moments of the installment, it appears J has other plans. In a shocking move, J transfers the $5 million to an account for which his girlfriend Penny gave him permanent authorization, and it seems he only left his uncles with nothing more than $10 to their names.
But will J go through with this betrayal? What does it mean for Pope’s prison break? Will the notion of “family first” compel him to change his mind? Is all of this just a ruse?
“J may have doubted at certain points,” Nathanson teases when we asked about J potentially following through with betraying his uncles. “Life gets complicated, and connections are formed.”
She acknowledges that things are complicated when J and his uncles have bonded and leaned on each other over the years, so that definitely could factor into his plans.
But on the flip side, she warns that the season, primarily via its flashbacks, has given viewers enough background to show why J may be out for revenge.
“That’s what we tried to do in season six — remind people why [J] may not have just let this all go,” the showrunner shares.
The absolutely gut-wrenching scene of Smurf banishing her eldest and only daughter from the Cody empire served as a reminder of how awful Smurf was.
So much of the season has revolved around Julia as it built to her seemingly inevitable descent.
We started with an intelligent girl, bound for college, fiercely loyal to her brother, and gave her heart to Baz, and now we see this poor girl who fought a losing battle with Smurf.
The moment Smurf cast her out of the family for theft; something Smurf taught her to do, Julia didn’t stand a chance out on her own.
Fans have been curious to learn when Julia became an addict. We got our answers with Julia’s first experience with heroin as a callous Smurf refused to acknowledge that her daughter was strung out on a beach somewhere.
We’ve had many questions answered throughout the season, but there are still many more as we head into the series finale. And you can trust and believe that we’re getting a hell of a conclusion that will have fans reeling long after the credits roll.
We asked Nathanson about the challenge of serving up a worthwhile end to such a great series and staying true to the characters and viewers in the process.
“What was most important was that we gave a finale worthy of a really great show. We want the audience to feel that they were given a worthy finale of something that we’ve all invested a lot of time in,” she shared.
“In terms of the pressure, as the writer of this specific episode, I wanted to land these emotional landings for the characters, you know, and the people who became so invested in these characters. I just want people to feel there was a resolution.”
Nathanson doesn’t know if everybody will be happy with where and how things end, as it’s impossible to appease everyone. Still, she definitely worked to stay true to the characters and story they intended to tell, and she wanted to go out on a strong note.
As the adrenaline-filled series finale unfolds, that comes to light in every way. And the performances from the cast, cinematography, editing, and sequences come together to support her intentions and how she wanted things to conclude.
With the nostalgia kicking in already as we head into the finale, we asked Nathanson what she hoped would be Animal Kingdom’s legacy after its successful six-season run.
“I hope it’ll be remembered as an exciting, adrenaline-filled, fun show that is also a dark family drama that deals with some intergenerational trauma and the love of brothers. We have some really incredible performances. I think we have incredible actors.”
On the topic of adrenaline-filled fun, we have an exclusive clip of the finale, and it features Deran and Cody’s risky plan to break Pope free.
In the clip, we see Deran and Craig, in particular, by the side of the road, setting things in place to trigger a crash that will send Pope’s prison caravan careening off the road.
Check out the clip below! Don’t forget to check back for our review and more exclusive content ahead of and after the finale.
The series finale of Animal Kingdom airs on TNT on Sunday, August 28.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.