SPOILER ALERT: All will be revealed about the shocking turn of events in this season’s penultimate episode “Animal Kingdom”, so fans who have yet to watch may want to stop reading until they’ve seen it.
“Animal Kingdom” aired its the season’s next-to-last episode this week, and fans were stunned to see the show’s key character snuffed out.
At the end of the episode of the gritty TNT drama about a crime family, matriarch/mob boss Janine “Smurf” Cody (Ellen Barkin) was gunned down by her own grandson, J (Finn Cole).
In an interview with TV Insider “Animal Kingdom” exec producer John Wells addressed Barkin’s exit from the series. “We had lots of conversations about it in advance,” he said. “I have great respect for Ellen and I think she was surprised that the show was continuing as long as it did. We presented it and talked about it as a really strong story.”
Added Wells: “I can’t speak for Ellen, but as an actor, she’s used to doing movies where she does something for like three months and then off you go. So, I think again, I can’t speak for her, but I think she was surprised she stayed alive as long as she did!”
However, as fans took to Twitter to share their dismay about Smurf being killed off, Barkin’s behaviour seemed to be at odds with Wells’ characterization that she was on board with exiting the show as she began liking tweets that lambasted the show for killing off her character.
Barkin capped things off with a snarky tweet of her own. “Next episode Smurf’s will is opened. She left her boys a hit tv show,” she wrote. “Carry on Codys… well, maybe not all Codys.”
“Animal Kingdom” has already been renewed for a fifth season, and will return sometime next year.