15 saddest character deaths and departures, Ranked

Animal Kingdom is one of TNT’s most successful original shows, and every single episode has viewers on the edge of their seats. A major source of suspense in the series is driven by the fact that it is willing to print any character, including its incredible main lady. This show is certainly not afraid to pull in everyone’s heartstrings and cut the lead role over in an intense and brutal way.

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Some of these characters have met their fatal death, while others have just packed up and gone. But not surprisingly, some of these departures were much more emotionally charged and influential than others.

Updated January 8, 2021 by Hilary Elizabeth: Animal Kingdom certainly lives up to its title theme, referring only to the strongest survivors in the brutal world of organized crime. Each season of the series seems to get bloodier and bloodier, so with that in mind, this article has been changed to include the latest killings and escapes in the show.

15 Mia

Most fans shouted at the television screen for J to finally end this girl’s nonsense. This character started working for Smurf, and viewers quickly find out that she was the finger behind the trigger of Baz ‘death.

If that was not enough to make everyone hate her, she killed Lucy too. In addition, she’s just not a sweet person and is not an appealing character. However, she lasted 20 full episodes until she met her death thanks to J’s bullet in “Ambo”, in season 5.

14 Tupi

animal kingdom tupi

The only real thing that Tupi has over his girlfriend Mia in terms of sympathy is simply that he was not around as long as she was and therefore he was not that annoying.

He had it all figured out for J and was foolish enough not only to take a move against Codys and steal their latest score, but to actually carry evidence of his betrayal around his neck. Given how stupid he was, it’s a miracle that he survived as long as he did.


13 Jed

Jed looks at Colin in Animal Kingdom

Smurfs have run into a lot of ugly people throughout her life, so being the one she nurtures is so deep that she is willing to die for it says something.

Colin was Janine’s best friend, but his brother Jed was absolutely awful. He exploited Smurf when she was most vulnerable and when his own brother had just died. So it comes as no surprise that when Smurf realizes she’s dying, she’s willing to go out into a flame of glory, just to get out of Jed.

12 Morgan Wilson

Morgan Wilson and Animal Kingdom

Morgan Wilson was the lawyer (The Smurfs’ lawyer), and she was hardly less annoying than Mia Benitez. While Smurf was in prison, this woman repeatedly met with J to decide some financial issues.

It turns out that J drew a Uno card and manipulated this manipulative woman, and she ends up being cut on his boat and thrown into the sea to drown. Not cool, J. But having said that, there was no one in the show or saw it that was especially sad to see her go.

11 Nicky

Maybe it was because J’s next flame, Mia, was infinitely worse, but Nicky’s departure was a bit of a skirt. Nicky was a bit of a mess and not the smartest character in Animal Kingdom, and the fact that she went from a relationship with J to a romance with Craig, was not a good look for her.

However, so far Animal Kingdom characters, Nicky was objectively morally better than most of them, and it would have been interesting to see her develop further over time. Maybe she was lucky at least to get out alive.

10 Julia Cody

Find Cole as J in the Animal Kingdom pilot beach gun scene

Although Julia’s death was actually the catalyst that started the story and drew J into the criminal world of which the rest of his alienated family was a part, it does not make her loss any less significant.

Yes, she was not a character in herself in the series, however J has become a really scary and dark person, and it might never have happened if Julia had not died of an overdose of drugs and left her son nowhere else to turn.

9 Amy

It’s actually quite sad that Amy’s character left the show. She was the sweet church lady that Pope starts dating (while the boys plan to rob the church fundraiser), and their relationship was genuine, and it was really nice to see Pope finally meet a decent one. She was sweet, beautiful, smart and definitely good for Pope.

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However, it was not so shocking that she would never see him again after he told her he was a killer. She lasted 11 episodes and disappeared forever in “Hyenas”.

8 Lena Blackwell

Lena Blackwell and Animal Kingdom

Leaving the entire Cody family behind is undoubtedly the best thing for Lena, and despite her young age, the fact that she wanted to stay with her foster family indicates that she knew it.

And even though Pope was really the only Cody she was close to who actually loved her as a daughter, he did the right thing and let her go for her own sake. That does not mean, however, that their farewell was not completely heartbreaking.

7 Angela

Angela and Animal Kingdom

The Pope really can not take a break. Almost no one was happy when Angela went back to Codys’ life, but she was Julia’s best friend and thus had a significant connection to her twin brother.

They seemed to be developing a pretty solid bond, and it looked like Angela was actually trying to stay on the straight and narrow. So when Pope discovered that Angela’s sudden disappearance was due to her being murdered, it was a real shock.

6 Catherine Blackwell

Cath’s death was one of the saddest in the series. Sure, she was not the most interesting character, but really her only mistake was to cross Smurf.

However, it was super depressing to know that Lena’s mother was gone, and it was even more sad that Pope, who always loved her, was the one who did it. Smurf likes to portray herself as a woman who cares about the family everywhere, but the fact that she had no qualms about getting rid of Cath and that she was willing to traumatize her son by manipulating him to kill her was brutal.

5 Lucy

Lucy was Baz ‘second flame, and it seems he really loved her more than his own wife. Lucy was naughty and did not accept anything from the Cody family. Her death cut deep because fans really thought she was intelligent and brave as hell, and she dies right in front of her son (in the hands of the annoying Mia).

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She got Smølf to admit that she killed Baz, which was a huge moment in the series. But her insistence on pinning Smurfs probably signed her death sentence.

4 Colin

Colin only appeared in 11 episodes, all in season 5. And yet, his death definitely left fans in tears. Yes, Colin was not perfect, but he tried and he was definitely the best relationship Janine has ever had.

If that wasn’t enough, he literally dies by taking a bullet to Janine while she’s pregnant with their twins. It was clear that it was devastating and had a huge impact on Smurf and the entire Cody family. While Deran and Craig might not have been born if Colin had survived, one can not say how his loss affected Smurf’s brutality.

3 Adrian

While this may be up for debate among viewers, Adrian was leaving one of the most difficult moments in the show so far. Sure, many characters have literally had their heads blown off, but Adrian told Deran that he was the worst thing that ever happened to him was brutal.

And then he left, and Deran collapsed in a puddle of tears. Given the dysfunctional but unbreakable bond between Codys, it’s not a big shock that Deran stayed. But his relationship with Adrian survived so many horrible experiences that it was devastating for it to finally really be over.

2 Barry “Baz” Blackwell

Baz was one of the most complex characters in Animal Kingdom, and for that reason alone it was really sad to see him go. It’s even more tragic that he was apparently on the verge of starting his dream life with Lucy when he is brutally shot down, and it’s awful that his surrogate mother Smølf was the one who got him put off.

Sure, he challenged Smurf’s role as leader of the Cody family, but it never really seemed like their dysfunctional dynamics would end up with one of them killing the other. And given that Baz was probably J’s father, it seems like a big mistake that this relationship development was left unexplored.

1 Janine “Smurf” Cody

Of course, in the big picture, it’s probably the best Smurf kicked in the bucket. She was poisonous and dangerous. However, she was an incredible character and the pillar that was around Animal Kingdom was build.

Many characters have come and gone through the series, but few departures have had the kind of effect on the show that Janine’s death had. She went out as she wanted and it’s interesting to see how her family will continue without her, but her loss changed everything.

NEXT: 10 Best Animal Kingdom Episodes (According to IMDb)

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