Ellen Barkin's Smurf will not be returning in Animal Kingdom season 5 as the character died in the previous installment. But even though she is gone for good, the presence of the character may still somehow be felt as Cody Boys deals with the aftermath of her death.
Smurf is one of the most significant characters in the series, but it's clear that she is not coming back anymore. The main question now is: what will happen to the family now that she is gone? The Codys might need to start from the scratch in Animal Kingdom season 5.
But then, we could also see a bit of Smurf's story in the upcoming installment. The series will likely bring stories about her past, particularly on how she became a power-player. It remains to be seen whether or not the new season will feature some flashback, but it would be nice to honor the character's legacy.
And after dealing with Smurf's death, the Cody Boys need to move forward with their lives as well. The new era is coming for J, Craig, Deran, and Pope in Animal Kingdom season 5. Since Smurf is not there anymore to lead their operation, they have to start on their own to build an empire.
The Codys need to keep the operations going even after Smurf's death. J, in particular, considers himself as the leader and the master strategist. But then, this may not work well for Craig, Deran, and Pope. They might question him leading the operation and potential conflict may arise.
Smurf is not around to facilitate their plans, so they have to figure out how everything works. Although they are familiar with the operation, they could still face several problems along the way. What the Codys need to do now is to come up with a concrete plan for their operations.
Meanwhile, there are still questions regarding the official release date of Animal Kingdom season 5. The wait might be a little bit longer as there have been delays because of the current global health crisis. Cast and crew may not start filming in California anytime soon, considering the situation.
Usually, the series premieres in the summer. However, that schedule may not be followed for Animal Kingdom season 5. Some episodes have already been filmed prior to the production shutdown. Although TNT could release them, the network may probably hold them off and air them at a later date.