Zoo S01E09 Recap: "Murmuration"

After a complete viewing, some television episodes feel hot. Like it was almost too much to handle and you, as the viewer, need a breather afterwards from. Others come across as a little cold—in the sense that not much happened and as a result you don't feel much in the immediate aftermath, and may even feel disappointed with the proceedings. However, there's a third type of feeling. One that's neither hot or cold, but just sort of in between. The perfect word for it is lukewarm, but the feelings associated with the term range from frustrated to ever-so-slightly intrigued. You just sort of the leave the episode with a "huh, okay" or maybe even empty mentality, just because there was truly nothing to latch on to. That was the ninth episode of "Zoo." One that was, at times, mildly interesting. But more so than anything else, it was a filler episode in literally every sense of the word.

I had wondered if "Zoo" might start stepping into this sort of trap. Since, from the beginning, I feared that no matter how noble this crazy concept was, it wouldn't be enough to stretch over the course of 13 episodes in an edge-of-your-seat fashion. There's bound to be some slogs and slow points here and there that viewers are required to muster through, but boy did "Murmeration" (whatever that means) feel more and more like an introductory video for a slice of on-the-job training that you're not really interested in in the first place.

There were a series of plot lines at work that all had to come together at some point, and they did, it's just a shame the immediate result didn't offer any sort of payoff. Seemingly the only thing of real consequence that took place last night was an innocent mother being fatally struck down by a group of ticked-off birds. That was a little unsettling. (A brief aside: I think it's clear that the more nerve-wracking portions of the show to date are the slow deaths by animals of a lesser size, i.e. birds, bats, or small dogs. If you were to be killed by a lion, well yeah that's fine because you wouldn't stand a chance anyway. Furthermore, it'd probably be quick. But if your last breath on this Earth was spent trying to shield your face from a series of bird beaks…that just might be enough to be considered "agonizing" rather than just "unfortunate." Plus, I'll maintain that, in the moment, if you're able to simply pull yourself together and start swatting birds left and right, that's going to have some positive effect on your well-being, yes? I could totally take out a few birds before things took a real turn for the worse.)

Anyway, the stand-off between Chloe's (former?) boss and the rest of the team is a little interesting, although I'm certain we already know the way in which it will ultimately play out. And speaking of things that are frustratingly predictable, we all know that the happy-go-lucky family dog is going to be the animal savior they're searching for, right? It's somehow been completely unaffected by the drugs and is far too prominent of a character to not be used in this regard. I think it may have even gotten more screen time than ¾ of the other supporting characters at this point.

It's a shame that things are moving towards such obvious conclusions, but when the roll is as slow as it is right now, I'm not sure what could be done to correct the course without drastically altering the finale that's already in place.

Some Other Notes:
• Confession: I've never seen Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." I'd be lying if I said it's not at the front of my mind now, and I can't wait to see the treatment those evil birds were given compared to this rag-tag group that managed to take down a local playground.

• I'm a little disappointed by the fewer and fewer things Abraham seems to be called on to do on these days. The show is almost focusing way too heavily on Mitch, although I suppose he is the most qualified member of the group. I guess I'd just rather see what some of the other characters can do, rather than relying on Mitch to solve pretty much every detail, something which the show seems to hinting pretty strongly at lately.

Line of the Night:


Mitch: "Thanks for coming out here with me."
Abraham: "I'm not doing this for you."