Zoo S01E11/12 Recap: "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" / "Wild Things"

For all the fuss "Zoo" makes over the bloodthirsty, war-ready, and ticked off animals currently roaming the globe, our ragtag group of human heroes has had way more trouble dealing with corrupt businessmen and dirty cops, aka, their less lethal human counterparts. Although that could open up quite an interesting debate--which species is truly more capable of murder, humans or animals? I'd argue the series leans towards mankind, as they rarely seem to flinch at the prospect of killing another en route to the fulfillment of their personal motives. And yet, last night's two-part precursor to the finale may have just tipped the scales the other way. In many ways, it felt like the second hour is what the show should be about--a dangerous search for a cure in a relatively tight space amidst several different animal species that are ready to rip your throat out at any minute.

Why the show had to spend so much of its first season getting bogged down in interpersonal relationships between human characters is beyond me. That's not where the payoff is going to lie. It's going to rely heavily on the perpetual threat of animals taking the food chain into their own hands, despite the world's best efforts to restore order. I don't feel like that focus (which is anything but narrow) was given the attention it deserved. I'm glad Mitch is able to save the world. I'm just not sure I needed an entire extended subplot about his estranged wife and daughter convincing him to do just that in the first place. Rescuing the planet's population from inevitable doom shouldn't require a few pep talks and some perspective along the way.

I'm glad there's going to be some sort of chaotic conclusion to the whole thing, rather than the team sitting pleasantly on a plane together as if everything's instantly back to normal again. Implementing the cure seems like a super daunting task, not to mention the immediate ramifications this whole ordeal is going to have for Reiden. Will they cease prescription production and perhaps be shut down entirely? Or will a massive cover-up ensue? The latter seems unlikely to happen, since Jamie is in fact a journalist, a characteristic that's been very easy to forget over the last half dozen episodes. Seems like just the perfect sort of thing to bring back up when its needed.

Furthermore, my money's on bats as the ones responsible for plane turbulence, although it feels like some other animal species have been neglected to date. As far as main protaganists, we've really only had lions, leopards, bears, bats, crows, wolves, and dogs represented. That's not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dangerous animals. What about sea creatures like sharks or killer whales? Or elephants or hippos? What about hilarious examples of harmless animals turned bad? Who wouldn't want to see a group of people at the mercy of dangerous penguins, kittens, or rabbits? I feel like there's a lot of wasted potential here. I'd like the finale to just open up Noah's ark and unleash chaos upon the Earth in a tidy little 25 minute timespan. But...that may be too much to ask. This is network television after all.

Some Other Notes:

• I loved the juxtaposition between the horrors the group thought Chloe would be facing at the hands of her ruthless captor versus what she was actually doing when they touched base a short time later. Sure, she went through an unpleasant struggle witnessing her sister's torture, but then all ended somewhat quickly. The fact that they're waiting with bated breath for word about her well-being, fearing the absolute worst, as she delicately walks down the steps of a Washington D.C. scientist summit while wearing a brand new, neatly pressed dress was just perfect.

• File this under "consistency errors," but the scene which saw Jackson and Abe extract the leopard cub from its home featured some editing that could have used some more work. As Abe carefully inspects what exactly is making the brushes rustle beside him, Jackson emerges from the den with the cub in hand, while Abe's weapon of choice suddenly features a snake wrapped around its based. Clearly, that was the creature responsible for the scare, but we could have gone entirely without those few seconds as the event wasn't anything of consequence. If anything, it just serves as a reminder that snakes are about 1000x less lethal than leopards. And you don't even want to mess with hospital leopards. They're worse.

• I must have missed any TV spots or commercials that foretold the show's plans to double up on these episodes, but it's clear CBS is anxious to have the timeslot back. There really isn't any other reason for the move.

Line of the Night:


Mitch: "Pee faster!"
Jamie: "How do you even do that?"