Zoo goes to the zoo!
Let’s bitch it out…
I’m going to say this straight-up and save everyone some trouble: this episode is a total waste of time. Last week ended with the team realizing they need to get to Africa ASAP to find a sample Leopard they can use to research an antidote. It would make sense to assume this week’s episode at least gets them there. That just wouldn’t be Zoo, though, would it? Nope, instead, 95% of the episode is dedicated to an illogical zoo heist in Clearwater, Florida, which is used as a foil to introduce us to Ray (Warren Christie), an old frenemy of Jackson (James Wolk) and Abe (Nonso Anozie) who has access to a plane they can use to reach Africa.
Because of Jamie (Kristen Connolly) and the gang’s law troubles, simply hopping on a Delta Airline’s flight to Nairobi is out of the question, so the gang must look farther afield for a way out of the US. Jackson tracks his old acquaintance, Ray, who offers them a flight out if they assist his animal-rights group (F.A.R.M) with a zoo break-in. According to Abe, Ray has a habit of getting Jackson (and by association, Abe) into trouble, and the group has reservations about assisting Ray and his merry band of Generically Handsome Gang Members (GHGMs). Nevertheless it’s the only option they have.
Everybody dons stupidly elaborate animal masks, break into the zoo and capture a number of animals from larger zoo cages to smaller cages in the back of a truck, but just as Abe predicted, the heist is foiled by gun-toting security guards. In the ensuing firefight Ray is shot and one of the F.A.R.M GHGMs is captured. Do zoo guards carry guns in the US? Maybe in Florida.
Brannigan (Xander Berkeley), the FBI agent with a hard-on for the Zoo crew, uses the captured F.A.R.M. GHGM to track down the team to an airfield, where he captures Chloe (Nora Arnezeder) while the rest of the cast (including a recovering Ray) make their escape on the private plane.
It’s not an incredibly convoluted story; granted, I’m leaving out a couple of plot elements, like Mitch (Billy Burke) requiring a lab tool from the zoo to help create an antidote, Chloe and Jackson kissing in the back of F.A.R.M’s truck, and the idea of an “emotional contagion” is hypothesized as a way the animals are sharing their attitudes about humans. Nevertheless, these elements could have probably all been covered in half the time and the story could have been pushed forward more. As usual, there are a ton of elements that defy logic, which I will go into below, but overall, this episode’s 44 minutes could have been used far more effectively.
- Good to see the Zoo trope of shitty security guards is alive and well in this week’s episode. At least these guys manage to shoot someone and capture another.
- There is a hint that the media is finally catching on to the animal attacks tonight! It’s only taken 10 episodes!
- Why did F.A.R.M. want to capture the the zoo animals just to jam them into the back of a semi? I’m curious what their end-goal was.
- On that note, why didn’t the Zoo crew enlighten the F.A.R.M’ers about the Reiden conspiracy? Aren’t these the perfect people to help out in the cause? Especially since it was revealed last week that Reiden originally wanted to discredit them and use them as a scapegoat?
- I guess that’s a moot point now that Reiden just intends to kill the Zoo crew. Which makes me wonder why we didn’t see any movement on that front this episode?
- It’s stressed in the episode that Ray is the pilot of the plane they are going to take to Africa, so why can Abe fly it at the end of the episode? What can’t that guy do?!
- Speaking of which: I was honestly shocked Jackson talks about having a “secret weapon” for breaking into the zoo and doesn’t point to Abe. Nice one Zoo! Finally a “crimey” situation where Abe isn’t the expert.
- Unfortunately 5 minutes later Abe shows Ray how to disable the zoo’s security system. Fuck – nevermind.
- With Clearwater as a setting, I was sad there isn’t a Scientology connection.
- No animal attacks this episode, but there is definitely some shitty animal CGI.
- Chloe is captured at the end of the episode, which is a bit of a shock, but isn’t she in the best position to negotiate her way out of danger with her diplomatic connections?
- Ray (introducing himself to Chloe): “Ray Joseph Endicott. No past, no future.”
(Do characters talk like this in the books? Jesus.)
Your turn: did you find this episode as big of a waste as I did? What do you think is going to happen to Chloe? Where do you think institutions in the Zoo universe hire their security guards? Do zoo guards in the US really carry guns? Sound off below.
Zoo airs Tuesdays at 9pm EST on CBS.