Zoo, Season 1 Episodes 2 and 3: “Fight or Flight” and “The Silence of the Cicadas”

Zoo is not a good television show, but it’s an entertaining one, and that’s all I ask for from television. It’s not like Eclipse, the only Twilight movie I’ve seen, which was just boring. Being boring is one of the worst crimes a television show or movie can make, which is why I’ve decided that Zoo is better than True Detective. On Twitter, I saw a critic describe Zoo as “Gloriously stupid”, but now I can’t find the tweet, so I can’t hand out specific credit. I give Dan Fienberg credit for this:

I went to watch “Fight or Flight” and “The Silence of the Cicadas” on the Channel Ten website, which can only be described as an ordeal because it’s a terrible web player. I ended up watching the first ten minutes of “Fight or Flight” and it took me around 90 minutes to get through “The Silence of the Cicadas” because the player would show me 30 seconds of the episode and then about five ads.

I managed to pick up what happened in “Fight or Flight” from the events of episode 3: Jamie was fired from the newspaper, Abraham is still alive and going with Jackson to find his dad’s research in Japan, half of the couple that went to adopt the boy in Slovenia was mauled by dogs – I’m not sure whether or not that happened at the circus. I also saw the part where Jamie and Mitchell called animal control about the cats and the cats all went back to their owners. So that happened.

One of my biggest concerns with Zoo from the first few episodes is that it’s like the beginning of Heroes or Sense8, and everyone’s so far away from each other in a really frustrating way. Then, to my surprise, the mysterious Frenchman who recruited Chloe, who works for French Intelligence, brought them all together. Thank you, Zoo. If there had been much more of people doing things separately, I would have gotten really annoyed. Oh, and the person who put this taskforce together is Agent Dixon from Alias! Anyway, now that I’ve gotten to the end of the episode, let’s go back to the start.

The episode opens with Chloe and the mysterious Frenchman (is there any other kind of Frenchman?), who shows her the corpse of the man who was mauled by dogs. Chloe is the French equivalent of a CIA analyst, and doesn’t understand what she’s doing investigating murder by dogs, but she’s told to look at it as she would a series of killings by humans: the victims were chosen carefully, with few or no ties to the community, and the murders were a few weeks apart. If it was a person doing the killing, they would be practicing, so from there, the question becomes “Why are the dogs practicing murdering people?”

Over in Los Angeles, Jamie and Mitchell have come up with some sort of theory about a lion hivemind super organism situation, which has something to do with a mutation in the lion food. They go to New Orleans to meet with a Senator from Jamie’s home district. On the way, they visit Jamie’s mother’s grave. See, Jamie’s mother died from cancer, which was allegedly the result of poisoned water or soil (they never say) by the company that makes the lion food. There’s a lot of exposition in this show. She goes to the Senator, but he has given up, because the corporation has more lawyers than the Senate can afford.

There’s a new storyline introduced this week (it may have been in “Fight or Flight”, but I only watched a quarter of it, so I can’t say), with a man who is on death row. He reads the Bible a lot, and has an interesting interpretation. The prison warden asks him if he wants to see the widow of the man he killed, but he declines. He changed his mind when he saw a wolf though, because apparently he reads a lot of Revelations. It turns out that he thinks he has divine instruction to kill men who hunt animals, and this is what he tells the widow, so she decides to leave. Then when the widow is leaving, and on his last trip outside before being transported to the death house, the wolves attack. I wrote that they were direwolves more than once in my notes, mainly to entertain myself, but that wolf killed the warden after he made a sexist comment about the widow, so maybe it is a direwolf. Winter is coming, guys. The wolves get into the prison, and part of it is on fire at the end of the episode. I have no idea where any of this is going, but whatever! There doesn’t need to be a reason for anything on ZooZoo is its own reason.

Meanwhile, Jackson and Abraham fly to Japan to find his father’s research. This is when Jackson learns that his father remarried. It turns out that Dr. Oz was more than just a little paranoid about his research, because he kept it hidden. That wasn’t the real reason, just an interpretation. Oz found that whatever transformation was happening amongst the animals was accelerated by exposure to radiation, so he conducted his research near the site of the former Fukushima nuclear power plant. On the flight there, the light plane is attacked by bats in broad daylight. Jackson and Abraham were the only survivors. They gather as much research as they can; Oz thought that maybe he could stop whatever it was if he cut out the horses’ eyes, because the deviant pupil changes an animal’s perception of humans and perceives them as a threat. This theory makes perfect sense, but I’m not sure aobut the eye part. Then they’re rescued, and our heroes are all together, ready to take on the world.

Other thoughts:

  • If exposure to radiation is part of the problem, that has the eyeless horses and the domestic/zoo animals covered, but how does it explain what happened in Botswana?
  • Apparently the Direwolf is an omen
  • I’ve been watching too much Arrow: Maybe they can save her with the mirakuru
  • James Wolk looks a bit like Kyle Chandler. He has similar eyes and eyebrows.
  • My last job was set in a botanic garden, and the Japanese maples are stunning in Autumn. Anyway, there was a shot of the wolf, and then it cut back to Fukushima, where there were Japanes maples, and it took me a few seconds to realise that they had changed locations.
  • “My condolences to your wife”
  • Does that mean the dude escapes? It’s like an OITNB S2 finale thing?

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