Zoo, Season 1 Episode 4: “Pack Mentality”

Zoo is a ridiculous show, and I finally found the tweet I was looking for last week, by Caroline FramkeSharknado reviewer extraordinnaire. Here’s another one from Carrie Raisler to explain what’s happening in Zoo this week:

There’s other stuff happening as well, but now that the gang’s all together, their first mission is to investigate the fire at the prison that happened a week ago. We also cut to a couple doing research in Antarctica, which may or may not have something to do with birds, and Mitch (I think that’s his name) blows up a coffee machine! You can’t say that nothing happens on Zoo.

I’m going to get to the Antarctica stuff first, because it’s the story of the week the way the prison was last week, which makes me wonder whether our gang is travelling to the South Pole soon. Some female biologists (or something like that, they’re animal scientists) are conducting some research, possibly on birds, in Antarctica. Also they thought it was a good way to save their marriage. Their station runs entirely on solar power, and some bats (possibly the same ones that caused the plane crash in Japan) cover the solar panels to cut off the power to their home, and one breaks the heater. The improvised flamethrower fix only works temporarily, and the bats manage to cut off their power supply long enough for them to freeze to death. Possibly. One of them thinks maybe the bats will leave if they let the birds go, so they decide to do so. The two women are huddled together on the couch as the bats fly off the solar panels to go somewhere else.

The main action this week takes place in Mississippi, where we met our death row inmate, Evan Lee Hartley last week. He’s the one who escaped with the help of the wolves, because apparently he’s the alpha! My immediate question was whether or not he’s a werewolf, because I wouldn’t put that past this show. We don’t have the answer to that yet, so let’s move on. Why this particular group of people was chosen has become apparent, other than the fact that they’re the main cast: they have valuable skills. Jackson is the son of a famous zoologist (is he a zoologist himself?), and can possibly decipher his father’s research; Jamie is a journalist, which means she knows how to do research (in television land research = google); Chloe is an investigator, which gets her into crime scenes; Abraham can track animals; lastly Mitch is a veterinary pathologist, so he can possibly find what’s making the animals act strange (Jamie insists it’s Reidon Global because she’s like that).

And we have some sort of answer this week! There was some cool experiment with coconut water, wolf blood, a car battery and a coffee maker that was supposed to replicate the wolf’s brain. The coconut water bubbled and then the coffee maker exploded, which means that there’s some sort of bacteria making the animals act like this! How does it spread? Are all the animals that act strange suffering from the same bacteria? If it passes between species, how long before it infects humans as well? Except of course for Evan Lee Hartley, who I suspect has been exposed to the bacteria.

Jamie provides some background on Hartley, who was a scientist before he snapped one day and stabbed an entire hunting party to death because he believes it’s his mission to kill those who hunt animals. We also learn at the end of the episode (in the least surprising revelation ever) that Hartley was friends, or at least knew Jackson’s father. My theory: they were working together on the deviant pupil, and one day Hartley somehow became infected with the bacteria, which is why he’s able to lead a wolf pack. Hartley is even acting like a wolf; when he’s in the forest, he kills a deer and smothers himself in its blood to hide his own scent. The entire thing is ridiculous, but it’s entertaining, which is all I want from this show.

As for Reidon Global, Jamie’s obsession isn’t particularly interesting, but as with Noregard Pharmaceuticals in Glitch, fake companies exist for a reason, so they probably have something to do with whatever’s going on. This week Jamie tells Mitch that Reidon has fingers in many pies, including GMOs, which is the only thing I can think of that could be causing a range of different animals to get the bacteria (or radiation, but I’m leading towards GMOs at the moment). The bacteria was in the pet food and the feed for the animals at the zoo. As for the wild animals, there’s a food chain – all a wolf would need to do is kill an animal that’s been infected to cause a bacteria transfer. The logistics of how it fits in with the lions in Africa is slightly shakier, but given that GMOs have been hailed as a solution to farming during droughts and also a way to feed the poor, it wouldn’t be hard for some infected seed to be ingested by the lions’ prey. I have no idea what’s going on with the bats, so the radiation thing might be easier to prove.


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