Zoo, Season 1 Episode 8: “The Cheese Stands Alone”

There is a moment of “The Cheese Stands Alone” that made me laugh out loud: the elevator doors of an abandoned hotel open, and the gang, expecting to see Jackson’s ex-girlfriend of sorts (they were 12), are confronted with rats flooding out of an elevator. It should have been scary, but Zoo has almost reached the Sharknado level of “so predictable it’s hilarious”, so I knew what was going to happen, and I loved it. Zoo is not a good television show, but it is the best bad television show. It blows True Detective out of the water. It hasn’t quite embraced its B-movie status, but it doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not, which is why I love it.

So, the case of the week is rats, which ate an entire ship crew. The ship was carrying something from Reiden, which the rats may have gotten into, and then they were multiplying at a rate much faster than rabbits. The team’s mission is to catch both male and female rats so that Mitch can study them. Meanwhile, Mitch is in Boston visiting his daughter, and they have a nice day together. Mitch tells his wife to keep an eye on Henry just in case anything changes (he obviously hasn’t seen the Reiden Global medication), and she wonders why on earth he’s choosing now to reconnect with his daughter. He can’t very well tell her that a global corporation is responsible for making animals act weird and that he’s blackmailing them to get treatment for their daughter, so he lets her assume that he’s having a strange midlife crisis in which he wants to be part of their lives again. After Mitch leaves the house, he goes to the Boston offices of Reiden Global, where he meets the guy who I think was Bree’s husband in Desperate Housewives to exchange the Mother Cell for Clementine’s treatment. While there, he spots Agent Dixon talking with some people who are obviously executives at Reiden. The plot thickens!

Anyway, back to the rats. Before an elevator full of rats swarm our heroes, Mitch and Jamie manage to catch a male one. After they escape (they get separated from Chloe in the process), they discover that the rat has basically cloned itself. The baby male rats are dehydrated because they can’t feed. The mission becomes to find the Queen Rat – if male rats can multiply asexually, there only needs to be one female rat to feed them all. Zoo logic – in the basement. They find her, and are immediately beseiged by all the rats that were just feeding. But Chloe and Mitch’s childhood sweetheart manage to get there in time to save them by turning the dead exterminator’s pack into some sort of flamethrower, which is cool, but also a step they skipped over. This show, man. I have no idea what’s going to happen next, but Episode 11 is titled “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”, so I hope that it’s an adaptation of the eponymous book about grammar. Even if it isn’t, it should still feature pandas.

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