Zoo, Season 1 Episode 9: “Murmuration”

I’m clearly out of practice on watching television shows that aren’t on the CW (Hart of Dixie was just added to Stan, so it’s pretty much my favourite thing right now), so the whole idea of Agent Dixon from Alias working for Reiden Global never occurred to me. I thought that Mitch had handed over the Mother Cell, so it was a surprise when he managed to escape. One of the best things about Zoo is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but I clearly haven’t been taking it quite seriously enough, because I was impressed by the twist, which is like a much pulpier version of the ending to 1984. On the plus side, it’s not the end, because there are still four more episodes to go, and everything is up in the air now, pun fully intended, because this week Zoo decided to pay homage to The Birds.

The big twist of Zoo is that our heroes were hired by the company they were trying to bring down in order to minimise Reiden’s liability. My question is, what were Reiden hoping to achieve? If the Mother Cell is in all of their products, isn’t it in their best interest to have Mitch manufacture a cure? How long did Leo have the Mother Cell, and why are Reiden so desperate to have it back? Do they just want to isolate the cure for themselves in order to monopolise the market? If so, having the gang assassinated doesn’t seem like the best way to address this particular issue. Meanwhile, having escaped Reiden Global and the FBI now that there are arrest warrants for both Jamie and Chloe, the gang is trying to get to Zambia, which is possibly the only place on the entire planet where Reiden doesn’t have a stronghold. Also there’s something to do with leopards, as Jackson’s father had their scientific name written all over his study.

The cases of the week are becoming less important compared to the overall narrative, which is much more interesting. However the show has done enough work in developing its characters that it didn’t seem entirely perfunctory this week, as the birds of the world began to attack humans, including Mitch’s ex-wife and daughter. Mitch manages to escape Reiden with both the Mother Cell and a cure for Clementine, and when he goes to meet them they’re at the park being attacked by birds, which peck a woman to death. Mitch tells them to get out of Boston and they go up to Maine. I’m more intrigued by Henry. Why is he still acting normal? He’s acting the same as the other dogs and barking at the murder birds, and I guess he’s been on that medication for about a month, even though he’s been cleared by the vet. What kind of half life does that medication have, and how long does an animal have to be exposed to the Mother Cell before they start reacting to it? Furthermore, if Reiden is such an omnipresent corporation, how has the Mother Cell not infected people?

The mark of an enjoyable show is that it gives you a reason to keep watching. I may forget about this show for a few days, but I’ve made a commitment to review the whole season, so I’m always going to come back because I’m interested in the answers to these questions. The big one for me is what was going on with Agent Shaffer, who  the gang assumed was in the pockets of Reiden Global – and he may well have been – but what if he was one of the good guys? We know that the guy from Desperate Housewives didn’t tell Agent Dixon about the Mother Cell and may have asked Shaffer to obtain it instead. But while we can infer that from everything we know about the show, that seems to be the one part of the story our heroes aren’t questioning, which seems strange since the organisation they’re trying to stop is the one that hired them in the first place. This isn’t the best made show, but as long as it keeps me asking these kinds of questions, I’m going to keep watchinng.

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