Saturday, April 2, 2016

Zoo, Season 1, Episode 4: Pack Mentality

Ok can I take a moment to poke the new intro voice over? “We were chosen as experts…” yeah, no. Abraham was chosen because he was friends with Jackson and Jamie was chosen because Miles pitied her.

Though, to be fair, just about every character did have a chance to show off some level of expertise as they all head to Biloxi where the prison was attacked by wolves last episode

For reasons unknown, this whole mission is off the books – which means they have to make up a cover story. For equally unknown reasons, Chloe doesn’t even bother to back their cover story up with anything and she ends up with a suspicious (and kind of arseholelish) FBI Agent Schafer who quickly skewers her cover and she ends up having to spend the rest of the episode saying “it’s classified”

Can we address that? I mean does this even work? Can a foreign agency really go to a foreign country and then blow off any local organisations questioning them by saying “classified” without actually presenting any kind of official documents or permissions that allow you to be in the country and operating on a mission? I can’t imagine it’s that easy

And I really don’t see why they are confidential – after all, we’ve seen this is a global problem. The French can’t be the only ones who have noticed this and it’s clear that they could use some official clearance. At very least they wouldn’t have to autopsy a wolf in a hotel room with coconuts! This makes no sense and seems to be just used to inject unnecessary drama.

Anyway, this bemusing element aside, they’re trying to figure out what happened with the wolves. After some initial conflicts (Jamie’s utter obsession with Reiden global as well as Jackson taking issue with Mitch’s hostility towards his dad. Which is a little unfair because Jackson himself shared that scathing view not so long ago). They manage to get over it and Chloe, who is doing a decent job of being a firm leader who has good reasons for her decisions and keeps all her people in line.

On arrival they quickly find out about Evan Hartley, the prisoner who escaped last episode and was working with the wolves with lots and lots of Bible quotes which is slightly creepy. Jaime the journalist does the research thing while Chloe and Jackson examine the prison (under some dubious cover of working for the French embassy), noting how out of character and weird the wolf behaviour is.

Abraham and Mitch head off to try and capture one of these wolves alive, with Abraham using his tracking skills (which I will assume are fully transferrable from Botswana to Biloxi) to try and find a wolf while Mitch uses his snark to piss off the locals. They nearly get eaten by wolves and stabbed by Evan if it weren’t for those aforementioned local hunters who, presumably, annoyed Evan and needed stabbing and eating more.

Thankfully Chloe and Jackson find a wolf that has been shot so they can have the aforementioned hotel room surgery with coconuts. They conclude… some weird bacterial stuff is going on with the explody brain fluid.

Jamie’s research also comes up with Evan’s behaviour radically changing – as he went from outdoorsman to vicious ant-hunter almost overnight. He also underlined every passage of the Bible that mentions animals and tucked a picture in said Bible. A picture of him and Richard Oz – Jackson’s father.

I like that they make a point of everyone’s skills being on display in this episode to bring home that the team is a good one. But the undercover nature of it is quite ridiculous.

We also have another random animal attack – this time in Antarctica. We have a lesbian or bisexual couple, on the rocks, who are killed by bats. Yes, for those keeping count, it’s some more LGBTQ characters broughtin just to die. And they manage to reconcile and be happy before death (oh TV writers… just... stop). Also relook back there – bats. In Antarctica. Which manage to cover a solar panel array (apparently the main source of power this lab in Antarctica has relied on for 2 years DESPITE ANTARCTIC WINTERS AND WEATHER?!) and not freeze to death before the well wrapped humans inside do.

Why not just have them torn apart by angry penguins? It would actually make more sense. No, really, “savaged by penguins” is the more realistic storyline here.