Saturday, May 7, 2016

Zoo, Season 1, Episode 9: Mumuration

So this week brings a twist that helps explain a lot of the oddness of Zoo. While Mitch is trying to pull his little deal with Reiden for medicine for his daughter he sees Delavenne – the man who put their little team together. He’s working for Reiden.

He runs and, with surprising cunning, manages to get away with both the Mother Cell and the medicine, to tell the others about Delavenne’s treachery (oh and his own, which they’re also not a fan of).

This helps a great deal to explain the bizarre secrecy that this group has put up with since the beginning. It explains their complete lack of any official support, it explains the extra cloak and dagger annoyance that has bothered me from the first season.

But there’s a problem with this. Chloe. To believe this whole thing we have to think that a French intelligence agent did absolutely no background checks. No research. Didn’t even try to figure out who Delavenne is and was never once concerned about where their resources came from or who was leading them

This French intelligence agent is ASTONISHINGLY incompetent. No, it’s worse than that, she’s lazy. She doesn’t just do her job poorly, she doesn’t do her job at all. She has done no research, no checking, no back background research, nothing. While I realise this episode’s “French intelligence is a contradiction in terms” was an anti-French insult (meh, Europeans have been saying the same about Americans for a long time. And the American presidential elections will always give us an edge in this snark fest) but it was utterly accurate when it came to Chloe.

Even worse, after these revelations, Chloe just kind of collapses into nothing. It’s Jackson who takes over, Jackson who has a plan to try and get them out of this (it doesn’t work, but still – since it involves a journalist contact of Jamie’s who is then silenced by Reiden lawyers. Oh and basically confronting Delavenne and demanding he do the right thing. Sure it’s a shitty plan, but it was a plan). And he comforts Chloe who is beginning to grasp how useless she is.

This annoys me because the command structure of the group was interesting. We had Delavenne, the leader who was a Black man. And the group’s proactive leader was Chloe, not the two straight white men as we normally see. But now Jackson has stepped into a more leadership role and Chloe has fallen back. Not only has Chloe fallen back – but by taking her out of the leadership position, we have also removed her role for the group. Jackson, Mitch, Jamie, even Abraham have all found places in the group, roles they serve. Chloe is now Woman-with-gun who gives money.

The animals acting up this week are lots and lots of angry birds killing people and nearly getting Mitch’s family. They get to safety with the medicine and a whole lot of reconciling.

The FBI agents have now made a connection between Jamie and Chloe so the team are now all on the most wanted list. Luckily “most wanted list” means “lone FBI agent” because back up is apparently not the way you hunt down a group of armed fugitives. Whyever not?

Moving the plot around they need to find a mutated, violent animal that is not exposed to the Mother Cell – and they find leopards in Zambia.