Friday, September 9, 2016

Zoo, season 2, Episode 12 & 13: Pangea & Celementine

It’s a double episode season finale – yet I find myself with surpisingly little to say which is a little odd. But I think a lot of this double episode involved a lot of emotional stuff that I didn’t really care about

Like Jackson and Robert Oz who are now totally bonding and being super loving parent and son now with a whole lot of reminiscing and playing happy families. The whole “you infected my mother and turned her into a rampaging hell beast” seems to have been rapidly dealt with and moved on. Someone’s been hitting some major family therapy.

Anyway, while this takes up a lot of the episodes, the plot has finally decided it can keep circling the whole 19th century resurrected extinct animals on the island of Pangea. Hold on to your sense because this gets headachey

So, Robert knows all about the scientists on Pangea where the sabre tooth cats are around – the scientists belong to a group called the Shepherds who live on Pangea doing very very very weird things with genes (and somehow have been doing so for several centuries) in the interest of saving the world – which they think may go awry because of human progress.

So told to us by Dr. Nealson. And Robert is actually a member and the only reason he was working with Davies and the Noah initiative was because he had been planted thereby the Shepherds to control Davies (apparently) and creating the kill-all-the-animals-gas. This is all the Shepherds doing apparently (along with their Victorian genetics lab).

While there someone in the writing staff also realised “oh shit the mother cell! We forgot!” and quickly pasted them into the whole 19th century geneticists. So our fairground guy with his x-ray machine managed to x-ray a gajillion animals (including jellyfish, creatures you can see through anyway), he then realised that he was causing problems like electric ants and blizzard lizards and earthquake sloths so quickly came up with a new formula to make these animals sterile and/or/maybe dormant right up until Reiden (manipulated by the Shepherds – because, yes, they’re behind everything) used the Mother Cell that woke up the X-ray based X-men animal team.

I can literally feel my brain cells dying here.

Oh and the sabre toothed cats cause volcanoes. Y’know, fine, why not?

So, Dariela (who is pregnant and therefore evil animal bait) and Abe pick up a red shirt to go find some sabre-toothed DNA and some really really really ZOMG really bad CGI. Red shirt dies. Abe grabs the DNA and they can return to base

But while they’re doing that we have Mitch and Jamie who, since Robert Oz gave Davies the gas, are taking the desperate steps to stop Davies going ahead with the Noah initiative by destroying his DNA bank. After all if he cannot repopulate the world with animals then he can’t annihilate all the animals in the world – he doesn’t actually want to destroy humanity. Apparently

So Jamie and Mitch try to steal/destroy the DNA store (which is kept in a giant non-refrigerated box?) and succeed thanks to Logan showing up. Yes, Logan who Jamie pushed out of plane which he survived because reasons (I don’t really care). The best part of this is that everyone –including Jamie – are united in saying “hell no we don’t forgive you!” which is nice to see. There’s definite no-insta forgiveness here and I love the many times he turns to Jamie and she totally shuts him down

Of course he’s well on his redemption train and by the end of the episode he’s happily put back in team good guy. Oh and his name is Edward

Anyway, Mitch, Jamie and apparently-Edward destroy the DNA and Davies wants to call of the whole gassing-the-world plan. Except one of his minions objects to not ending the world and promptly murders Davies, tells his superiors that the Noah-gassing is on – and he even releases Mitch, Jamie and Apparently-Edward. Who just all kind of roll with this.

So the gang gets to be united and they have their volcano-cat DNA and can start making the cure. Unfortunately making the cure requires experimenting on Jackson and him no longer taking his cure stopping him becoming a monster. This allows some brief angst between daddy and son and between Jackson and Robert. That resolved they start making the cure but, alas, Jackson is producing lacklustre cure-ness and they’re not going to make enough to cure the world before the gas is unleashed. Damn – their only choice is to use Robert, alas killing him in the process for a whole lot of angst and moping from Jackson who totally hated the man a little while ago.

Robert is partially motivated to do this because guilt over Mitch. Mitch realises the Mother cell comes from the Shepherd so the cure for his daughter Clementine-hey-remember-her who is terribly afflicted (other than by being called Clementine) came from them as well. So Mitch decides that they’re also responsible for CREATING the disease

I don’t know if more was explained and my brain just shut off but I’m still not following this path of progression here.

Anyway Robert and Dr. Nealson admit, yes, they created a devastating childhood illness that has a killed a whole lot of kids. Oh and because it involves the Mother Cell, Clem-remember-her is also going to get killed by the Noah gas.

Mitch angst moment #796878.2

So Robert Oz is now dead, everyone pretends to be sad about this despite us all hating him for so long and absolutely no-one remembers that they have an elderly Finnish lady stashed in a cupboard somewhere who they intended to use.

The cure now made, the Shepherds have a shiny new way to distribute the cure. Bird flu!

No, really

Bird flu which is going to be spread across the entire world in 72 hours with a few rather small birds. The whole world? Don’t you need an albatross or something?

So success?

Nope! Because the secretive scientists who have been conducting clandestine experiments on their own secret island who call themselves the creepy creepy name of Shepherds are actually evil

Are we shocked?

And the minion who killed Davies and had the gas launches was also a Shepherd! Shame no-one questioned that motive there.

Move to the next episode and the gang is locked up in SECTION K

Section K is where their failed experiments of the Shepherds end up. Yes, the volcano sabre toothed cat? That’s one of their damn successes!

The gang being the gang actually survives and escapes (and don’t leave Apparently-Edward to die). In doing so they also deal with the Shepherds by releasing their pack of razor-backed Hyenas which they have, apparently. Personally I think volcano sabre-toothed cats are a bit more dangerous than this.

With all the Shepherds very dead, the gang manages to take over the lab and see that the Noah Objective is still going and it’s a race against time to get the cure (which does work) to Clem-remember-her.

Time for Mitch to heroically sacrifice himself to make sure that an electric fence doesn’t just… turn itself off.

No, really, they turn on an electric fence to make sure the razorback hyenas can’t attack the plane and then Mitch feels the need to stay behind and watch the computers to make sure the fence doesn’t just turn itself off. Is it prone to this?

This despite the fact that Apparently-Edward exists and could easily be used as hyena fodder rather than their resident genius.

The gang escapes and Mitch stays behind, nobly, making Abe get everyone to safety while razorbacked hyenas eat Mitch

Hey, now we know why Apparently-Edward is back; Jamie nearly went 5 minutes without a love interest!

The remaining gang does manage to find Clementine-remember-her who is a bit angsty because of her dad not saving the world and both her mother and step-father got eaten. Everyone’s super angsty and sad as they give Clementine the cure as Mitch’s last request

See, this is the problem with this episode? We’ve spent a lot of time on Clem and on Apparently-Edward and Robert’s redemption but I really don’t care much about any of these characters to waste all this time on all these emotional scenes with people I don’t care about. The world is ending, I don’t really care about Clem. I’m sorry, yes, it sounds callous but this is so not high on my priority list when the world is ending.

They also find Clem’s dog – and he’s not trying to eat them all! Yes the bird-flu-parakeets have cured the animals… and Clem’s alive too! So… happily ever after?

Nope, time for the twist: the Shepherds created all of this to spread a cure that affects humans – and makes them sterile. All over the world. Yes, Dariela and Abe’s child will be part of the last human generation

This whole plot with the animals et al was all a really really really convoluted plot to spread their infertility drug.

Fast forward 10 years – with elementary schools closing because 10 years have passed without any children as we follow Abe and Dariela and their happy life with their new young son, the last generation

Ok, this bit annoys me – because I’ve seen an entire haunting show presenting how terrible and horrifying the concept of no new children being born can be. Zoo seems to have complete skipped over the consequences and horror of an inevitably aging population beyond “one day we will all die”. Instead of that angst, we have “hybrid animal attacks”. Which are getting worse. Yes the razorback hyenas

Abe and Dariela aren’t very in touch with all their old friends – which is why they don’t even recognise Clem when she shows up to tell Abe that her dad’s apparently alive – and they need to help him save the world. This bit may have been tacked on when they realise Zoo was renewed

It was? Oh gods, can I pass it to Renee next year?

And so ends the second season of Zoo and do I even need to sum up my issues with this series? It’s incoherent, nonsensical and became almost hilarious in it’s nonsense. I don’t need to say this, I’ve already said this repeatedly. I virtually scream it every time I say “earthquake sloth” because ye gods

We’ve also already made a point about the rather poor depiction of women on the show, only further show by Alison disappearing and Jamie not really doing much but be orbiting more love triangles; even Dariela’s role turned far more into “pregnant lady”.

If there’s one improvement on the show, it’s the depiction of race. Abe felt a bit more involved in this season he certainly had his own storyline and he and Dariela had a relationship that quickly came to be about them and them alone – not Jackson or Jamie or Mitch which so often characterised his character in the first season. Abe himself was also allowed a richer emotional palate that, yes, also included despair and fear and desperation as much as his excellent care and optimism. Silver lining!

There are no LGBTQ people… but given last season, I‘m kind of happy about that.