New continents, new species, new pets to worry about murdering children in their beds… welcome back to recaps of Zoo! In its second episode, Zoo cuts down majorly on the horror movie scares, but moves ably along into the building of suspense needed to tie those kinds of moments together. Whereas the premiere moved along like a film that cut off at its climactic moment—y’know, if the movie-going public would be cool with the climactic moment of a horror film being a bunch of household cats in a tree at a playground—the second episode kind of takes it back to point A, building a sturdier foundation of why these animal attacks are more than just coincidence; more than just the ramblings of an unhinged scientist.
With the introduction of dogs in Slovenia (and methinks we might be coming back around to those tigers) we not only get a new plot point to mysteriously tie Chloe more permanently into the investigation of these animals, but also get a new species to focus on. The underlying message? It’s not just cats you need to worry about if that morgue of an alley is any indication. It’s also dogs. And animals communicating from great distances. And you should definitely be worried about lions’ sudden understanding of the human circulatory system. It’s everything… if you live in the world of Zoo—which we totally don’t, this is totally not going to happen, everything is fine—you need to be worried about everything.
But don’t let me get too serious on you—Zoo is still keeping it silly and unpretentious in its second hour. When that cat looked straight into the camera after returning home from its stay at the Tree Convention for Sentient Cats and heading straight for the sleeping kid, I laughed for most of the commercial break. I mean, I was freaked out… but the fact that it was because Fluffy stared me in the face through my flat screen is appropriately hilarious.
And the second episode picks up right there—right where we left off with Mitch and Jamie staring up into a tree full of cats that they’re pretty sure have plans to kill some 8-year-olds in the near future. But how do you tell Animal Control that? Jamie is of the mind-set that you just nip it in the bud, call them, and shoot them straight: “I’m calling to report a… there’s been a… there’s a lot of cats in the trees.” Fair enough! But Mitch is doing a much better job of convincing himself that all of the odd L.A. feline activity is all just a coincidence, and Billy Burke’s eye-acting is doing a great job of convincing the audience that Mitch might not actually be so sure. But Mitch is correct that publicly addressing the idea that animals seem to be slowly and systematically turning on humans is going to raise a few eyebrows (see all future Jackson paragraphs). Especially if the moment you make a call to Animal Control about the cats in the trees, said cats immediately evacuate the tree, return to their homes, cue the cat breaking the fourth wall.
Jamie: “Do you think—”
Mitch: “[sarcastically] What, they heard you calling the authorities?”
Me: YES MITCH THAT IS WHAT I THINK
NEXT: Up a tree without a cell phone…