Since the day Zoo premiered, you know I’ve been dying to say it. We’ve all been thinking it. And the time has come… Lions. And Tigers. And Bears. Oh my.
The tigers were but a fleeting circus scene in Slovenia and the escaped lions that started it all seem like a distant memory at this point—but still, with the addition of a certain Parisian bear and his elegant palate, we’ve officially scored a Zoo-BINGO. It was a small win, but in a week that was particularly tough on animal-lovers, at least it’s something. I never know exactly who/what I’m supposed to be rooting for on this show, but I couldn’t help the relief I felt to find out that Mr. Bear was just hibernating at the end of the hour.
After last week’s episode was bursting at the seams with plotlines, tonight feels much more manageable, settling into the two main plots we’ve been leading to for weeks—the bats in Brazil, and Evan Lee Hartley and the Mother Cell—and, of course, the episodic bear-on-a-snack-spree storyline. But before we get to the bear, let’s first have a little chat: What the hell is going on with that Mother Cell? Last week, Leo Butler told Jackson and Jamie that it was a vector, a molecule that somehow allows Reiden Global to make their products mega-cheaply, and possibly the common factor in what’s making earth’s animals go all murder-y; this week, we see Even Lee Hartley grinding it into a fine dust and straight rolled-up-dollar-billing it into his eyeball like it’s some sort of cure.
Facts, science, consistency—who needs ‘em? We got bears to deal with!
Okay, the real answer is that we do need a little more assurance here that all of this animal apocalypse (and potential eradication of it) business is rooted in some reality where chemical companies aren’t just grating molecular kryptonite into their products like a waiter waiting for a kid to tell them to “stop” with the parmesan over their spaghetti. But I also know that if Zoo keeps showing majestic animals in unexpected environments doing unpredictable things, then I’ll keep being into it. Yeah… it really does just take a bear in a kitchen trying to get at the BagelBites in the freezer. Give the people what they want.
Maybe that’s why this bat storyline has been a bit of a drag; it’s not nearly as interesting, terrifying, or thrilling seeing these tiny animals trying to take down humanity one shattered iPhone screen at a time. And yet, Chloe and Mitch are still in Brazil, caught by the head of the favela gang, Silva, trying to take his rigged up cell tower. He tells them if they were really just trying to get rid of the bats with it, then they can figure out another way to do it (at gunpoint). Chloe requests a bunch of random electronic stuff to build “what they need” just to stall for time, but luckily, Mitch actually comes up with a plan to use the electronics to create a gadget that emits a high-pitch frequency to rappel the bats out of the city.
Since it totally sounds like it won’t work, it’s a good thing Abe managed to not get caught by the locals and is out there trying to figure out how to rescue Chloe and Mitch before Chloe goes into a permanent funk from Mitch’s bad attitude.
And even though it’s usually much more fun to spend time with Mitch than it is with Jamie, you have to admit that she is a go-getter. She’s bounced back from having Evan Lee Hartley ram a truck into the car she was in, kill the driver, and steal the Mother Cell right from under her, to using some light visualization techniques to not only remember what kind of car ELH was driving, but the first three letters of his license plate number. (How does memory retention work? Who cares!) And she’s not waiting around for Agent Shaffer to track him down, either. No, she posts on various social media outlets that the ELH vehicle hit her golden retriever, and she’s got a lead two minutes flat.
And, boy, do I not want to tell you what Evan Lee is up to. But I must. Because the one thing that ties all of these mutated animals together that I’ve really been able to latch on to narratively—probably because it’s the thing we’ve learned the least scientific “facts” about—is the Dr. Oz-patented defiant pupil. Evan Lee Hartley also understands its significance. That’s why he’s holding a jolly Mobile, Alabama optometrist at gunpoint and telling him to shove a four-inch syringe straight through his drippy pupil. What he does from there is a little, uh vague; so, here’s an appropriately vague explanation of it: The doctor extracts some fluid from his brain (four inches deep seems a little past the eyeball region), ELH shaves of some Mother Cell into a petri dish, mixes in his brain fluids, and then sucks them back up into the syringe, and tells the doc to shove in back in his eye hole.
That’s about the time that Jamie, Jackson, and Agent Schaffer arrive, just as ELH is starting to seize up from having Mother Cell injected directly into his brain. Jackson—still freaked out that ELH had a photo of his dad in his bible—starts yelling at him, “Why do you think this will cure you? Did my father think this would cure the animals?” But there’s not a lot of time for syringe talk. Evan Lee only has time to say, “Your father did this to me” right before he dies. Jamie grabs the Mother Cell and Schaffer tells them to get out of there, he has to call this in.
NEXT: Fake FBI agents are the new escaped zoo lion…