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Zoo recap: Sleuths

Bears of a sleuth may stick together, but one of the Animal Avengers is going rogue.

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Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/CBS


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
James Wolk, Nonso Anozie, Billy Burke, Nora Arnezeder
Drama, Thriller

I learned a lot of things in this episode of Zoo. First, that a pack of bears is called a “sleuth,” a word I’ve typically reserved for the purposes of describing Nancy Drew. But I also learned that even though it’s frequently repeated that bears aren’t prone to venture out on solo projects—bears of a sleuth stick together—the same can no longer be said for our sleuth of Animal Avengers.

I was always a little suspect of “FBI Agent” Schaffer with his perfectly chiseled jaw and willingness to let pedestrians have free roam around crime scenes, but I’d never even considered that one of our core five assembled animal investigators might rebel from the world-saving ranks. It turns out that we haven’t been learning about little Clementine’s illness over the last few weeks just to gain a better understanding of Mitch’s surly disposition. No, it’s been to prepare us for the day that Mitch went rogue. He hasn’t handed over the mother cell to Reiden Global yet. But unless he’s as crafty at working over all-powerful global corporations as he is with handling live bears, this happy sleuth of animal experts might have a whole lot of disruption coming their way… and just when they were starting to really make some progress.

The episode picks back up in Washington, DC where Jamie is having her photo taken for a new fake passport. Presumably, she’s going undercover now for when the authorities eventually discover Ben Schaffer’s body… you know Ben Schaffer? The not-FBI-agent that Jamie shot four times even though he had simply tied her up when trying to do his dirty work. But that Mother Cell—it makes people do crazy things, like go full Ocean’s Eleven (Chloe’s Five?) in Reiden Global’s Paris headquarters.

That’s right, the team is headed to Paris, because the brown bear that we met on his quest for the perfect summer pinot grigio last week, apparently has three friends—all four bears were part of a study until three of them went off the grid and one showed up in a rich French lady’s kitchen. When they arrive in Paris, Jackson and Chloe go to meet with a local group that’s trying to find the bears, and one particularly handsome civil engineer reveals himself to have a personal connection to Chloe: He’s the guy she was supposed to marry and go on her African safari with until she found out that he was sleeping with her sister days before the wedding. So… there’s that.

While this is going on, Mitch is working on his own tasks, both personal and professional. Before they leave for Paris, we see a higher-up at Reiden Global receive a call from someone saying that they have the Mother Cell and will give it back for something in return. That person is—you guessed it—Mitch, but the possible traitor does also still seem to be working toward the good of the team (and humankind). Once in Paris, he’s back on task, taking blood samples from the bear that randomly went into hibernation to prove that Reiden Global products and the Mother Cell are to blame for its odd behavior. Oddly, when Mitch takes a look at the bear’s eye, its pupil is markedly not defiant.

The group is meets back up at Chloe’s incredibly ritzy apartment where they’re all staying while in Paris. There is much to be discussed over many bottles of wine. First, Mitch tells Jackson that bears go into hibernation for two reasons and he thinks this bear might be doing it for the lesser known of the two; basically, because its body is going through some significant biological change.

Jamie, though not hibernating, also knows a little something about change as she recently, y’know, killed a man and is sporting a passport with the name Nancy Armstrong as a result. Abraham brings things into perspective a little by telling her about how he also used to have a different name: When he was 13, his parents were killed in a raid, and he and his two younger brothers were taken by the rebel army. As a form of initiation, they gave him a gun with one bullet and told him he must choose one of his brothers to kill, and if not, they would both be killed. He tells her that he knew if he shot the bullet, he and the brother that was chosen to live would be turned into animals. So, both of his younger brothers were killed by the rebels, and once he was able to escape, he changed his name to Abraham and has spent his whole life trying to protect his new family in the way that he was not able to protect his brothers—a family that now includes Jamie. Nonso Anozie so completely sells this scene that I found myself getting a little more emotional than I ever thought I would during an episode of Zoo.

NEXT: Suit up!