Jackson's on the hunt for his dad, the Animal Avengers are on the hunt for Jackson, and the Russians are on the hunt for the truth

By Jodi Walker
August 24, 2016 at 05:36 AM EDT
Shane Harvey/CBS
S2 E10
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When this episode ended, I couldn’t believe it was already over. I’m not sure if that’s because nothing really happened, or because I was somehow still sucked in by the hunt for Jackson Oz. That would be the Jackson who apparently went full-on mutant last week, droopy pupil and all, but is still rocking the hell out of a tailored-jeans-and-leather-jacket combo and writing hand-penned apology notes sweet enough to make Emily Post shed a tear…

You know, Jackson, who ran off into the dark night of Helsinki last week because his bestie Abe revealed he had injected him with mutant DNA when they were kids and then never told him. Oh, and one more thing: Jackson’s father is still alive and working for the man trying to kill all the world’s animals. If you feel like I’m just recapping events that happened in the past instead of during tonight’s episode, that’s because nothing new really happened in Tuesday night’s hour. In addition to Mitch’s weekly breakdown in the lab, there was General Davies recapping, Allison and her iPad recapping, and Jamie recapping while some Russian man gave her the full Meet the Parents manual lie-detector treatment.

And you know what? It was kind of necessary, because things are getting complicated. Mitch has been talking about how much he needs Jackson to make this seven-part cure recipe for a few weeks now, but in “Yellow Brick Road” we suddenly find out it’s because Jackson will serve as an incubator for Mitch’s genomic fossil stew. Why? Unclear. How? Doesn’t matter.

That’s because this triple-helix incubation station isn’t happening at all if the Animal Avengers don’t track down Jackson in the three days left before the Noah Objective drops. So, Mitch and Abe head out into Helsinki to follow Jackson’s tracking chip. They’re briefly slowed by a herd of reindeer trampling their vehicle, but luckily these are the kind of reindeer that just leave a little pitter-pattering of dents without so much as a crack in the windshield. And those reindeer were running away from something — or someone. Mitch and Abe find Jackson’s car ditched with his bloody tracker inside, so it’s back to the private jet to figure out where he might be headed.

Abe feels certain Jackson is trying to find his not-actually-dead father, which means he needs to get to a plane. But then there’s some news from the TVs scattered around Zoo that are constantly playing news: A man has gone on a violent rampage at a hospital. Abe feels sure it couldn’t be Jackson, but Mitch keeps trying to convince him Jackson has gone full-mutant now. When they get to the hospital, though, it seems the man was on the hunt for something specific and only harmed anyone who tried to stop him. Still not ideal, but maybe not to the level of Mrs. Oz hulking out of her tank top yet.

NEXT: Find the parakeet, save the world

In the hospital lab — where Jackson seemed to be trying to get to — Abe and Mitch find just one tiny thing out of place: a missing vial of blood that belongs to Vera Salvon. Abe thinks it could just be a coincidence, but Mitch has a hunch they should follow this trail, and Mitch has literally never been wrong on the show (other than that time he had sex with his stepmom, ew!), so they head to Vera’s listed address. The house is empty except for a parakeet and a few bloody tissues.

AND THEN JACKSON RUNS OUT THE DOOR! He was there all along, it seems, but he sneaks out and steals Vera’s car to get away. Even though he’s long gone by the time Mitch and Abe get in their own car, Mitch has a plan to find him. See, about the time Jackson slipped past them in the house, the parakeet started acting nuts — like all animals do around mutated apex predator humans. So Mitch just pops the bird in the car and screams at Abe to go left every time the bird tries to go right. These guys straight up use this demented parakeet as their own personal GPS, destination: Jackson. It’s so perfectly nuts.

And would you believe me if I say it worked?! Well — it worked! Mitch and Abe bird-track Jackson all the way to…the airport. Ruh-roh.

So it’s back to the plane where they find an unexpected visitor: Vera Salvon. She’s a small elderly woman with a perma-smile on her face, and she has a message from Jackson Oz: He’s found her to replace him as the triple-helix incubator. Apparently, her parakeet bit her a while back and she started having weird symptoms such as black tears. Sound familiar? How did Jackson track the blood of another person with the ghost gene in that hospital? Unclear. How did he convince her, in what must have been a very brief conversation, to hand herself over to a team of government-opposing weirdos on a plane? Doesn’t matter.

What does matter is Vera puts the Animal Avengers back on track for the cure, and because of Jamie, they know where Jackson’s headed. And that’s a story all by itself. Even though the Noah Objective is set to kill every animal and millions of humans in just three days, Allison’s intel says Russia is having second thoughts about signing on. Earlier in the episode, she tells Mitch he needs to stay behind on the search for Jackson so he can talk a little science to some Russian officials and get them on her side — but he was all, “I don’t speak Russian,” and headed out to look for his mutant friend. So when the Russian Minister of Defense shows up on the plane unannounced, it’s just Allison and Jamie — and Dariela, but we’ll get to her — left to explain why Russia should go against the American government and sign on with their plan, which, y’know, involves an animal that’s been extinct for thousands of years.

NEXT: Like father, like son

There’s an even bigger problem with Minister Ivankoff being there, though: Allison tells Jamie that if Ivankoff knows Mitch is off looking for Jackson (i.e. the mutation has reached humans), he’ll be more likely to back the Noah Objective. So Jamie lies and tells him Mitch is looking for the final animal they need for the cure. But somehow this magic man can tell she’s lying and says he wants to speak with her alone. The other women are like, Sure, she’s kind of a drag anyway, so Ivankoff proceeds to question her on the cure while holding her wrists to see if her pulse betrays her. But Jamie tells him all the deets on the triple helix and the genomic fossils and whatnot, until they get to Mitch’s current whereabouts. She maneuvers around the truth a little more, but then she just tells him: Mitch is out looking for a mutated man.

And Ivankoff loves it! (Not that humans are mutating, just that Jamie told the truth.) He corroborates her story with a scientist he knows and tells Allison that once he can convince his Cabinet members, they’ll retract their support of the Noah Objective. But what kind of scientist could corroborate the cure Mitch has figured out? That would be Dr. Robert Oz, Jackson’s not-dead dad. After a little call-tracing, the Animal Avengers get his current location.

Abe’s guess that Jackson was trying to find his father is proven correct when Jackson shows up outside the IADG. He gets General Davies on the phone and tells him he’s willing to turn himself over if he sees some proof that Davies has his father. Davies is thrilled, because Dr. Oz won’t give him the information he needs to execute the Noah Objective until he’s able to see his son. Everything would be coming up roses for this man attempting to commit mass genocide — if it weren’t for the Animal Avengers busting into Oz’s safe house only to find him missing. Once Davies finds out Oz is gone, he tells his men to just go ahead and kill Jackson. He doesn’t need him anymore, and what’s a little murder by government officials in an animal apocalypse, anyway?

The sniper takes aim with instructions to shoot Jackson as soon as his hand hits the door handle. But just when he’s reaching for it, someone grabs his shoulder and the bullet goes through the door instead of our favorite mutant-human hybrid. Jackson’s last-minute savior turns out to be DR. ROBERT OZ himself! “We should run,” he says to his long-lost son. This guy really is a genius…

A few loose ends:

  • It turns out Dariela’s blood-test results did show she was pregnant; that’s why the horses were targeting her last week. No one seems concerned by the revelation that animals apparently want to violently attack pregnant women.
  • In other personal-drama developments, yet another person (Vera) notices the undeniable spark between Mitch and Jamie, and advises Jamie to go for it. The only problem is Allison tells Jamie she’s in love with her former stepson and Jamie is all, He’s all yours, pal.
  • Most absurd line: “Who keeps a pet in the middle of an animal apocalypse?”
  • Most absurd recapping: “The Noah Objective is days away and we still need a sabre-toothed cat.” “Aren’t those extinct?” “Not on an island call Pangaea.” Sure.
  • They really do still need that sabre-toothed cat, though. But for now, I guess we’ll just be thankful for Vera and her pocketbook full of forgiveness notes that make Abe cry.
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