Zoo recap: Zero Sum
Just when I think I’m so beyond frustrated with an episode of Zoo, they go and “pull a Zoo” — which is to say, they dropped a mom-mutant bomb in the last 10 seconds of the episode, redeeming all of the nonsense the Animal Avengers had been spewing for the preceding 59 minutes and 50 seconds.
I mean, what was happening with the characters on Zoo tonight? Suddenly, everyone is totally down for murder, the thing they’ve supposedly been trying to prevent in the Noah Objective this entire time? If I had to see Jamie give one more judgmental look after she had just shot a dude with a tranquilizer and then pushed him out of a plane, I might have flown the huge and mysteriously staffed jet from which I was watching this episode straight into the ground. It’s not that I don’t understand how the team would be pushed to their limits at this point… It’s just that I’m not sure Zoo can handle turning its good guys into bad guys. We have exactly one reason to root for this team: For two seasons, we’ve been led to believe their mission is the one with the moral high ground. But tonight, I started to wonder if they really are the crackpots their opponents have made them out to be.
But again, the mom-zombie reveal was pretty much enough to make me forget entirely all of those gripes. I let out a gasp so loud, not even the Girl with the Genie Tattoo’s constant grimace could override it. (The hysterical laugh of disbelief at the appearance of the electric-ant defibrillator didn’t hurt, either.) Tonight’s hour opens with the Animal Avengers tranquilizing some unseen, slithery-sounding animal in an icy box to get it back to the plane. It turns out Mitch has been able to reassemble the bones from Leonard Price’s grave and figure out the remaining two triple-helix animals. One is still a mystery, but the other… Well, it’s a flash-freezing lizard, of course.
Unlike the other triple-helix animals, the Avengers were actually able to find the lizard before it caused a global catastrophe, which is cause for a Jackson-Abe fist bump. They are total besties, after all, and when Jackson confesses to barely holding it together, Abe reminds him it’s always been his job to keep Jackson in one piece. But he’s about to start working overtime, considering the information Allison calls to deliver: Jackson’s mom, Elizabeth, left Botswana with a group, and they haven’t called since their last checkpoint. In other words, she’s officially missing. (And let’s not forget, his dad Robert Oz is officially not missing, nor is Jackson’s memory of dear-old dad shooting up an adolescent Jackson with the ghost gene that’s now causing him to go full coughing-up-black-goo mutant.)
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Allison says she won’t be able to deploy a rescue team, but there’s no time for Jackson to argue — the power to the plane goes out, and Davies’ men are suddenly on board. They get Mitch on his knees, but Jackson and Abe are able to hide long enough to take down a few of the men while the pilot gets the plane in the air to prevent anymore soldiers from getting on. Logan finds Jamie while the men are roaming around and tells her they need to jump out of the plane. And in the one time I enjoy Jamie this episode, she’s kind of like, “Bro… I know I let you cut off my toe and all, but I’m not jumping out of this plane with you.” And that’s when Davies finds them and thanks Logan for being a total TRAITOR. Logan tells Jamie he tried to give her an out, but uh, she’s still pretty mad.
NEXT: I wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend…
When Jamie joins the rest of the tied-up Avengers, she tells them Logan is the enemy. Mitch charges him, but he really has other plans: He unlocks the soundproof cage containing the plane’s resident earthquake-causing sloth. One hidden laser pointer later, and the sloth is letting out his precious little growl that causes the plane to start going all over the place. Now, considering Mitch has no way of controlling the sloth’s cry, this is a pretty risky plan. But since the Animal Avengers at least know what’s going on, they have the upper hand. Jackson and Mitch take out the remaining soldiers and tranq the sloth back to silence, Abe ties up Davies, and Jamie goes after Logan.
And then… She stone-cold murders him. She catches him about to jump off the plane into the CGI abyss, and he tells her he thought they were on the same page. When he saw her sacrifice that woman in Caraquet as polar-bear chow, he thought she understood that to survive in this new world, you have to do “whatever it takes.” So Jamie gives him the old, “Logan, wait! You’re right — whatever it takes,” lets him kiss her, and then shoots him with the tranq gun. Her last words before pushing him over the edge: “Good luck opening your shoot.” Oh, she bad.
But Jamie isn’t the only one who’s developed a newly violent personality. I mean, Abe has always had it in him to rough a bad guy up a little, but he really gets his torture on tonight with General Davies. He wants to know what the deal is with Jackson’s dad being alive. (Jackson, by the way, has officially called Allison to tell her he’s holding Davies hostage until she sends a rescue team for his mom — and he’s willing to beat the crap out of him to get answers. And when that doesn’t work, he seems willing to kill him.)
Abe tells Jamie to get the venom from the deadliest snake in the world they stole a few weeks ago. He’s going to let it fry Davies’ nerves a little (before he gives him the anti-venom) to see if it’ll help loosen his lips. Davies starts waxing poetic, saying that even though the TX-14 gas will kill 2.2 million people, it will save billions. Jamie responds with “It’s murder” — which is pretty rich, considering she just pushed a guy off a plane. The venom is slowly killing Davies, but he basically says he doesn’t care if he dies. The TX-14 gas will be his legacy: “He’ll make sure of that?” (Uh, who exactly is he talking about?)
Robert Oz, apparently. The gas, the Noah Objective, repopulating the animals using clean DNA… It was all his idea, at least according to Davies. Abe isn’t so sure he believes him. In fact, he’s so unsure, he kind of lets him die before he gives him the anti-venom. Which is not great, y’know, morally, but also not great because Allison’s on the phone with Jackson telling him about all the rules she just broke to get a rescue team to his mom (so he would return Davies safely). She wants to talk to Davies as proof he’s still alive, which isn’t going to be easy considering he’s quite dead. CPR isn’t working, and Jamie just discovered the defibrillator got destroyed in the earlier turbulence.
NEXT: Ants, a heart-healthy alternative…
Luckily, what Jamie lacks in toes, she makes up for in totally bonkers resourcefulness. On her way back to Abe, she spots the triple-helix electric ants, throws a bunch of those bad boys into two Erlenmeyer flasks, flips them over onto Davies’ chest, and lets the electricity do its thing. Sure, Zoo, whatever you say. In the end, Allison got to hear Davies alive, and we got to experience a perfect Zoo storm of ludicrous meets ridiculous meets SCIENCE.
There’s also a thing where the flash-freezing lizard gets hurt and Mitch has to save it to save the cure, which means his fingers nearly freeze off while he operates. We never really see much of the lizard and it never really seems like he’s going to die, so it’s all a little anticlimactic — much like the conversation between Jamie and Mitch, during which it seems like they might make up before she starts fussing at him about not knowing what she went through in the Canadian woods. I think these two might need to forget about that months-ago kiss already… They don’t seem to even like each other much anymore.
But hey, you know what’s not anticlimactic? When Abe and Jackson arrive on the scene where Elizabeth Oz’s group was found, there are dead bodies everywhere. Abe points out the bodies look like the ones they found when Kovaks attacked that village. They don’t see Jackson’s mother’s body among them, and the rescue workers tell them the survivors are in the tent — but Elizabeth isn’t there, either. There’s only one woman, a woman Jackson knows from his former village. She tells Jackson she awoke to screams, and suddenly everyone was dead and Elizabeth ran into the woods. What did this, Jackson asks…
“Your mother. She killed all of them.”
A few loose ends:
- AHHHH! It looks like Jackson wasn’t the only one who got a parting gift from Papa Oz, but it seems his mother’s ghost-gene injection was more of the fast-acting variety.
- We also opened the door on an Abe mystery, when Davies told him that if he didn’t stop asking about Dr. Oz, he was going to tell Jackson his secret: “That meeting Jackson in Uwei as a young man wasn’t a coincidence — that you knew Robert Oz long before you met his son.” Say what?
- Most absurd line: “I don’t know what happened here, and I don’t want to, but we’ve got a lizard to save.”
- During tonight’s episode, did anyone else start thinking, “Hey, maybe the Noah Objective IS the way to go?”
I think it’s about time the Animal Avengers get off this damn plane and start dealing with some majorly mutated animals again, don’t you? Will mutant mama do the trick next week? Were you as shocked as I was at that reveal, or as frustrated with the Animal Avengers for their uncharacteristically violent behavior this week? Sound off in the comments!