‘Zoo’ Review: Another One Bites the Dust, or, Snake on a Plane!

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On the latest episode of “Zoo,” we finally learned Chloe’s ultimate fate, while the team also dealt with a slithery menace (“Snakes? Why did it have to be snakes!!?”) and Jamie and Logan at long last made it to Caraquet- but at what cost?- in “The Moon and the Stars.”

First and foremost, we’re about to get into spoiler-heavy territory, so if you haven’t seen the episode yet, you’re definitely going to want to watch it first, or at the very least, the first section or two. Okay? Consider yourself warned…

So, we picked up right where we left off, with Chloe (Nora Arnezeder) having been caught on the wrong side of an air-locked door after a deadly gas had been released during the team’s ill-fated attempt to nab the leopard back from the sinister General Davies (Peter Outerbridge).

Thinking Chloe to have already been doomed, Dariela (Alyssa Diaz) closed the door behind her, only to not be able to open it again when she suddenly reappeared until the air was purified again inside the facility. By that point, Chloe had gotten a deadly dose of the gas, which indeed proved fatal.

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I don’t know about you, but I was genuinely blindsided by all of this. I thought for sure that the team would get Chloe to the plane and Mitch would work his magic and she would be resurrected at the last possible moment, pseudo-“Abyss”-style.

But such was not the case, and us fans were unexpectedly forced to say goodbye to a major player on the team from Day One. This sucks, as not only was Arnezeder easy on the eyes and a likable character, but it was kind of cool having a lead character be French on an American show.

Not to mention the fact that Chloe was hardly just eye candy, but a highly intelligent and key member of the team. She will definitely be missed, and I genuinely hate that she went out so suddenly.

I suspect it won’t fully hit me for a while, as it was so abrupt and unexpected, but it is what it is. I suppose there’s some comfort to be taken from the fact that she went fashionably dressed, as should be the preferred French way, one would assume. So, there’s that, such as it is.

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Whatever the case, no sooner had Chloe exited than someone seized control of the plane and we were introduced to another new character to take her place. Geez, can we not even have a moment to mourn Chloe, writers? Whatevs.

On the plus side, it was none other than “Warehouse 13”-vet, Joanne Kelly, as Allison Shaw, aka Mitch’s…stepmom? What the what? Yep, it would appear that Mitch’s dad likes ’em young…real young, as Kelly is actually a good ten years or so younger than Billy Burke!

Though Mitch and her have a contentious relationship, to say the least, Shaw has always respected Mitch’s intelligence, which is why she recruited him and his team and gave them access to her super-plane. But now needing his particular brand of expertise, she force lands the plane and demands their cooperation with an animal-related problem she’s experiencing.

It turns out that Shaw made her bread and butter in part via an orchard, which is now in danger of being exterminated by some unknown pest. Mitch begrudgingly agrees to check it out, in exchange for a promise by Shaw to give them full use of the plane afterwards to do as they will- including go after the long-lost Jamie.

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It turns out to be snakes, of all things, who are not only poisoning the plants in contention, but are in danger of doing so with the local water in general if left unchecked. That night, one of them gets into the home of one of Shaw’s employees through the toilet and all hell breaks loose, and then some.

I guess he should be glad he wasn’t using it at the time, or it could have gone somewhere else besides his mouth! (For those who actually want to see something like that, I direct you to the Stephen King adaptation “Dreamcatcher,” if you dare.)

As it stands, the snake attack proved fatal, not to mention pretty gruesome, as the team was forced to pull the snake out of the poor man’s mouth, in order to examine and study it for a solution to the main problem at hand. The process ended up killing him, much to the horror of his wife.

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The team takes the snake on the plane to study, but, naturally it gets loose- where’s Samuel L. Jackson when you need him? This leads to our own Jackson (James Wolk) being exposed, as he’s the only one able to get ahold of the snake without getting bitten, on account of his “Manimal” status, which resulted from a bite from one of the next-level animals previously.

The team are none too amused by the revelation, but deal with it. However, Jackson does make Dariela swear to put him down if he goes full-animal, which she has no problem with, having done the honors with the last one, Kovacs.

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This, in turn, leads to her being accepted as a full-fledged member of the team, which I suppose makes sense, given that, thanks in part to her, they’re down a member.

To be honest, I’m still on the fence about the character, who is a bit too prickly for my tastes, though I did enjoy her and Abe (Nonso Anozie) hooking up. Gotta love a woman that can appreciate Abe’s teddy bear charms, right? We’ll see, but she’ll have to grow on me, I suspect.

The team uses the snake’s venom to synthesize a formula to combat the threat at the orchard, and, true to her word, Shaw lets them abscond with her plane to go and finally track down Jamie.

The Moon and the Star

Thankfully, something good did come out of Chloe’s death, as she managed to pass along what she’d discovered about Jamie’s location- that she was headed for Caraquet, so that’s where they head as well, accordingly.

Along the way, Mitch realizes that they have the newfangled DNA of several different animals and that, if they can get a few more examples of it from key animals, they can synthesize another formula, this one with the ability to reverse the behavior of the animals altogether, which can allow them to avoid Davies’ nutty “Noah Objective”- at least if they figure it out in time.

Zoo (CBS) "First Blood" TV Series Premiere 2015 (9)

This would, of course, avoid Davies killing not just a whole bunch of animals, but millions of people as well, which is unknown to the general public at the moment, but one would guess wouldn’t go over too well with them if they did know. Unless they were amongst the “chosen” few in safe areas, that is.

Obviously, this is sort of a spin on the whole have-and-the-have-nots thing, with perhaps a side order of the whole 1%-vs.-the-99% for good measure. This gambit also somewhat informs the subplot on this episode about what has become of Caraquet, which has gone near full-on “Hunger Games” in the wake of the animal apocalypse.

The Moon and the Star

Actually, it’s more like original source material, “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, in which (spoiler alert on a seriously old short story) a lottery is held to determine who will be sacrificed to appease the Gods and allow the community to continue to prosper.

Leading up the crazy-pants authority is one-time J-Love compadre Rebecca Field (“The Client List”), as Gwen, who apparently has talked the survivors of the initial animal attack into doing this sacrifice thing in order to ensure peace in Caraquet, which seems to be working for them.

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Alas, Jamie (Kristen Connolly) and Logan (Josh Salatin) run afoul of all this, as if they haven’t been through enough already. Wasting no time in ruffling feathers at the town’s headquarters, Jamie finds herself on the chopping block for the next sacrifice, along with poor Maddie (Jessica McLeod, “Almost Actors”), who tried to warn Jamie of what they were walking into upon their arrival.

Oddly, Logan escapes reprisal, in spite of his decidedly shady past, but on the plus side, this allows him to help Jamie out at the last minute, as the community prepare to feed her and Maddie to…wait for it…a pack of decidedly unmenacing polar bears! Seriously, these fluffy critters were one step away from drinking Cokes, for all the fear they inspired in this viewer, lol.

Polar bears

Not that bears can’t be scary, to be sure- witness “The Revenant”– but these sure weren’t. Hell, even when they cornered Jamie and company in a school bus and one of them ended up munching down on the deserving Gwen, I almost had to laugh at what should have been pretty gruesome.

Final score- Snakes:1 and Polar Bears: 0. Sorry, guys. Better luck next time, you fuzzy critters. So cute! (Also, do they even have polar bears in New Brunswick? Even under these circumstances?)

The Moon and the Star

In the end, the team arrived with their plane, just in time to snag Jamie and company, though it remains to be seen who gets to leave and who doesn’t- or who even deserves to, given what they were up to. That plane is big, certainly, but is it big enough to carry all of these people? We shall see.

On the plus side, we finally got the long-awaited reunion between Jamie and Mitch, which almost makes up for the loss of Chloe. Almost. (For shame, “Zoo” writers! Isn’t that final episode material?) That was about it for this episode.

All in all, a bit of a mixed bag, TBH. On the one hand, the snake stuff was cool, but on the other, we lost Chloe. On the one hand, the team was finally reunited with Jamie, but on the other, all she had to contend with was a bunch of cutesy, overgrown teddy bears that weren’t very scary.

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If anything, this episode only proved that old adage that the “most dangerous game” is, in fact, “man,” as per another famous short story. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that something was off in Caraquet, which makes me decidedly wary of letting any of those people, save Maddie, on that plane.

Hopefully, they will make the right decision, but at the same time, I also hope it doesn’t come back to bite them in the butts if they make the wrong one- but it probably will. Like I said, we shall see.

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So, what did you think of the latest episode of “Zoo”? Were you sad to see Chloe go? Are you glad the team finally reconnected with Jamie? What will become of Logan? Or the townspeople of Caraquet? What should become of them? What do you think will become of Jackson? Will he be the next casualty? Or is he the key to everything? Make your predictions down below, and see you a little later on in the season!