Zoo Episode Review: “This Is What It Sounds Like”

Zoo

Season 1 | Episode 6 | Aired August 4, 2015

Shocking. That’s the first word I would use to describe “This Is What It Sounds Like”. Mitch and Chloe spent majority of the episode trying to stay alive after being kidnapped by Silva and his gang who want them to solve the bat issue while Abraham searches all over for them.

Meanwhile, Jackson and Shafer help Jamie remember what happened during the crash and this information actually leads them directly to Hartley. Unfortunately, they reach him too late and Hartley dies before they can get any information from him.

More surprising than this is that we find out whose side Shafer is really on. There’ve been a lot of characters in this show so far so I’m not 100% certain who it was that paid Shafer off, but considering how badly he wanted The Mother Cell, I’m guessing it was someone at Reiden Global. Before he can get it, Jamie shoots (and I think kills) him which I’m fairly certain makes them fugitives.

As all this is going on, a new animal has been affected by The Mother Cell: bears. A poor woman in France is trapped in her pantry after a bear gets into her house and tears apart her kitchen. This was absolutely terrifying.

So I definitely did not see Shafer’s storyline coming. I didn’t like the guy from the moment he was introduced, but I never imagined he would tie Jamie up and then beat up Jackson, all for this Mother Cell. Not only that, but he killed someone! Like I said, I’m assuming he’s being paid off by Reiden Global (if I’m wrong, please correct me).

If that is the case though, then their reach goes pretty far and taking them down might be even harder than it seemed. Though I don’t think it’ll be too hard to convince them they need to do it, especially since Mitch tried to contact his daughter in Tuesday’s episode and we all knew Clementine’s dog is taking medicine from RG.

Chloe and Mitch

There are just so many things I can see right now are going to go wrong and so many more than we obviously don’t know about yet.

Also, Hartley’s dead. Again, not what I was expecting. I was expecting this big crazy showdown given how determined he was, but it seems he got what he wanted when he had an optometrist put something back inside his eye. What it was, we don’t know yet. I’m guessing we’ll find out next week and hopefully get some answers on Hartley and on Jackson’s father.

From the looks of the preview we’ll also be getting some answers on why a bear raided a poor woman’s kitchen and then went into hibernation. In the middle of spring. I was so confused at first how it was that this woman didn’t hear the bear walking behind her.

Like, she had hardwood floors. When my dog is walking on my kitchen floor I can hear her and she’s twelve pounds of fluff. How does anyone not hear a bear in their house? Even if you don’t know it’s a bear, you’d think that a woman who lives alone (I’m assuming) would hear other footsteps in her house! But apparently not. She didn’t notice the bear until it was a couple feet away in the kitchen at which point she hid in the pantry.

Yup, pretty much exactly what I would do. Hide or just get out as quickly as possible and get as far away as possible. They say you can’t outrun a bear and that you’re supposed to make yourself seem bigger and make lots of noise. I’m guessing this information doesn’t apply in Zoo, nor would it apply if there was actually a bear in your house. I’m not sure what the protocol for that is so let’s hope it never happens.

I really enjoyed Tuesday’s episode. I normally have to watch each episode twice before I review it to make sure I got everything and understood it all, but as the season goes on I’m not having to do that and it’s becoming easier to follow everything.

What did you think of the most recent episode?

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Zoo Episode Review: “Blame it on Leo”

Zoo

Season 1 | Episode 5 | Aired July 28, 2015

Bats were the theme of Tuesday night’s episode of Zoo. After finding the name ‘Leo Butler’ written all over Hartley’s bible, Jamie and Jackson (along with FBI Agent Ben Shafer after he invites himself along) head to out to find out who he is, especially after learning of his former ties to Reiden Global. Meanwhile, Abraham, Mitch, and Chloe fly to Rio to try and figure out why there is a sudden influx of bats during the daytime.

Jamie and Jackson manage to find Leo, but he doesn’t know anything about Robert Oz or Hartley. However, he knows quite a lot about Reiden Global and reveals to them that RG has something they call “The Mother Cell”. The group is shocked to learn that The Mother Cell is literally in every product Reiden Global distributes and seems to be what is causing the animals strange behavior.

Jamie and Leo go to retrieve The Mother Cell, but before they can get back to Jackson and Shafer, their car is hit by Hartley, who then takes the cell.

In Rio, Mitch, Chloe, and Abraham discover that the bats seem to be attracted to technology after Chloe is attacked by one while on the phone to Jackson. This would explain why the bats took down Abraham and Jackson’s plane while they were in Japan and why there were bats in Antarctica, attracted to the solar panels.

Mitch Bat

As they try to create an antenna that will help test and deal with this issue, they are once again confronted by the gang from earlier who, unfortunately, don’t go quite so easy on them this time. I was very confused by this and was definitely freaking out at my TV when that guy attacked Mitch with the baseball bat (they think they’re so clever) and I’m really looking forward to seeing where they take this next week. Why were these guys attacking them? What was the reason? Is everyone good? What happens with the bats?

While all this happening, we are introduced to a new character, a little girl, Clementine, and her dog, Henry. After being hit by a car, Henry needs surgery and medication. Medication that we see is distributed by Reiden Global. This whole storyline seemed a little pointless at first and I was confused as to why we were suddenly being introduced to this little girl until it is revealed that she is Mitch’s daughter.

Tuesday’s episode was very bat-centric which is something I’m sure all those people who really hate bats appreciated. Now I’m not gonna lie, this episode confused me a little and I definitely have a lot of questions. Is Reiden Global definitely responsible? Seems to be, I think we can assume it is. Are all the animals attacked to technology or is just the bats? And what on earth was Mitch saying for most of the episode?

They should’ve gotten Mitch and Leo together, that would’ve been a conversation no one could keep up with.

Speaking of Mitch, we met his daughter! Finally! He mentioned her last week, but I totally make the connection when we first saw her. Yeah, like I said before, I was a little confused as to why they were suddenly adding this girl to the mix. I was a little worried the dog was going to eat her or something, but then it tried out find. Doesn’t look like it’ll stay that way though!

Now that Henry’s taking meds that come from Reiden who knows what’s going to happen. I’m guessing that’ll probably lead to an interesting reunion with Mitch and his family. I’m just really hoping Clementine doesn’t get eaten.

I’m really liking how they keep splitting the group up into little sub-groups. Last week it was Jamie, Jackson, and Chloe (and Shafer), and Abraham and Mitch. This week Chloe has gone with Mitch and Abraham. It’s just interesting to see and with these smaller groups it feels like we’re able to learn more about each of the characters.

Mitch Abraham Chloe

If you had all six of them together all the time we probably wouldn’t learn too much, but by splitting them up there’s more time to focus on the individual characters and their backgrounds and their affects on each other. I’m loving that we’re learning more about Mitch, but I really can’t wait until we more of Abraham’s background as he’s still quite the mystery.

Of course, this mystery isn’t just down to the script, it’s also down to how the character is portrayed and Nonso Anozie does a spectacular job in his role. They all do. It’s really funny when I watch The Whispers on Monday night with Kristen Connolly and then Zoo on Tuesdays because all I can think is how busy she must’ve been filming both.

I think all the actors did particularly good last night, especially Anozie, Nora Arnezder, and Billy Burke. I’m going to make the assumption that the creators of the show didn’t throw hundreds of live bats at their actors (if they did then kudos to the actors for standing there while that happened), but assuming they didn’t they did a great job at pretending they were surrounded.

Jackson Jamie Shafer Leo

I’m also really enjoying James Wolk’s performance in the show. He was a big reason I started watching in the first place and after seeing him playing clean and composed former-President’s son Douglas Hammond in Political Animals, this show is so different and he’s done an absolutely phenomenal job.

I have so many questions after Tuesday’s episode and am anxiously waiting for next Tuesday to get here so we can hopefully get some answers.

Make sure to check out the preview for next week’s new episode and tell me what you thought of “Blame it on Leo”!

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Photos found on CBS Website

Zoo Episode Review – “Pack Mentality”

Zoo

Season 1 | Episode 4 | Aired July 21, 2015

Apparently I’m really terrible at reviewing shows that air on Tuesdays. I have no idea why that is, but anyone who read my reviews for Finding Carter can attest to this (especially since I haven’t reviewed the last two episodes yet). But, it’s finally here, my review for last week’s episode of Zoo!

Several things happened in “Pack Mentality”. The five recruits were forced to work together for the first time, we learned a bit more about Mitch’s background, the fate of Evan Lee Hartley was revealed, and I found out I spelt Reiden Global wrong multiple times in my last review.

In this fourth episode, Jackson, Abraham, Mitch, Chloe, and Jamie headed to Mississippi after hearing about the wolf attack at the prison. While Jackson, Chloe, and Jamie head to the prison, Abraham and Mitch are assigned to try and find one of the wolves so they can run some tests and try to figure out why the attack happened.

While at the prison, Jackson realizes that Evan Lee Hartley is the only surviving member from the wolf attack. Not only that, but determine that Hartley is actually the pack alpha, though none of them know why or what Hartley’s connection to all of this is.

Jackson Wolves

Mitch and Abraham go out into the woods to try and catch one of the wolves and must avoid a hunting party who want the wolves dead. However, the hunting party is not their biggest worry as they are instead found by Hartley. Before Hartley can do anything to them though, the hunters shoot one of the wolves and Hartley runs off.

Jamie goes on a little solo mission to try and gather information about Evan Lee Hartley and discovers a photo of the man with Jackson’s father, Robert. She also learns that Hartley used to just a normal guy, until he suddenly went out into the woods one day and murdered an entire hunting party. That’s definitely disturbing and it makes you wonder what it was about that day that suddenly changed things.

After each of their solo missions, the group reunite to run tests on the wolf and make quite the discovery with the use of a coffee pot and coconuts. Not going to lie, I’m not 100% certain what it was they did here or what this test proved, but I gathered from the coffee pot exploding that it was incredibly bad.

Meanwhile, in Antarctica, a research station is attacked by a cloud of bats. The two women working there believe the reason by the bats suddenly being there is because the animals are trying to protect each other and the bats know the women have several birds in cages. After the birds are released, the bats leave, but not until the two women have already died from exposure to the cold.

Also in this episode, we are introduced to FBI Agent Ben Shafer (Geoff Stults) and I’m intrigued to see what part he will play in all of this.

Like the last episode, I really liked how we got to learn a bit more about the characters in this one. It’s revealed that Mitch has an ex-wife! And a daughter! Is that why he seems so bitter all the time? We don’t know for sure yet, but I’m betting we’ll find out soon.

We also learned more about what Jackson’s childhood was like with his father. While parts of it sound great, other parts… well, not so much. Though I reckon Jackson’s probably rethinking everything that happened during his childhood that he called ‘crazy’ now that all the animals are going nuts.

This episode has also increased the fear I feel whenever I’m around any animal now. It doesn’t help that the birds in my backyard sit on the fence and stare at me through the window, but you know, I’m sure they’re not conspiring or anything.

The whole concept of this episode was genuinely freaky. Somehow Hartley is connected to the wolves, he is also somehow connected to Robert Oz. Not only that, but the increased changes in the animal’s behaviour just gets more and more disturbing. It was creepy enough when the bats flew too high in the sky, too early in the day. Who ever heard of bats in Antarctica?

Honestly, this show just gets better with each episode. We’re only four episodes in and they’ve already got me freaked out by my dog and desperately wanting to read the book. One of the reasons is because I want to know what happens next.

What is Hartley’s connection? What made him snap that day? What is his connection to Robert Oz? What is the cause behind the animals sudden change in behaviour? And so many more! All in all, this episode was fantastic and I am very excited to watch tonight’s.

This felt like more of a recap than a review, but this episode was actually really hard to review! So much happened and it was so good, but I don’t know how to react to it without using the words ‘freaky’ and ‘amazing’ several more times.

What did you think of last week’s episode? Any predictions for tonight?

Check out the preview for the next episode below!

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Zoo Episodes 1-3 Review

Zoo

Run: June 30th, 2015-Present
Created By: Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner, Scott Resenberg
Prod. Jeff Pinkner, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg, Michael Katleman, James Mangold, Cathy Konrad, James Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout, Steve Bowen
Genre: Drama Thriller
Based On: Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Starring: James Wolk, Kristen Connolly, Nonso Anozie, Nora Arnezeder, Billy Burke

Season 1 | Episodes 1-3 | Aired June 30, July 7, July 14

Zoo is a new show that recently premiered on June 30th. It follows Jackson Oz (Wolk) as he investigates strange occurrences of animals around the world attacking and killing people and their connection to a theory his father had. Also investigating these attacks is Jamie Campbell (Connolly), a journalist who works with Mitch Morgan (Burke), a veterinary pathologist to determine why the animals are suddenly turning.

“First Blood”

In episode one, “First Blood”, we start off in Africa where we meet Jackson Oz and his best friend Abraham Kenyatta (Anozie) who are working safari guides. However, after a series of lion attacks occur all around the world, including one that seems to leave Abraham dead (though we see at the very end that he’s still alive), Jackson realizes that the crazy ramblings of his late father may not have been all that crazy after all.

Jackson

His father talked about a “defiant pupil” and how the day would come when animals are no longer afraid of people. Jackson is starting to see that maybe his father wasn’t actually crazy and could potentially be right, especially after seeing a strange look in a lion’s eye, a ‘defiant pupil’.

In Los Angeles, Jamie Campbell has just lost her job as a journalist after her boss discovered her blog where she raged about the injustices of the world. One of the injustices is a company that uses pesticides on their food products which they then sell to companies. Among these companies is a zoo where several lions escaped after attacking their trainer and then mauled several people.

Jamie Mitch

Jamie believes this dramatic change in behaviour is due to their food source suddenly changing and the pesticides in the food. However, Mitch Morgan disagrees and the two suddenly find themselves working together to figure out what is going on.

Episode one was a little confusing, though I think that was more because it was the first episode of the series rather than the show itself. I normally find the first episode of a new series to be the most confusing. However, after watching it for a second time and being able to follow along much easier, I have to say that it was a really good first episode.

Starting a new series can be so difficult and if you don’t make it interesting right off the bat you can pretty much kiss any hope of getting renewed goodbye. However, even being slightly confused didn’t stop me from being intrigued.

When I first saw the commercial it looked really interesting. I’m a big animal person so I was immediately hooked. Another big reason I started watching is because of the cast. I’m a big fan of James Wolk, I saw him in Political Animals and thought he did such an amazing job so I was excited right off the bat when I saw him this. Similarly, I’ve seen a few projects Billy Burke has done and enjoyed them and I just recently discovered Kristen Connolly in The Whispers and it’s actually pretty cool to see her in two completely different shows at the same time.

Cat Tree

A great cast combined with mysterious lion attacks, crazy theories, and a tree full of cats makes Zoo an intriguing show that you can’t stop watching.

“Fight or Flight”

Moving on to episode two, “Fight or Flight”. Jackson discovers that Abraham is alive and goes with some other men to rescue his friend from the lions. After getting Abraham back to camp and being assured by Jackson’s mother (Bess Armstrong), the doctor on site, that his friend will be fine, Jackson starts looking more into what his father had to say.

After watching one of his father’s tapes, Jackson realizes that what happened with the lions was a message. They didn’t want to kill Abe, they wanted to let people know that they’re not afraid anymore.

Lions

While Jackson’s mother initially resists what her son is saying, she comes to discover he may be right. She finds that the lion’s hunting patterns have changed. The people weren’t killed for food and they weren’t killed in the normal manner. The lions changed the way they kill to make sure the people died slow and painfully. She reveals to Jackson that any information on his father’s research will be in Japan so Jackson and Abraham decide to set off right away.

Chloe Tousignant (Arnezder), the woman Jackson rescued in episode one, heads back to France where she tries to deal with what happened to her. However, it’s hard for her to deal with the lion attack when, as soon as she gets back, she must deal with her sister who slept with her fiancée. At the very end of the episode, Chloe is approached by a man who knows about what happened in Africa and Slovenia and says that she must go with him right away as the fate of the world depends on it.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Jamie is being evicted. As she is talking to the son of her landlord, we see that someone is hacking into her computer and downloading all the information, though Jamie has no idea. With no job and nowhere to live, Jamie now has nothing to lose and continues her investigation into Raiden Global.

We learn the reason Jamie hates Raiden Global so much is because they are responsible for the destruction of her home town. Later, as she and Mitch are running some experiments on a lion cub, they realize something is definitely going on when the cub’s results come back with readings they shouldn’t and when they realize the cub may be communicating with the lions still in the zoo.

In Slovenia, Tara Bradshaw (Valerie Boucvalt), her husband Nicholas (Billy Slaughter), and their recently adopted son, Andraz (Easton Wayne Fenter) attend a tiger show. After the show is over, Andraz wanders off to get a closer look at the tigers, but these are the animals we need to fear yet.

After Andraz’s toy tiger is carried off by a dog, Nicholas goes after it to get it back. Unfortunately, he’s walked directly into a trap and is suddenly surrounded by dead bodies and vicious dogs. Needless to say, things don’t end well.

This episode was so good! So much happened! I love the way this show goes back and forth between the different places and the way the storylines converge. I thought for sure (and was freaking out about it) that the little boy was going to be eaten by tigers. No way could I have predicted the dog mauling! It especially freaked me out to have my dog sitting next to me as I was watching this.

It actually made me kind of sad because I really liked these new characters. I have a feeling this show will introduce you to a lot of new people, have you get invested in them in under half an hour, and then slaughter them in some really creepy way.

Zoo somehow manages to make their episodes interesting and intriguing from the very beginning all the way to the last second. What better way to get someone to watch next week than to end with a new character who talks about the fate of the world? I know that would get me to watch episode three. And you know what? It did.

“The Silence of the Cicadas”

Chloe is shown the many bodies that were mauled by the dogs in Slovenia. The man, Gaspard Alves (Henry Lubatti), has also been looking into the strange behaviour of the animals and wants to recruit Chloe as he believes she is one of the perfect candidates to figure this all out.

Jackson and Abraham arrive in Tokyo and find Robert Oz’s old residence. There, they meet Minako (Tamlyn Tomita), Robert’s second wife who Jackson knew nothing about. She takes them to the island where his father was working, but before they get there their helicopter crashes after it is hit by hundreds of bats flying way too high in the sky and way too early in the day. Jackson and Abraham walk away from the crash, but Minako dies (just before she can tell them something important).

Jackson and Abraham make their way towards Robert’s work station and on the way there they see horses who have had their eyes removed. They discover Robert was there because of the radiation on the island. The radiation sped up the changes occurring in the animals so he was able to run his experiments.

Jackson and Abraham are rescued from the island by Gaspard who takes them back to Tokyo where the others he has recruited are waiting.

Jamie convinces Mitch to go to Louisiana with her to talk to the senator about their findings on Raiden Global. They arrive and Jamie reveals the trip has nothing to do with her work like she’d originally said as she has been fired, but manages to convince Mitch to still go to the meeting.

Jamie reveals to Mitch that when she was eleven her mother got sick – Cancer – and that she was just one of twenty-six people in the community. Jamie tells him that they had tried to make a case against Raiden, but the company was too big and they didn’t stand a chance. That has apparently not changed as the senator refuses to do anything, despite the evidence Jamie and Mitch present to him.

“Senator? I did my grad school thesis on the inverse proportionality of taxidermy wall mounts to their owner’s penis size. My condolences to your wife.”
– Mitch talking to the senator about his moose head wall mount

While Jamie is ready to give up, Gaspard arrives to recruit Mitch. He agrees to help, but only if Jamie can come too.

A death row prison inmate, Evan Lee Hartley (Marcus Hester) is meeting with the woman whose husband he is accused of killings. As he admits to his crimes, he says all the answers can be found in the bible, but he says something I find particularly interesting. He talks about hunting parties which, if this were an episode of Criminal Minds, could mean something totally different. But in this show it makes me think he knows a lot more about the animals than anyone else.

Wolves

This idea is strengthened when wolves attack the prison Evan is being held at and attack inmates and guards alike. However, Evan is left alive. One of the wolves stares at him, but does make any attempt to attack. Evan is left standing as the prison behind him burns.

I feel like this episode was really revealing for the characters pasts and families. Jackson shows he feels guilty about he and his mother treated his father; Jamie is angry about what happened to her mother; Chloe is still dealing with the fallout with her sister; Mitch reveals he doesn’t talk to his family much; and Abraham mentions about how he doesn’t tell people about his past. We’re definitely getting into the deep stuff here.

While the crazy animal behaviour was obviously still a major part of the episode, I really liked that we kind of took a step back and focused more on the humans in the show and their relationships with the people around them and, now, with each other.

I’m excited to see what is going to happen in tomorrow night’s episode now that all five of them are together and where Evan Lee Hartley stands in all of this.

I knew as soon as I saw the commercial for Zoo that I wanted to review it. Unfortunately when it came on I was in the middle of my writing funk where I pretty much fell behind on everything. But that’s done now and I’m excited to get back to it! So I decided to review/recap all three of the first episodes in one go and then, starting tomorrow, I can post a weekly review.

Have you seen Zoo? What did you think of the first episodes?

Anybody else suddenly freaked out every time an animal stares at them now?

Check out the preview for tomorrow night’s episode!

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