I’m a big James Patterson fan, I love reading his novels. The way the words flow is so easy to read, it’s easy to get engrossed in the worlds he creates. So last year when I heard they adapted one of his books that I had read into a TV show, I jumped at the chance to watch it, hoping that the series could bring me the same enjoyment as the book, and I was happy with the outcome.
This week season 2 of Zoo aired for us viewers in the UK and immediately picked up where season 1 left off, with our resilient group trying to find a cure for a pandemic that has thrown the balance of nature off axis with the animals of the planet fighting back against humanity. So far they’re winning. But the attacks are not in a random pattern that you may expect, more so in coordinated manner that span across multiple species. Animals that are usually hunting others are working side by side against a common foe, US!
Interested? Well I’m not going to recap the first season so if you want to catch up then by all means go, but hurry back and we can continue season 2 together, because in this new world we’re safer in numbers. However, if you’re up-to-date, let’s get stuck in.
As the season goes on I’ll talk more about the individual characters, the cast who play them and get into the story more in depth but for now we’ll just look at episode 1.
Our journey starts with Jackson Oz (Zoologist), Abraham (Wildlife expert), Chloe (French investigator) and Mitch Morgan (veterinarian), deep in trouble, confronted by a wall of beasts stopping their car from getting to their 18 hour boat ride and finding a way to meet with the last member of the team, Jamie Campbell (news reporter). Meanwhile, Jamie has been protecting the one animal that may hold the key to restoring the balance of humans and animals to normal, a leopard.
Now while trying to escape this barrier of beasts a rhino side-swipes their car and they split up and continue on foot, so in true hero fashion Oz (James Wolk) uses the fact the fuel is leaking from the vehicle to create a wall of fire to stop the stampede, clever man isn’t he. But he didn’t figure on the brakes failing (not so clever now) and after crashing he is confronted by a tiger. he chooses to plays dead to try and trick the big cat. However there’s a little twist, because the tiger sniffs a bite on his arm (which Oz picked up from a dog bite in season 1) and leaves him alone, so obviously I’m thinking there’s more to this than a simple bite, right?
Well after getting away and meeting up with the rest of the crew, he receives some medical attention, including getting some blood tests. Now this leads to us finding out that my hunch was right, Jackson Oz’s blood has changed! We’re not sure yet what sort of change yet but there’s a little bit later on which may give us some answers. So with a little help from Chloe (Nora Arnezeder), the results are covered up which leaves Oz wondering what’s happening to him. Even though Chloe tried to convince him that the virus doesn’t affect humans, it’s easy to see that he’s not completely convinced. Me either to be honest.
Meanwhile, it’s decided that a helicopter will be sent to recover the Leopard and Jamie (Kristen Connolly), much to the delight of Mitch (Billy Burke), who has been worried about her. Obviously he makes a point of going on the rescue, along with Oz and Abraham(Nonso Anozie), but the mission didn’t exactly go to plan. Although they managed to find the animal, Jamie was nowhere to be seen. She had lured some unwanted animal guests away from the house and away from the cure, we know from Season 1 that she has tenacity, but this may be a moment of madness from our LA reporter. Not knowing exactly what has happened, Mitch was adamant they go look for her, but Abe made sure that he got on the helicopter by force! Insisting that they could come back to look for her later, needless to say that this went down like a lead balloon with our resident vet, who in no uncertain terms let Abe know how he felt.
Imagine how they all felt about the decision when, after running tests, they realized that the cure was no longer viable due to the mutation changing. This is a major kick in the teeth for sure. To the point Mitch says that he’s done with it all, especially Abe. But his little break from the team didn’t last long as we find out a short time later, with his return to the group, he admits the group are like his family. So to help them fight back in this battle against the beasts, they are told of another person who is studying the phase 2 mutation and they go to find him. Of course, surely they’ll need more help than that to complete their task. Enter Radon Global to the rescue and gives them a plane, a very big plane! This is all rather ironic considering they are the ones who helped kickstart this pandemic, can you say guilty conscience?
But this is no ordinary plane, on no, as this plane has a state-of-the-art lab on-board. Not to mention that it comes with bedrooms, living areas and a kitchen to boot. It’s something that everyone trying to save humankind needs. Hell I’ll take two to go!
Just when you think that there’s nothing else can surprise you in this season opener, there’s one last twist in the tale. The person that Oz and Co are heading to meet, Dr Vickers, is tracking an animal with this phase 2 mutation assisted by a military team. But they are all shocked to find that the animal they tracked down wasn’t an animal at all, but a person who seemed to have been infected and he, or I assume it was a he, had been changed physically. Stronger, quicker, you could say more animal than human and disfigured (hence my assumption about being a ‘he’). The creature attacked and brutally murdered all but one of the team, including Dr Vickers, before the sole survivor managed to kill it, just before Oz and the crew arrived. A little too late to help as far as the remaining soldier was concerned. Plus with the death of Vickers and the creature, this surely this makes it that little bit harder to find the cure.
Are we to believe that this creature is a glimpse into what will happen to Jackson Oz, that he is destined to be transformed into some sort of “manbeast”. We shall have to wait and see what is in store for Rafiki (the name Abraham calls his close friend) and find out if Mitch and co are reunited with Jamie. But it’s certainly clear that unless a cure is found, the whole planet is going to become a zoo, with humans the ones who are being watched.