Zoo Season 2 Review

Zoo Review: Season 2 Is Unabashedly Crazy Like a (Feral, CGI'd) Fox

grade_BIf Tuesday’s two-hour premiere was any indication, CBS’ Zoo is going all in with Season 2.

Whereas Season 1 of the James Patterson adaptation took things a bit seriously as it explored the mystery of a manmade genetic mutation within the entire animal kingdom that turned our fine feathered and furry friends against us, Season 2 — or at least the effects-laden premiere, which for all I know blew the entire budget — is going full-tilt bananas (no pun intended, monkeys). We’ve got multi-animal assaults, a luxury jet that would make S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Zephyr jealous, new characters and a “Phase Two” twist that has upped the stakes, putting one hero in particular in a frightful situation.

Here now, a full recap:

Picking up immediately where the freshman finale left off, Zoo unleashed that rainbow collation of a stampede upon Abraham, Chloe and Jackson’s SUV, which did its best to speed away. Ultimately, the trio would lay down, Die Hard 2-style, a “wall” of fire fueled by a leak in the vehicle. Jackson then drove the SUV away and purposely crashed it into a flatbed. Left wounded on the ground after, Jackson was approached by a tiger… who sniffed at his animal bite and then quietly moseyed on along.

Now, one might assume that Jackson would immediately report this development to the team — that being bitten by a mutated beast makes one “immune” to their attacks. And yet he doesn’t, later confiding only in Chloe, who in turns doesn’t see this as a possible breakthrough/alternative to a cure for the animals themselves, and agrees to keep the secret. Oy!

Mitch and the others set out Zooto find Jamie in New Brunswick, only to arrive just after she sneaked away from the beast-surrounded cabin and its freshly mauled owner. After retrieving from the cellar the amusingly CGI’d leopard from which they hope to (but ultimately won’t) extract cure-creating DNA, Abraham makes the difficult call for them to abort the search for Jamie and helicopter away from an approaching herd of beasts. This decision sparks some animosity between Abraham and Mitch for the balance of the premiere, though they set aside their differences enough to reconvene on a bi-level jumbo luxury jet donated by an “interested third party.” Their first stop is Patagonia, where another pathologist, Dr. Vickers, had ventured with a team of soldiers to track a “creature” possessing Phase Two of the mutation. Wicker and all but one of his team are brutally killed by the “creature,” who is actually a Hungarian scientist turned into, for lack of a better term, a Wayward Pines Abbie.

With the sole survivor of Vickers’ team, Dariela Marzan (played by Army Wives‘ Alyssa Diaz), Mitch & Co. capture the Abbie and bring him aboard the jet for examination, all while Jackson privately frets that grotesque, bubbly, pizza cheese-like skin is in his own future. When the Abbie at one point gets free, a rage-filled Dariela — as vengeance for her fallen comrades — puts the freak show down with a bullet to the head, despite Chloe’s pleas to spare the test subject. (I pretty much stick to Patterson’s Alex Cross novels — is the Abbie part of his Zoo?)

Jackson and a local track down the elephant that bit and created the Abbie. After Jackson (brave man!) rams a needle into the beast’s butt to extract a Phase Two blood sample, they run to catch up to the others in the SUV and make a beeline for the jet, with hard-charging Dumbo nipping at their heels. Chloe orders the back gate dropped open and the jet ready for takeoff, as Abraham puts the pedal to the metal and drives the SUV up the ramp and into the ascending jet. (Prediction: The pilot, conspicuously cast with The Killing’s Tom Butler, is actually the jet’s wealthy donor.)

Back in Canada, meanwhile, Jamie lies low well enough to elude the world’s fiercest bison, and suffers any number of indignities (that big toe, blech!!!) before eventually bumping into a fellow human, Logan (The Carrie Diaries‘ Josh Salatin). Having left a message about her destination on the roof of the New Brunswick cabin, Jamie tells Logan that they are going to Caraquet, which might offer some semblance of safe harbor.

What did you think of Zoo‘s action- and CGI-packed return?


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23 Comments
  1. Kate says:

    I honestly didn’t think of the cure thing either, I was actually debating in my head the whole time, I don’t think I like the idea of a storyline about Jackson maybe dying or whatever. First, you really can’t kill James Wolk, and honestly him being a ravaging beast wouldn’t be much fun either. I think they provided the get around in discussing Kovacs, that he turned because of something in him, something that might not happen to Jackson because of his own genetic make up. It’ll be interesting to see him deal with an animal who he didn’t just stab and if the animal doesn’t view him as prey or whatever then. Sort of like the wombat that was in the house with Jamie, it never attacked her (and maybe they just thought, lets have a real animal in there somewhere) and kind of looked more like, please give me a hug. But that might be more interesting that they can’t guess if Jackson is unique, was it just a matter of his blood type being adaptable, or something else. So, like they can’t just all go get Clem’s dog to bite them (though he seemed fine last we checked, as I thought we were still on the food from the company started this and Mitch’s family was a little more health conscious than that because of Clem’s medical condition).

  2. dan says:

    I thought the doctor exploring the forests of Argentina was Vickers (not Wicker). Anyway, about 3/4 of the way through the premiere I wondered “is this going to be full tilt for the whole season?” Definitely a change in tone from season one (although Mitch is still bringing the snark to the team). Are they going for a zombie-type feeling with the mutated humans? I also wondered about the CGI budget being blown in the first two hours. I kind of liked Jamie being separated from the team for the premiere. She was my least favorite character from season one and I already feel like they’re giving her more of a purpose instead of just being the hard-nosed journalist. I haven’t read any spoilers so I don’t know anything about the new guy (Logan) that Jamie met in the snowy woods of Canada, but I was immediately suspicious of him! I’m glad Zoo is back, however I’m not sure I like where the phase-two mutation is going. I liked the campy “crazy animal of the week” tone of season one, but I’ll keep tuning in to see what happens.

  3. E Bolin says:

    When the plane crashed last year and the plane went down with the cheetah and Jamie, I thought the island they were brought to was off Florida or at least the southern US–how did they wind up in Canada?? What was the original fight –from where to where. I can’t enjoy the rest until these burning questions are answered!!

    • Pamela says:

      The original flight left from Johannesburg, South Africa and was headed to Washington, D.C. At the beginning of the first season finale, it said onscreen that Jamie was rescued somewhere in the North Atlantic. Hence, Canada.

    • dan says:

      I’m pretty sure the plane crashed off the Canadian coast. A rescue boat found everybody but Jamie; she was separated from the group and somehow made it to the mainland (I think??). My memory isn’t clear on exactly what happened, but I do remember that she was in Canada not Florida.

  4. E Bolin says:

    How did Jamie and the cheetah wind up in Canada?? I thought the plane had crashed off the coast of Fla or at least the southern US. Where was the original flight going?? from where to where??. I can’t enjoy the rest until these burning questions are answered!!

  5. I have been anticipating the return and must admit that I found the premiere a little overwhelming. They weren’t close to solving any of the issues they faced last season, and now its just gotten a bajillion times worse. At this point, the show is actually MAKING the case to exterminate every animal on the planet because its literally that out of control. Very intrigued to see where it goes though.
    I’ve been waiting months to see the Mitch/Jamie reunion, so I was bummed about that. Let’s hope they both survive long enough to see it happen.
    No idea why Jackson and Chloe isnt telling the team whats happening with him. I can understand not wanting to tell the authorities, but keeping secrets from each other… well, thats usually when things go horribly wrong.
    Grade B. Cant wait to see where this goes

  6. James D says:

    enjoyed it a lot. it is certainly taking a different pace to season 1 but that’s cool as long as they don’t overdue it and sacrifice character development which didn’t seem to be the case. the only thing I didn’t like was the female soldier I hope she is gone soon cuz she was annoying.

  7. Jason says:

    For me best summer show in a loooong time. First season started off as animals gone crazy. Second seas has started with a bang. Anything not human has a plan to flip the switch making the humans fearing for their lives. Wolves, bears, buffaloes, elephants they’re going all out to extinct the human. I love it. Now, dead humans are coming back too! This is getting wild.

  8. Julie Litchfield says:

    Wow! Very edge of the seat, WANT more!!!

  9. ppat says:

    I was super-glad that the episode started EXACTLY where last season ended. 😁 I hate when shows start the new season or fall breaks (example Quantico) months and months down the road.

  10. Sean says:

    Awesome, brilliant, energetic action springs to mind, I just hope the remainder of the series is this fuel packed to keep us all gripped, some quality acting too amongst the cgi and stunts, particularly liked the rift and animosity created between Abraham and Mitch, this would possibly be true to life as when a bunch of strangers are thrown together to work as a team there are always frictions and disagreements, thoroughly enjoyed, keep the good stuff rolling 👍

  11. Ann says:

    I just wanted to say… Argentina does not look like that at all. Believe me, I live there.

  12. Nick Gredell says:

    I’m really glad they came out with Season 2 b/c I couldn’t stop thinking if they were and I had to catch up on all the episodes and I did in just 1 or 2days but I missed the first 30min the Season 2 Premiere so I really dont get it what s going on and what’s happening on their can y’all please tell me im burning to figure out and I can’t watch it again for a while

  13. Nick Gredell says:

    I’m so glad they start right off where it had ended unlike most shows on New seasons

  14. salientfilm says:

    this show literally turned stupid this season. it was ok the first season, but now, my god. what the hell happened?. i swear the creators of the sharknado movies took over. i’m done with zoo and its horrific new story direction and cg and even worse acting. it actually had a little promise the first season. now? hell no. put it on scyfy latenight .

    • PS1972 says:

      Couldnt agree more. Lost my interest completely

    • c.beanz says:

      Yea you hit it on the head. Between the script and the new story line, it has pulled a few silly laughs out of me. The new female soldier is just not “getting it” and the team keeps catering to her stupidity. I may have to blame the director of this episode(s) for how silly the actors looked. Their acting and lines appeared quite laughable. I hope this season quickly cleans itself up.

    • dot renner says:

      I liked Season 1. I find that Season 2 is boring. I have stopped watching. I enjoyed the book, but this is nothing like it. Originally it was supposed to be a one season show. They should have stayed with that.

  15. PS1972 says:

    Sad to see this now turning into a zombie serie. Time to find another show to watch

  16. Shirley Littlejohn says:

    Should not have killed Chloe off

  17. Chris Marshall says:

    Love this show. Action filled. The cast is awsome a good mix. Great turn around and leaving so much more to work thru for the next season.