Zoo S01E13: "That Great Big Hill of Hope" I know the Emmys are like a week or some days away, but surely we could do a write-in ballot type deal with this week's superb Zoo season finale. Or you guys, we could get a smuggler to fly us to the secret radioactive island where the Emmy statues are made and, like, talk to a fugitive Emmy summoner and square off against Brazilian Emmy slumlords and do Emmy motel science all while the fake but not fake FBI and a mega-Emmy corporation is hot on our trail. WE COULD DO IT, GUYS! I mean come on, the Zoo season finale was GRRR-eat! How could it not be when the episode title itself was 4 Non Blondes lyrics? In a lot of ways "That Great Big Hill of Hope" felt like a premiere for Season 2 and I am not complaining. I've always hoped for the beast uprising to get way out of hand and into the living rooms of normal-ass people. Judging by Jackson's time jumps, it took about three months to get to the point where society resorted to secret underground steak clubs, armed escort services, and fire-escape baboon confrontations during regular errands. Yes please! So following last week's stunner of a plane crash, our team found themselves scattered to the four winds and it was so sad seeing them apart. They were so helpless without each other, and what's worse they lost the baby leopard necessary to save the world. Ha ha ha ha. Ohhhh… In this future, Abe cut contact with his buddies and now worked for a paramilitary Uber, Chloe found employment under bureaucratic heavy Amelia Sage to help figure out solutions, Jackson just kind of hung out trying to become a Youtube celebrity like Pewdie Pie making vlogs, Jamie was presumed dead and Mitch spent his days mourning her loss at the bottom of a shot glass and still not visiting his daughter. Worst of all, the government pretty much let Reiden off the hook in exchange for finding a solution. I thought the episode handled all this exposition pretty well in the form of a reporter questioning Ol' Professor Sad Beans. As part of the deal Mitch and his team were basically denied the ability to interfere with saving the world or talk shit about Reiden Global. Not exactly what they'd been fighting for this whole time, but at least this meant Mitch got to spend all his days piss drunk and hassling his local enabler about the Chris Cornell band Soundgarden. On one such occasion, some local businessmen came in to celebrate because sometimes you go in bars you have never ever been to before to celebrate and immediately get angry because there are dogs around. I think these were Reiden stooges, because they talked all kinds about making money off the beast uprising but I could be wrong. In any case they wanted to shoot a pug on the bar for health code violations. I get where they are coming from because I recently visited a local McDonald's where the guy in front of me had his barefoot toddler standing on the counter while he ordered enough meal deals to kill a horse. I proceeded to order the same deals. Anyway, Li'l Barfly Morgan couldn't keep his whiskey-scented trap shut and challenged the head honcho to a duel. Point was, life just wudn't worth living for ol' Mitch Morgan, as he thought Jamie had died. Honestly, I kind of thought she was in some sort of Inuit heaven myself after she washed up on a boat in the Atlantic. Actually in reality what had happened was a kindly old man saved her life by pulling shards from her leg and mending her with meals and love. But she didn't trust him and tried to escape his care only to discover that he was living surrounded by an escalated situation, or should I say " shit -uation." What I mean is, animals were still pretty mad, if not more so. Next: Jackson takes back the streets… from dogs (Continued from Page 1) I mean I'm not sure why Jamie was the one person who didn't get rescued, and Chloe, Mitch, and Jackson survived. This survivor's remorse had taken its toll on all of them. For instance, bad boy Jackson was now buds with some guy in a wheelchair, and when he wasn't making vlogs like his dad, he was outside stalking the city in a leather jacket and jeans, playing Westside Story with the animals… Suffice to say life had changed since the days of scaring off poachers with James Brown tunes. Now Jackson was alone, fending off baboons while performing simple errands like getting health pills for his wheelchair buddy. And when the baboons weren't a problem, dogs living in the homes of bitten people were. Meanwhile, Chloe was busy doing what she did best: watching task forces get killed by birds while going on suicide missions. Things were not looking great, and I've got to say, if you're going to be a casualty of the beast uprising, one hopes you'd at least die via some cool animal like a wolverine. If I were the wife of one of these soldiers who was killed by birds (I start A LOT of thoughts this way), I'd lie to our fatherless boy and tuck him in at night all like, "… and the panther stalked daddy all the way to his grave. The end." Anyway, after her big workplace loss, Chloe attended a presentation from, you know who… They had a plan called project NOAH, which was about as crazy as this show's premise: kill all the animals then regrow them into nice ones. Chloe was not a fan of this idea because it meant killing tons of animals and Reiden would still get rich off of them. Plus come on, how could you kill off every single animal in the world? You couldn't, but I do love this strategy as something for our heroes to fight against next season (when will they announce a renewal?). Next: Mosquitoes! (Continued from Page 2) Luckily at a pharmacy Jackson came through with his special brand of wild-eyed nutso theories: get mosquitoes to carry the cure and have them spread it via mass sucking. It was one of those signature Zoo exchanges where a word you never hear out loud on TV gets repeated like 90 times. In this case… See, because of all the "decaying bodies" there were tons of mosquitoes around and the customer in front of him was buying bug spray. Jackson rushed off to find Chloe and tell her the amazing news: They were so excited they just HAD to tell Amelia, but she was not as enthused. So Reiden had strong-armed its way to the top of the food chain again— the money food chain. My favorite plot line though was Abe's night on the job with his new place of employment. I have never used Uber, but I understand it works roughly the same way, insomuch as it includes armed drivers that look like extremists bragging about killing creatures of land and air. Naturally, Abe did NOT fit in; you see, even though he had nearly been killed dozens of times by animals, he did not wish to kill them back. He recognized that man had created this problem, and therefore it was man to blame. Next: Fine dining and Spanish 4 Non Blonde covers (Continued from Page 3) See, I guess why I liked this episode so much—and something I've always liked about Zoo— is that it created and incorporated a procedural element to this heightened reality. I would happily go along into smaller stories like Abe's escorting of a dying businessman full of regret. Come on, Walking Dead but with animals? It's a no brainer. Like imagine having to be thankful for the small stuff because just around the corner this guy might be waiting: So the dying man had cancer and was set to start chemo. However, he insisted on taking Abe to an underground restaurant where the musical entertainment involved starting off the titular 4 Non Blondes song in Spanish, then transitioning into English. Wild stuff, man. I guess anything goes in this, our new reality. OUR NEW HELL. For some reason this old man was dead set on teaching Abraham about the value of friendship and how his own family was driving an RV across the country to see him on his death bed. I half thought this man might be an angel and Abe was experiencing a Christmas lesson or something, but like most people using customer service, he mainly just wanted to lecture Abe and eat his sumptuous, illegal meal in front of someone—even though he did offer to treat Abe and Abe declined. The old man was like, "These are the times for us to pull together," then the entire restaurant (no joke) broke into song. 'Twas a surprisingly heart-warming moment for a supper club. It was kind of stupid the one character of color had to be lectured like a kid by some old white dude and everyone else was free to learn lessons without the benefit of old white dudes but I digress. Having been touched by an angel, Abe then took all the Christmas lessons he had learned and reconnected with Jackson. It felt like this should have been Christmas Eve and Jackson should have had a lonely old tree and Abe had like an animal ornament that they could have chuckled over, but they friended off in their own special way. Plus, even though Abe was the one who ditched out on everyone, he immediately started lecturing Jackson about how we all need to stick together. I think that's just how they communicate though because Jackson was into it. Next: The thrilling conclusion of Zoo ! (Continued from Page 4) Not-Christmas miracles were happening all over the world, as Jamie discovered that her kindly host had also raised the baby leopard and did not instead kill it to make a sweet cape. Thankfully, the show didn't waste anytime in reconnecting Jamie with the posse as the old man had a phone she could use to call Mitch from beyond the grave… So after tackling all the set-backs, the team was back to its old ways. Abe was all smiles, and everyone was packed to go rescue Jamie. But wait, something was kind of up because Jackson had a nasty dog bite… Remember how Abe's coworker with the escort service also was bitten? I think something's up with getting bit. Hopefully it turns people into manimals. Anyway, all kinds of escaped Zoo /zoo animals did not want to let Mitch and the gang complete their task. In fact they had a few choice words/barks/growls/roars/chirps. I mean, come on! If that wasn't a sure-fire sign of a Season 2, then what is? I hope the tale of mankind doesn't end here. IT CAN'T END HERE. Either way, that's it for me gang. It's with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to Jackson, Chloe, Abe, Jamie, and yes even Mitch (though he can be a bit of a curmudgeon sometimes). More importantly, I say goodbye to you, Zoo Nation. Let me just reiterate my Zoo Heads, that this has been a great time sussing out the particulars of so-called "theoretical" beast uprisings with you all. I appreciate all the warm, humorous comments, intelligent insight, and friendly atmosphere you've created week after week, crazy episode after crazy episode. Here I thought I would teach you, and instead YOU TAUGHT ME. It's made climbing up "That Great Big Hill of Hope" that much easier. Now take it away, you certain number of musicians who are not nor have ever been blondes… ANIMAL TRACKS – Do you like Jackson's buddy? – What happened to Delavane? – What animal do you wish you could bit by? – Will Mitch and Jamie get serious? – Will they have crazy "back from the dead" sex? – What did you think of "That Great Big Hill of Hope"? – What did you think of the entire season?