“Tell me one last thing: Would you say all hope is lost? That things are only going to get worse? Is all hope, in fact, lost?”
It’s a Jamie look-alike that asks this question of Mitch while giving him a Jamie-style interview (which is to say, way too obvious and completely unproductive) and it’s a question to which the Zoo finale screams a resounding, “YES!” right up until the last five minutes — continually this series’ very favorite narrative trick.
I should probably state right from the top that this finale is pretty weird as far as final installments go… even for a show that is consistently about killer house pets. In almost every way, it feels like last week’s two hours should have been the season 1 finale, and this week’s “That Great Big Hill of Hope,” the (likely inevitable) season 2 premiere. Though most of season 1 was spent with Jackson and the gang doing their very best to convince anyone who would listen that the escalation of odd animal behavior popping up around the world was connected, this finale suddenly finds the world of Zoo knee-deep in a full-fledged animal apocalypse. There are rhinos in the middle of the road, inter-species animal street gangs, and leather jackets abound. I always wondered why everyone was constantly wearing leather in post-apocalyptic tales, and now I know: German Shepard bites.
If you’ve formed an attachment to any of Zoo‘s main characters — which, hey, you very well may not have — then you will probably find it odd that much of your final hour with them are instead spent with the strangers they’ve taken up with since the disbanding of the Animal Avengers. The episode gets off to a gripping start though, with a point-of-view scene as Jamie surfaces from the plane crash that was hinted at in last week’s cliffhanger. From there, the episode suddenly skips ahead a few months where the world has descended into chaos, and by that, I of course mean, random public singalongs to 4 Non Blondes. Oh, and 17,000 animal related casualties. So let’s just quickly run through what the Avengers are doing to busy themselves while separated for 55 minutes/3 months, so we can get down to what really matters, what’s always mattered: Leopards, the Mother Cell, and the Cure.
Jamie enters in and out of consciousness as a fisherman pulls her — and a Very Important Box — from “Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.” He takes her to his cabin, pulls out the piece of airplane that’s taken up residence in her thigh, and seemingly takes care of her until she wakes up. And when she does and sees that it’s snowing outside, she wonders, “How long have I been here?” That’s not really clear; what is clear is that this man who doesn’t speak English (no matter how much Jamie prattles on to him in it) has her caged inside his property with a surrounding locked chain-link fence and barbed wire. Or rather, as she finds out when she attempts to “escape,” has something else locked out: ravenous bears and wolves just one chain-link away. Jamie is protected, but without a phone, there’s no way for her to communicate with her team to see if they’ve been successful in offering a little protection to the world.
Jackson can tell you that they certainly have not. The other Avengers made it off the plane and they’re all grappling with the failure of not being able to offer the world a Cure. Jackson is coping in a very familiar way: He’s pacing and panting into a camera, recording a manifesto of sorts, just like his fire, trying to think of an alternative solution. He has what feels like a very unnecessary scene with his neighbor across the hall, but to be fair, I really couldn’t watch him make any more vlogs. And his neighbor did give him that cool leather jacket and a reason to leave the apartment where he immediately runs into a gang of street dogs and cats. He narrowly avoids them only to be chased into a building by baboons, where he’s bitten by a German Shepard that seemed to have recently killed his owner. The animal apocalypse has hit the streets and…
Mitch will remind you (and that reporter who apparently doesn’t possess half of Jamie’s compassion, but possesses all of her lackluster journalism skills) that they lost the only cure. It’s not their fault that their plane crashed, but it does sound like the four accounted-for Avengers agreed to sign non-disclosure agreements re: the Mother Cell, Reiden, the Cure, everything in order to avoid criminal charges for all the laws they broke in their quest; failed and silenced, Mitch is just drinking his life away in a crummy bar. He also has a pretty unnecessary scene with a bunch of business bros who he goads into beating him up, seemingly just to establish that he thinks he was in love with Jamie, whom they all believe to be dead.
NEXT: Chloe tries, Abe drives, and Jamie — Jamie is alive!