Regular visitors to Review Central will remember last autumn when I raved about the first season of the TV adaptation of James Patterson’s ‘Zoo’. Well having just finished watching the show’s second season, I felt it was only right that I write up another review for you all.
If you read my last review you’ll remember I found it very hard to find a fault with the first season of ‘Zoo’, as tends to be the case following such an explosive first season I was apprehensive of a second season. Would it live up to the first? Would the idea be too stretched out?
I’m sad to say that my concerns were very, very right. Within the first few episodes, much of the point of the first season had been lost. It was a totally different storyline that just wasn’t as exciting. The world is at the mercy of the animals, the cure is being apposed by the Noah objective and all of a sudden we’re now trying to save the animals. Not stop them.
Very quickly the team end up on a secretly funded plane with some of the most expensive kit I’ve ever seen and that seems to be pretty much it for the majority of the series. Last season, each episode was in a different country, facing a different animal threat. Now, the majority of each episode is spent in the comfort of a highly funded private plane. They spend most of the time on a plane, but somehow the bat threat that made air travel so dangerous last time out – no longer a problem. They comfortably search for an answer and try to track down a lost Jamie and that’s pretty much how it goes for the majority of the season. At least by and large they realised that you should really keep the loading bay closed when in the air this time out.
Another lesson that the characters finally seem to have learnt is that closing a door will give you valuable added time to come up with a plan for defending yourself against attacking animals. Certainly took them long enough but they got there eventually.
There were some twists, of course and some of the episodes were so action packed that it almost made up for the long stints of nothingness. We bid farewell to Chloe in what was possible the most emotional episode of the season and we met a few new characters. While some additions, such as Dariella, played by Alyssa Diaz, were welcome additions, if at times a little too surly, others like Logan were just a little too predictable. The addition of Mitch’s step mother/ex girlfriend and his father threatened to turn the show into a full blown family reunion at one stage, but thankfully Mitch’s dad didn’t hang about for more time than was really necessary.
One character who I feel was largely unnecessary is the Finnish woman Jackson sets up to replace him. She arrives at the plane supposedly as his replacement in the cure experiments, gives Abe a letter from the vanished Jackson and then just… vanishes. She isn’t seen or heard from again. Her only real purpose seems to have been to get across the message that Jackson forgives Abe and that he has at least some of his human mind left. Aside from that I can’t really determine what the point in bringing her in was.
Last season I was relatively underwhelmed by some of the lead characters, and that was my only really problem with the show. This season, Abe and Mitch were still great, their one liners and their general annoyance at one another provided some great humour and tension all at the same time. Jamie’s traumatic experience and fight to survive finally gave her some attitude and a back bone and we got to see a bit more of a bad-ass side to her which was missing last season and left her a little flat in comparison to Chloe. Jackson however, was still a bit of a let down. He took centre stage for much of the season, being a strong link to a possible cure and his family was intrinsically linked with the entire situation, but aside from his emotional display at his father’s actual death (yeah turns out he’s been alive all this time), Chloe’s death and the shooting of his mother, he was once again a little flat. His main emotion was anger, which in the situation was understandable, but as with previous season I did still feel like Wolk was one of the weaker cast members.
This season was only half the length of the first, which I was generally pretty thankful for seeing as it took so long to get anywhere. For a while I couldn’t really be bothered to catch up on any missed episodes. But in the end I’m glad I did because finally, in episode 9, things really started to kick off. The ticking time bomb that was Jackson finally exploded, we learnt that significantly more people were in trouble than we realised and we were really in a race against time to save things. Now that was the Zoo I loved so much from season one. There were a few twists that left me wondering what the hell people were made of (Logan -That’s all I’m going to say.) All in all it boiled down to a jam packed and explosive season finale which left off with scenes ten years after the start of the season, which left me with many questions and crying out for more.
Despite poor viewing figures, a third season has been announced, though with no set release date as of yet. This mean we may yet see more of the team and more unruly animals. While the run up to the season finale was a mile better than the rest of the season, and it did ultimately end on a high note, I am concerned as to how well a third season will go down. I feel like we’re now so far from what the original point of the show was that it’s barely the same show anymore and it’d certainly lost a great deal of it’s appeal in my eyes for the majority of this season. I’m very conflicted over whether I think a third season would do the show good if it will go the same way as the third season of Heroes.
Sometimes, you should just quit while you’re ahead. Maybe, this should be the end of the line for the show in that case