‘Zoo’ Season 2 Recap, Episodes 1 and 2: Day of the Beast and Caraquet

Zoo Season 2 Episode 1
Billy Burke as Mitch Morgan, Nora Arnezeder as Chloe Tousignant, James Wolk as Jackson Oz and Nonso Anozie as Abraham Kenyatta in ‘Zoo’ (Photo: Katie Yu © 2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc)

CBS’ Zoo, based on the book by James Patterson, kicked off season two with back-to-back one hour episodes on June 28, 2016. The two-hour block immediately picked up the story where season one left off and then advanced the plot toward what will be this year’s theme of stopping a phase two mutation. Zoo‘s season one ended with the possibility of a cure close at hand in the form of a leopard cub. Unfortunately, the heroic fivesome at the heart of the people versus animals battle – Mitch (Billy Burke), Abraham (Nonso Anozie), Chloe (Nora Arnezeder), Jackson (James Wolk), and Jamie (Kristen Connolly) – are split up and a few have abandoned hope. Season two’s first episodes, “The Day of the Beast” and “Caraquet,” catch us up on what’s going on in the world and reunite the gang to continue their fight to stop the powers that be from wiping out the entire animal population.

Zoo Season Premiere Recap:

Season two’s first episode picks up with Mitch, Abraham, Chloe, and Jackson driving toward a gathering of animals who are effectively blocking the road. Jackson is sporting a seriously gross-looking dog bite but the rest seem in fairly good shape considering all the bizarre adventures they went through in season one. Abraham makes a quick U-turn to avoid the pack and is rammed by a rhino. They foursome get out and spend far too much time standing around talking while the animals get closer.

Jackson claims the title for the first save of season two, jumping in the rhino-damaged car and driving toward the marauding pack while Abraham lights the gas leaking from the vehicle on fire. This creates a wall of flames and protects the group, but leaves Jackson racing away in an out of control vehicle. He jumps out as it crashes, only to be left sprawled on the ground with a tiger just a few feet away. Meanwhile, the threesome who didn’t come up with the fire wall idea race off to Amelia’s office (where Jackson said he’d meet them). They’re chased by a swarm of bees and Chloe heroically saves a baby whose mother is overcome by the swarm while Abraham and Mitch make it to the hospital. There, everyone’s in a panic and the news is filled with reports of animal attacks from around the globe. One reporter from Washington DC says 362 are dead there from animal attacks on what is being called ‘The Day of the Beast’…dun dun duuuuun.

Baby-saver Chloe has just reunited with Mitch and Abraham when Jackson walks in bloody and limping. He says the fire did the trick and he didn’t see any animals after the car went up in a fireball. In actuality, a tiger licked his dog bite wound and walked away uninterested. He’s lying to his friends which you know is going to come back and bite him in the butt before the episode’s over.

New Brunswick, Canada: Jamie is speaking to the leopard who holds the key to the cure. It’s in a crate inside the house of the man who has been keeping Jamie safe, and who doesn’t speak English. He steps outside to get some rope and the leopard becomes agitated, with good reason. There’s a weird creature in the house (is it a weasel?) and it’s staring at Jamie. She calls it a gremlin, which is an appropriate label, and wonders how it got in. Just then the man stumbles in and falls to the floor dead from an animal – or animals – attack. Jamie rushes to the door, sees wolves and bears and other beasties in the yard, and closes it. Meanwhile, Little Mr. Leopard is getting increasingly agitated. She tosses his crate down the basement stairs, it breaks open, and now he’s loose and she’s locked in with him.

Jumping back to check up on the foursome, Jackson is getting his wounds tended to while Chloe protectively watches over him while cradling the baby. The nurse treating Jackson tells him he’s lucky and that the virus can’t be passed from animals to humans. Of course he has to correct her, telling her it’s not a virus. She’s not impressed with his knowledge.

Chloe points out the mutation has spread to insects which sucks because that was their dispersal method for the cure. Now she’s jumping the fence and siding with the rest of the world, suggesting they kill off all the animals to stop the attacks. Jackson doesn’t agree, and fortunately it’s then that Mitch and Abraham interrupt to take them to meet with Amelia’s replacement, Eleanor. Amelia is now an animal attack statistic. Our foursome deliver the bad news that the mosquitoes are no longer an option to deliver the cure. Mitch also grumpily points out there are five species we can’t live without: bats, butterflies, bees, primates, and plankton. The only items on that checklist still not infected are butterflies and plankton, and butterflies could be infected at this point. The one bit of good news is that the military will use a chopper to go pick up Jamie and the leopard who, as they’re speaking, might be using Jamie as a chew toy. Mitch, ever the gloomy Gus, says the exact right amount of sedation has to be given to the leopard because the chopper’s loud. Of course, three of the fearsome foursome pretty much demand to be on the chopper to make sure things go smoothly because, you know, their track record is stellar when it comes to rescue operations. Not. Are we forgetting the entire first season?

After a little small talk, the helicopter crew leave the threesome to go prepare the chopper which gives Mitch, Jackson, and Abraham time to have a premature celebration about finally going to get the cure – and Jamie.

In the basement, the leopard isn’t a happy camper but at least it’s not eating Jamie’s face off. She tells it to stay there and that it will be safe (apparently the leopard has learned to speak English since we last saw it). She exits the basement via a small window and makes a break for the locked gate. There, she lights a flare to draw the attention of all the animals that have surrounded the house. What she didn’t count on was a sneak attack by a buffalo who must have crept up on its tiptoes. It chases her and is quickly joined by wolves and a bear. Jamie’s faster than any of these animals and while she’s racing away in the forest, the helicopter lands. They can’t find Jamie, but Abraham spots the leopard in the basement thanks to a clue left by Jamie.

Jamie tosses the flare a few feet away (it was a pretty weak effort on her part) and runs off the other direction while back at the house the gang calls her name. An argument ensues about whether they should leave without her as in the forest Jamie’s found a little hiding place that any respectable wolf should be able to sniff out. Back at the helicopter, everyone forces Mitch on board but he’s pissed. He even tells Abraham he hates him. The helicopter rises just as all the animals make their way back to surround the house…well, almost all the animals. The buffalo and wolves are still hanging out by Jamie’s hiding spot.

Back at the hospital, Chloe hands the baby over to her father and tells him his wife was very brave. Now that she’s no longer on babysitting duty, Chloe’s free to snoop around and look through Jackson’s blood test results. What she sees confuses her but she doesn’t have time to worry about it because the gang has returned without Jamie but with the leopard.

The howls grow louder back in the forest as Jamie hunkers down.

Chloe gets a little quiet time in the middle of all this chaos to talk to Jackson about his blood tests. It seems he’s no longer an O negative, and Chloe says maybe they were wrong about the mutation not being able to be spread to humans.

The cure’s been administered to a dog and it’s not working. Mitch, however, says it’s only not working because the doctors did something wrong. He mixes it himself and administers it to the same dog. Again, nothing happens. Well, nothing happens except for the dog’s heart rate increases, meaning the virus could be mutating. Mitch is incredibly angry and believes they won’t find another way to cure the animals. “This is over. It’s done,” he shouts, leaving the room in a huff.

Everyone is wondering why the cure didn’t work, and Jackson and Chloe believe it’s got to be because the mutation is still mutating (the running theme of this episode, and likely the entire season). Jackson and Chloe try to convince Eleanor they need to hold off killing all the animals, and it’s only then that Eleanor reveals there’s another scientist who thinks the initial mutation was just the preamble. He’s already in Argentina searching for an animal with a phase two mutation. So, why didn’t she bring this up earlier? Seems like pretty important information for Eleanor to be keeping to herself in the middle of a worldwide animal attack.

So now we’re off to Argentina where Dr. Vickers and a team of U.S. Army Rangers are strolling through the forest. They come upon a campsite full of dead bodies who died from an encounter with the animal Dr. Vickers is tracking. Dr. Vickers reminds the squad that the animal has to be taken alive to be of any use.

Chloe, Abraham, and Jackson find themselves on board a huge, luxurious private plane without Mitch. Oh, wait, Mitch is already on board – not that any of the others cared or even asked if he wanted to fly off with them to Argentina. Mitch made a deal with Eleanor that she’d send out teams to find Jamie. Mitch makes some weird joke about raffling off the threesome, which stumps the group (and probably the audience). Eleanor tells them they have six weeks to stop the mutation or else the “kill all the animals plan” will be set in motion.

In Argentina, the team finds a house to bunker down for the night. It’s raining hard and they can’t track the animal.

On board the plane, Chloe tells Jackson she’s altered his medical records so no one will know his blood type has changed. Jackson wonders what he’s changing into, and back on the ground we see a misshapen human clutching a tree.

Dr. Vickers gives the Rangers a pep talk but it’s interrupted by an attack by that mutated person.

The plane lands and they head out to meet up with Vickers and the Rangers who are in the process of being wiped out by the mutant. The lone female Ranger, Marzan (Alyssa Diaz), is the only one who survives the attack, incapacitating the creature with a defibrillator and then stabbing him through the chest. Mitch and the gang arrive just as she nearly kills the mutant, and they’re surprisingly but not shocked to see the mutated human. It’s not dead and even tries to speak as Jackson and the team stare at it just lying there on the floor, bleeding.

And now we catch up with Jamie who emerges from her cave, sees her shadow, and proclaims winter isn’t over. None of that happened other than the emerging from the cave part. She makes it back to the house without seeing any infected animals. Once there she sets about putting the fence back together. As she’s messing around in the kitchen she hears animals outside and nails the door shut. That weird animal’s still in the house but she lets it live because she obviously hasn’t been paying attention to the fact that ANIMALS HAVE MUTATED, continuing to prepare a backpack with supplies. She uses rocks to spell out “Caraquet” on the house’s roof and then heads out. Now, if she’s just going to take off, why did she bother expending all that energy to fix the fence?

In Argentina, the gang continue to look down at the mutant. They ask Ranger Marzan if Vickers knew the phase two animal was a man. The Ranger’s justifiably upset about the mutant killing her team, but Chloe and the gang convince her to let the thing live because it could be the key to how to combat the mutation.

Apparently the plane was equipped with a full surgery suite and Mitch has patched up the mutant. Chloe and Jackson whisper about Jackson’s possibly mutating blood, but don’t let Mitch in on their secret. Mitch points out the mutant is healing incredibly quick and has a 170 heart rate and his respiration is off the charts. He’s mutating like the animals but he’s also transforming into the perfect predator. Chloe quickly glances at Jackson, probably to make sure he’s not transforming into a globby monster like the one on the operating table.

Jamie’s wandering the forest, stopping to stay hydrated and look at the map. She doesn’t notice the horde of beetles climbing her water bottle until they knock it over and spill all of her water.

Chloe reports in to Eleanor but leaves out the fact they’ve got a mutant human on the plane. She tells Jackson only one thing matters and that’s finding a cure. She’s not going to lose Jackson, and he tries to comfort her but she’s having none of that. Nope, not Chloe. She’s fixated on helping Jackson and it doesn’t matter what she has to do to stop him from transforming into a pebbly-faced monster.

The mutant man has a gnawed-off arm and Chloe says he’s a doctor working with the Red Cross. Marzan recognizes his name and saw the camp he was working at before he transformed, telling the group it’s now littered with dead bodies. And just to keep things lively, Mitch and Abraham continue with their bickering. Chloe sends Marzan, Abraham, and Jackson out to find the animal who gnawed off the mutant’s arm. How they’re going to find that exact animal is not explained.

Abe, Jackson, and Marzan drive off… Look, I have no idea where they got the car or how they know where to go to find the arm-eating animal. Such are the mysterious ways of Zoo. And of course it starts raining something that looks like blood, obscuring Jackson’s view through the windshield. They don’t react to this new development at all but instead keep on driving. They eventually have to get out and walk to the camp, stepping in puddles of what Jackson thinks is some kind of acid rain. They also find a feather that’s covered with ice and finally Abe says what we’re all thinking: “It doesn’t make sense.”

As they’re admiring the icy feather, a stranger walks up with a large machete.

Chloe’s whispering to the mutant human and Mitch tells her the guy can’t answer. His brain’s only functioning on a primitive level, and Chloe wants to know if they can switch the other part of his brain back on. Mitch never even thought of that, but believes it could be possible.

Marzan, Abe and Jackson have arrived at the camp and Marzan tells the men that there were more bodies in the camp when she and Dr. Vickers passed through just hours before. The stranger reveals a rain-like blood poisoned the food and water and that’s when the devil showed up. He killed everyone. The stranger also says the doctor they were expecting (the one who’s now the mutant) never arrived. Just then Abe points out an elephant footprint and elephant teeth marks. The stranger just so happens to know where an elephant is nearby. After Marzan notes that this whole thing is crazy, her radio crackles to life. The unfortunate part of that occurrence is that the other radios on that particular frequency are all buried with the dead Rangers. Creepy!

Meanwhile, Jamie is still trekking through the forest only now she’s walking through snow. Fortunately, she’s dressed for the occasion. Unfortunately, she steps on something sharp, doesn’t notice it, and starts leaving a trail of blood. She takes off her hiking boot and socks which are soaked with blood only to discover her big toe looks like it’s about to fall off.

Marzan is heading back to the burial ground instead of chasing an elephant. Abe says the men are dead but Marzan won’t be deterred. Abe and Marzan head back to the car while the stranger and Jackson head out to find an elephant.

Jamie comes across a police car. Inside, a family of raccoons have been feasting on a cop. Jamie, hardly grossed out at all, pulls him out of the car. It won’t start.

Mitch is ready to stimulate the mutant’s brain with Chloe as his assistant. It’s just an electric pulse but Chloe’s concerned it will hurt him. Just as they’re about to start the test, he starts crying blood and his body convulses. He’s able to get up off the operating table and runs away.

Abe and Marzan arrive back at the building where Dr. Vickers and the Rangers were slaughtered and it must have been quite a long drive as now it’s pitch black and raining hard. She tells Abe if one of her guys changed into a mutant, she’ll have to put him down. They notice an empty grave, but there aren’t any tracks around it.

Chloe tells the pilot to lock the cockpit door as they search for the escaped mutant on the plane, something far worse than snakes on a plane.

Jamie can’t start the police car but stays inside it long enough to almost be buried under snow.

The Ranger who’s missing is about to become a new dad and was going to name his daughter Hermione after Harry Potter. They hear noises in the trees and look up to see huge vultures flying off with the Ranger’s body. Abe and Marzan follow them on the ground in the car only to discover a vulture feeding area where half a dozen vultures are stockpiling food (aka dead bodies). After uselessly firing a few shots, they get back in the car and take off.

Jamie is now almost frozen but still managing to put one foot in front of the other. She hears critters but doesn’t hear the stranger approaching until he grabs her.

Jackson and the other stranger find the mutant’s car with his severed arm pinned underneath it. He gnawed off his own arm to get free, and just then the elephant is spotted 20’ away. Jackson sneaks over to take its blood.

Back on the plane, Chloe and Mitch are on the hunt for the mutant. He turns off the lights and Mitch thinks he’s just toying with them.

Jackson approaches the elephant from behind and stabs it in the butt. It doesn’t react quickly but when it does, it’s pretty damn angry. Fortunately, Marzan and Abe hear the elephant as they drive away from the vultures, with Marzan spotting Mitch and the stranger behind them close to the charging elephant. Abe stops the car and the stranger’s caught by the elephant and tossed in the air. Mitch stops running long enough to watch that happen and then finally runs after the car as the elephant squishes the stranger. The car is able to stay ahead of the elephant and when Jackson climbs in, Abe’s first question is, “How can an African elephant find his way to Patagonia?” Apparently Abe doesn’t remember that Jackson has no more knowledge of this particular elephant than he does.

Chloe gets off a couple of shots while being chased, evading the thing until she and Mitch are able to lock the mutant in a cage (she was the bait).

Abe calls Chloe on the plane and tells them to start take off procedures. He also tells them to open the cargo door. They drive toward the plane which is taxiing down the runway with the elephant still pursuing them. The car makes it into the plane but the elephant doesn’t. He blasts his trunk in fury as the plane lifts off.

Jamie’s new friend is named Logan (Josh Salatin), and the two struggle to keep warm. She tells him to stick his hands in his armpits. The exchange a bit of sarcastic banter and then Logan thinks he’s going to die from the cold. He thinks they’re lost but Jamie has a map and she’s determined to make it to Caraquet.

Mitch explains that the vultures were responsible for the blood rain. And, yes, it is human blood. The vultures not only fed on the villagers but also poisoned their crops. Mitch also tells them the elephant was a red herring and had nothing to do with the phase two mutation. Instead, it happened to the mutated man because of his specific genetic makeup. Chloe wants them to study the mutant so they can reverse the effects. Before they can stop her, Marzan steps over to the cage and shoots the mutant twice in the head. So much for studying the first-ever human mutant.

Zoo Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: Collision Course