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Zoo & the 2-hour Season 2 Premiere

"We're two minutes in and it's already ridiculous."


*beams* I LOVE IT.

Mitch Morgan, Totally Awesome Scientist Distraught Hellcat / Moody Teenage Mitch
Setting aside the fact that I am still howling to the point of tears at his actual fax temper tantrums complete with sitting on the ground crossing his arms, declaring they can't make him leave, literally getting half carried/half dragged to the chopper, hulksmashing the inside of it and throwing in an "I HATE YOU" sulk for good measure,...oh, and let's not forget the continued fit-throwing in the lab, declaring everyone to be incompetent and ultimately kicking over a table...

....now I'm sobering up, because oh my god. the intensity of that speech about how he needs to be there to sedate the leopard, a well worded and seemingly reasonable demand completely undercut by the tears glittering in his eyes and general desperation in his voice. And that, that is the value of picking up at the exact second we left off.

Like I said at season finale time, I'm not surprised that Contrivance contrived to make it so Jamie was gone just before they got to her, but I ain't even mad because after having spent all summer dreaming up glorious reunion scenes, now I have another puzzle key to get me started on a whole new set. The level of emotional intensity he was running on by this point? I can't even imagine how he would have contained himelf if she had been there. His face probably would have exploded the television.

I also loved the subtle challenge to his tone when explaining that he leveraged a deal that Eleanor will send another team after Jamie, and if they can't find her, they'll keep sending teams until they do. "Right, Eleanor?" Awww. He accepted her loss once, and clearly will not make that mistake again.

Despite the fact that we already had a "Mitch turns into a surly cur toward Abe" subplot last season, I'm more than good with having another one. It's just so beautifully irrational on Mitch's part, and I'm pretty sure he knows it but just refuses to check it until Jamie's OK because as long as all the hurt and anger is going outward, it can't turn back in.

And as for the "bubble bath" attack -- you can just see him dig in, knowing full well that Abe could flatten him like a pancake (even though he won't), but he already threw down the gauntlet and he will die on this hill before he stands down.

Mitch Morgan Part II: I Love My Daughter (But Not In A Creepy Way)
I never did get around to writing a longer review post on the season finale -- I decided I was happy with my concise notes -- but it still mystifies me that Mitch keeps disappearing into Jamie related despair and generally seems ready to run suicide missions for just the chance of getting to her, when they keep cutting back to his daughter, to whom he is now apparently so close that an untrained observer might think he raised her singlehandedly.

But that's totally fine. If you want to bury the memory of how you introduced them as estranged and run with this super loving relationship, I 1000% encourage you to run with it and bring me ALL the sweetness that comes with it.

Because his face when he talks to her. I love the immediate concern when she says "they took Henry**," and his good attempts to reassure her that everything will be okay soon, plus excellent use of the word "kiddo." And also...can I just talk for a minute about how much I love that if Mitch's #1 trait is knee-jerk sarcasm, his #2 is wearing his heart on his teary sleeve?

Like he has absolutely zero resolve when faced with her bravely sad little questions like "when will this be over?" and basically shatters on the spot. I'm sure he turned the monitor at that point mainly so he could compose himself without her seeing. And then there's still an exchange of I-love-yous AND a watery-eyed sniffle after he exits the call? sdjalsdjfalk;sdjf

**At this point I pretty much hope that Henry is the key to everything. That dog has been a Smoking Gun In The Background for way too long without being put to use.

JACKSON/CHLOE F YEAH
Minor note: I think we can all agree that Chloe carrying a baby around, but especially while approaching Jackson, is very useful footage indeed. (and that French lullaby she was singing to it? awwwwww) Other useful footage: Chloe fretting way too intensely over the welfare of a stranger, pushing all of Mitch's Suspicious Behavior buttons, and generally letting us all know that regardless of exactly what they are, she has some seriously personal Jackson-shaped feelings.

Major note: "I'm sorry but I'm not going to lose you." And I was all, WAIT WHEN DID THIS BECOME A LESS ONE-SIDED THING and Jackson was all, "Aw Chloe, let me leap at this opportunity to get schmoopy-eyed and cup your cheek in my hand and make soothing noises like we're an actual item." And I was like, CHANGE APPROVED.

New Brunswick
You can really tell they moved production to Vancouver and started shooting in February, huh?

I actually really liked everything about Jamie's plan to secure the leopard and her wilderness trek. Girlfriend has been dragged through hell and back and the amount I need to see her make it to somewhere with food and shelter and medical care is getting intense, but I'm so proud of her. While everyone else's plots are running around a loony bin, her scenes -- awesome rampaging northwoods bison notwithstanding -- feel like a completely different director is handling them because they feel real. They're stark and raw and lonely, with minimal dialogue (she is acting the heck out of this), but never quite hopeless.

My hackles are of course up for Frozen Boy's arrival on the scene, because in the real world I would have no reason to worry and would just assume Jamie would platonically rescue his frozen butt with friendly banter and no complications, but because it's television I have to grit my teeth and wonder when they will try prodding my Jamie/Mitch sore spot.

On the one hand, I cannot believe they would both extend the separation and ramp up Mitch's desperation this high if not for a spectacular fireworks payoff, but on the other, I can believe they might yet make it worse before they pay out. The longer these two are alone, the bigger the risk.

Plotty Type Stuff
I do not hate New Girl! At least not yet. She has the potential to grow on me, which is impressive because just to get to the neutral point she had to be appealing enough to overcome a pre-existing Irrational Grudge. I definitely like her kinship with Abe, whom no one is sufficiently appreciating right now. Granted I don't know her name, but that's probably because I'm still mad about her newly dead best friend Ward and how those jerks made us care about him and get real invested in him getting home to his nearly-born daughter Hermione. Rarely do I latch onto characters that fast.

How long did it take Jackson to bust out the wild gleam of Crazy Eyes this time, three minutes? No judgment; I love that mode. "Guys, great idea! Put a flame to my car's dripping fuel line and I'll drive around to make a burning ring of fire, hopefully with enough time to hop, drop and roll before it explodes."

Mitch & Chloe make a pretty good monster-capturing team. Forgot how much I like their working chemistry,

Abraham is a gift from heaven and I look forward to them remembering this fact when they all stop being so self-centered.

OH YIKES. Mutant Human Monster is a terrifying predator. Unnecessarily gross in closeup, but I'm on board to see where this takes us. Unless of course this is like Mutant Eye Wolfman and it's pretty much over and done with in this episode.

The bodies scattered around the forest camp? So gruesome, so well done.

The attack vultures really gave a whole new meaning to Angry Birds.

The CGI leopard? Kinda lame. The charging CGI elefante? AWESOME, and I wanted that chase scene to go on way longer just so I could admire it.

Fave out-of-context quote goes to Chloe: "I don't need stripes, I have a plane."

There's probably more, honestly. Remembering plot is not my strong suit, much as I enjoy watching it.

Verdict
Although I finally got my active obsession with this show to lie dormant around December, nothing in what little I watched of the 2015-2016 TV season managed to oust it from its position as my favorite currently-airing series, and now that it's back on the airwaves my enthusiasm knows no bounds.

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