There was so much packed into this episode that by the point I was sure it must be almost over, I checked the clock and...it had been twenty minutes.
So I'm just going to table the ending and go in chronological order by category:
Shipperville: The A Squad
Happy-tiger chuffing noises about finally hearing from Jamie on Mitch. Just the tiniest amount -- information should be played close to the vest, so she declines to elaborate on the particulars of who he is to her beyond "friend" -- but her unshakeable faith that Mitch will come through for her
(is there some irony to the fact that he's so busy holding down two full time jobs as Resident Doctor/Research Scientist that it's Abe and Chloe who actually make the breakthrough? Yes, and it's wonderful to illustrate group bonds)
(side note: you know what'd be fun? If Jamie's amnesia extended to the plane and the last thing she remembered before waking up in a bed was getting on the plane. I mean, it'd be mean, but that is a relationship obstacle I could roll with -- not a confilct so much as a minor reset, leaving Mitch to decide how much more he should push or if he should wait for her to initiate it again)
Jamie and Logan's Terrible Adventure
That wound cleaning scene was super gross -- I was hoping I would never have to actually remember she lost a toe -- but also, kind of useful for my AU where it's Mitch with her.
...did they really need to burn all the money? Like, they didn't save even a little bit of it? One brick, at least?
The more secrets Logan fails to tell, the less I worry about his threat as a young male. Good job.
I love that the wolves conveniently go after the big tough bad guys and totally ignore the injured woman hobbling away from them. I guess the mutant gene makes them behave like tough human hunters who want to take out the biggest challenge instead of easy prey? (side note: HELL YEAH WOLF PACK ATTACK)
I cannot believe Jamie had to kill another man to save herself. Damn, Zoo, how much trauma do you need to inflict on her? [promo for next week: "MOAR trauma!"]
Just to recap, in this one episode, Jamie suffered through almost freezing to death while hobbling around on a crudely mutliated foot, going on the run from bad guys, getting held at gunpoint by bad guys, escaping Murder Wolves, later getting tackled and held at knifepoint by another bad guy she eventaully had to stab, and almost freezing to death again before miraculously finding some keys and driving to safety. AND this was all, like, B plot.
Pure Unadulterated Friendship
I LOVE that Abe is, all on his own, quietly parsing out strategies for finding Jamie. He is such a ridiculously wonderful person. Bonus: "Jamie is uncommonly resourceful for someone who grew up with shopping malls and cable TV."
I LOVE SO MUCH that Chloe is the one Jamie hallucinates telling her to get up. One, it establishes a theme of Chloe being everyone's inspiration, subtly conveying how important she is as a connecting force. This show is always moving at such a breakneck pace that I think a lot of stuff gets left out (as in not even written) that would really help flesh out the team dynamics and world-building, but if we have to read between the line sometimes this is a good way to do it.
Two, this feels more significant than having her imagine Mitch, partly because we already went for the easy shipper dream with Jackson last year, and partly because Girl Bonding is sorely lacking on this show. I don't think we've ever seen them talk one-on-one. And I really like the idea that they have more of a friendship than we've seen, and that sometimes, a friend is what a girl needs more than a love interest.
I really hope this wasn't actually Spirit Chloe foreshadowing her demise.
Second String Shipperville
First of all, Mitch calling them "Ross and Rachel" made my day. (And his stage whispering "women don't like to be lied to, everybody knows that" cracked me up endlessly).
The fact that referred to "your boyfriend" when talking to Chloe and neither she nor Jackson batted an eye -- are you serious?? This is just a thing people know now? ZOO STOP GOING SO DAMNED FAST AND EXPLAIN HOW THINGS HAPPENED. I'm happy, just shocked.
Second of all, we're going to ignore how terribly written and/or delivered that exposition line about Chloe balancing her leadership "with being in love with you" and just shriek about the progression of this relationship. On second thought, perhaps it was deliberately awkward -- she looks at him for his reaction afterward like maybe it's the first time she's said it out loud.
I loved her recounting of how they met, and dopey-in-love smile as she remembers that he was a calming presence long before she had any inkling of what he would come to mean to her.
And their incredibly pretty kissing. I have already established that James Wolk is a really excellent screen kisser but having her actually be into this time made a world of difference. Curse your inevitable and forewarned interruption, Dariela! THEY WERE JUST GETTING STARTED.
Plot Highlights Part I: MOLEY MOLEY MOLEY
Not enough sloth, but what we got was super cute. I love his little jungle gym because "we're trying to keep it happy." New life goal is to cuddle a sloth.
(I also love the sloth's hilarious squall + instant pratfall off the branch upon being hit with a dart gun)
Doctor!Mitch doing a general workup on Jackson. To quote Mr. Burns while drumming my fingers together in a creepy way, exxxxcellent.
Mitch popping out of the manhole cover like a prairie dog (or, in keeping with the theme, a whack-a-mole),
Dariela informs us she is divorced in the clunkiest exposition moment of the episode.
I missed this the first time around, but Mitch is definitely down to razz his teammates about their hookups. "[Moles make] a high pitched squeak. Kinda like the ones I've been hearing from Abe's room lately."
"There's an alligator down here!" That was some amazing CGI, and genuinely scary. (side note: my boyfriend really, really does not like alligators. He also hasn't watched Zoo yet. I tried to entice him to watch this week by promising that there was a destructive sloth, as he really likes sloths. Waiting to hear back on whether I unintentionally traumatized him.)
Can someone please explain to me again how Jackson just casually broke through a brick wall like it was made of peanut brittle?
I love that Mitch's natural response to almost dying is to yell at the closest person asking stupid questions. ("What happened to the alligator?" / "I DON'T KNOW, YOU WANNA GO BACK IN AND LOOK FOR HIM?")
I also love that he apparently goes straight to the plane lab and starts analyzing evidence without even bothering to wipe the dirt off his face. And scolding Jackson for trying to touch The Science. Hah!
Jackson: So I'm like a phone, and need to be restored to my factory settings.
Mitch: Well, my metaphor was way better, but yeah.
The first good rationale I've heard for why Abe doesn't know yet: "Nothing against your bosom buddy, but his bosom buddy? Not too fond of mutants."
Plot Highlights Part 2: The Fancy Party Of Subterfuge And Sabotage
"It wasn't easy, but we're in" -- a shining example of how little time or care Zoo has for giving plausible explanations for how this team manages to accomplish things.
I so love everyone's fancy ballroom attire. Mitch looks quite nice in that suit. (As does Jackson, but that is not news) And both women's dresses are a wonderful marriage of sexy and elegant.
Aaaand now I want entire Married Spy AU where Jackson and Chloe crash high-end parties for intel on the regular.
Mitch seems oddly offended that anyone would think him unskilled at slipping a mickey. Are there many situations in which a veterinary pathologist/anyone not in highly covert law enforement/intelligence should be good at slipping someone the mickey? (p.s. lol, "doctor school." You go, Abe)
I love that after all the hissing animals in cages at Reiden, there's a parrot just hanging out on his perch, totally unrestrained. That beak looks capable of doing some damage, but I guess he's way less dangerous than the caged chinchilla.
I don't know at exatly what point in this episode Dariela became a beloved member of this team to me, but probably somewhere between when she demanded the microphone and when she whipped out a thigh-holstered gun on General Davies and took him hostage.
I choose to believe that Chloe and Dariela went through instant bonding re: the hassle of getting all dressed up and having to use sex appeal to get ahead. They're great at it, but Dariela in particular seems like the kind of person who would just utterly resent it. The part where they simultaneously ditched their impractical strappy heels was the best.
I am all for hot guys getting violent in the pursuit of justice, but Jackson backhanding General Davies just made me LOL. He is such a cinnamon roll that even when he's trying to be intimidating it just kind of ends up looking like a cat bopping a dog on the nose with claws still sheathed. His expression afterward just utterly fails at conveying anger. I half expect him to say, "Oh, you're a wise guy eh?"
THAT IS NOT AN APPROPRIATE ENDING
I love how desperately Chloe is trying to convey to Dariela where Jamie is. Pure unadulterated friendship!! Also, if I weren't freaking out so much, I would probably be impressed by how well that scene was shot. It showed Dariela making a hard choice, not an impulsive one, and one that comes with regret and reinforcement that she genuinely thinks of Chloe as a friend now.
The problem with this show's lack of spoilers, very tentative hold on not being canceled, and complete divorce from week-to-week viewer reaction during the creation process is that everything is up for grabs. There are no contract changes to give us a heads-up about who is safe and who isn't. Literally anything can happen to anyone at any time, and that is well done but also terrifying way to watch a TV show. Main characters not being granted automatic survival is STRESSFUL, and while Chloe is 4th on the list in terms of whose loss would hurt me most, it would be in no way okay to lose her.
Not when she's become such a wonderful leader. Not when her relationship with Jackson finally got off the ground and came blazing to the forefront. Not when she's having such great working chemistry with Mitch, and not before I get to capitalize on her and Jamie having a working friendship, and possibly her and Dariela forming a solid partnership as well.
Thank god for the promo promising me she doesn't die in that makeshift gas chamber -- if I am going to lose her, at least Jackson is going to be with her first and the team is going to be rallying like hell to save her, which is what I really need for closure. That said, even though I just saw how many things they can pack into one episode, it does give me some hope that since the synopsis for episode 5 has no mention of "a life hanging in the balance" or any of the usual buzzwords for character death situations, it means they save her by the end of the first act and we resume focus on what IS in the synopsis. I don't think half the team would go barreling off to pick up Jamie if Chloe's life was still in danger, and I'd like to believe this show is also not so frantic that it would give us no time to mourn before barreling ahead to the Optimistic Reunion Times.
But I also don't like how red Jackson's eyes are on "so you say," which feels like the aftermath of more intense crying than one would do if she were simply comatose. (god, see, there I go again being Detective RS.)
P.S. Remember last week when I joked about how much I love that Mitchs top focus is on Jamie no matter what is happening? It's continuing.
Chloe: *actively dying*
Mitch: DIDJA FIND JAMIE??
(I laugh to subude the possible pain)