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Zoo - Cradles and Graves / West Side Story - Double Review

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Cradles and Graves

Cradles and Graves picked up with the whole team in extreme peril. Almost every character is on the brink of death and Clem has just come out of the tank in the middle of all this craziness. Abe’s attempt to accelerate the pregnancy worked and she’s now full term (the solutions on this show are always so convenient). Clem finds everyone's lifeless bodies and immediately knows what to do. With the help of Sam, whose reunion was rather glossed over, she uses some tank fluid to basically drown everyone and accelerate their healing process. And just like that, everyone is saved! This whole intro, and basically the entire episode, felt like the writers were throwing everything they had at these characters. Clem is fully pregnant, there are deadly spores outside the plane, everyone is dying, Abe is having issues, and then Clem goes into labor - it’s a lot. I would almost say there was too much going on. Sometimes I feel like Zoo needs to slow down and take a breath, but then again, that's what makes the show so fast-paced and exciting to watch. I mean, it’s completely ridiculous sometimes but at least it’s always fun to watch.

The team can’t exit the plane or take off because otherwise the deadly hybrid spores will get into the plane’s air and kill everyone, so they’re kind of stuck there waiting to be rescued. The only issue is that the spores will get in through the vents before help arrives. This leaves the team to figure out a way to save themselves while also trying to deliver Clem’s baby. It’s kind of chaotic. Meanwhile, Abe is out of commission due to complications from his injury that they patch up with a scorpion bite and a taped on credit card. Jamie is also out of the picture after Jackson locks her up because she went behind their back’s and tried to kill his sister. I think Jackson is overreacting a bit. Jamie was kind of right to want Abigail dead, after all, she did just almost kill the whole team.

While this episode was very fast-paced with a lot going on, there was also a surprisingly emotional aspect throughout. First, with Jamie locked up, Mitch goes to visit her and gives a heartbreaking speech about how she doesn't matter to him anymore and that she’s now the darkness in his life. Jamie looks completely destroyed during this scene, but it’s hard to decide whose side to be on because I think they are both justified in their actions and feelings. I thought both actors gave great performances throughout this episode, but especially in both of the cell room scenes.

Meanwhile, Dariela and Logan have dispatched the rescue team to investigate one of the beacons. However, when they get there and try to cut the power source it ends up blowing up the whole thing and causing all of Tokyo to be lost. It’s at this moment that the team is at its lowest point - it’s really looking like they might not make it out this time and Jackson has all but given up. Elsewhere, it’s time for Clem to give birth. However, there are complications, because nothing can ever go smoothly for anyone on this plane. Abe explains that she probably has a blood clot pressing on the baby and they must deliver now or risk losing the baby, however, this is very dangerous for Clem. She selflessly urges everyone to not worry about her and just make sure the baby is okay. Thankfully, everything works out fine and both Clem and the baby are perfectly healthy.

After figuring out a solution to the spores problem, Max realizes that he needs to be the one to put in the filter, even though doing so will expose him to the life-threatening spores. I knew right away that he would not make it out of this episode alive, especially after Clem was okay, but I wasn't expecting the emotional impact that these events had on me. Max has never been a prominent character on this show and, like Mitch, we really didn't know him that well. Losing him like this, in such a brave and selfless way really got me. I thought his final moment holding the newborn baby was incredibly touching and beautiful and the entire sequence was well acted by everyone involved.

In the end, Max saves everyone on board at the cost of his own life, the spores are neutralized, Clem has a beautiful new baby, and Mitch and Jamie break-up and seemingly reconcile. This was a jam-packed episode and probably one of my favorites in a while. I really liked how it had a larger focus on the relationships and emotional aspects of the show and wasn’t quite as action-packed - it was a nice balance.

West Side Story

Everyone is still coming to terms with losing Max, but in this crazy environment, things like this can’t be dwelled on for very long. I did like how they found the time for a discussion between Mitch and Clem about losing his father. I like how she’s encouraging him to take a different path and be more present and communicative. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Clem at the start of the season but I’ve really grown to like her. She’s truly an asset and she doesn't make too many dumb decisions, which I appreciate. I also thought the interactions between Mitch and Jamie were nice, especially with him kind of backtracking or making her feel better about the hurtful things he said in the last episode. It seems like for the first time since he came back, they’re on the same page about everything.

Now that the team has the Dead Man’s switch and Clem’s baby, they need to head for the barrier so that they can give everything to the IADG and save the world. However just as they’re about to land, Abigail shoots down the plane causing them to crash land in the hybrid zone. They quickly become surrounded by hybrids and are now trapped, yet again, on the plane. Nothing goes right for them - ever. A search team lead by Dariela and Tess is quickly sent out to rescue everyone but the hybrids are too much for them and everyone dies - except Dariela and Tess, obviously. They make it to the plane and are under intense pressure to figure out a plan before they run out of time and the hybrid population becomes too much to overcome.

Sam offers to make something that will attract the hybrids away, and he and Jackson volunteer to drive it in the opposite direction while the others escape. I really did not trust Sam and I was not at all surprised to see that he was still working for Abigail. I was disappointed though because I was ready to welcome him onto the team once he had proved himself and I wanted him to be more loyal to Clem. Anyways, their plan works and the others are able to make their escape. On the way, Abe almost dies, leaving me wondering why they always have to put my favorite in life-threatening situations. Why can’t the writers just leave him alone, he’s been through enough! He pulls through though and they are all able to make it to IADG headquarters just in time.

The stakes at the IADG are very high, with the director planning to bomb all the beacon and nest sites causing catastrophic loss of life if they cannot stop Abigail in time. The alternative, however, is human extinction if the hybrid population reaches the threshold. There’s really no good choice if the team can’t figure out a way to save the world. Meanwhile, Logan is right there trying to help coordinate everything. I have to say I’m liking Logan more in this limited role (in terms of screen time). I have nothing against him - I like the actor and character, but I think this is just a better fit for him. The main cast was getting a bit crowded and I think his character makes for a better leader than a casual team member. It seems like the IADG should have everything they need to stop Abigail so I’m curious to see what else can go wrong in the finale.

I can’t finish this review without mentioning the crazy twist that we learned from Abigail. After Sam lures Jackson into her trap, things get pretty violent and Jackson pushes Sam over the side of a hill down to where the hybrids are going to be. At this point, Abigail tells him that Sam is actually Jackson’s son who he thought died as a baby! She wants him to have to watch his son die all over again. She is really messed up. I have to admit, I didn't see this coming but I also wasn’t really surprised. With the amount of craziness that goes on in this show, I’ve made myself prepared for literally anything. I do think this is an interesting twist and I’m looking forward to how they both cope with this news. The episode ends with them not looking too great after Jackson saves Sam and carries him off on his back. One thing I will say, they have to get more creative with these cliffhangers, every week it’s someone almost dying when we know they aren’t going to die! I’m looking forward to the finale and hoping that everything gets resolved!

What did you think of these episodes? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!

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