This weeks' episode of Zoo appeals to our most primal survival instinct: fight or flight. Whether it's Abraham fighting for his life in a tree with his lion captors close at hand, or Jamie fighting against Raiden Global and their widening conspiracy, there comes a time when we must all make the conscious decision to stand our ground or flee, and, we see this recurring theme play out with each of our characters this week.

The episode opens in Botswana with Abraham still at the mercy of his lion captors and Jackson still held in a cell.

With the rapport he has, it doesn't take long for Jackson to talk his way out of his predicament and convince the guards to accompany him on his search for Abraham. He proceeds with a renewed sense of vigor when he receives a "call" from Abraham, and when his body isn't found inside the vehicle in which he was last seen.


Following the trail of blood, they soon spot him in the tree far off in the distance, which leads to tense moments as the rescue commences in full view of the lions. They don't attack, however, which prompts Jackson to continue to question everything he believes about animal behavior (and come ever closer to the same conclusions his father had drawn long before).

Back in Los Angeles, Jamie continues her investigation into Raiden Global, and things go from curious to flat-out conspiracy in the matter of an eviction notice. As she's researching, she gets a knock at her door that turns out to be her landlords' son serving her an eviction notice. As she's at the door, however, her webcam turns on remotely and her computer gets cloned -- there's definitely something going on that goes well beyond conspiracy theorist paranoia.

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Later, she meets up with Mitch to discuss her findings -- chemical 2-4-D -- a neurotransmitter used in pesticides that were eaten by cattle (supplied by Raiden Global) which were subsequently fed to the lions. This (along with the cluster of cats dispersing and going back home as soon as Jamie called animal control) leads the pair to further investigate these "coincidences," which seem to have gone well beyond that by this point. 

This is also the first time we begin to see the true global impact of this phenomena. We're introduced to an English couple who travels to Slovenia to adopt a child, and we see Chloe travel back to her home country of France -- with each location illustrating or alluding to some kind of abnormal animal behavior. The new father unfortunately becomes a victim of this "behavior" as a dog grabs hold of his adopted sons' new toy. Wanting to make a good impression on his son, the father follows the dog about town to try to retrieve it, only to be led into a trap on the outskirts, where he seemingly becomes kibble for a pack of rabid dogs.

The fact that these dogs are able to organize and execute in the same manner as the lions in Africa speaks to the enormous (and sometimes fatal) impact that this level of heightened animal awareness can have -- and its consequences.

In Botswana, Jackson voices his concern to his mother regarding the behavior of the lions, and that maybe his father and his theories aren't as crazy after all -- that maybe everyone else is crazy for dismissing them outright. His mother is quick to discredit this (until she examines the bodies of the 22 Safari Camp massacre victims). By nature, lions typically go in for the quick kill, but she notes that these lions went for the femoral artery -- a change in tactic that led to the slow, painful death of the victims. The fact that these lions went so far away from their instinctual mode of killing and seemingly chose the most painful route to execute the mass murder suggests not that these lions were defending themselves or that they were hungry, it suggests something much more sinister -- that they knew what they were doing and wanted these victims to suffer. Convinced that there's definitely something eerie going on, Jacksons' mother gives him another piece of the puzzle. While Jackson is in possession of 5 hard drives containing his fathers' lectures, there are 7 more in Tokyo, and, with a fresh scent, he and Abraham embark on the trail to further understand what's going on.

In the closing moments, Mitch and Jamie are running tests on a lion cub at the zoo. Upon analyzing its brain activity, they come to a startling conclusion: hyper gamma frequencies in the brain. What makes this discovery even more striking is the fact that lions aren't supposed to have such a frequency at all. The cub itself is also resistant to the dose Mitch administered to keep it unconscious, while the lions at the zoo are simultaneously roaring as though they know something is though they're communicating with each other...

Thus far, Zoo has been a welcome departure from the run-of-the-mill primetime cable network program. It keeps you engaged and demands your attention, and isn't something that has a clean, tidy, and peaceful resolution at the end of each viewing block. It's not life-altering by any stretch, but it is a level above the majority of its primetime peers. It addresses the paper-thin veil that separates us (humans) from them (animals), and operates under the premise that maybe we're not as different as we'd like to think. Though we've traded in our jungle for a concrete one, and though we dress well and boast higher brain functioning, perhaps, at the end of the day, we're still just animals trying to fight or flight our way through life.

Catch all-new episodes of Zoo only on CBS.