The writing has been on the wall for awhile now. And yet here we are, only three episodes into the second season of CBS' Zoo, and somehow I'm surprised that nearly all of our protagonists are paired up.
Everyone could see Jackson (James Wolk) and Chloe (Nora Arnezeder) coming a mile away, considering the heat they generated last season. Then, of course, it was also pretty clear that Mitch (Billy Burke), despite all of his cantankerous objections, was falling hard for Jamie (Kristen Connolly).
The big surprise of this season in the way of romance then has been the sparks flying between Abe (Nonso Anozie) and Dariela (Alyssa Diaz). Who could have seen that coming? After all, Dariela's admission into the group was by relative happenstance when they stumbled across her during a mission.
In my coverage of this series, I haven't been shy about the fact I am a fan — it's like an action-packed, crime-procedural-infused version of the creature features I so openly adore. So it may come as a shock that I'm not sure if I'm digging this abundance of amore on Zoo.
On one hand, I think, Hmm... maybe this sort of thing would happen in the midst of a potentially apocalyptic global animal rebellion. People tend to seek comfort from each other when faced with their mortality. Plus, adrenaline (which there is certainly no shortage of under the circumstances) tends to magnify emotions.
But then the cynical side of me chimes in. Would everyone really pair off so perfectly? For a show that constantly keeps viewers on the edge of their seats by slinging the unexpected at every turn, tying everyone up into neat little relationships feels so... unexpectedly expected. Know what I mean?
So let's explore the emerging ships because, real talk, they don't all feel entirely organic.
First up is Jackson and Chloe, who just so happened to share a steamy kiss tonight when Chloe confessed she was falling in love with him. To me, this couple feels like the most logical together — close in age, seemingly similar interests and education levels, etc.
In other words, they're the good-on-paper couple. Everything lines up and looks copacetic. It doesn't hurt that Wolk and Arnezeder have incredible onscreen chemistry.
Next, we'll segue into the ship that seems most realistic to me, and this might surprise you: Abe and Dariela. Let me explain. If this were the real world and all of these characters were chillin' at a bar, I kind of feel like Abe and Dariela would be the ones who'd actually leave together.
Sure, Jackson and Chloe might flirt. Or, alternately, they may not even notice each other. On the other hand, people like Abe and Dariela — people who've been through indescribable trauma in their lives and come out on the other side — they're drawn to each other. They understand each other.
In full disclosure, they're the Zoo couple I'm shipping hardest at the moment.
Then there's the ship I feel might be a bit extraneous, and that is Mitch and Jamie. Don't get me wrong; I love both characters. In fact, Burke and Connolly bring so much to the series that I doubt it would work without them. Having said that, I just don't see them together.
I see the mutual respect and admiration. It seems as though it should just be a fierce friendship, though — not the pseudo-ship that has developed its own mini-arc in the wake of Jamie's separation from the group. I'm sure I'll catch some flack for saying this, but it feels forced.
Besides, we're only in the second season! Whatever happened to build-up, you guys? Give a girl a minute to warm up before throwing multiple ships at her. If all of our heroes are already paired off so early, that likely translates to either relationship drama or fairytale-romance-in-the-apocalypse from here on out... and I'm not pumped about the prospect of either.
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