It’s not often that we get to do this. However, kudos are in order for CBS’ action drama ‘Zoo,’ because on this week’s episode, an episode called, “Emotional Contagion,” the animal rights wacko series actually gave credit to the other side of the argument.
But first things first. Let’s meet new character Ray Endicott (Warren Christie) who struggles to make friends with the locals:
>> Come on, Baggo. I think there's been a misunderstanding... Can you at least take off the high school ring, sport? I know how proud you are that you have made it as far as high school. Oh! There they are! All the way from Africa to defend my honor!
>> See you're still as popular as ever, Ray.
>> Meet my pals, David and Goliath. Bet you didn't know they reconciled and now they wander the globe doing the good work.
>> This gotta stop, Ray. Gotta stop now.
>> What did he do?
>> Released 200 pounds of caught shrimp from our holds. And that's the fourth time this month he's done it.
>> Tell me something. You know what "Bycatch" is, fellas? Sharks, sea turtles, seals and other "Non-target" fish that end up in these bastards' nets, only to be tossed overboard because "They ain't shrimp."
>> It's our living. And your friend here is trying to ruin it.
>> He's not our friend.
>> This ain't over, Ray.
>> I'll see you soon.
>> Gotta say, I was surprised to hear from you. Figured you were still sore about Nairobi.
>> You almost got us killed in Nairobi.
>> Hell, those poachers were bad men.
>> And you were on the right side of right.
>> Raymond Joseph Endicott. No past, no future.
Of course, they would have to make him an obvious gym goer whose hair has been washed at some point in the last two months, and says cool things like, “no past, no future.” If the writers at ‘Zoo’ had portrayed him as the unwashed, hair-matted, lip ring wearing, barista look-alike that most animal rights activists actually are, the sex appeal of diving into the cargo holds of fishing trawlers after shrimp would be greatly diminished.
No matter though. Ray turns out to be an extremely militant animal rights activist who is willing to lead our main characters back to Africa, which is where they want to go. Yet there is a condition. First, Ray wants help liberating animals from the zoo. The planning session for that operation leads to a philosophical showdown:
>> Ray: All right, so we've hit up a couple of zoos before. We found what works best for us is a two-pronged assault, so four of us are gonna go in here, four of us in here. Toss in a couple of flash-bangs, and the rent-a-cops won't know what hit 'em.
>> Flash-bangs? Seriously?
>> Mitch: The etymology of the term "Gung ho" comes from the Chinese meaning "Work together," but I find it can also mean: "Excitable morons groping for a cause."
>> You kidding me, man?
>> My friend, I wouldn't if I was you.
>> Who are these guys again, Ray?
>> These are some old chums of mine, who are presently of the mind that animals are uniting against us.
>> Which we deserve, by the way.
>> Good for them. I mean, we have been eating 'em and keeping 'em in cages since the dawn of time.
>> All right, how about we just focus on what it is we're trying to do here.
>> Okay, look, once we're in, one of your people can go fetch the, uh, velociraptor thing from the path-lab.
>> Sure, that. Rest of us are gonna free the animals, load 'em into the truck. We're in and out in under 30 minutes.
>> What if we try a different approach?
>> Yeah, like the one where we don't break into the zoo to free the animals.
>> What, you think this is funny?
>> Oh, there's nothing funnier than adrenaline junkies trying to mask their thrill-seeking in altruism.
>> Zoos are an idea whose time have come and gone.
>> Tell that to the dozens of endangered species who have benefited from captive breeding programs.
>> All right, relax, relax. Anissa did a couple of tours in Afghanistan, took some mortar fire. Unfortunately, doctors couldn't save her sense of humor.
In the list of all time most intellectually charged and momentous moral clashes, this little tete-a-tete will rank...well...low. Yet, the fact that a sensible view from a thinking and rational human was actually given airtime on ‘Zoo’ is no small deal. After all, this is the show that once tried to use the Bible to justify wolves attacking prison guards.
Zoos are good places. People have great memories of them. Unless you fall into something you shouldn’t, of course.