Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t watched Tuesday’s episode of “Zoo”
CBS’s summer sleeper hit “Zoo” got a big wake up in Tuesday’s episode when veterinary pathologist Mitch, played by Billy Burke, thwarts the team’s efforts to discover the reason behind all the recent animal attacks.
Mitch sneakily starts negotiating with Reiden Global to give the conglomerate back the mother cell, the crucial piece of evidence the team needs to prove Reiden is behind the strange and increasingly deadly animal behavior.
Jeff Pinkner, one of the four showrunners on the CBS drama, told TheWrap that Mitch’s apparent betrayal could have a huge impact on the plot going forward.
“Certainly if they find out what he’s done, it’s going to have pretty big ramifications,” Pinkner said. “The team was brought together to deal with this specific event. They don’t really know each other and they’re just starting to trust each other.”
Pinkner noted that Mitch has already “formed a pretty strong bond” with Jamie (Kristen Connolly). “So if our team learns that Mitch is willing or has traded this mother cell back to Reiden, there will be ramifications both interpersonally and also potentially for the world, because without this proof they may not be able to identify what’s happening with animals or how to reverse it,” he said.
Mitch had his reasons for his back-channel approach to Reiden. His daughter Clementine (Madison Wolfe) has a rare terminal illness and Reiden has been testing an experimental drug that appears to wipe the disease out completely.
So Mitch tries to blackmail Reiden’s CEO with the information he has about the mother cell and only agrees to turn over everything he and the team have in exchange for his daughter getting put into the next round of trials.
Pinkner also teased some upcoming animal attacks that could make audiences squirm. “Some of the most exciting and potentially scariest or hardest to watch moments have been saved for the back end of the season,” he said. “There will be more moments that people might feel that they need to watch through crossed fingers.”
Partly because of such effects-driven scenes, “Zoo” has proven to be a summer breakout for CBS. The show has typically drawn between 6 and 8 million viewers per episode, making it one of highest-rated new shows of the summer.
“Different people seem to have different phobias or different fears about animals and we’re defintiely going to lean into some of them as the season progresses,” he said. “If you have any particular feelings towards rats one way or another, you may be delighted.”