'Zoo' Season 2 Spoilers From James Wolk Tease An "Apocalyptic" World & More Romance
Summer is no longer the season with no good TV, thanks to series like CBS' Zoo, which returns for its second season on Tuesday, June 28 at 9 p.m. If you're like me, you also got into the globe-trekking animal mutation drama series last summer and hoped Jackson Oz and his team would finally be able to synthesize the cure for the affected animals. In an interview with Bustle, James Wolk shares some Zoo Season 2 spoilers to preview the next intense chapter in the series, which is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by James Patterson.
"The animal attacks have escalated to a point where it's international and everywhere," Wolk tells Bustle. "Jackson actually becomes endangered by coming into close contact with the mutation and it starts to affect him in certain ways. That provides a whole new ticking time clock for the whole team to try and figure out what's happening with Jackson."
During Season 1, the mutuation only affected the animals, evidenced by a "defiant pupil." Jackson gets thrown together with a team — which includes French intelligence agent Chloe, journalist Jaime, veterinary pathologist Mitch, and safari guide Abraham — to investigate the mutation, which causes various species to relentlessly attack and defy everyone. The gang got close to making a cure involving a cute leopard cub and mosquito, but the season finale ended with them being confronted by an enormous group of animals on the road.
So where do Jackson and the Zoo team go from there? Here's what Wolk can share about Season 2.
The World Is "Apocalyptic"
In Season 1, it was the Zoo team going up against Reiden Global, as well as an entire outside world that didn't believe their claims. But according to Wolk, the second season will show the world finally facing what Jackson and the gang has known for a while. "Season 2 really delivers on finding the world in an apocalyptic state," Wolk says. " People get to see how the world is dealing with it — different countries, different cities, different towns are all dealing with apocalyptic events in different ways."
Jackson Goes From Hammock To Hero
When the audience first meets Jackson Oz in the pilot episode, he's literally napping in a hammock and he doesn't believe any of the animal rebellion studies by his father Robert. A full season later, Jackson has changed so much — and Wolk says that his character will continue to evolve. He will have to deal with coming into contact with the mutation, as well as discovering more about his late father.
"In Season 2, he takes it even further, because the events aren't so external anymore," he says. "Physically, he's dealing with certain things. He starts to learn a little bit more truth about his father and what his father's experiments were and what his father was doing. He's got a lot of turmoil inside of him this season and that was fun to pay."
Jackson & Chloe's Romance
Zoo proves you can still fall in love, even when the world is being turned upside down. The final episodes of Season 1 showed budding romances developing between Jamie and Mitch, as well as Jackson and Chloe, who met during a lion attack in the pilot. This season, Wolk says Jackson and Chloe will continue pursuing their attraction for each other.
"Last year, it was a slow burn for them," he says. "I think part of that was there was so much insanity around them. I think, as it would be in real life, priorities take over and you just try to stay alive. So I think there's this budding romance, but all the while they're trying to keep their lives and figure out what's going on around them. In Season 2, it does develop and I think it'll be enjoyable for the audience to see that come to fruition."
A Close Call
Wolk says his scariest moment on set had nothing to do with animals and everything to do with a narrow tunnel the team will have to make their way through in Season 2. Jackson may not be claustrophobic, but Wolk recalls that this is how he found out that he definitely is in real life.
"We built these underground tunnels to crawl through and they had these three-foot diameter crawl space tunnels. They came to the cast beforehand and asked if anyone was claustrophobic — of course, I said no, because I had no idea. And the day comes when we have to crawl through these tunnels and there's about 65-70 people on set — cast, crew and producers. I'm about to go to the tunnel and I step in — I just freeze. My body paralyzes with fear and it was an interesting way to find out I was claustrophobic in front of around 75 people."
But you shouldn't fear checking out Season 2 of Zoo. It's a wild and engaging show you need to see to believe. "Sit down and get ready for a fun hour of television," Wolk says.
Images: Liane Hentscher (3) Cook Allender, Shane Harvey, Steve Dietl/CBS