Do you guys remember the news story from last year about the giant abandoned Russian cruise ship filled with thousands of disease-ridden cannibal rats? If you don’t, first of all, you might want to consider seeing your doctor, because you really shouldn’t be forgetting things like giant abandoned Russian cruise ships filled with thousands of disease-ridden cannibal rats. Second, quick recap: Canadian officials repossessed an old Russian cruise ship to collect a debt, but it ended up getting lost in international waters after it was sold for scrap, and some news reports in early 2014 indicated that (a) it might have become overrun with thousands of diseased rats who were eating each other to survive, and (b) it was headed for London. The whole thing was debunked shortly after, which was somehow both a relief and a disappointment, but the truth shouldn’t take away from what a delightful story it was.
I bring this up again today because GUESS WHAT.
See, the surprising thing here isn’t that Zoo did an episode about the diseased rat ghost ship. The surprising thing is that it took them until THE EIGHTH EPISODE to do an episode about the diseased rat ghost ship. I would say I admire their restraint, but you are a few minutes away from seeing a GIF of thousands of rats being killed by an attractive blond spy from France wielding a flamethrower, so maybe “restraint” isn’t quite the right word.
But we’ll get to that. First, some context. Fresh off their Parisian adventure with the mutating bears, the team is alerted to reports of a ship running aground on a Massachusetts island, with a dead crew covered in rat bites. So, OFF TO MASSACHUSETTS IT IS. Before the team gets there, however, the rats set up shop in an empty hotel that is closed for renovations, and we are introduced to maybe my favorite character on the show to date.
That is an exterminator who works for a company — or possibly is the sole proprietor of a company — named “Total Annihilation Pest Control.” I choose to believe his name is Rodney. I also wonder what kind of sorry financial state the hotel is in that it’s closed in the middle of tourist season and using a doofus exterminator with “Total Annihilation” written on his van, but I suppose both of those fall somewhere behind “infested with bloodthirsty rats of the high seas” on the list of concerns.
Anyway, Rodney follows the rat into one of the rooms, and hears a commotion in the ceiling, and climbs a ladder to poke his head up there to investigate, and…
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO RODNEY. ZOO, YOU CRUEL BASTARD. HE COULD HAVE HELPED. HE COULD HAVE JOINED THE TEAM. HE COULD HAVE HAD A SPIN-OFF NEXT SUMMER. DAMMIT.
And here’s the craziest thing: That GIF up there, the one featuring thousands of rats killing an exterminator by biting his face off, isn’t even the craziest rat-based moment from the episode. It’s not even close, really. Because after the team showed up at the hotel to investigate, this happened, and I will honestly never be the same.
- Picture the rats piling into the elevator. Like, really picture it. Because it’s kind of hilarious to think about thousands and thousands of rats coordinating their efforts to make a dramatic entrance like this instead of just running down the stairs. One of them had to push the button.
- Good luck getting this image out of your head every time you’re waiting for an elevator from now until you die.
So they run away and go to track down the queen rat (for reasons, but don’t worry), and stumble across the rat lair in the basement, where they discover multiple dead bodies and are promptly surrounded by murderous rats who have a taste for human blood. Which is bad. Even getting surrounded by regular rats is bad. Things are bleak.
But remember the thing I said about the French lady with the flamethrower?
It’s like that old Chekhov rule: Never introduce a doofus exterminator with a flamethrower in the first act if you’re not going to have a blonde French woman discover it next to his corpse in the third act and use it to incinerate the thousands of bloodthirsty rats who killed him. Or something.
More rat torching? More rat torching.
To recap: Evil pirate rats tried to take over Massachusetts and were executed en masse via flamethrower by a French intelligence agent who was attacked by lions while on a vacation she took to help get her mind off her fiancé sleeping with her sister. Zoo, you have done it again.