Saturday, March 5, 2022

REVIEW: 'Joe vs. Carole' - Joe Gets More Controlling Over the Zoo and Blames Carole For Any Problems in 'The Tiger King'

Peacock's Joe vs. Carole - Episode 1.05 "The Tiger King"

Joe flies off the handle when Carole tries to turn those closest to him against him. Rick films a wedding at the zoo. Carole searches for a congressional sponsor for her big cat bill.

"The Tiger King" was written by Corina Maritescu and directed by Natalie Bailey

Joe and Carole have never actually met. Their feud escalates over their actions online and through other pieces of technology. That connectivity provides so many opportunities. It also means Carole can't file a restraining order against Joe. He threatens to kill her on numerous occasions. And yet, the law in her state says she needs to provide documentation of two prior instances of physical abuse. That's insane. It's such a high and arbitrary bar. Either of those instances could be lethal. The law would have done nothing to change that outcome. Carole didn't expect anything from this meeting. She has been abused plenty of times before. It's in this episode that Kate McKinnon's characterizations start to make more sense. Carole is a woman defined by quirky affectations. A lot of horrible things have happened to her. Like Joe, she was saved by the animals. She has a mission. The cats will always come first. She has that clarity. She needs others to always recognize that importance. Only in doing so can they be a part of her life. She has been hurt too many times before to trust her own instincts. She purposefully pursues the opposite of what she has always been attracted to. Howard has his sweet charms too. He is incredibly giving in this relationship. His fears are just as valid. He is terrified by how cavalier his wife seems to be about these threats. She figures she doesn't have to worry too much. Joe proclaims his intentions. She knows that threat is out there. She has to be aware of it. She can monitor it. It doesn't create a distraction. It threatens to do so in the same way the accusations of her being a killer did. She can't allow anyone to prevent her from helping big cats in this country. She needs to pass legislation. That's what she is focused on. She isn't trying to make Joe's life more miserable. However, her reactions are different than how her loved ones view the situation. She has been through all of this before. As such, she can joke about it and have a good time. She escaped her abuse. She found happiness with Howard. She is alienating him though. She has no awareness for how others are suffering. They are uncomfortable and she keeps talking. She is charismatic and takes up a lot of energy in the room. That comes from her sensibilities masking how deep this trauma goes. It's deflection. It's similar to how Joe has evolved over the years. She simply has the benefit of the doubt from being on the right sight of the larger issue.

Joe is labeled as crazy. He is a madman who should be loved by everyone. He is told he has something special in his zoo. He creates an incredibly controlling environment. Whatever he wants, he gets. That's the attitude John embraces. Nothing about his relationship with John is about love anymore. They get married. That should be a happy celebration. Instead, it's Joe showing off what he has. It's not legal. It's him further cementing ownership over these two people. John accepts it's all for show. Travis is young and naive. He doesn't quite know how to process any of this. He simply goes along with whatever Joe wants. He is happy in this place. He attributes so much of that to Joe. And so, he is willing to do whatever he wants. Of course, Joe is fixated on Carole. He views her as personally destroying his life. She is the one ordering people to take everything he spent years building. He committed fraud and is upset he got caught. He doesn't want to pay anything to Carole even though she won a judgment saying she was entitled to one million dollars in his assets. Joe is broke. The people at the zoo are loyal. They see him as their savior. His family doesn't have the same opinion. His niece is more than willing to turn against him to protect her grandmother. Joe only sees the personal attacks. People betraying him in a spineless, purposeful way are how he can make sense of the tragedy. He was told all the networks would want to produce his show. Rick's footage is captivating. That too is tainted by what Carole can do. This is as far as Joe can go with his ambition. It's not that impressive. Instead of trying to cope with that reality, he turns towards those he personally blames. Rick isn't conspiring with Carole to take down Joe for good. Rick has reliably been at the zoo believing in the power of the footage. He didn't have any moral issues with what was happening. He simply saw a goldmine. That doesn't exist. He gives up. Joe can't accept that. And so, he seemingly sets the footage on fire. He would rather the world burn down instead of give up anything of his. That's how territorial he is. If he can't be celebrated, then no one can get a victory at his expense. It's an impulse driven by narcissism. It leaves him flailing around causing more chaos and destruction. Carole at least has an honest and nurturing relationship with Howard. Nothing at Joe's zoo is ultimately built on lasting and true dynamics. It may all come tumbling down from the slightest pressure. Joe believes the world should work in his favor. He's not that special no matter how hard he has fought to be seen and heard.