Tiger King season 2, episode 5 recap – “Stark Raving Mad”

November 17, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps
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“Stark Raving Mad” delivers several big turns in the case that ultimately set up another season.

This recap of Tiger King season 2, episode 5, “Stark Raving Mad”, contains spoilers.

The exotic animal industry is, according to Tim Stark, pretty much done with, thanks in large part to PETA and Carole Baskin. But this is a guy who regularly threatens to slit people’s throats, so you can’t take him too seriously. Then again you can’t take Joe Exotic too seriously either, since he’s running a Bachelor King competition from prison to look for a new husband after he and Dillon went their separate ways. Even eternal showman John Phillips thinks the idle mind of Joe is best left untouched.

Tiger King season 2, episode 5 recap

“Stark Raving Mad” is aptly named. When the authorities turn up to take away Tim Stark’s animals, he goes absolutely ballistic, making thinly veiled comments about “sniper distance”, calling the judge who authorized the raid, yelling obscenities at reporters, and just generally making a fool of himself. He even tries to hide some of his most valuable animals in a box truck with no light or ventilation, which is promptly discovered and emptied. Pretty soon after, he goes on the run.

The raid on Tim’s private zoo is the start of a trend, and Jeff’s is next on the agenda. So, he ships out, taking the animals with him, and the property, which Carole Baskin now owns, is defaced with anti-Carole slander. Either way, though, he ships out, and not long after Tim Stark is finally arrested after being overheard loudly talking about himself and making vague social media threats with a plastic grenade. If this is the beginning of the end, though, it doesn’t do much for Joe, who is still languishing in prison despite people like Allen coming forward with information.

The real winner here seems to be Carole Baskin. She orchestrates the seizure of Jeff’s animals, which have all been woefully neglected, and was instrumental in the shutting down of Stark and Jeff’s operations. Jeff and Lauren are forced to play the tearful victims, which is embarrassing given all their previous bluster. Before long, Jeff is on the phone with John Phillips claiming to have evidence to exonerate Joe. See, Jeff and Joe now have a mutual enemy in the federal government. So, John advises Jeff to sign a sworn affidavit claiming he made up the murder-for-hire charge. He’s running the risk of being indicted for animal cruelty charges, but it’s a risk worth taking. Jeff and Lauren perjure themselves. James Garretson, who has barely featured this season, has to do the same. But a crucial piece of evidence emerges — a recording of James, Jeff, and Lauren colluding with the federal government to set Joe up. This evidence was, bizarrely, never featured at Joe’s trial. Witnesses were never cross-examined. So John needs to get a fresh pair of eyes on it.

And then Allen comes through with a major curveball. He puts in an affidavit that he was going to kill Joe because he hated him so much and that if he did, he “wouldn’t have to work again”, since Jeff was on Joe’s life insurance. The plan was to decapitate Joe using a length of barbed wire that he’d hopefully speed into on his ATV, and Jeff would assume control of the park and the animals. This plan, you’ll notice, is the exact same plan that Joe supposedly had for Carole Baskin. If this can be proved, it’s major. So, John and Allen head to the GW Zoo to look for a telling piece of wire and find it almost instantly.

John poses the obvious question: What is the ripple effect of these affidavits? What happens next? Firstly, John has to prove government malfeasance. And he intends to. And that certainly sounds like grounds for a third season in my book.

You can stream Tiger King season 2, episode 5, “Stark Raving Mad”, exclusively on Netflix.

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