Joe Exotic Tiger King

Tiger King Episode 7 Recap: Caged Beasts

There are lessons to be learned from Tiger King and the brief explosive reign of Joe Exotic. Live by the code of the jungle, metaphorically die by it too. In the series finale Joe goes down for orchestrating a murder for hire plot to once and for all stop Carole Baskin from stealing his zoo. The zoo Joe does not in fact even own anymore.

Joe caged wild animals and took away their freedoms and finds himself in a cage after being nabbed by the FEDS on what appears to be some trumped up charges. Working behind his back to seize the zoo was a collection of barely contained beasts: Carole Fucking Baskin, Jeff Lowe, and Joe’s former friend “businessman,” James Garretson.

There is no more humanity left in Joe Exotic, as he is completely ruled by his animal instincts to self-preserve. 

Joe’s finances are in even more dire straights after spending wildly (and losing colossally) attempting to become Governor of Oklahoma. Now stranger things have happened in this world than a self-proclaimed Tiger King (who owes a crazy lady in Florida a million dollars) being able to take over a state where they dropped the school day to 4-days a week because Libertarianism landed them in financial trouble. Stranger things like Joe’s campaign manager, Joshua Dial, the former gun counter manager at Walmart, who met Joe because he came in everyday to buy ammo to kill off faux Carole Baskin’s, being one of the wisest and most profound characters on this show. Joshua for the win!


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Meanwhile, Jeff got himself arrested in Vegas for having wild animals without a license and toting a whole bunch of unregistered guns around. I wonder if he bought them from Walmart!? Jeff is sentenced to 179 days parole and currently has an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Vegas. After likely being evicted from his rent-a-mansion, Jeff returns to Oklahoma. He learns Joe has spent close to $75k of zoo money on his campaign to produce condoms. He unleashes a tirade he clearly secretly recorded accusing Joe of embezzlement.

In the dead of night, Joe plans to liquidate what assets he has, meaning LIVE TIGERS, before skipping town. What’s worse – embezzling money or exotic animals? Joe and his new husband Dillon Passage relocate to another random someplace in Oklahoma. ALERT: THEY ARE OFF THE COMPOUND! Joe has lost everything. Except one baby tiger which he feeds raw chicken out of a mixing bowl as he wipes his tears away. Salmonella apparently is the least of his concerns.

Back at the zoo, Jeff has hooked up with Joe’s former friend, “human Chuckie Doll,” James.

James Garretson Tiger King

I’m confused about which came first the Allen or the James? Somewhere before Joe fled like a tiger thief in the night, he allegedly offered Allen Glover, a zoo handy man ex-con and close associate of Jeff’s, $5,000 to fly out to Tampa and kill Carole. The plan was reportedly hatched in Joe’s office with Jeff’s input. Jeff even suggested Carole be whacked on the biking trail where she rides her leopard print bike to and from ‘work’. Work for Carole is spending hours on the internet putting silencing spells on anyone who utters the name Don Lewis.


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Does anyone have kids? Do you kids watch Wild Kratts? Why do I feel like Carole on that leopard bike can harness Big Cat Power and morph into a cyborg-leopard that would claw any enemy to pieces. And she still wouldn’t’ break that creepy Michelle Duggar dead-eyed smile. Anyway, it was Jeff who actually brought up the GoogleEarth images of the biking trail – and JEFF ADMITS THIS – to show Allen and Joe. How is Jeff not culpable at all? He is literally laughing about his involvement.

Allen Glover Tiger King

No one has any proof that Allen actually traveled to Florida, because he was coked out of his mind and was eventually located at a South Carolina strip club sometime after James began conspiring with the Fish & Wildlife, who also apparently have an FBI division to investigates stolen lemurs in abandoned convenience store/restaurants. Allen admits that he guesses he chickened out on killing Carole Fucking Baskin, but doesn’t seem to remember. He takes a bath to wash away his sins. I can’t tell if the sin is possibly agreeing to off someone or being too scared to go through with it. The true sin is Carole’s wardrobe so I’d be content with him just machete-ing that.


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Basically, when supremely dumb and/or shady people tell stories they omit a lot of details because otherwise, they’d incriminate themselves. The only way the producers were able to get any real footage out of James is when they secretly filmed him discussing how the FBI got involved.

Jeff, anxious to get Joe out of his way so he could take over the zoo, was the mastermind. Under that do-rag might be a brain, but it’s being held on by his hat. Jeff is the one who suggested James reach out to the Baskins claiming information about Joe. Howard though, Howard ain’t as daft as he would appear. Howard immediately contacted the feds who showed up at James’ CON(con being the operative word)-venience store and told him to cooperate or they’d have that lemur’s head.

Jeff Lowe Allen Glover Tiger King

Now it’s not entirely clear if Joe gave Allen money or not, but Jeff convinces Allen that they better concoct a story stat and that story better be that Joe hired him to kill Carole. Joe initially promised $5k, but Allen claims he only got $3k. Also Allen is now also wearing a tiger t-shirt. Albeit a subtle blue one that looks like the tiger claw tattoo Travis and John Finlay both had, so make of that what you will. Why are we supposed to believe that Allen, a man who hated Joe and vice versa, would be the one Joe trusted to end Carole’s life? Things that make you go hmmmmmm…

Joe argues that he gave That Bitch Allen Glover $3k on Jeff’s orders so he’d go away and leave the zoo. I think that $3k, was probably more like $300 hundo, and is currently hanging out in a stripper’s g-string.


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Knowing their case against Joe was flimsier than a chainlink fence holding a tiger who wants its expired Walmart sausage links, the feds also hired an informant as a pretend hitman who would off Carole for $10k. In conversations recorded (I believe by Jeff) Joe is heard telling this rando to kill Carole, then throw her in a swamp. That is hardly credible considering that Joe got on the YouTube daily to actually fake execute fake Carole by hanging her with flower crowns and cat leashes.


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The FBI gotta do better than that. So they did. SOMEBODY  informed them that Joe killed 5 tigers because he couldn’t afford to feed them then buried their remains on zoo grounds. That somebody was 100% Jeff, who was actually moving the GW Zoo to a new location out by the Texas border near a casino. He got that suggestion from James, after promising they could be business partners. Then Jeff swiftly cut James out of the dealings.

What is it about grown men being so easily manipulated by owning tigers? Dudes… DUDES. If I knew all it took to make men do anything I want was a 600 lb striped death machine, my life would’ve been a whole lot easier.

Jeff Lowe Tiger King

Added to Joe’s murder for hire charge was animal cruelty and violation of the Endangered Species Act after tiger remains were unearthed. The bottom line is Joe is fucked. And it’s not by That Bitch Carole Fucking Baskin. It is JEFF FUCKING LOWE.

In other strange developments, while Joe is on the lam, Jeff decided to pool his resources with Tim Stark. This is the guy who constantly has a monkey on his back. The former associate turned rival zoo owner, drove a bunch of his own construction materials out to help Jeff build the new zoo. He found himself doing all the work while Jeff rode in his Hummer using tigers to solicit hot nannies. Yes, Jeff is reproducing – perish the thought. Jeff and Tim’s partnership lasted less about 15 minutes before Tim realized he was being used, and bailed.


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Jeff’s plan for Lauren is that she’ll have a scheduled induction and be back in the gym the next day. Lauren smiles adoringly at Jeff’s notions, but never speaks. Cat got her tongue?

Securing the nail in Joe’s coffin,  Jeff also told Joe if he showed up at the zoo he’d be shot for trespassing. Joe interprets this as Jeff having a hit on him and flees Oklahoma. He doesn’t seem to realize he’s also fleeing the FBI. Over in South Carolina, back from his early morning constitutional atop an elephant, Doc Antle is laughing about how incurably stupid Joe is and the ludicrous FBI case. Any credible hit man would cost at least $100k. Does Doc know this like Carole knows tigers are attracted to anchovy oil? And where is Doc’s first wife, hmmmmm…. ?


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Joe pretends he and Dillon moved to Belize and starts hash-tagging Facebook and Instagram posts that way. Clearly, Joe has still not figured out how GoogleEarth works, because he’s actually in Florida. Meanwhile, Carole is alive and now eagerly working with the FBI to incriminate Joe. The FBI finally nabs him in a random parking lot where he was likely on his way to teach a Learning Annex class about how to turn your love of tigers into a full-time job.

Eric Tiger King

With Joe in jail the government starts rounding up all former employees and associates to testify against him. All but John Reinke turn on him. John actually tried to convince the FBI to let him testify in Joe’s defense, but they refused to return his calls. Eric Cowie, the former zoo manager who taught us about the dangers of smoking near gasoline, gets blackout drunk and cries about the day Joe shot the 5 ailing tigers. Eric thought of those animals as family and he feels like he let them down. Eric literally sobs into a stuffed tiger, hopefully NOT from the Joe Exotic gift show and wearing a Joe Exotic g-string with detachable Prince Albert.

Joe Exotic in court Tiger King

John F. was eager to enact his revenge on Joe holding him hostage for yers and stealing all his teefer’s natural lives. It’s not clear if Saff, the person who lost their arm to Joe’s zoo, turned on him, but she certainly appears remorseful about everything that has happened. Against the advice of his attorney Joe also took the stand himself.


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Allen, Carole, and Jeff were all frothing at the months to tell of Joe’s misdeeds. But honestly, who would believe two ex-cons, both of whom have a vested interest in keeping Joe in jail and the feds off their own tails? The jury, that’s who. It took them less than 4 hours to convict Joe and give him 22 years.

Joe Exotic in prison Tiger King

Joe maintains his innocence from jail as his mullet slowly fades from peroxide to brown to gray, becoming more stringy and plastered to his head as the days wear on. Joe still posts calls from prison as “Joe Exotic,” and after months rotting in county he’s transferred to prison. I have so many questions about Joe in prison: Is he now wooing men with tiger tattoos? Or tiger tales? Do they make you removed your Prince Albert in lock-up? Is Joe able to access hair dye? Will he be appearing on Lip Sync Battle from jail to lip sync to his own country songs again?


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Dillon Passage Tiger King

Faced with 22 years of time on his hands, Joe’s revenge takes on a new fervor when he remembers he has AN ENTIRE STORAGE UNIT full of incriminating information about everyone in the animal world. Joe sends Dillon to turn a trove of documents over to PETA. Documents which incriminate everyone from Doc Antle, Tim Stark, and even, duh, duh, duh…. Carole Fucking Baskin!

According to JoeDoc Antle euthanizes cubs once they age out of the pet and play stage. He even has a crematorium on his property. So he’s a Tiger Hitler? Disgusting! Maybe that’s what happened to Don Lewis? Was Carole briefly in Doc’s sex cult? Are there photos of Carole posing in a leopard print thong putting on baby big cat shows for tourists?

Carole Baskin Howard Baskin Tiger King

At the end, we learn the Feds raided Doc’s compound. Jeff is still attempting to build his zoo. But, how long wil he remain a free man? And Joe feels more strongly than ever that he was framed and wrongly convicted. He has since filed a lawsuit attesting his innocence and probably named Carole Fucking Baskin.

Carole and Howard celebrate Joe’s incarceration with the finest $50 champagne money can buy (not really) and Howard serenading Carole at the tiger rescue. She deserves it!

Joe reflects on how he lost it all, and mistreated animals in the process. Footage from his early days shows an earnest man with a true love of tigers. So how did he become their biggest predator? By Joe’s own admission, “I was wrapped up in owning a zoo.”


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Joe Exotic Tiger Cub Tiger King

None of these cats have learned everything. As Joshua says Carole and Joe were fighting over how to best protect tigers, but all the millions of dollars wasted could’ve gone to save tigers’ natural habitat. There are less than 4,000 tigers in the wild, yet 5-10,000 living in captivity in America. The footage of tigers in the wild shows animals that look so incredibly different than the ones in Joe and Carole’s cages.

So that’s all. Signing off cool cats and kittens. Stick to adopting domestic house cats!


[Photo Credits: Netflix]