There are a lot of things you can say about Tiger King star Joe Exotic. As the clear breakout star of the seven-part docu-series, Joe showed us all kinds of crazy. From his 2016 presidential run, to his cringe-y yet amazing music videos, Joe is a personality that is larger than life. He wanted fame above all else. And honestly, I wanted it for him. Sure, Joe has his faults, but there’s something so endearing about him. Or maybe I’ve just truly lost my mind during quarantine. We can’t be sure.
Even though Joe is now an international sensation, he tragically cannot enjoy this fame. Joe is currently serving a 22-year sentence on murder for hire charges against the now infamous Carole Baskin. Like many, I felt like Joe was set up in a way. Even Cardi B expressed her feelings on Joe’s prison sentence. “He will be free,” she promised. But Joe isn’t waiting around for to Cardi’s GoFundMe campaign to get him out of jail. Instead, Joe is going straight to the source himself: President Donald Trump.
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.
The fifth episode of Tiger King serves as a lesson that nothing good comes from too much crazy in one place. Not only did some of this behavior seem normalized, but it was also was encouraged. Joe Exotic dives into politics, while suffering personal tragedy. The dynamics of the park also begin to change.
Jeff Lowe has managed to bamboozle Joe into giving him ownership of his zoo. With new management, major changes begin to take place. Jeff immediately fires half of the staff and insults them on their way out of the door. One of the most significant changes is the entrance of his associate, Allen Glover, who was hired as a handy man for the zoo. This won’t seem significant this episode, but just keep Allen’s name in the back of your mind.