Is it just me or do the stories stemming from Netflix’s hit Tiger King keep getting weirder and weirder? Usually when this kind of show is done, it’s done. See Netflix’s other hit, Too Hot To Handle. As in, there isn’t much to say about it once it’s over with. This is definitely not the case with Joe Exotic and his band of merry crazies.
First there was the news that Nicholas Cage of all people would be playing Joe Exotic in a series. Although as strange as it is, I can’t think of anyone better fit to play someone as odd as Joe Exotic. Then we found out that Joe is seeking a pardon from President Donald Trump. Let’s face it, this is probably pretty low on the list of priorities right now. But he’s asking! Finally, in one of the most interesting turn of events, Carole Baskin was awarded Joe’s beloved zoo. Was that the final straw for Joe Exotic?
One of the hardest parts to watch in Tiger King was the untimely death of Joe Exotic’s husband, Travis Maldonado. Travis was Joe’s fourth husband and met him as a 19 year old kid. As featured in the series, he married Joe in a strange wedding ceremony that included Joe’s third husband, Joe Finlay. If you watched the series, you know it was quite the event.
Despite the happy looking couple(s), there were deep troubles at the G.W. Zoo. The documentary alleges that Travis was fighting his own personal demons and drug addiction. This is a claim Joe denies but it was hard not to think there was some truth to it after seeing the series. Sadly, the culmination of chaos ended in Travis accidentally shooting himself, which resulted in his death. While Travis’ actual death wasn’t shown (thank goodness), the security footage from the moment it happened was shown to a stunned audience watching the series. But not everyone knew about this being featured.
Tiger King has kept fans interested long after the show’s initial release. There are murder plots, big cats and a wild cast of characters. But one thing that made Tiger King so riveting is the relationships between all these big cat people. They are strange to say the least. Carole Baskin, who married her current husband, Howard Baskin while he was dressed in some caveman/tiger ensemble. And let’s not forget she has been accused of knocking off her previous husband, Don Lewis, and feeding him to their tigers. This is a claim she has vehemently denied but after the series, it’s raised more questions than answers.
Then there is Doc Antle, who seems to be running a harem of women out of his sanctuary. I will never understand how that man has gotten so many women to be with him. Finally, in what is possibly the strangest of all relationships, is Joe Exotic. Apparently, Joe had 5 husbands total but only 3 of them were featured on the docuseries. John Finlay, the toothless wonder shown in the series, was actually Joe’s third husband. Lucky number 4 was Travis Maldonado, who wed Joe in ceremony with John too. But John moved on to a woman and Travis met an untimely death, leaving Joe to look for someone else. And he found him in a then-22-year-old Dillon Passage.
There is no doubt that Joe Exotic is the breakout star from the Netflix series Tiger King. Then again, that’s not saying a lot among a cast with so many questionable characters.
Comparatively, there doesn’t seem to be a ton of Carole Baskin super fans out there. This is primarily because of the cloud of suspicion around the disppearance of her late husband Don Lewis. Many people believe that Carole fed him to the tigers or she put his body in a meat grinder. I mean, she did explain in the documentary how this would be plausible if the a human was dipped in sardine oil. Recently, her co-star Jeff Lowe said that Carole reported that meat grinder was stolen right after Don’s disappearance. While no one has been convincted of a crime, a lot of people are talking about Carole and her possible involvement in this.
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.