Tiger King II – Dancing With their Pride


Charlie Hippensteel, Brimstone Reporter

Season 1 of the Netflix documentary Tiger King, about a Texan big cat zookeeper and his woes with conservationist Carole Baskin, was released in March of 2020 and amassed 34 million viewers. Ever since the end of the season, in which the “Tiger King” Joe Exotic was incarcerated for the alleged murder-for-hire of Carole Baskin, many have awaited a second season. Especially those that have immensely profited from the first season, not including Joe or Carole.


Season 2 has only 5 episodes. The first tells about Joe’s wild past of growing up in Oklahoma with an abusive father, becoming a police officer and sheriff in Texas, then stripping on the side for money for a new fire engine until he realized he liked being a stripper better. Flashing forward to post-season 1, some of Joe’s employees tried the bold move to get former-president Trump to pardon Joe on January 6th, 2021, before getting cursed out of the crowd by Republicans before the insurrection. Joe is done with his employees and business partners for their mishandling of his predicament, and swears that he will get them all in prison, and to never be involved in the exotic animal business again. 


The rest of the season jumps from all sorts of things: the further investigation of Don Lewis’ disappearance through discrepancies in Carole Baskin’s video diaries, as well as her venture into Dancing with the Stars, to improve her public image, armchair detective “Ripper” Jack, shady businessman Jeff Lowe and his liquidation business complete with reality TV show and another zoo partnered with Tim Stark, the schizophrenic so entitled to his animals that he hid many of his most expensive animals in a hot box truck off his property when his animals were being taken from his possession.


Throughout the season though, there is one constant: Egotists. The show does an excellent job of feeding everyone’s ego. Joe is sure that he is out of jail any day, and held a bachelor contest while in prison. Carole is sure she’s going to win any battle she comes across. Jeff’s zoo with Tim was going to be a combination zoo-strip club and was half considering pimping his wife for money. Tim claims he has a more pure alter-ego named Sue. Even the district attorney of Dallas, the prosecutor against Joe, admitted he is an Elvis impersonator and sang for the camera. The whole show, really, is about people’s egos and their entitlement. 


Now that Jeff and his wife have come forward, admitting to the framing of Joe along with the alleged bounty hunter’s testimony to being set up, it’s looking more and more likely that Joe is going to get out of prison, and there will surely be a third season to follow.