Based on his interviews this episode, it appears Jeff Lowe spent years getting Joe Exotic more and more enraged over Carole Baskin so at some point Lowe would be able to convince Exotic to hire someone to kill her. Possibly even just Allen Glover. Both “Doc” Antle and Joshua Dial think Joe was set up. Lowe attests he did mean to encourage Joe to do it, which isn’t a crime apparently.
A number of people find it highly suspicious the government let Lowe and Glover go, including reporter Sylvia Corkill. Meanwhile federal prosecutor Amanda Green cooperates with the filmmakers so much she performs some of her closing arguments at Joe’s trial for them?
Except they didn’t just get Joe on trying to hire someone to kill Baskin, they got him on violating the endangered species act because it turns out Joe killed five tigers at some point. It really pissed off the zoo employees at the time, which means directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin maybe knew about it and decided to just keep it quiet for best effect later.
The jury finds Joe guilty and he’s sentence to twenty-two years. Once instead he decides to sell all the big cat owners he knows out to PETA, which is good. There’s a card at the end about how “Doc” Antle got raided; Joe says Antle has a gas chamber to get rid of the aging tiger cubs, so, you know, fuck him.
Despite “investigating” her for murder, “Tiger King” gives Carole Baskin a positive send-off. Her husband comes off like a tool but whatever.
And things don’t go well for Jeff Lowe. He screws over major creep Tim Stark leaving him without a zoo partner, which really just screws over the tigers. No one really gives a shit about the 200 tigers Joe Exotic had in his zoo. Given one of the interviewees even brings it up, you’d think it’d get some attention but no.
Rick Kirkham plays victim again, says how bad he felt showcasing an abusive-to-animals Joe Exotic and making him appear loving, which doesn’t track with his previous interviews or the other footage of him….
As for Exotic, there’s at least some footage showing he’s aware of the damage he’s done to the animals.
Oh, and James Garretson playing himself as the hero in the whole thing is ick.
“Tiger King” is extremely compelling and ultimately distressing.
I don’t think I want to see a movie of it, even with a dream cast. It’s too much, too sad.