Remember March of 2020, when this pandemic business was just getting started, and we were all throwing around phrases like “two weeks to flatten the curve”?
We’d say it was a simpler time, but frankly, we’re still traumatized by memories of disinfecting our groceries.
Anyway, amid all the paranoia and confusion of those tense weeks, millions found themselves united in a shared fascination over a felonious, bigamous Oklahoma zookeeper and his merry band of misfits.
Yes, despite the fact that he was locked up at the time, Joe Exotic came to his nation’s service when we needed him most.
Tiger King was one of the most unexpected hits in recent memory, so it should come as no surprise that Netflix is currently attempting to recreate that success.
The show’s second season arrived with relatively little fanfare this week — though to be fair, the first installment didn’t have much of a promotional campaign, either.
Now, the tale of the great Oklahoma Tiger Wars was explored pretty thoroughly in Season 1, and the many tabloid stories about Exotic’s attempts to gain a presidential pardon seem to have covered just about everything that happened since.
But if there ever there was a twisty, turny true crime saga that deserves a second glance, it’s this one.
Tiger King Season 2 focuses largely on the rumors surrounding Exotic’s rival, Carole Baskin, and her second husband, Don Lewis.
As you may recall, Lewis went missing in 1997 while he and Baskin were still married.
He was declared dead in 2002 after a five-year search failed to yield any results.
An additional 20 years have passed since that ruling, so we thought it was safe to assume that Lewis is well and truly dead.
But hold on! This wouldn’t be the Tiger King franchise without a few unexpected twists!
Season 2 features new insights from Lewis’ attorney, Don Fritz, who reveals that after the first season aired, he received a call from a detective who told him “that there were federal reports of [Lewis] alive and well in Costa Rica.”
A little investigative work from the Tiger King filmmakers revealed that the continued existence of Fritz was mentioned in a Homeland Security report, as well.
It seems Lewis made numerous connections in Costa Rica while he was in the country exploring the possibility of opening a big cat sanctuary.
Several of these associates claim that Lewis discussed the possibility of faking his own death so that he might be able to leave Baskin without giving her any money.
Of course, even if Lewis faked his own death, there’s a good chance that he’s met his end in the years since, as he became embroiled in quite a few shady activities during his many trips to Costa Rica.
Exotic and others have accused Baskin of murdering Lewis and feeding him to one of her tigers, so she probably welcomes new line of inquiry into his disappearance.
But aside from a few clips of Baskin during her time on Dancing With the Stars, you won’t see the Tiger Queen during this second iteration of the docuseries that made her famous.
That’s because Baskin is making her own documentary, which she says will clear her name and correct the many factual errors presented in Tiger King.
So yeah, this saga isn’t over yet.
But hopefully by the time of the next installment we’ll have finally put the pandemic behind us. Dare to dream, folks!