Lifetime Movie Zoe Gone Should Have Been Subtitled ‘Ugh, Teenagers’
Obviously there's only one person who can find this baby: a lady cop. Her name is Detective Patricia Henderson (Jean Louisa Kelly), and she rocks a blazer like no other. She's able to calm down Jennifer's screaming mother, who's pretty much just doing what everyone watching the movie wishes they could do and blaming Jennifer.
What happens next is just your typical missing baby stuff. Mom folds baby clothes fresh out of the laundry and cries, Jennifer photocopies a bunch of missing baby fliers to hand out, a dead baby is found in a ditch somewhere. Wait… what? We're only halfway through the movie. It's obviously not Zoe. But that doesn't mean we're not going to spend five minutes listening to Jennifer and her mom freak out about it maybe being Zoe as they drive to the site. Of course they get there and it's not Zoe. It's another teenage girl's baby that she abandoned. Do you think this movie has an opinion about whether teens should be parents?
It's about this time that the movie just gives up on keeping the mystery and shows us who took Zoe. It's a redhead named Tammy (Andrea Bowen) and a guy I was initially positive was Randy the deadbeat boyfriend. Turns out it was just excellent casting, because it's actually Randy's brother Jason (Michael Adam Hamilton). Jason and Tammy are planning to sell Zoe for $200,000. When did this become Baby Sellers and why isn't Kirstie Alley here with her overabundant hair? This isn't what I signed up for.
Jennifer quickly learns about this baby-selling plan when Randy shows up and informs her that he's leaving town, because of reasons he chooses not to disclose. Obviously Jennifer grabs her stepdad's gun and chases after Randy using her friend's borrowed car. Ugh, can't she get her own stuff? Jennifer demands Randy take her to Zoe, and she discovers that Randy planned the kidnapping with his brother because he thought Jennifer hated being a mom and wanted things to go back to the way they were. So basically he's just, like, really surprised that Jennifer didn't want him to sell their baby. Who knew?
Because people in Lifetime movies always solve the mystery at the same time but separately, Detective Hamilton learns the identity of the kidnappers thanks to the fact that Tammy tampered with hospital records where she works. Nice work, Tammy. Jennifer and Randy plan to sneak attack the kidnappers and grab Zoe, and it would have worked, too, if only Jennifer had remembered to take the safety off her gun. Obviously Tammy and Jason tie Randy and Jennifer up and escape with Zoe to an abandoned parking garage. Okay, Lifetime's just trolling me now, right? Cut it out with the parking garages.
Meanwhile Jennifer does her only useful thing this entire movie by getting herself free from the duct tape holding her to the chair so she and Randy can catch up to the kidnappers and get Zoe. But not before Jason shoots Randy and causes him to scream like a banshee. It's just that I'm not used to movie characters reacting to gunshot wounds by expressing actual pain. Usually they just lie on the floor and at the most grunt a little. Don't worry, Randy ends up surviving but being arrested, so the douche gets what's coming to him.
Jennifer has Zoe, but she's chased through the inexplicably abandoned city streets by Jason, until they end up at some sort of train depot, where she hits him with a convenient tire iron. That just makes him angrier, and he points the gun to shoot at her, but the shot we hear doesn't come from him. It comes from Detective Henderson, who's arrived just in time to perform the most cliched movie fake out of all time.
So Zoe's safe and Jennifer has finally realized how much she loves her daughter. So why is there still ten minutes left? Oh, it's because Jennifer suddenly wants to give Zoe up for adoption …
That's right. After spending an entire movie trying to get her daughter back and realizing that she does love her after all, she's still not so into the idea of being a mom, so she wants to give Zoe to people who can actually take care of her. Look, it's sort of a relief that Zoe won't be raised by a whiny teenager, but also WHAAAAAT. The movie ends with Jennifer handing Zoe off to her new mother and basically giving her the same instructions a lady would give to a babysitter who's watching her kid for one night. I have no words.
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