Rivera adds some emotional complexity to the story, but the two plot elements strike me as disparate. (1) There is the Tiger Touch Center and the alleged disappearance of mama tigers. There seems to be some evidence of neglect and bad management, but Mark’s estimate of the tiger cubs-to-mama tigers ratio has not been demonstrated. (2) There is the issue of Rex’s infatuation for Tess that Mark finds troublesome. Of course, whether Rex wants to stay with Tess is none of Mark’s business (nor Diana’s for that matter). How do disappearing tigers impact Rex’s status? Dunno! Perhaps it is Rex’s reputation that Mark is concerned about, or Rex’s legal status if he is around when the proper authorities ultimately show up to shut down the Center and start arresting people.
I don’t think Rivera needs to exaggerate the drama through the expressions and reactions of Mark and Cherry; it seems too close to the scripted drama of Reality TV.