Television

Published on July 25th, 2014 | by JCDoyle

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Utopia Series 2 – Episode 3

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“Things have gone a bit awry.”

If you’ve been watching Utopia for a series and a bit and you’ve thought to yourself “Some of these characters are a little bit crazy. I hope they introduce some normal people soon.” Then this is not going to be your week. This new lot they introduce are four cans short of a six pack, a hamper short of a picnic; they are nuttier than the world’s largest nut loaf smeared in peanut butter.

But before we get on to them, let’s catch up with the regulars to see what there’re getting up to.

Warning: There will be spoilers ahead, possibly some agitated chimpanzees and maybe the funniest Mexican Stand off ever.

utopia 3.2 insert 1

“I see your gun and rise you a crowbar.”

First up this week is the yellow suit wearing Lee whose dead pan attitude fails to convince Ian’s old boss that he is a police officer. This is unfortunate as the net result is a brutal beating with a silver lining for The Network as they now have a new crime to pin on the hapless I.T. consultant. Later on Lee hooks up with Wilson Wilson to create one of the most awkward double acts ever to grace the small screen. There is a lot of banter and hatred thrown between them which leads to an extremely pathetic and hilarious confrontation. This show excels at making uncomfortable situations appear ridiculous so that they boarder on comedy but you will find yourself questioning what it is you are laughing at. Remember one of these characters ripped the others eye out with a spoon.

The rest of the gang are yet again on the run and they seem to be doing a lot of arguing but then again they do it so well. There is awkwardness between Ian and Becky, between Arby and Grant and between Donaldson and everyone else. And just who is that crazy old guy?

This is not currently a very happy group.

However it only takes on fake news story implicating Ian in the murder of his boss (with CCTV footage, The Network doesn’t mess about) to unite them in conspiratorial fear. In an attempt to find out just what is going on Arby takes the group to visit one of his little friends. This turns out to be an uber dweeby, teenage tosser with extreme hacking abilities and a vile vocabulary. Ben is like a young version of Robert Webb’s character in Peep Show; he is full of himself and has worse social skills than Wilson Wilson. And his parents appear to have escaped from an adaptation of the Stepford Wives.

utopia 3.2 insert 2

“Did you make a ‘bin man’ joke?”

This is what they find out from the hacker:

In the 1960’s, the American Government experimented with germ warfare and controlling populations with diseases. Hidden in the deepest, darkest Top Secret files ever there is information relating to the creation of a flu virus which would be used to spread something much worse. Also the significance of Fatman is revealed and pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place.

The little group of fugitives keep on the move and Arby takes a leave of absence to investigate further ‘avenues’ on his own. (In reality he returns to Ben’s house to purchase three new identities, passports and all). Ian confronts Becky about his feelings for her but she’s a little be cold towards him, right up to the point they figure out who the old man is, then she’s all over him because she’s A) a tad fickle and B) very manipulating. It all seems to be working out until Donaldson lets slip, deliberately, that Becky was double crossing them all in the previous series. Ian is non-plussed so goes to make a phone call.

utopia 3.2 insert 5

“Is a bit of my hair loose?”

Geoff, meanwhile, is still out of his depth and currently being forced to back V Day, the Network’s planned event to spread the Janus virus to the populace. But will he do the right thing? Of course he won’t.

And Dugdale, oh Dugdale, what happened to you? I had such high hopes for you but unfortunately the Network appears to have broken you down (I wonder if this has anything to do with his missing family). When his geeky assistant discovers that the Russian Flu Vaccine tests are fake, Dugdale arrange to meet her outside of work, in private. He tries to warn her off further investigations but it’s too late, she has a sample of the vaccine and she’s already started to run tests. They visit her home made lab (in her actual home) and she shows him the unknown protein we know to be the Janus virus. Dugdale panics and what remains of his integrity folds in on itself. Poor, poor Bridget . She gets a visit from some very large and looming Network men and I don’t think they want to just have a strong word with her.

Throughout all of this, Milner is having a slow breakdown. She is despondent because Jessica won’t talk leaving her with only one option – dissection! But Jessica is all that she has left of Carvel and she doesn’t want to lose that single thin link to her past.

A decision has to be made about V Day, time is running out but it’s a phone call from Ian that finally reignites Milner’s passion in genocide.

utopia 3.2 insert 3

“I thought you said you were good at leap frog.”

And where is Jessica Hyde? Breaking out of the Network’s grotesque prison hospital, that’s where. In a series of funny and gross scenes, Jessica escapes from her captors, horrifies an aging rocker in a take on the ‘drunk seeing something odd then throwing away his bottle’ scene and finally turns to an old friend for help: Dugdale. Oh dear, this won’t end well for anyone.

Best Scene of the episode: Any scene with Wilson Wilson and Lee. The dialogue is brilliantly funny and yet disturbingly cruel. In response to Wilson Wilson’s comment about knowledge always being useful , Lee replies “It wasn’t much use when I got my spoon out.” And of course my favourite line so far in the series:

“We’ll make a great team you and me. I can do stuff and you can keep an eye out.”

Utopia continues to be a beautifully brutal television series with a tight script and some of the best imagery I’ve seen in a long time. There isn’t a single bad performance and the haunting music turns the visuals into sublime scenes of Art. I could watch this for hours.

Oh and the crazy old man, Anton, is apparently Philip Carvel. Wait, WHAT!!??!! THIS GUY..?…

utopia 3.2 insert 4

“Hello. Is it me you’re looking for?”

 

JCDoyle

JCDoyle

Lover of comics and Art and Sci-Fi in multiple media. Currently teaching my kids the ways of the Geek (while protecting my first editions)
JCDoyle

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