Published on August 8th, 2014 | by JCDoyle


Utopia Series 2 – Episode 5

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You know when you get frustrated  in a fast food restaurant because the person serving isn’t doing their job to a standard that you think is good enough, so you give them a little abuse? Yeah, well, you might want to stop doing that because that person serving may be about to unleash hell on the Earth.

Welcome to Channel 4’s Utopia where the end of everything begins with the giving of a hat.

Warning: The following will include some of those spoilers, family hugs and maybe an android robot or two.

Utopia 2.5 insert 1

“Who the fuck are ya?”

We’ve reached the penultimate episode of this series and we’re all pretty much intact. This week is quite sedate in comparison to the previous four weeks, no massacres or violent deaths. Well, except for…we’ll get to that in a moment.

First up there is a rather abusive man in a fast food palace, swearing and screaming like some kind of spoilt child. The bumbling attendant is trying his best but he’s nervous and a touch scared. Finally his shift comes to an end and he heads home where he carefully packs a selection of passports, a variety of currency and a hand gun into an unassuming sports bag. What is it with this show and large sports bags? (May be, it has something to do with the ordinariness of them. You see them everywhere but what’s inside them? You may never know)

Meanwhile Ian has once again found a reason to be an action man and he grabs a curtain rail with the intention of chasing down Arby to rescue Grant. Becky has a little more sense though, well apart from talking to dead translators who like to dip their chips into the holes in their heads. Ian attempts to clear up the mess, dispose of the body and remove their DNA , al while trying to accept the death of his brother which is being broadcast all over the news. Becky manages to convince Ian that the best course of action is to find Dugdale.

Jessica has also decided to go on the move, after she has sent a ‘ransom’ photo of Milner to the Network. She has found out that her father is still alive and believes him to be with Ian so she heads off to find them, tracking the phone she hid inside Ian’s red jacket.

The same red jacket that Grant is wearing when Arby drags him and his father off into the wilderness. Arby wants to reach his father but Philip Carvel does not want to be reached.

Utopia 2.5 insert 2

“Is your dad singing the hits of the eighties?”

Wilson Wilson so far has had a rocky ride towards Utopia and he has been conflicted but in this episode he begins to take control. When he is shown the photo of Milner in captivity he seems to reach a decision about his part in the Network and is the most clear and committed that he’s been since having his eye scooped out (No, I will never get over that scene. Never!).

Out in the middle of nowhere, Arby is trying to find a place from his childhood, somewhere where a father will take a son. Grant is desperate to be accepted by Arby: accepted as a son because he feels lost and alone in the world. He has no-one left and what family he had believes him to be dead. This desire makes him emulate Arby and try to be a cold, unfeeling killer to impress him. His verbal attack on some hill walkers leads to the discovery that Carvel thinks that Grant is Arby and will talk to him as though he is his son. Arby is distraught by this but uses it to his advantage.

Utopia 2.5 insert 3

Eye, eye, skipper.

Wilson Wilson works out where Milner is being held, thanks to a child’s drawing in the photo Jessica sent; at about the same time Ian and Becky arrive at Dugdale’s. Unfortunately, the police raid while they are all together and Wilson Wilson is reunited with his friends of old. Becky gives Wilson Wilson the picture Carvel completed with the final numbers of the code on (this picture harks back to scenes from series one and Grants imprisonment). The picture gets sent to the Network who finally figures out the adjustment Carvel made to Janus. When Wilson Wilson learns the truth he agree to help Ian and co. Dugdale and Becky head out to rescue the civil servants family (involving a mobile phone up the bum, and climb up the side of a building and a vomiting child). Wilson Wilson and Ian head into the hills to catch up with everyone else.

Jessica and her prisoner find Arby and their father. He recognises her instantly and hugs her desperately. There is an element of jealousy that Milner notices and tries to manipulate but Arby is as committed to Jessica as Milner is to the Cause. Despite her best efforts, Jessica isn’t able to get the information she wants from her father and reluctantly they let Milner talk to him. Finally the secret of Janus is revealed. Janus only works on a certain race, a race chosen by Carvel but it’ worse than that (if that’s possible) because Janus stops the Russian flu vaccine from working, everyone given the vaccine will die, except for Carvel’s own people, the Roma people. Carvel did say last week that it was all about family and he wasn’t wrong.

Wilson Wilson tries to stop Milner from giving the signal for the genocidal operation to begin but he is tricked into helping her to do just that. And before he can get her to reverse the command she is shot from an unexpected source.

Grant takes a step from being a boy into being a homicidal psychopath.

Utopia 2.5 insert 4

It’s a Spot the Grant competition.

This week’s episode has been light on the violence and death and concentrated on unveiling the riddles of the narrative that started all the way back in series 1. Dennis Kelly uses his exploration of each of the main characters as a way of opening up the story and allows the people most affected by the narrative events to reveal to the viewer what is actually going on. The characters have come so far from the opening of the story and in most cases they have been fundamentally changed by their experiences. This episode focuses on the concept of family and how, in some strange blood soaked way, this group of people have become as close as any family and shared in the deepest, darkest secrets only a family can have.

The music and visuals are as brilliant as ever and with the added bonus of being largely set in the middle of the nowhere, some of the scenery is breathtaking. And Milner’s death scene is heart stopping and heart breaking. Carvel breaks down, Grant breaks down and thousands of people watching breakdown also.



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)

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