Television

Published on August 15th, 2014 | by JCDoyle

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Utopia Series 2 – Episode 6

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As we look down the final gun barrel of the series, it’s all about ‘seek and destroy’. Milner is dead but her legacy is still very much alive and our heroes have to hunt down the sleeper agent, Terrance Truman, to save the world, the trouble is, not everybody is on the same page, heroically speaking.

Warning: This is the end and the spoilers are bigger than Jesus and the language is worse than Tarantino in mid rant.

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At a coach station, a young mother and her son sit down and talk to Terrance Truman. The conversation seems so friendly to start with but then Terrance begins to lay out the cost of one person’s life upon the planet before it gets really uncomfortable with the talk turning to throat slashing. Food for thought.

After The Network say they can’t help in the search for Terrance (who is currently searching for the canisters of Russian Flu with the intention of releasing it) it’s down to the usual rag tag band of losers to sort it all out, clear up the mess and basically save the world. However, they don’t really have clue where to start. And there’s the Secondary Protocol to think about: If the sleeper agent thinks anyone is on to him, he will release the Flu as soon as possible.

Wilson Wilson, Becky and Ian decide to track down their only lead, Paul from the Mall, but he’s still there, working away and therefore isn’t the man they need. Wilson Wilson decides to eliminate the sleeper agent with the justification of ‘just in case’ but Ian manages to talk him out of it: after all they don’t do that kind of thing.

So all they have left is to break into the Paul’s flat, try to find something there: anything. It’s desperation at its best but it results in success when an unused home phone is revealed to be a hiding place for a mobile with only one number programmed into it.

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Meanwhile Jessica sits by Arby’s bed, refusing to let him go. Lee pays a visit but his murderous intentions are interrupted by Jessica. They have a conversation where Lee pleads for the right to finish Arby. He tells Jess that nothing scares him except the man lying at death’s door in the bed. Lee leaves his business unfinished.

The other’s investigations eventually lead them to the sleeper agent and a well orchestrated plan to capture him goes almost to plan. Wilson Wilson and Becky find out where the nearest location for the Russian Flu is but Ian and Jessica have to rush there as Terrance has instigated the Second Protocol. In a multi-storey car park, the sleeper is confronted by Jessica who fills his car full of lead. Of course he escapes and heads for the top level, canister in hand but he meets his end by Ian’s hands. It takes the reluctant killer a few agonising moments to finally see that only by killing the sleeper agent will it all be over. A shot to the head ends two lives: the sleeper agent’s actual life and Ian’s old, IT consultant’s life. He is now the killer he thought he couldn’t be.

The star of this episode, however, is Dugdale. Poor Dugdale, finally grows a set of balls but at the last minute puts his trust in the decency of Mankind and gets his metaphorical head kicked in. Geoff turns to him to help escape the Network by offering £5 million and a key to all the incriminating evidence that he would need to bring it all down. Does Dugdale allow himself to be used yet again? Hell no! He gives Geoff a good kicking and tells the government man that he will not take the rap for everything the Network has done. He then arranges for his family, now including Grant who has weirdly attached himself to Mrs Dugdale, to pack up everything and leave the country but this is where Wilson Wilson let’s him down. All Wilson Wilson has to do is arrange the new identities and they can be off but Wilson Wilson needs Dugdale to continue with the plan. Dugdale pleads with Wilson Wilson, telling him that this is not who Wilson Wilson is but little does he know that Wilson Wilson has changed in a very dramatic way.

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Meanwhile, Becky wants Ian to be there when she kills herself. Her medication is running out and she has no idea how to replace it so she has decided that she would rather choose to have a pain free dignified death rather than a slow and agonising end. Everything is set, Ian has reluctantly agreed to be there with her and Jessica is seething with jealousy. While Ian is away, fetching champagne, Jessica sneaks in to see Becky. The scene is tense, will she let on that her and Ian had sex? Will she help Becky along to her death? In the end she simply makes Becky feel guilty about making Ian watch her die.

Unbeknownst to Becky, Ian has asked Carvel to look into the drugs that Becky has been taking and, good news, they are nothing more than opiates giving her hallucinations. Bad news, it may be too late as Becky has already taken the poison to end her life.

Everything seems to end fairly well, once all of the canisters have been collected and the Network has all of the sleeper agents assassinated so they can’t pick up where Terrance left off. But something has happened to Wilson Wilson, he still believes in the Network’s plan, it just needs a little tweak. In one of the most disturbing scenes so far Wilson Wilson scars himself with the Mr Rabbit symbol and seemingly takes over from Milner. In the final scenes all of our heroes are rounded up by heavily armed soldiers and Wilson Wilson (in the future to be referred to as Mr Rabbit) takes stock of his new position while putting a bullet into the head of  his one time torturer.

At the very end the audience see’s a close up of Arby, dead to the world in his hospital bed. But this guy is a tough nut, his eyes spring open and he stares out at the viewer,  no doubt the first thing on his mind is “Where is Jessica Hyde?”

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The second series of Utopia ends with the threat of genocide still hanging over the world and the characters have been through so many wringers that none of them are the same as the people the audience was introduced to at the start of series one. The need for survival has tainted each one of the heroes as they have all done something that they struggle to come to terms with. Grant, Ian, Wilson Wilson and even Becky to a certain extent, have each taken a life whereas Arby and Jessica’s stone wall, emotionless lives have been touched by affection’s they couldn’t have imagined.

There are many serious issues deliberated throughout the series, genocide, suicide, euthanasia to name but a few however it’s the Human condition that is central to the story that Dennis Kelly is portraying. He takes each of his characters to breaking point to see what they will do to survive but also asks why they do what they do. In the beginning Jessica will do anything just to survive her life on the run however, by the end, she actually finds a reason to live, she finds love for family members and for Ian. Arby is the same, from cold hearted killer to protector of the innocent.

It’s difficult to pick out one or even two performances that stand out because every actor involved with this series has been at the top of their game. Week after week the talent on this show has been breath taking. The script has been witty and disturbing, sometimes at the same time, and the pace hasn’t slowed down from the beginning. Individually the visuals are beautiful and the music plays with the audience’s emotions, but together they create an atmosphere and an aesthetic that is unlike anything on television at the moment.

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This show is not the easiest of shows to get into, I know a number of people who were put off from the very beginning thanks to a certain scene I won’t mention again but if you can accept the bad language and stomach the brutal violence there are masses of rewards to watching this. It is a thought provoking yet entertaining programme that will stay with you long after the credits have finished rolling. It will make you question things you may not have even thought of before and have sympathies for people you believed you’d detest. Heroes become villains and villains become heroes while most of the characters are lost somewhere in the dark, thick grey in between. This is not easy viewing, however it is brutally beautiful.

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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