Utopia: Episode #2.3
July 25, 2014 6:58 AM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Arby and the gang are on the run from the Network, but Lee and Wilson Wilson are attempting to track them down in an unlikely partnership. The Network is still trying to get Hyde to talk, and meanwhile Dugdale is coming to terms with what his new role entails.

Jessica escapes! Dugdale has someone murdered! Wilson almost shoots Lee! Russian flu is real and weaponised! Arby is going to betray the gang! Ian realises Milner is up to something!

And, most important of all... Carvel is alive!

(a while since the previous thread, so I decided to make this one)
posted by Cannon Fodder (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Not to be a pedant, but does anyone else occasionally raise an eyebrow that Jessica is supposed to be Piotr's little sister by two to four years, when actually, Neil Maskell looks about a half dozen years younger than Fiona O'Shaughnessy?

Really, I could even accept her as younger. (Though the timeline of the show puts her in her early 40's in present day, she could maybe pass for younger.) But with her at that age, that puts Neil Maskell as say, mid/late 40's? Doesn't really gibe.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:28 AM on July 25, 2014


Pokind around shows both actors were born in 1979, which I see on the show's timeline is supposed to be when the latter set of flashbacks occurred. So Arby/Piotr is what? 42-44? I could maybe buy that. Jessica is 40 or so? Okay, maybe less weird than I thought. Carry on.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:39 AM on July 25, 2014


Yay!

I know it's not necessarily relevant anymore, but my husband and I sat and watched through the first series over the weekend, and a couple of things stood out:

1) When the gang has kidnapped Letts and he's spilling the beans about Deels and Janus, he says that Deels was specifically developed to see if they could create a genetic mutation that could be passed down through a generation. But if Janus's purpose is to turn something off within reproduction, what bleedin' difference does it make whether it gets passed on, since anyone it works on isn't gonna have any children? Am I missing something obvious?

2) Arby/Pietre tells Jessica that he murdered Christos when he was 15 years old. She tells the gang she witnessed Christos being killed when she was 10. Baby Pietre was not 5 years old when Jessica's born in the series opener; that kid was 2 at the most. In this latest episode, Milner says she's been trying to find Jessica for 35 years: that would make her 39! Fiona O'Shaughnessy's wiki entry says she was born in '79, so I guess 4 years out, but that seems like a big 4 years. Tacking on the fact that Grant has clearly passed through puberty in the 5 months since the events of series 1 (which would put him at 12, tops, since he was 11 in the first series, and he does not look or sound like a 12 year old)... I just feel like somebody's playing a little too fast and loose with timings, and it bugs me and jolts me out of enjoying the action sometimes. (On preview, I don't agree with DirtyOldTown that it's believable that she's as old as the show makes her out to be, but I agree that there's something hella wonky about the timeline of the show...)

Right, so specific to this episode:

- Poor Wilson. :( He wants so badly to do the right thing, but his inherent morality is hurting him more than helping him. Lee's right: he'll only kill when it's absolutely necessary. I think he's going to hook back up with the gang in the end and realise that The Network's plan is not the way forward. Hopefully.

- Dugdale is turning into such a slimy little worm. The Network must have Jen and Alice locked up somewhere for him to be stooping so low.

- Is Leah meant to be Milner's superior? Is Milner top dog? Their dynamic was weird, I couldn't figure out who was meant to be in charge.

- Is Anton really Carvel? That seems so pat, so easy... And I know that this obviously means nothing, but literally 2 episodes ago, the show had Carvel with a cleft lip scar, and now, 35 years later, wammo, gone? I mean... it didn't get referred to, it's not integral to his character arc or whatever, but really?
posted by catch as catch can at 9:04 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


What language is Anton supposed to be speaking?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:22 AM on July 25, 2014


Unspecified; when Tony calls out his name in the second ep, he answers with "Da?" but... I mean, if we are dealing with Carvel, and the show writers are giving him some sort of multiple personality situation, it would be easy enough for him to have one dude inside named Anton who's Russian, and plenty of others who speak loads of other real and made up languages. Everything that he's spoken other than that and "Janus! You're all going to die!" sounds like complete gibberish to me.
posted by catch as catch can at 10:07 AM on July 25, 2014


Thanks for posting this Cannon Fodder, I hadn't had a chance to watch the latest episode until late last night, so you've saved me a job!

I really enjoyed this episode. It was interesting to see the mask slipping a bit with Milner. And Lee is just so grimly perfect. He's like a socially competent but still completely sociopathic version of Arby.

Also, this episode had a very high ick factor, with the throat-slashing murder at the start and Jessica's escape method.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:52 AM on July 25, 2014


catch as catch can: "- Is Anton really Carvel? That seems so pat, so easy... And I know that this obviously means nothing, but literally 2 episodes ago, the show had Carvel with a cleft lip scar, and now, 35 years later, wammo, gone? I mean... it didn't get referred to, it's not integral to his character arc or whatever, but really?"

The actor that played Young Carvel does actually have a cleft palate scar. I had to say I thought that Ian McDiarmid is an odd choice if he's really supposed to be Carvel, as the way he's made up in Utopia he looks like he's in his mid to late seventies. Young Carvel looked to be in his late twenties at most, which would make him late fifties, early sixties by now. Although Ian McDiarmid is only 69, apparently.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:58 AM on July 25, 2014


I actually forgot to mention the death of Joe, in a funny scene, although quite sad. Poor Joe, he always seemed like a pretty decent guy to me.

Leah is fairly new, so its hard to determine her exact role. I think Milner is the boss, but Leah is high up in the ranks and is getting antsy now Milner is slipping. Its weird to see Milner slipping, after her cool and collected performance last series, but I realised that that is what it was: the only time we saw Milner as herself in season 1 was the very last scene, before then she'd been acting. She's making lots of errors of judgement here, including pairing Lee and Wilson, although she may be lacking people she can trust at this point: many have died after all.

I am disappointed in Dugdale. He was always a bit morally loose, but this is pretty bad even for him. We will see how he deals with the appearance of Jessica. I loved her escape here: a simple plan, brilliantly executed.

Re: Carvel, I assume it actually is him, because it seems like a pointless mislead otherwise, but I guess it could be mistaken identity.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:28 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


But if Janus's purpose is to turn something off within reproduction, what bleedin' difference does it make whether it gets passed on, since anyone it works on isn't gonna have any children? Am I missing something obvious

I think it's supposed to affect everyone, but be countered in some by the antidote. Presumably you're still supposed to carry it and pass it on to your children, so that each generation finds it astronomically difficult to breed.

Although this isn't consistent with the suggestion that they could target it to specific ethnic groups in the flashback episode (but then again that was something Milner and the Network specifically didn't want, and hadn't asked for, I suppose).
posted by dng at 12:32 PM on July 25, 2014


But what's the antidote? Everyone's meant to be getting the first half from all the processed food, and the second half is from the vaccine; it's not an antidote to anything. As the plan stands, everyone is meant to receive Janus in full, and it's meant to make, what, 90% infertile through this mutation... If I'm remembering Carvel's discussion correctly, he's talking about it binding with junk DNA and then not working for that 10-12%, presumably meaning they don't get a mutation to pass on? If Anton really is Carvel, then maybe Dennis Kelly is making this all moot with his implication ("You're all going to die") that the adjustment he made is going to target everyone indiscriminately, but if not, I just don't really get what Deels has to do with it. Apart from providing a plot device for Becky.
posted by catch as catch can at 11:24 PM on July 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, you're right I think. So in conclusion, I don't know either.
posted by dng at 2:28 AM on July 26, 2014


Someone needs to shoot Lee.

Also, I never understood who Krystos was working for?
Where are they?
posted by fullerine at 5:19 AM on August 9, 2014


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