Utopia (2013): Utopia: Season Finale
August 13, 2014 9:20 PM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

In the final episode the race is on to find out who is going to release the flu. The gang track down Dobri Gorski to a police cell, where he tells them the names of the three people he trained to release the flu. A process of elimination leaves them with Terrence, but they still have to find him. Wilson's new ruthlessness is unnerving - can he be trusted? And what will happen when Becky runs out of Thoraxin?

Here be spoilers:

With help from Leah, the gang try to find out who Terrance is, and where he will be. After two other sleeper agents around the United Kingdom are found dead, including Paul from the shopping mall restaurant. Leah realises that Terrance is killing people off, and is going to release the flu now. Arby is unconscious at the hospital, and according to Jessica he is fighting hard to stay alive. Grant is now living with Dugdale, and after causing a few problems around the house, Jen sorts Grant out, who later happily helps around the house. Dugdale has also been promised a new life with his family, but before they catch their flight Wilson tells Dugdale to go back home with his family where he will be surveilled, or he will kill them all. Geoff is poisoned and killed, and the Network makes it look like a suicide. After tracking Terrance down, Ian and Jessica find him in a car park, and just before he opens the canister with the flu, Ian shoots him dead. Becky is running out of tablets, and realises she only has a few days left and wants to spend them with Ian. Jessica tells Becky that she shouldn't let Ian go through that, as seeing someone die slowly will stay with someone forever. Wilson kills Lee. Carvel reveals to Ian that the tablets Becky is taking aren't what they seem, and actually only addictive and she is perfectly fine. As Ian heads to tell her he discovers she is lying unconscious on the floor, from attempted suicide. He resuscitates her, only for armed men to come into the hospital and take them away. Arby wakes up. Wilson walks into a room where Leah waits. She walks away and he opens his shirt and carves the Chinese symbol for Rabbit on his abdomen, before entering a cold storage, where it reveals more canisters.
posted by Gyan (14 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Welp, another bleak ending for Utopia. I don't know if they're going to go for a sequel: I suspect actually the best might be a world dealing with the consequences of the Network's actions while Arby tracks down those responsible. I'd watch that!

I think this season hasn't been as good, and that's because its had too much going on at the same time as having remarkably little happen. The first season had two arcs: Dugdale discovering a conspiracy, with the rest on the run. This season had Milner trying to intimidate Jessica, Jessica's escape, the gang running away again.. it just felt unfocused. Lee and Wilson get paired up, but that goes away. The best arcs this season were Wilson's and Jessica's, I feel like everyone else just carried on. I mean they give Ian an arc this episode, with the whole "killings bad whoops I gotta kill someone now" but it would have been better spread out.

I think maybe having Terrance released much earlier, and having several epsiodes of cat and mouse would have been better, as he was a compellingly creepy chracter. Not sure how the hell he magically found Gorski though, considering police records consider him dead. Or work out which vent connects to Gorski's cell. How the hell did he do that?
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:09 AM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Man, insanely disappointed with the penultimate and final episodes... I have to agree with you, Cannon Fodder, they tried to cram so much in, and to me, most of it felt pretty pointless. Someone commented on a previous thread that it felt like characters were making decisions based on a random number generator, and that seems such an apt characterisation of the entire series, for me. Each new revelation felt increasingly contrived.

I thought Wilson's arc was the best, too, the most fully formed and one that drove the plot forward at the end. That being said, I'm left awfully confused as to the real power structure of The Network at this point. Leah has always struck me as the power behind the throne, and although Wilson is clearly taking on the trappings of Mr. Rabbit and executing (ha!) some of the duties of the role, he still strikes me as a bit of a puppet.

What I would have loved to have seen more of:

- A bit of coherence to Jessica letting the badass façade slip; her narrative arc in this regard was coming in fits and starts, and because each episode was stuffed full of so much else, I never felt satisfied with how they were treating her transitioning relationships with Arby/Pietre or her dad, nor the weird and awkward romance motions she attempted to go through with Ian. Like, cool, Daddy Carvel tried to kill you and your bro in the last episode, but we're not going to attempt to address that at all now that we have to wrap up some other loose ends, and here's a random scene with erotic undertones where you clean blood off his face.

- GRANT. God, Grant. They were building up this great little tendril of a story with him imprinting onto Arby, seeking some sort of foundation (albeit a somewhat sociopathic one) after the absolute insanity of the first series, and then actually going through with murdering Milner -- I was hooked. When he and Dugdale had the little tête a tête over the kitchen knife, I was loving it. So for them to cut it all off at the pass with him just meekly submitting to Jen in the end, deciding his stroppy days were over? Nah, man, nah. Her little aside to Michael ("Don't question it.") was simply the cherry on top of the lazy writer sundae for me.
posted by catch as catch can at 5:17 AM on August 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

Still beautifully shot and put together, but I've got to agree, there was quite a few plot holes and Hollywood Logic moments going on.

Still, if that's not a setup for Series 3, I don't know what is - anyone know if it's been commissioned yet?
posted by Happy Dave at 5:23 AM on August 14, 2014

Dennis Kelly commented before the second series debuted that he'd like there to be a third, but I've read a few things online discussing the shrinking viewing numbers for the program, and haven't heard anything official to suggest it's going to be re-upped.
posted by catch as catch can at 5:30 AM on August 14, 2014

It was disappointing too because it essentially ended with everything at exactly the same point as at the end of the last series.
posted by dng at 5:52 AM on August 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

Also, and this is a more minor quibble, I'm not convinced that chucking a radio in a bath will killl someone, even with it connected to the mains. Modern electronics means that with a circuit breaker it will cut off pretty damn fast. I'm not saying it would be super fun for the recipient, but I think they might well live.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:15 AM on August 15, 2014

I paused it and turned to my husband to have exactly that conversation, Cannon Fodder. He maintains that yes, with the fuse in the plug and a circuit breaker inside, it will cut off after less than a second, but that the likelihood of you dying is still very high. But yeah, yet another moment where I was jolted out of the story and saying, "Really?"
posted by catch as catch can at 4:05 AM on August 15, 2014

I thought the same thing, and I'm sure I read somewhere that it hasn't been possible to kill yourself with an appliance in the bath for decades. However, Mythbusters say you can.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 6:49 AM on August 15, 2014

Thanks for that Existenz, although I will note that

a-applicances in the US have different, less safe plugs
b-A radio will have a MUCH lower wattage than any of the items they tested, which all generate heat and are pretty much the most electronically potent items in a household.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:02 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that makes sense.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 4:25 AM on August 16, 2014

Just thought I'd mention that those jonesing for a bit of extra Neil Maskell might enjoy him in the downbeat Channel 4 TV comedy The Mimic. The second season's on at the moment; if you're in the UK you can watch both seasons on 4OD.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 4:29 AM on August 16, 2014

The problem with anything with a thriller element to it is that at the end the plot mechanics take over, particularly if they have to set up the dominoes for the next round. I mostly watch Utopia for the strangeness (of which there was less, though I liked the way Jessica bends over at 90° at the waist to kiss Becky on the top of the head) and the cinematography (which there was enough of to keep me happy, particularly Wilson W. Rabbit in his Kubrick/Clockwork Orange world). But, yes, both series so far have been like clockwork toys - tightly wound up at the beginning, then spinning round madly until they run out of energy. They're amazingly pleased with their headshot mechanism, though.

Wouldn't a radio not have an earth? Most devices I've had like that only had live and neutral (the plug has an earth pin on it, but it's not wired up to anything).
posted by Grangousier at 6:10 AM on August 16, 2014

Fincher's Utopia dead at HBO
posted by guiseroom at 11:20 PM on August 16, 2015

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