With Samantha dead, episode 3 of Utopia begins with Jessica pointing a gun at the others while using the toilet standing up. Not long after, she takes the others out with her to Olivia’s funeral.
With Wilson and Ian handcuffed inside the car, Becky heads in and learns more about the comic book’s origin. It turns out a patient in a mental asylum called River Park was the one who drew it.
Heading out, Jessica notices two red-head assassins trying to question Wilson and Ian. Nonchalantly, she heads over with a gun and shoots the duo before driving off.
Armed with a few more clues, Jessica leads the group to Olivia’s Grandfather’s house to find out more. With Harvest after them, Wilson convinces the others to stick around rather than trying to go on their own.
As they keep digging, the group find a picture of the artist. This artist happens to be Jessica’s Father. Back at the safe house she departs under the bathroom sink and starts crying as painful memories of the past come flooding back.
While this is all going on, the virus continues to spread which causes officials to start panicking. Toni arrives at the lab as Dr Kevin pleads with her to allow them to continue. It’s not enough though as she tells them to bag everything up and test it down at the lab.
Grant meanwhile awakens and is left alone in the house. He starts preparing to leave, stashing everything in a bag to take with him. At the same time, Michael receives his blood sample and sets to work testing it against his viral theory.
Importantly this flu did not originate in Simpro but his vaccination has not been tested properly. Dr Kevin is only interested in his own company though and brushes aside Michael’s concerns. He wants the infected injected with this vaccination to be rid of any scandal against him.
Only, Dr Kevin manages to manipulate the man into flying off the hinges. Angered, Michael remains determined to prove him wrong.
Back at the safe-house, the group manage to contact Grant and learn he has “it.” It being Utopia of course. With strict instructions to meet at 8pm, Jessica comes out of hiding and decides to find Artemis as she holds clues.
Ian agrees to go with her leaving Becky and Wilson to meet Grant. First off though, they need to figure out what Grant’s cryptic messages about Rabbit’s hide-out actually means.
Eventually they decipher it and head for Harold Washington Library. With car keys kept on the counter, the duo make it into town but they wind up stuck in traffic. Becky bolts from the car and heads up on foot leaving Wilson by himself.
At the same time, Ian confronts Jessica on the road. Following her killing Samantha, he starts moaning to the heavens until a strange dark figure arrives and knocks him out. This figure happens to be Artemis who greets Jessica warmly.
Jessica doesn’t take long to get to the heart of why she’s there. It turns out Artemis had Mr Rabbit kill her Father given how dangerous he was. Holding a gun up to her, Jessica forces Artemis to follow.
Taking her down to a dingy bathroom underground, Jessica asks the woman where her Father is. He’s “home” apparently and in utopia. Tired of running, Artemis breaks easily and tells Jessica she loves her. It’s the last thing she says too, as Jessica kills Artemis and chokes her out.
In a nice twist, it turns out Arby is actually working for Dr Kevin. He feeds back the intel he’s got on Martin and promises to find him.
Arby also hands over the single page of Utopia he managed to get, along with confirmation of Jessica Hyde alive and kicking on CCTV. With time running out, he pleads with Arby to find both of them before it’s too late.
The Episode Review
With more of the mystery coming to the foreground, it’s drowned out by a distinct lack of definable characters. There’s no one here that really stands out and barely any of these people are as charismatic or memorable as the original group. None of them really have any chemistry together either and aside from Wilson, aren’t eccentric enough to stand out.
The violence and overall tone is all over the place too. This one dances from edgy comedy that rarely lands across to drama that suddenly turns violent and visceral without warning.
While I do appreciate The Boys can pull this off really well, that’s also a satire and can get away with it a lot more. Utopia does not have that benefit.
As we approach the halfway point of this series, this drama is turning into quite the forgettable remake.
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