Stay Alice, Jessica Hyde
The season 1 finale of Utopia rounds out the big plot points with plenty of question marks left over at the end for a possible second season on the horizon. With a couple of big reveals at the end and a decent enough ending, Utopia finishes its tumultuous run with a relatively satisfying finish.
The episode itself begins by revealing that Arby’s package is Dr Kevin Christie. Michael is the first to question him, asking about the vaccine. He shakes his head when he sees Colleen, who happens to be one of his best agents. Alice steps forward and admits that she’s the one who killed Colleen.
It’s here Kevin reveals that Charlotte and Lily both switched places which is how he managed to fool Michael (which we’ve known since early in the season) and finally admits outright that he’s Mr. Rabbit. He also taunts Becky too, showcasing just how manipulative he really is.
Alice spirals out the pages of Utopia and manages to uncover a hidden symbol that links back to the vaccine. It turns out Jessica’s Father created a world-changing omnivirus which Christie Labs have taken and distorted for their own means. The virus isn’t actually deadly, it’s the vaccine that’s the most harmful. It sterilizes people and prevent kids from being born.
Essentially, it turns the world into a Children Of Men remake. Given the rate of population increase worldwide, Kevin decided to try and take care of the problem himself. From the ashes, Kevin would then create a brand new society.
The scar on Jessica’s forearm happens to be an inoculation mark which shows that she’s been tested on in the past. She certainly will not be having kids. Then again, given her behaviour across this season that’s probably a good thing. Enraged, she knocks out Kevin while discussing just what to do about their situation.
Outside, Arby eliminates the various assassins surrounding Michael’s house. While he keeps the coast clear, Wilson, Michael and the others decide to take out the “Mother Egg” in Christie Labs. They’re going to destroy the vaccines once and for all.
While the group head off with Kevin’s thumb, Jessica stays behind to get more answers from him. Those come from Arby who shows her a page of Utopia depicting a brother and a sister.
The group arrive at Christie Labs and head inside, using Kevin’s severed thumb to break in. Surrounded by guards, Ian starts taking out the vaccines one by one. The rest of the group watch on incredulously. Eventually Grant and Alice drive forklifts and start wiping out the vaccines en-masse.
While they do, Ian asks Becky to marry her. Not long after, they throw a Molotov straight into the middle of this mess and start burning what’s there. While they do, Michael breaks into the lab and destroys the eggs, turning up the temperature and letting them all crack… except the Mother Egg which he decides to keep.
As the group suddenly turn and run, Michael stays behind with a lab coat on, blending in with the rest of the group. As the place is evacuated, Christie Labs is on lockdown. Unfortunately Grant is taken by police while Becky manages to slip away and outrun the officers.
Elsewhere, Wilson holds a gun up to Kevin and tries to convince him to read out a written message implicating himself to what’s going on. Wilson remains enraged over the death of his family though and holds Kevin responsible.
After some manipulation, Kevin convinces him not to pull the trigger and work with him. Wilson grabs Becky out on the road and bundles her into the car. There, she finds Kevin still alive and with two eyes intact. They’re on the hunt for Jessica, who happens to be Home with Arby.
Arby leads Jessica to her old house as they drive up to the place called Home. She makes her way to the bedroom where she finds rabbit ears and evidence of what happened to her in the past. Agent Katherine Milner is also there – who reveals herself to be “Home.”
She also admits that Utopia was just bait to get Jessica to come home. As she grabs the girl and flips her over, a scarred back reveals hints of the future and what’s going to happen next. As Agent Milner puts her down to sleep, Arby’s words ring through “Stay alive, Jessica Hyde.”
Down in the basement happens to be the writer of Utopia, scribbling pages for the next upcoming comic. When Katherine heads down, she confronts the artist and tells him “I have your daughter.”
The Episode Review
There’s no doubt that this remake of Utopia is one of those shows that’s neither needed nor wanted from the wider public. It’s almost certainly going to polarize those between the love/hate side and this really doesn’t hold a candle to the original.
The biggest problem with this remake is something I’ve mentioned a lot and it comes from the tone. The sudden swings between slapstick comedy and darker, visceral drama just does not work. You can see the intent here, creating something that mirrors The Boys’ way of handling this, but Utopia doesn’t have the satirical edge to make it work.
Instead, the show relies heavily on its world-ending plot which – while enjoyable – has our characters scrambling for the pieces we’ve already put together several episodes before. This makes for a very formulaic and bland watch compared to the far more edgy and darker tone seen in 2013’s series.
Then again, the door here is left wide open for a second season. Those who’ve made it this far will certainly be enticed to find out what happens next. Whether that’s a big enough number to warrant a renewal however, remains to be seen.
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