'Utopia' Season Finale - But Did Anything Happen? (possible spoilers)

Utopia Season 2 Finale

Season 2 of 'Utopia' has been odd, even for a kind of odd show. As noted in TVRage's review here, the first episode of the season was basically just a flashback to show us things that the series had already told us in season 1. It dropped a few breadcrumbs, like how close Milner and Carvel were in a British sort of way.

(If you want to know what's going on or a recap of season 1, read that review.)

So Season 2 was mostly about the corruption of Wilson. He starts the series as one of the four hapless comic book fans who stumble into the whole 'Utopia Manuscript' mess. Wilson gets chemicals rubbed into his eyes and then one of them dug out with a spoon. Since then he's been recruited by the shadowy Network and convinced that their plan to render 95% of humanity sterile to save the other 5% is a necessary evil.

Since that happened, Wilson has slowly been pulled into greater and greater evils. He's forced to work with one of the men who tortured him, Lee, who claims that Wilson can only kill people if he thinks it's necessary. By the finale, either Wilson has overcome that inhibition, or he's discovered he can justify killing just about anyone is necessary. He shoots Lee in cold blood, and threatens to have Michael's family killed.

In the final scene of the series, Wilson officially christens himself the new Mr. Rabbit by carving the Chinese ideogram of the word "rabbit" into his chest. He then prepares to use the canisters of Russian flu to start the fear of a pandemic in an isolated area, so that everyone will take the vaccine containing Janus.

So Wilson has the biggest character arc of the five present-day characters. What about the rest of the main characters?

Arby adopts a family and appears to be willing to do anything to guarantee their safety. But he's still a psychopathic killer and if he has to kill an innocent to protect them, he'll do it. As with season 1, he spends the finale out of commission.

Jessica has undergone months of torture and seems battier than ever. She appears to love her newfound brother Arby, and has... some kind of feelings for Ian. Jessica ends up captured at the end of season 2, just like she was captured at the end of season 2.

Michael was working for the Network unwillingly. He's still working unwillingly for the Network.

Grant started to morph into a killer but apparently a stern talking-to from his new mother set him straight.

Season 2 Finale of 'Utopia'

Becky was dying of Deel's, tried to kill herself, and at the last moment of the finale discovered that she wasn't dying after all.

Ian has suffered the lost of a family member and killed his first person.

So really, not a whole lot happened character-wise. This seemed like a case where six episodes may not have been enough. It's also a case where all of the characters ended up in either the same place or a worst place than where they started.

As for the plot, the two main reveals are that Carvel is still alive, and that the vaccine won't stop the Russian flu. That kicks off an alliance and a desperate race to stop the sleeper agent who has orders to release the flu virus and infect the populace. Orders from Milner to get killed. The fugitives and the Network stop the sleeper agent, but the Network still plans to administer Janus.

Season 2 Finale of 'Utopia'

The catch of the show is... do we want the Network to fail or succeed? They plan to sterilize 95% of humanity, but nobody has come up with an alternative. If the Network's plan doesn't succeed than 100% of humanity will kill each other fighting over non-existent resources in a hundred years. It sounds like a pretty good plan as long as you're one of the 5% who are allowed to have children.

The fact that humanity is effectively doomed one way or another is what makes 'Utopia' the depressing series that it is. Add to that the fact that the main characters are pretty much in a downward spiral makes it even more depressing.

Direction-wise, the show is as filled with bright glossy palettes as ever. Everything is a bright red, yellow, blue, or green like the 'Dick Tracy' movie back in 1990.

Season 2 Finale of 'Utopia'

So the finale seemingly leaves the producers without a whole lot of places to go. This time, Jessica, Ian, and Becky all get captured, presumably by the Network. Milner is dead. Grant is living with Michael and his family, but under 24-hour surveillance since Michael is forced to help in the distribution of the Janus vaccine. Wilson is the new Mr. Rabbit and has the flu canisters. For all practical purpose the Network has "won" and will save 5% of humanity.

Season Finale of 'Utopia'

One possibility is that the men who captured the trio aren't the Network but some other group. The other is that Arby wakes up at the end, a heavenly orchestra playing in the background, and nobody seems to have noticed. He could go on a bloody rampage to save his sister and the others.

But then what? Can anyone stop the Network from distributing Janus?

Guess we'll have to wait 46 weeks to find out.

- Channel 4
- Dennis Kelly (1)
- Utopia

Written by: Van Troughton
Aug 14th, 2014, 1:57 pm

Images courtesy of Channel 4


Message Posted On Aug 15th, 2014, 8:24 am
There is no spoon !

Message Posted On Aug 15th, 2014, 8:10 am
First series was one the spookiest TV ever. At least as spooky as Hannibal, American Horror Story and True Detective. Second series revealed lots of behind scenes of The Network mechanics, but somehow managed to be menacing as ever. I was fully against HBO remake previously, but after second series it's looking even more like fools errand to remake 300% (writing,acting,directing) effective thriller into something that ONLY (!) improvement could be longer seasons. At best we get 12 episodes per season or maybe 10 or even 8. But maybe HBO can enter some co-production with Channel 4 and make 3rd series of 12 episodes while importing and combining 1st and 2nd series.
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