Revisiting Utopia – Series 1, Episode 5

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Utopia Series 1, Episode 5 (2013)
Written by Dennis Kelly
Directed by Marc Munden

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An easy unofficial title for this one: “Deals.” And this is a title that works on multiple levels. The easiest is that much of this episode addresses the fictional Deal’s disease that has been spoken about during the series. Becky’s father died from it, and now she fears she inherited it from him. Each character is also making deals with people they probably shouldn’t but are forced to as an act of survival. As we push into the finale, we see alliances crumbling, new ones forming, and everyone being pushed further to the brink.

The runaways have Conran Letts in their possession and keep him tied up in the spare room while trying to determine what to do with the man. Finally, Ian, Becky, and Wilson attempt to question him and this is when the truth begins spilling out. Letts had a number of the Russian vaccines on himself, and he reveals the real purpose behind the push for their distribution. The Network’s master plan at the moment is to put an amino acid in food produced by Pergus, a large scale foods manufacturer. The second component comes in the vaccine that in combination with the chemical ingested from the food will effectively sterilize 90-95% of humanity. Letts cites, with almost religious fervor, the belief in overpopulation and that the human species must be culled to sustain the planet. We are to infer he and The Network want to “save the planet” but it’s obvious only the rich and powerful will remain. The most significant twist of this scene is that, for all of his rage over the murder of his father and his own mutilation, Wilson agrees with Letts and The Network’s plan which leads to his own deal in this episode.

Becky and Ian arrange a meeting with Millner where she exposes truths about her personal life to establish trust. She shows them her bedridden son who suffers from Deal’s just as Becky believes she does and how her father degraded from the illness. Becky learns earlier that Corvadt manufactured Deals like an experiment to create a hereditary degenerative disease. Letts shows a sick fascination with gathering information about how Becky has degraded which naturally sickens her. Millner reveals that The Network is coming to her and that she is resigned to end herself and her son’s life before they can do it to them. Ian and Becky promise her they will find the manuscript and get it to the right people.

Dugdale makes quite the sweet deal with Health Minister Pearson and Corvadt. His wife has come to terms with the pregnant Russian sex worker, and Dugdale lets Pearson know his plan failed. The deal now is that in exchange for Dugdale’s silence he will be given six figures annually. What he doesn’t know is that Corvadt has been pushing for Pearson to just kill the civil servant and be done with the matter. Pearson agrees, and then Dugdale’s wife makes a deal with the sex worker to hand her child over after birth and that the Dugdales will raise it as their own child. The Russian agrees, fighting through tears when she told she will never see the child afterward.

The most significant deal made this episode develops between Jessica Hyde and Arby. With new revelations about his identity and real name, Arby takes Jessica on a road trip designed to expose himself and gain trust with her. He reveals he was one of the men who killed her caretaker Kristoff and gives her the opportunity to kill him for revenge or retrieve the manuscript and learn the truth about her father. What Arby reveals to Jessica will forever connect them in a dark, twisted manner. They manage to come to an agreement about what will happen next, with Arby reminding her that The Network is coming to them and will obliterate them for what they have done.

Only one more to go in this series and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

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