Channel 4’s conspiracy comic mega-drama Utopia has finished off its first series, among a range of confused reviews, especially from me. It started okay, picked up a bit, dragged horrendously in the middle, then last week seemed to be improving.
So, what cap did this finale put on the whole journey? Will the secrets of Mister Rabbit and The Utopia Experiment be fully revealed? Could this story ever be wrapped up, even in an extra-long final episode? Let’s find out – obviously, spoilers, so watch it on 4OD first.
Inner Life Of A Killing Machine
Much to my relief, yes, this was a good episode – possibly their best yet, because not only did events move forward (all I’ve wanted since about episode three), but they had weight thanks to a string of decent emotional scenes. Even Jessica Hyde, often a badass robot akin to Michonne from The Walking Dead, finally felt three-dimensional.
Wilson’s journey came to an end, but in a way that left him with no on-screen death – if there is a second series, I see him coming back as a villain, maybe with some extra evil-looking disfigurements to add to his eyepatch.
The final episode itself took us through a range of twists, but left an obvious hole in its centre: if they needed the real Janus from Grant, why manufacture 64 million shots of vaccine already? Well, it turns out Mr/Ms Rabbit was ahead of me on that one, as she trashed the warehouse for just that reason. Shame really, that inconsistency was going to be my main complaint in this review.
And the twist of Milner being “Mr” Rabbit was well-handled, especially the audacious double bluff of having her turn back and forth earlier on. I guessed a surprise was coming, since the man with the tiny beard being Mr Rabbit wasn’t a big enough reveal, but they still got me on the details. Even more surprising, though, was the truth about Dugdale’s prostitute. Fair play, guys.
I mentioned earlier this was an extra-sized finale – still, they wrapped up the main plot in the usual 45 minutes – the bonus time was basically a trailer for series two. I was so taken with this episode that I hope another series happens – though ask me again when I’m moaning my way through its draggy second act.
In short, this finale was a genuinely exciting, sometimes even funny and touching thriller. I wasn’t as caught up in the emotion as I might’ve been, due to my lingering annoyance with the characters from earlier, crapper episodes, but the execution here was still good. Well played, Utopia. Good note to finish on.