In which people die, one man becomes a hero and we find out that Jessica Hyde isn’t a nice person.
After last nights rather busy episode (not that it felt it, events drifting on at a slow, deliberately subdued pace), the second episode takes it time, slowing down so we can get a better sense of the world our characters inhabit and we peel back more and more layers of the story. All whilst taking the time to remind us that, in this story, our characters probably won’t have a happy ending.
As always, from here on in SPOILERS
The episode starts where it left off, with the reveal that Jessica Hyde has found our cast and that if she can, so can the Network. So they have to get away, change who they are and start running. As Jessica puts it herself “The next 48 hours are the most important. This is when you adapt to your new life or you die”. Strong words, but as the episode reveals, words she herself has lived by since her father, the writer of The Utopia Experiments and a former operative of the Network, was incarcerated .
Surprised a just a little disbelieving, the gang follow Jessica, evading capture and breaking into someones house. Slowly, Jessica introduces more of her rules, such as no showers and no baths. Theres no time to look glamorous when running for your life it seems.
Jessica also makes the decision to start trying to separate the group, into those who can survive and those who can’t. For some reason this means taking Ian, a late 20s computer geek.
Wilson Wilson and Becky must wait and hope for the best.
Meanwhile, Grant is still on the run himself. It appears that despite losing his college, our killer shows no sign of stopping, or even being that bothered. Grants’ path takes him to the arms of Alice, a young girl who in quite touching scenes refers to him as a silly twat again and again. Bless.
The side story following Michael continues, as the scope of the Networks power becomes frighteningly apparent. Remember the useless vaccine for Russian Flu he was forced to buy last episode? With Micheal facing consequences over his actions, the Network is all too happy to start an outbreak to make him into a hero.
Meanwhile, Jessica and Ian go looking for information on just what the Network is planning. Their path takes them to the publisher of Utopia Issue 1. It looks like more than the Network is interested in the comic, as a CIA operative is impersonating the dead mans wife.
In an eerie (and probably deliberate) echo of last nights torture scene, Jessica gleefully tortures the poor woman, before she lets slip an interesting name ‘The Tramp’.
Apparently that means something to Jessica as before we know it shes meeting up him. He seems to know her too and hes rightly afraid. Within 5 minuets hes dead at her hands. For his own good it seems.
The episode draws to a close and Ian and Jessica return to Becky and Wilson Wilson, who have unfortunately been interrupted by the owners of the house they broke into earlier. As they go to meet Grant, our killer follows, clearing up all the loose ends. Scratch one CIA operative and poor trussed up family.
Tonights episode was slower paced, but far more interesting. More was revealed about the world the characters live in and we got some great character scenes. Jessica Hyde wasn’t wasted and her outlook on life was both a refreshing change to the freedom fighter stereotype. An modern (if more emotionally dead) Sarah Connor, her scenes were tense and showed the reality of having to live a life on the run. Even if Ian, Wilson and Becky survive, all they have to look forward to is becoming the type of person Jessica is.
It also seemed to be hinted at slightly that even though Jessica knows a lot about the world she has lived in, when it comes to using that knowledge shes a little clueless. Or else she has given up any hope of ever beating the Network.
The humanity came from Grants story. His scenes with Alice and when he met Becky for the first time, were both funny and heartbreaking and showed us probably the most fully realised character of the show so far. Cocky and used to looking after himself, hes still just a kid at heart and aspires to be more.
The Network have become a more chilling organisation certainly and as the episode ends, it appears that they have a mole in the group that noone would suspect. Becky.
I can’t wait for tomorrow night. See you then.