Tonight, it's a three-way battle to see who can behave most disturbingly while trying to create a new society. Hint: It's a three-way tie!
“You’ve got to take care of yourself, okay? You listen to me: You have got to learn to stick up for yourself, okay? Then, when your garden starts to grow, they will have much more respect for your skill set. It’s going to be all fine, okay, baby? Just relax and give yourself a hug. You’re going to be fine. Everybody, including your animals back home, need you to stay right where you are right now. If little Simba were here right now, he’d give you a hug, so just imagine Simba in your arms right now, licking your face and kissing your tears off. Okay… you feeling better? Yeah, thank you.”
That is an unedited transcription of Dr. Nikki trying to comfort Bella after no one wants to hear one more word about the chicken tractor.
Oh man, just kidding, you guys, that is totally Bella talking to herself like some sort of self-help Smeagol, as she aggressively caresses her own arms and weeps—it is absolutely bonkers and it’s not even close to the craziest thing she says all episode. And you know the real kicker? This is a woman who is probably one the most-equipped pioneers there to physically survive in this situation; but if she makes it out without pulling all of her hair out and probably, like, covering herself in mud and creeping around in the bushes or something, it will be a miracle.
These days, the rarest thing a reality show can do is accurately represent real life. The best thing it can do is represent the positive aspects of human nature; although depicting the worst aspects isn’t altogether terrible—in fact it can be pretty interesting—but it’s generally much more difficult to stomach. Just try watching the second season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after Taylor Armstrong’s husband committed suicide; that is real, terrible stuff, and it is nearly impossible to sit through. Likewise, watching two adult men stomp around trying to recruit people with bologna sandwiches like two kids trying to find a loophole in the rules at a Model U.N. conference is both riveting in its wackiness and tear-inducing in its idiocy. I weep for Utopia. Give yourself a hug, Jodi, you’re going to get through this, okay?
Like Bri the Veterinary Student/Extremely Thorough Lime-Bather, I have to ask… is now a good time to define our relationship with Utopia? Perhaps it’s too soon—this overly prevalent aggressive behavior could just be something some of them need to get out of their system. It seems to have worked with Josh. Perhaps Dave will even grow tired of his own tirades. At some point, Red might not be able to stomp his feet into the ground like Yosemite Sam from sheer muscle exhaustion. You know what’s probably good for muscle exhaustion? Radishes.
Two Man Non-Secession
But Dave and Red don’t want radishes. Dave and Red don’t want anything that anybody else wants, except maybe each other, because Red seems to have imprinted on Dave like a baby duckling, or vice versa. As the latter half of the first week begins, both Dave and Red decide that they want to take their share of the $5,000 and do whatever they want with it. But as the money isn’t exactly divisible by shares, and math seems a little tiresome at the moment, they decide to refocus their efforts on creating their own branch of Utopia, separate from the rest of the group. They’ll call it Utopia State of Freedom, and it will come to mean absolutely nothing. It’s founding principles are, “Yell first, ask questions later,” and “If the answers to those questions don’t suit you, yell louder.”
Their main reason for wanting to branch out on their own is that they don’t like the way the money is being allocated for “fancy things” like produce and brown rice (and Bella’s talk of a water filter because “a lot of y’all don’t realize there’s something called fluoride in the water”). If Dave and Red had it their way, it would be Vienna sausages, ramen noodles, and a whole bunch of tap water Tang for the next year.
NEXT: Dave and Red take an interesting societal observation and scream it into the ground…
Now, there’s something very interesting about two men from lesser socio-economic backgrounds connecting over having survived to this point in their lives on food that isn’t necessarily considered nutritious by other people with more means for considering nutrition a priority; Dave and Red prioritize cost, taste, and ease. But it is nearly impossible to focus on whether they could be onto something when neither one of them can stop screaming about “horseradishes” and stomping canned goods in a tantrum long enough to share the knowledge that their unique backgrounds might bring to the table.
Instead, they break into the safe, steal their “share” of the money, spend an eighth of it on refrigerated meats, cookies, and chips, and host a party where they try to recruit people to their Utopia State of Freedom, and everyone laughs at them while eating their burgers and bologna sandwiches. Red and Dave come completely unhinged no less than six times in three days’ worth of footage. Now it’s just a race to see which one of them the rest of the pioneers can’t wait to get rid of first; considering Red’s skill set is “handyman electrician” and Dave’s is “barber,” it’s probably time to start detaching yourself from all the fond feelings you’ve developed for the ex-convict, folks. I wouldn’t want you to get hurt.
The Transporter, starring Chicken Statham
Speaking of getting hurt, Bella is upset that people aren’t more into her chicken tractor idea. It could be that every time she tries to explain it, she ends up talking about anything but what the chicken tractor does (you see, it’s not as self-explanatory as the chicken transporter); or it could be her obsession with prioritizing it over everything else, including planting the seeds they already have, but Bella is showing herself off to be a bit of a kook. Even though she was ready to send his ass back to the harsh realities of non-Utopia after his lewd drunken behavior, Bella has come all the way back around on Josh the Fake Masturbator. Like, the grabbing his biceps, giggling at his jokes, she thinks his chicken tractor’s sexy kind of coming back around.
Bella: I love you, Josh, I feel so safe around you… you can be my protector. I’m not the only girl who feels this way.
Cameras in the Haystacks, Lovers in Utopia
Imbalanced affections are on the menu for more than just Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Gross, though. Chris and Bri made a physical connection on their first night in Utopia, and have continued to pursue their feelings for each other. For Chris that means constantly assessing if that rock is big enough for them to have sex behind, and for Bri that means weird extended lime + licking baths. Chris whines to Bri that that this is the longest he’s been “in a freaking amazing long time” without sex, and as we still haven’t reached the end of week one… dude, you is a liar. There’s no way that line is going to work on Br—”Your seduction technique is totally working.”
H’oh boy. Bri wonders what her Brangelina-like couple name would be with Chris, and while “Bris” might be the easiest route, may I humbly suggest “Cri(e)s,” which is what I felt like doing around the time he mounted her on a spider-infested hay stack, after stepping in cow poop.
I might break this hour of Utopia down as “the folks we already knew to be crazy, proving themselves to be even more intolerable as every utopian second ticks by.” But as I plan to continue to watch this experiment unfold, and hope that you will watch the chicken tractor train wreck with me, I’ll let our Monopoly man of a host explain his slightly loftier interpretation, instead: “After one week, Utopia is a state divided: rich versus poor, individualists versus conformists; the tyranny of the majority, and an inflamed minority. Is this happenstance, history, or human nature? Perhaps a little of each.” Ah, yes, perhaps. But that could just be the Vienna sausages talking.