Utopia recap: The Utopians open up their 'paradise' for profit
In Week 3, the women take charge, and the pioneers finally start making some money; they also act like children and fight a lot, but this is Utopia, it isn't perfect... wait.
ICYMI on Friday’s episode: As we are the-few, the-ashamed who are still entertained by Utopia, we’re only recapping the show on Tuesday at EW; but rest assured, if Bri is screaming about peanut butter on a Friday episode, you’re still going to hear about it here. I would never deprive you of a description of what must have been the world’s most nasal argument since *NSYNC broke up (JK, that was totally amicable).
Yes, there was trouble in paradise as Bri apparently dropped a bunch of peanut butter on the floor and expected Chris to just clean it up for her. And instead of using the defense, “In my utopia, I don’t have to clean up my own peanut butter”—because isn’t that what this whole show is about?—she’s all, “before you come into my barn and start yelling at me, you need to get your facts straight.” But the facts are that Bri is pretty annoying, definitely a little lazy, and only says about two-thirds of the necessary syllables in any given word. Their fight is only worth mentioning because it results in hilarious sentences like these from Chris: “All we are is Bris, y’know?! I don’t even have my own voice, my own name. I came here to be me.” You do have your own name, Chris; it’s Chris. Stop calling yourself Bris. That is not a name.
But the most important turn of events on Friday’s episode was Dedeker reminding everyone that they’re living in filth, away from their families, because this whole shindig is supposed to be a social experiment, so they need to start shaking things up. A quick poll and drawing names out of a hat results in Hex getting to pick the next form of government they try out. Anarchy, it is! She explains that anarchy isn’t chaos, it’s just abiding by a human moral code, but I have seen The Purge—okay, I have seen The Purge previews, because that movie looks terrifying—and I know that she is lying. The second you take away laws people start making murder dungeons and lighting everything on fire. Everybody knows that.
“I’m the most giving, loving person I know” – Bella
When the Utopians decide that everyone can do what they want on Friday’s episode, Aaron and Kristen immediately order a ton of expensive luxury food items without telling anyone about it, but no one seems to really get mad or take them into their murder dungeon or anything. But at the beginning of tonight’s episode, when a water filter—the phrase that would surely show up as the second largest on Bella’s word cloud (you know what’s first)—arrives for Bella without anyone else knowing about it, everything goes to hell. I don’t want to stick up for Bella. I really do not; if I lived with her, I know I would Purge her right out of there. But she is correct that everyone picks on her because she’s an easy target.
The funny thing about this show is that its original intent was to open our eyes to how a different kind of society could prosper, be more unified, find peace… or something like that; but really, it’s been most successful in just reinforcing ideas we already know about our society: tonight, it’s that sometimes you just have to deal with weirdos. And if you think that’s not true, then you are one of those weirdos. Bella is one of those weirdos to be dealt with, and Amanda tells everybody as much after Bella says she can’t take the abuse anymore. Josh convinces Aaron to be gentler with her, and he gives her a sweet apology, which she promptly follows up with a patented Bella pep talk, which is to say, Bella speaking aloud to Bella while giving Bella a hug, reminding everyone that if anarchy is really all about morality and treating people with respect, then Bella will be their greatest test.
NEXT: What happens in the crawl space below the barn, stays in the crawl space below the barn…
The Reds Go to Utopia
Talk smack about the failure of Utopia all you want, but these people found Red, and that is a gift. In the last two episodes Red has made “hillbilly wine” out of water, raisins, sugar, and an extra-thick condom; practiced yoga with Dr. Nikki where he proved he can do a near-perfect Astavakrasana; and welcomed his wife and son onto the Utopia compound where he promptly sent his son off to fish with Taylor so he could go make sweet, sweet hillbilly love to his wife underneath the barn. Red is the best; his wife, and her constant need of subtitles, is also the best, though my body could not resist shuttering at, “so once she turned 16, we got married.”
Goddess Circle Goes Political
So, after anarchy almost caused Bella to level Utopia with one fowl swoop of her chicken tractor (yeah… I said it), the pioneers decide to switch over to a trial run of female-rule, after asking all of the men what they thought of it. Everyone talks about how it’s important for women to hold position of power, except Rob, who can hardly contain his delight at the idea of the goddess circle crashing and burning: “I’m interested to see how this all works out for you ladies, y’know, the tampon party and what have you. Just… don’t go crazy.” Yeah, ladies, try not to run this well-functioning machine into the ground once all of your cycles sync up!
Listen, I think Rob brings plenty to the table, but I also think he’s the kind of guy who asks women if they are on their periods all the time. It’s probably not particularly helpful to his extremely sensitive point of view when the women come up with a really good idea to make chores more organized, but start off the meeting (honestly, who thought Bella being the vocal leader of this was a good idea) by each saying something nice about the men, and they pretty much all cry. But if you didn’t get choked up at Dedeker talking about not having brothers or a dad, and being thankful to finally have men she can consider family, then you’re in real need of goddess circle session. But, for real, what is happening in this place? By the end of this year, the 15 people in Utopia might be the only people still watching Utopia, but they will love the hell out of it and each other. Even after Red loses his mind about the chore chart for no good reason, everybody just reminds him how much they love him and he comes around. I think they’re filtering drugs into the air, and this is all some elaborate Under the Dome crossover.
Experience Utopia (and give us your money)
Under women’s-rule, Utopia also finally brings in some cash. They organize a sort of fair called Experience Utopia where they’ll showcase their skills at $20 a head, and market it on the second-hand computer they bought for $450. Rob gives a very angry pep talk the night before that, I kid you not, includes this statement: “There’s thousands of people who would DIE to be in our spot.”
Would I die to be in Rob’s spot? You couldn’t even pay me to be in Rob’s spot. But, would I pay $20 to go to the Utopia compound? Absolutely. I’d pay $20 for really good chicken fingers—you bet your ass I’d pay $20 to have Red teach me how to make condom wine and to test my theory that Bella has never actually blinked. Luckily for the pioneers, a whole heap of people feel the same way and show up in the middle of an L.A. heat wave to buy Hex’s metal jewelry, take yoga with Dr. Nikki, and learn belly dancing from Dedeker.
Apparently, it’s all thanks to Kristen’s marketing, which we never really see, but I guess 23-year-old entrepreneurs are worth their weight in coughing chickens because the Utopians brought in $1,483. Seriously. And they cap off their successful day with a joyous night, by presenting Bella with the re-ordered water filter they had taken away from her. It’s sweet; Bella weeps uncontrollably. Somebody get that woman a mason jar.