The time has come to nominate three Utopians for replacement. Unfortunately, only one can be replaced.

By Jodi Walker
Updated October 01, 2014 at 04:09 AM EDT
Credit: Fox
S1 E8
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ICYMI on Friday’s episode: The producers of Utopia cannot elaborate enough on just how single Dr. Nikki is. You guys—she’s been in this bountiful land of quality humans for four weeks and still hasn’t managed to wrangle herself a man. Will Dr. Nikki ever find love? Or will she just be stuck being a beautiful doctor for the rest of her life? Say your namastes for Nikki tomorrow.

Utopia also got its “15th and final member” on Friday, but I don’t know why Dan Piraro keeps saying that for two reasons: 1. I’m only ever looking at his mustache when he talks; 2. a new person will be coming in each month to replace the person who’s voted out, right? I guess Ernesto is the final “original” pioneer, but let’s not act like the details of Utopia are going to be taught in history books in 2064. If we did need to go on record though, I might add that Ernesto could just be the pioneer who saves Utopia. He seems extremely pleasant to be around (or have these people just dulled my sensibilities?), and as a plumber/contractor, he’s not only skilled, but a subtle threat to Josh. And I really just enjoy seeing Josh nervous. Ernesto says his utopia “is a place of peace, prosperity, and democracy.” I hope someone told him he can only choose one of those, and it better not be the first two.

“I’m probably gonna secede today… the details of it will be on the refrigerator before long.” —Red

Change is a brewin’ in Santa Clarita: Red has seceded back into a Dave-less (gah, can you even remember Dave?) Utopia State of Freedom, and this time he’s serious, which is to say, he repeats the phrase, “I’m living with a bunch of f—ing idiots” on an endless loop, occasionally muttering “beans and rice” under his breath. But the biggest change in Utopia is that it’s time for the pioneers to nominate two of their own—and one nominee from the viewers—for the once-a-month replacement vote. Because nothing says building a healthy new society quite like excommunication. But I get that if you’re going for idyllic, you might not want Bella pooping in the garden all the time.

What I can’t understand is why no one wants to leave Utopia, land of yelling and mysterious colored liquids, especially the three people who seem miserable to be there all the time. Bella could return to the outdoorsy life she already has back home, except there, she can walk around telling her trees how sexy they are without also having to weep her way to filtered water; Bri could go back to school to take Dieting for Cows 101 and maybe date men who don’t seem to hate her stinkin’ guts; and Red could go back to doing freaky stuff with his nerve-inducing wife (50 percent chance it’s still underneath a barn though).

But like all the cults before them, no one wants to leave Utopia and its 130 surveillance cameras… they, and the 45 of us still embarrassingly enthralled by this madness, still think Utopia can work.

Josh in Charge of Our Days and Our Love Shacks

The Utopians have been sampling out new styles of government every couple of days, and it’s Josh’s turn to choose. He decides to keep the democratic situation that Amanda established, but mostly he just wants to make a big slip and slide, which is a bureaucratic structure I can get behind. “Hopefully we can lighten the mood around here… I know I’m going to put the banana hammock on and go down it.” No one knows how to put people at ease quite like Josh.

NEXT: Or, we could just vote all three of them out…

What Josh really wants to establish during his reign though is that it’s time to build a workshop, which he occasionally calls a love shack. Are the producers allowed to add more cameras to the compound, or are they basically just making a place for everyone to hook up? I find it hard to believe they’re making this whole structure just for Chris’ “glassblowing.”

They also say Amanda could have her baby in there, because you guys… Amanda is going to have a baby in six weeks. For just one moment, that seems like something the Utopians might be able to handle, as their pregnant cow gives birth to her calf. But she seems to do that without any assistance from them, it’s immediately following Red and Rob getting into a screaming match about power tools for the love shack, and after about one hour they realize they have no idea what to do with a calf. Speaking of potential animal cruelty

Bri the Vet Has Got to Go

On Friday’s episode, Hex took the garden over from Bella because Bella has an inability to communicate with people in a way that doesn’t make them yell at her, and tonight Red is put in charge of the animals, removing vet student Bri from her original post…

…because two random veterinarians came in to straight up tell Bri that she should not be watching the animals, as she is sort of, kind of, killing them, maybe. Apparently the pioneers have been paying two vets to watch the live feeds and make sure the animals are doing okay under Bri’s care, and those professionals have decided that after observing Bri restricting the cows’ food, they need to step in and give Red’s barn management skills “a shout-out,” which goes something like this: “RED, YOU HAVE GOT TO TAKE OVER THIS BARN, COWS CAN’T BE ON DIETS!!!”

Bri is at the top of the list of pioneers being discussed for replacement; at one point someone said that she was the only one who knew how to deliver the calf, but then that calf just walked right out of her mom, so removed from her animal post, Bri became more unnecessary than ever before. Also, thank you to the commenter who pointed out that last week when discussing different types of government to try out, Bri contributed this to the conversation: “Or the dictatorship might work, and we could be like Hitler, and like, I dunno. I just wanna see how that would work out.”

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

When voting time comes around, annoyance is evenly distributed almost perfectly between Red’s aggression, Bella’s stubbornness, and Bri’s lack of contribution. It’s five votes for Bella from Taylor, Chris, Bri, Kristen, and Aaron, making her the first pioneer on the chopping block for replacement, and a tie between Bri with four votes from Josh, Bella, Ernesto, and Amanda; and Red, with four votes from Rob, Hex, Dedeker, and Mike. (And three for Chef Aaron, who hasn’t been particularly horrible on the show in a few weeks, but looks to be tearing up the live feeds right now with some Grade-A bullying.)

Red breaks the tie himself by volunteering to be up for replacement instead of Bri, which he attributes to being “the man in the situation,” but I attribute to his standard dose of pouting and stomping. It doesn’t even matter though, because America votes Bri in as the third and final candidate for replacement, presumably because America cares about cows and really doesn’t want to have to watch the clip of her bathing Chris with limes anymore.

With three days left to prove their worth, who do you think should be banished from Utopia?

Episode Recaps


Fifteen brave souls meet in the middle of nowhere with limited supplies and zero toilets to create a perfect society.
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