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Utopia recap: Episode 5, ‘Order 2472’

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Michael must make a life-or-death choice while inside the St. Louis hot zone in Utopia episode 5. Jessica faces someone from her past.

Utopia episode 5 reveals more disturbing truths about the cult-like organization of the Harvest.  As the hour begins, Michael prepares to give Dale’s daughter, poor, sick Charlotte, a dose of his vaccine. But when Michael leaves the tent, we get a sinister reveal regarding Dale and Charlotte. Dale is a Christie Labs plant. Charlotte is not his real daughter, but his charge, along with her twin sister Lily.

The plan is for one twin to sacrifice herself by consuming a pure form of the flu and then the other will take her place so it looks like the vaccine worked wonders and completely cured Charlotte.  Lily and Charlotte indulge themselves in their last meal feast as Christie arrives. The twins, who are solely devoted to their purpose to serve the Harvest’s agenda, ask Christie to choose which of them will die and which will live.

He chooses Charlotte to make the ultimate sacrifice and then feeds her the consumable containing the purest strain of the virus. So, when Michael finally gives her the vaccine, he sees a sick kid with a familiar T-shaped rash.

He is completely blown away when “Charlotte” has made a full recovery hours later. He takes some blood from her to compare to his previous blood sample (I was a little confused about this, wouldn’t it be obvious the blood samples were from different people?), and runs it through the sequencer.

“Charlotte” is now 100% free of the virus. As soon as he tells Dale the news, he runs through the quarantine zone and protestors shouting about the cure. Everything begins to move very quickly from that point. “Charlotte” gives a speech saying Dr. Michael Stearns has given her “light in the dark,” and everyone begins clamoring for the vaccine to be released. Initially, Michael seems overwhelmed and somewhat suspicious by the immediate reaction. It’s all very rehearsed, it feels too perfect.

Then the FDA shows up and a representative tries to convince Michael they’ll need to put the vaccine through the standard trials first to ensure it’s 100% effective. That was his previous concern too, but now he argues that the vaccine has been thoroughly tested and no more children need to die while they jump through more hoops.

The FDA representative takes the stage in front of the protestors and tells them her plans to thoroughly test the vaccine, but no one wants to hear that. They want the cure and they want it now. When Kevin grabs a megaphone, he further instigates the crowd, painting the FDA as the bad guys.

In the previous episode, we learned the scheme to have the FDA examine his Simpro factory was part of Cara’s plan to remove the guilt from Christie Labs and paint them in a sympathetic light, that’s working to their advantage now as Kevin tells the crowd to demand the FDA free the curse. It’s all very theatrical and over-the-top, but it gets the crowd motivated.

Joining the protestors, Thomas and Kevin continue inciting the cheers and chants. Then Kevin tells Thomas that they’re moving along nicely and now they can make the call for “order 2472.” At the end of the episode, we see a bunch of men loading a truck with wooden cages filled with rabbits. The truck is labeled “order 2472.”

Utopia episode 5 recap: The group makes a horrific discovery.

Jessica, Becky, Ian and Wilson reach their latest safe house in Utopia episode 5, which is an ornate estate that supposedly belongs to an oligarch who is always out of town. Becky and Ian continue bonding after Becky has another seizure and Ian helps her through it. He coaxes her into a bathtub and stays with her until her episode is over and they remain sequestered in the room for a while, reading about astrology.

So far, no one else knows about Becky’s illness and they just assume the couple was fooling around. Jessica says she has no time for sex or boyfriend/girlfriend stuff, it could all just get you killed. Plus, she’s busy interrogating Grant to find out where the other half of Utopia is. He tells her he’ll have to show her because he doesn’t remember the street name where Alice and her mom live.

Before they can go anywhere, an emergency news broadcast officially frames Grant as a spree killer and blasts his face across the television. As Jessica warns, things are getting dangerous and everyone’s loved ones are going to pay the price. Ian rushes to the laptop to search the status of his family and is horrified to discover his entire family is in critical condition with E. coli poisoning.

Wilson finally learns his family is dead, killed in a “gas leak,” as the news reports. He’s pissed at Jessica for lying to him but she’s not sorry for it. She didn’t have time for him to have an emotional breakdown and still doesn’t.  Wilson also starts accusing Becky of hiding something since she says she’s fine, even though the rest of them have all been seriously affected.

Obviously, he doesn’t know she’s sick and dying. Becky also claims she doesn’t really have anyone in her life for the Harvest to target. Both Ian and Jessica defend her, and it’s evident Wilson is still suspicious, but he does calm down.

After Grant and Jessica leave to find Alice and the other half of Utopia, Becky tries to encourage Ian to go home and be with his family. He decides to stay, both because going home would only make things worse and because his life has changed so radically in the past 48 hours there is no way he would be able to just go back to normal so easily.

Utopia episode 5 recap: Arby’s crisis of faith.

Disguising Grant in Utopia episode 5 works well enough to get him and Jessica back to Alice’s home. Unfortunately, after seeing the news bulletin about Grant, Alice’s mother contacted the police, which in turn attracted Arby who heard the tidbit over the police scanner.

He kills everyone in the house except Alice, who quickly gives him the pages of Utopia and begins sobbing over her mother’s dead body. Arby appears to have grown a conscious suddenly from the last episode to now. It doesn’t feel earned, since his character hasn’t had enough development. But regardless, he lets Alice live.

After reading the pages of Utopia, he also decides to let Jessica and Grant live when they finally arrive. Something he reads in those pages seems to have solidified his decision to move beyond his “purpose.” He tells Jessica he doesn’t want to do it anymore and also warns her that she should eat before reading Utopia because she won’t want to afterward.

Before leaving, Arby tells Jessica that if she ever wants to find him, he’ll be at Home.

Next: 5 series ready to binge on Amazon Prime Video

Odds & Ends from Utopia episode 5

  • Wilson begins piecing together all the information he has on the virus and the connection to bats.
  • There was a QR code on the concentrated virus Kevin gave Charlotte, anyone try to scan it?
  • Children born into the Harvest are literally raised for slaughter. Adam, Lily, Charlotte and Arby were all carefully taught that their entire purpose and reason for living exists to serve the Harvest and their supposed “greater” mission towards creating a happier, healthier way of life. When Kevin admits he would have difficulty sacrificing Thomas, who is his only biological son,  Thomas tells him that’s “something he needs to work on.”
  • If Thomas is Kevin’s only bio-kid, who are all the other children he had a family dinner with earlier in the season? Were they all adopted? Where are all of the children running around the Harvest/Christie Labs coming from? Are they taking kids from the foster system and turning them into mini-minions? It certainly seems like it.
  • Dr. Stearns suddenly believing his vaccine is a miracle cure after one simple test doesn’t really gel with what we’ve seen with his character up until this point. However, I appreciated Rainn Wilson trying to make his portrayal read more genuine by displaying some conflicted emotions throughout those scenes. His performance makes it seem more like Stearns has gotten completely swept up by the moment and I’m guessing he might start having doubts in the next few episodes.
  • I’m starting to wonder if Wilson might be right about Becky. Remember back in the second episode, I pointed out it was odd that Rod and Arby found Wilson’s home by using Becky’s phone somehow, even though she wasn’t supposed to have put her number on the bid sheet.
  • It was cute seeing Jessica and Grant briefly bond at the bar while playing an arcade game.

What did you think about Utopia episode 5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

All eight episodes of Utopia season 1 are now streaming on Netflix.

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3 Key Mistakes to Avoid When Playing Blackjack

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Blackjack is the most popular casino game in the world. The card game, sometimes referred to as ‘21’, accounts for an average of 31 percent of all casino table traffic – this is consistent both online and in physical casinos. For reference, the second most popular is roulette (24%) followed by poker (21%).

It’s easy to understand blackjack’s popularity. It’s a simple game to grasp and offers players a mix of luck and skill: luck in the cards that are drawn, skill over how those cards are dealt and a player’s eventual hand. Compare that to roulette, which is based entirely on luck, and poker, which has a huge skill element to it.

However, while the beauty of blackjack is in its simplicity, there are also a number of complexities to the game, and as is the case with almost anything in life, you learn more from mistakes than successes.

With that in mind, here are three key mistakes to avoid when playing blackjack that can significantly increase your chances of winning, while limiting your losses.

Choosing the Wrong Table

Before a single card is drawn, being at the wrong table – whether live or online – is the first mistake to avoid.

First of all, each blackjack table will have different minimum bet requirements so avoid choosing one that is out of your budget. For instance, if you choose a table with a $100 minimum bet and your budget is $200, you might only play two hands.

Secondly, check the payout odds on the blackjack table. These are typically 6:5 and 3:2 and will affect how much gets paid out when you hit blackjack and land other bonus wins. Where possible, choose a 3:2 table as it pays out higher.

Thirdly, choose between a virtual and a live table. This is not so much a mistake to avoid but more comes down to personal preference. Virtual tables allow players to play against an automated computer, so you can play at your own pace, while live tables are usually quicker paced as human dealers are keen to move the game along.

When to Hit and Stand

As a general rule, most blackjack players know to hit when the hand is 12 and to stand when the hand equals 17. However, there are plenty of variables to consider that could influence when to hit and stand. Getting these right can really boost your chances of beating the house, while getting it wrong could prove costly.

One key move to implement is to always hit on a soft 17 – when the two cards are an ace and a six. This means that if you draw a 10 or picture card (jack, queen, king), then you convert your hand into a hard 17. It also gives greater flexibility if you draw a smaller value card as the ace can be used as a one.

While many players adopt a strict ‘never bust’ policy, meaning they always stand when their hand equals 12 or more, this can be ill-advised as it depends almost entirely on the dealer going bust.

Instead, analyze the value of your two cards compared to the dealer’s first card and weigh up the risk factor in drawing another card before the dealer draws their second. As a strict rule, if your first two cards equal 17 or more, then stand – anything else can be hit depending on the situation.

When to Split and Double

If you are playing in a blackjack tournament, either online or live, learning when to split and double can make all the difference to your chances of success. The same also applies to individual games of blackjack.

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Splitting is when you split two cards when dealt the same value cards, so a pair of eights for example. Doubling is when you are given the option to double your bet after being dealt your initial two cards.

While it can be tempting to split and double at every opportunity to increase your winning, doing at the right time is the key.

It is not recommended to split when:

  • You are dealt two picture cards or two 10s
  • You are dealt two 9s
  • You are dealt two 5s
  • The dealer holds a 10 or picture card

It is best to split when:

  • You are dealt two 8s
  • You are dealt two aces
  • The dealer holds a 5 or 6 (as this is the highest probability of a bust)

Similar to knowing when to hit and stand, take a brief moment to assess the dealer’s drawn card compared to your own two cards and determine whether the probabilities are in your favour.

Likewise, knowing when to double down – when not to double down – can change the complexities of your blackjack game. A simple rule to know when to double is if your two cards equal 10 and the dealer’s card is between 2-9. Additionally, if you hold an ace, you can consider a double as these have the flexibility of playing as 11 or 1. But if the dealer’s card is an ace, ignore the double.

Conclusion

Blackjack may be a simple game but there are some important strategies to keep in mind next time you head to the virtual or live table. The game itself is still rooted in luck so there are never any guarantees to long-term success. However, by keeping these three important rules in mind, you can at least avoid making avoidable mistakes.

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Top 5 Entertainment Activities for College Students

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The life of college students is sometimes too complicated. They have to face tons of homework assignments that steal their time. Many students get stressed because of continuous learning. They seem to forget how to relax. If you’re a busy student, you should remember that you’re still young and shouldn’t waste this precious life stage. You can undertake some entertainment activities sometimes. Take your friends and organize funny games to unwind and let off some pressure. We asked writing experts from a professional essay service Smart Writing Service to share their ideas and provide you with top-5 entertainment activities for college students you may like. 

Who Are You?

Students, especially freshmen, don’t know each other perfectly. They may be taken by surprise when some of them tell something quite unexpected about their hobbies, preferences, and so on. If you want to know other students better, suggest playing a game called “Who Are You”.

Form at least three teams. If there are many folks, you can form more teams. Choose a speaker of the game. It may be even one of your teachers or professors. All groups will be given topics to discuss. The speaker is supposed to announce a new topic every few minutes. You may discuss and answer the following topics:

  • What is the greatest challenge you are facing?
  • What do you like or hate most about yourself?
  • What is your greatest value in life?
  • What emotions do you express easily?
  • What is the most valuable thing in friendship?
  • Who you want to become in five years?
  • What is your major objective for next year?
  • Is there something you want to improve about yourself?
  • What motto do you try to live by?
  • Where would you like to travel?
  • If you were to study abroad, what country would that be?

Students should write their answers on index cards. The speaker should gather the answers of every student and shuffle them. Afterward, he/she redistributes them randomly to students. Each person should guess whose card he/she is holding. Play this game after you spend some time together and already know at least something about one another.

Sentence Completion

Another fun activity is “Sentence Completion.” Most people like it because it’s commonly accompanied by laughter and good mood. It’s necessary to prepare a list of sentences. Those sentences should have a beginning, but with no end. Every student should finish the sentence he/she gets. Oftentimes, students give funny answers. At times, they are quite serious, and we can learn something important about other students. Here are several sentence beginnings you may choose:

  • Before I came to college, I was interested in…
  • When I was a child, I wanted to become…
  • The best moment I remember most about high school is…
  • My favorite pet is…
  • The things I value most are…
  • Five years from now I hope to be…
  • My greatest personality trait is…
  • My favorite subject at high school was…
  • If I could change one thing in the world, it would be…
  • My greatest fear is…
  • After I graduate from college, I…

The Reception Line

You may likewise try another entertaining activity for college students. It is called “The Reception Line.” Gather all the mates eager to participate. Divide yourselves into two groups. If you form more, it won’t fit the rules of the game. Each person talks to the person in front of him/her until he/she must move. The person at the end of one line goes to the end of the other line. This method makes it possible to meet new people. Thus, students will learn more about each other. You can make shifts every next topic or set a limit. For example, the pair should discuss 5 topics and afterward move to change partners. Here are some interesting topics to discuss:

  • Where would you like to travel?
  • What motto do you try to follow?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What music do you like?
  • What is your favorite hobby?
  • Why did you choose this college?
  • What do you like about college life the most?

Take Sides

You can likewise suggest a game, which offers only two options. It’s called “Take Sides.” Create a list of questions with two answers. Students should obligatorily choose one of them. Afterward, you may discuss the answers. Let everyone explain his/her choices. Thus, you’ll learn more about each other, and it will bring you closer. Here are several suggestions:

  • Watermelon or banana?
  • Sweat or bitter?
  • Short trips every weekend or a journey around the world for three months?
  • Partying or hiking?
  • Listen or speak?
  • Rock or pop?
  • Morning or night?
  • Superman or Batman?
  • Robocop or Terminator?
  • Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings?
  • Los Angeles or New York?
  • Liberal or conservative?
  • American football or ice hockey?

My Most Embarrassing Moment

You can likewise tell each other about the most embarrassing moments. It’s important to be honest and don’t imagine a story that never took place. All the participants should agree on this term. Commonly, it is a very entertaining activity. Students tell funny stories they’ve been through. It commonly makes them closer.

These activities for college students are very simple to follow. They are really entertaining. Mind that we have mentioned only 5 of them. However, you can try a hundred activities more. Use our examples to have fun and relax. They may inspire you and your friends to look for other entertaining activities.

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5 Of The Best Gambling Scenes Of All Time

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Gambling can be one of the most dramatic and engaging pastimes to play so it is no wonder then that it has been used as a device to build drama in films for decades. Some of the world’s best movie directors have incorporated American Blackjack, Texas Hold ‘Em Poker and European Roulette into their blockbusters to build tension and keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

Here’s a list of the top 5 thrilling gambling scenes of all-time, the ones that got the blood pumping and went on to become iconic in their own right.

Casino Royale (2006)

Gambling has always been synonymous with James Bond from the early Ian Fleming books to the multi-million-dollar budget films that we enjoy today. Owing to its name alone Casino Royale was always going to feature some pretty exhilarating gambling scenes and it does not disappoint.

The entire movie features a number of casino scenes, but the best comes when 007 faces off against arch-villain Le Chiffre at a high-stakes poker table. In the early exchange Bond loses out to his rival, failing to notice his bluffs.

These early losses are vital to Bond though as in the final hand, with $100 million at stake he calls Le Chiffre’s bluff and wins a dramatic, if not slightly improbable hand. Whilst the scene may have caused many poker enthusiasts to question its realism, it undoubtedly adds an exceptional amount of drama to the film making it iconic.

Never bet against James Bond

The Hangover (2009)

In the 1988 hit film Rain Man, Tom Cruise’s character harnesses his autistic brother’s mathematical prowess to beat the casino and win big on the blackjack table. 21 years later comedy classic The Hangover pays tribute to the iconic scene in hilarious fashion.

Alan, the quirky and somewhat odd brother of the groom dresses up and heads over to the blackjack table. As the cards are dealt a series of complicated equations appear on the screen as Alan appears deep in thought.

After watching the cards intently Alan starts to bet big and ends up winning! There isn’t much in the way of drama and tension in this scene as The Hangover is a comedy first and foremost, but it makes our list because of the way it throws back excellently to Rain Man.

Unfortunately for those playing online, you’ll be unable to recreate Alan’s heroics as trustworthy sites like 888 online casino have Random Number Generator’s in operation, this is a complex computer program that is responsible for generating numbers in a random manner, making it impossible to count cards, but you can still find plenty of the fun and drama when you login and play American Blackjack.

This hilarious scene pays homage to the classic Rain Man film in fun fashion

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Despite being released over 50 years ago this iconic film still has enough drama and action to captivate modern audiences. The movie’s main protagonist Luke Jackson – portrayed excellently by Paul Newman – is a decorated war veteran who is sentenced to two years in a chain gang prison camp for destroying parking meters after a night of heavy drinking.

Initially Luke struggles to find his place in the prison hierarchy but he does earn a modicum of respect from his fellow prisoners after not throwing in the towel during a brutal prison fight.

He does fully win the respect of the other inmates though after successively bluffing his way to the jackpot in an intense and dramatic game of poker. His final bluff leads one of his fellow players to utter the most iconic line from the move, “sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand.”

Paul Newman is exceptional in his portrayal of Luke Jackson in this classic film and plays it real cool in this iconic poker scene

Rounders (1998)

Throughout the years plenty of directors have tried and failed to produce a movie based solely on the premise of gambling. So many efforts have failed that many within the industry thought the 1998 film Rounders was doomed to failure.

The film followed Mike, a naïve student who gambled away his tuition money, his girlfriend, his law degree and almost his entire life. In a desperate move to repay his debts Mike ends up borrowing $10,000 from his old university professor to buy-in to an underground poker game.

Ultimately Mike pulls off an insane bluff to win the jackpot and get his life back on track, but to viewers his win never feels like a certain thing. The director and writers work together to build a scintillating scene full of subtle nuances and individual moments of drama that make this film and absolute must-watch.

Films about gambling usually fail to hit the mark with audiences but Rounders bucks that trend, particularly with this insanely dramatic poker scene

21 (2008)

Everyone loves a fantasy film but what truly captures the imagination of an audience is a film inspired by true events. Starring Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne and Jim Sturgess 21 is the story of the MIT team that used their mathematical skills to count cards in some of America’s biggest casinos.

Ben, the lead character puts together a team of mathematics majors that count cards at blackjack tables to earn huge amounts of money. The most iconic scene in the movie comes when the team puts on disguises to head back to Planet Hollywood, a casino they have already duped.

In the scene the team scam their way to $640,000 in winnings before being spotted by casino staff and making their great escape. In a final twist as Micky, one of the team members is making his escape in a limousine he releases his chips are fake and that he’s been set-up.

Without ruining the ending of the film, this realisation sets the film up for a pulsating finale that will have you on the edge of your seat throughout.

21 is so captivating because it is based on the real-life antics of a MIT card counting team

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