The lazy comparisons with Lord of the Flies started before any of these new episodes were shown, but there are two key reasons why we need a new reference point.
One, just because the female population of Eden has greatly reduced in number, that doesn’t mean the women are merely a side note in a story of “men gone wild”. And two, the Eden animals are not slaughtered in a collective frenzy – far from it, in fact.
It wasn’t made entirely clear whether the “Valley Boys” – Jack, Glenn, Titch, Rob Not The Vet and Stephen (oh Stephen) – bullied Rob the Vet into slaughtering the camp livestock or if he insisted on doing it himself, knowing this was the only way to ensure it was done humanely. Either way, he was stuck between a rock and a hard place and it was no surprise that he left.
What’s more surprising is that Katie stayed, and that she managed to live along the men she quite understandably described as some of the most horrible she had ever met. The narrator informs us that her and Rob’s relationship was the only one to endure, without giving any clues to what happened with the others. Caroline is gone now, though I don’t remember her exit.
Finally, after a series and a half, we learn who the chap with the glasses is – he’s Matt, one of three embedded camera operators. He is also gay and vegetarian, and isn’t invited to join the men’s stinking death camp. When he does put in an appearance, he walks in on them doing grotesque homophobic impressions of him.
So far, so atrocious, but it got worse. Every woman has known a Glenn. A man whose absolute awfulness is compounded by the fact that he genuinely seems to have no idea how awful he is, and adds insult to injury by trying to “have a talk” with the woman he’s just been awful to.
By the time he was reflecting on the experience in the studio, my jaw was on the floor. “There’s always one”, he says. One? What’s he on about? I’m counting at least five in the camp. Oh no, I see, there’s always on person ready to jump down your throat. The “PC police”. Officer Katie, reporting for duty. GOOD GRIEF.
Of course, throughout all of this Jack sits back, pulling the strings and later pretending he wasn’t. He’s quite open about “manipulating the community” to ensure Glenn stays, but then suggests he didn’t enjoy his all-meat diet. Even now, they only seem dimly aware that this wasn’t healthy. NO SHIT. Which I mean literally. I can’t help wishing the lot of those dickheads had died of constipation.
Watch Eden on catch-up (probably UK only, alas)