Helix episode 10 review: Fushigi

Review Billy Grifter 10 Mar 2014 - 11:18

Julia and Alan take a ride in the wilderness to discover they still love each other. Here's Billy's review...

This review contains spoilers.

1.10 Fushigi

There’s a cardinal sin that a TV show should never commit, and Helix flirted with doing that this week. The unforgivable action was being tedious, because up to this point Helix hasn’t been utterly boring even if it’s not always made sense.

The first five minutes focused almost entirely on Sarah, trying desperately to drum up some sympathy for this character. Sorry, I didn’t feel it, as I nearly fell asleep. She’s annoyed me from the outset, and it’s patently obvious now that she’ll be given Narvik-A in an attempt to save her life at some point. Probably by Alan, who is also infected with poor judgement, the true virus of this show.

With some interludes where people have conversation where they ask questions, don’t get replies but walk out of the door anyway, the rest of Fushigi involved Julia and Alan talking a road trip to find the errant Dr. Adrian, and the missing samples. Luckily they don’t need to walk the 50 miles to the base he’s headed to, on a snowmobile.

And, this is where Helix managed to irritate the hell out of me, because those who write it just can’t be bothered to remember information that they’ve previously given us.

In the first episode we got told that the helicopters had to leave because they’d freeze outside without cover, suggesting that the base had no hanger or garage. But now they magic up a snow tractor that’s obviously been kept inside. We know that because later in the piece Daniel comments that the engine hadn’t frozen up after it was left for just a short time outside Echelon base.

Logically they go to the base to meet Doc Adrian, and see his snowmobile outside. Oops, sadly it is nowhere to be seen. In fact we only see one snowmobile there during the entire Echelon sequence, when we should see three. Because the soldier needed one to get there, and so did Daniel. Continuity - they’ve heard of it.
I should also mention the confused geography again, because Juneau is nowhere near Greenland, and it’s over 500 miles south of the Arctic Circle, a distance you’d never cover in 8 hours on a snowmobile. At some point we’ll probably discover that this is all set in the South Pole, and the person who wrote this uses a Sat Nav to navigate his ride-on mower.

But I’m getting distracted by details, because what goes on at Echelon is tripe of the highest order. I could see it all being silly the moment that the red dot appeared.

I wish US shows would stop using the laser red dot on guns, because it’s moronic. Not only does it warn anyone you’re shooting at where you’re aiming, but it also gives away your location too. That during this one-sided firefight that Julia and Alan decide it’s the perfect time to resolve their post-marriage difficulties seemed like a really poorly timed homage to Mr and Mrs Smith.

If redemption came, and I’m not sure it ever did, it was the discovery of Gunnar, chained beneath the station. From here we found out about the 500 special people, the immortals. That hints that Hitake broke the golden rule with Julia and made number 501, though he’s since addressed the imbalance with Constance.
According to Gunnar, and he was a bit loopy, he’d been there for 29 years. That information didn’t explain how he wasn’t frozen solid in all that time, even if he is immortal. And, if true, it also doesn’t provide any convincing theory as to why cutting his jugular with a set of bolt cutters would actually kill him.

What stops ‘rebirth’, as Gunnar puts it, is decapitation, but I’m yet to be convinced he’s dead and won’t regenerate eventually. With the sneaky reveal at the end where we see that Julia ended up with the strain, the possibility that it will get used on Sarah took a step closer.

I’m getting quite bored with Helix, and would rather like it to end soon, before the summer comes and all the ice in this wonky landscape melts.

Read Billy's review of the previous episode, Level X, here.

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