Helix: Antiqatiga Review

SyFy continues to show us what it's made of on the new episode of Helix.

Last week, Helix continued to weigh personal gain against medical ethics and morality in a way that belied its outward appearance as just another show capitalizing on the recent zombie craze. While they continue to have solid zombie-esq scenes drenched in gore (and the thrill of off camera screams), the series has successfully set itself apart by using the action as a foil for the narrative; not relying on the vector zombies to be the plot’s driving force.

Day 6 takes us deeper down the rabbit hole as we discover more clues about both the virus and the people trapped in Arctic Biosystems. And the children. You thought the platoon of frozen monkeys was bad? Think of the children (won’t anyone?).

The episode opens to find the wounded and shoeless Major Balls who was left for dead in the snow, being dragged to safety. I had assumed the extraction team would save his bacon, but it looks like there are other people living around the Arctic Biosystems facility. Major Balls wakes to find himself shirtless and cuffed to a woman’s couch. She introduces herself as Anana, the only peace keeper in the local community and though she patched him up, her motives weren’t wholly humanitarian. It seems that the facility has been in operation for many years and during that time thirty two local children have gone missing. And who would know more about that than Dr. Hatake?

Inside the facility, Dr. Jordan appears, looking sober and relieved not to be dealing with the vector she was hiding in her quarters. She breaks up a fight between the still upright Dr. Farragut and the portly security guard, Daniel, who is working overtime to prevent the remaining members of the CDC from going down to Level R and discovering Hatake. While Jordan and Farragut do manage to sneak down to Level R in an effort to locate Dr. Walker, they don’t get very far. The doors to the corridor have been chained and padlocked, which turns out to be a good thing considering how quickly the hallway fills up with vectors, forcing them to retreat back upstairs.

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Last week, someone in the comments section made and excellent observation: why would the vectors try to attack Walker? After all, they are trying to spread the disease, not actually kill people, and she is already infected. I was hoping that particular plot point would be resolved in this episode, but it has yet to be addressed. Just how violent and crazed are the vectors? Judging by the screams Walker heard from outside the little lab she and Hatake were locked inside, it may well be that vectors will savage both the healthy and the infected.

As for Walker, her health is declining as quickly as Hatake’s abdomen healed up, read: lightning fast. While she appears to be highly symptomatic, having detailed hallucinations about Dr. Farragut (the ex-boyfriend not Dr. Farragut the ex-husband) and a little girl wearing a white dress, Hatake takes the opportunity to inject her with a red fluid, or “sedative”, lock her in the lab, and return to the upper level.

Interesting that Walker would be having such extensive dreams about herself as a child, especially when we learn about the missing children from the neighboring community. Was she a kidnapped child or does her relationship with Hatake go deeper? The latter gets my vote.

Back at the lab, Farragut and Jordan discover that the virus is actually a delivery system for gene therapy which Hatake claims was intended to cure any and all forms of cancer. Unfortunately no one can say what went wrong. Further testing shows them what the late Doreen already knew; that the virus will blow up like a jungle vine on steroids and that it hates the cold.

Which is when Farragut gets the brilliant idea to immerse his brother in an experimental cryogenic fluid. Here, at least, another nagging question was answered. There are still other scientists who are not infected and who are basically on house arrest in their labs. With over one hundred of them on the facility, the possibilities for plot twists in the realm of scientific speculation are practically endless. Quite a deus ex machina there SyFy, but I’ll take it.

We did have two major plot developments so SOILER ALERT: 1) Farragut and Jordan celebrate turning the brother into a blue popsicle by having sexy time and 2) it turns out that Daniel, the portly security guard, is Anana’s brother. Although he doesn’t seem to know it, and Anana had no idea her missing sibling had been so close this entire time.

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On a personal note, I would like to thank the show runners for their brilliant use of Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies”. Seriously. That song is linked to holiday memories from my childhood and while nostalgia is awesome, nostalgia tinged with zombies is infinitely better!

Den of Geek Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

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3.5 out of 5