Last week on Helix we met the nefarious Constance Sutton, corporate enforcer for the Arctic Biosystems parent company, Ilaria. We watched Dr. Walker make a miraculous recovery. We learned that Daniele, the portly security guard, was kidnapped from the local community when he was a child. And we watched Dr. Hatake emote like a freaking champ. Unfortunately we did not delve into the human psyche or find ourselves confronted with nuanced questions of medical ethics or the limits of personal morality. The pseudo-zombie action was limited.
This week, on Day 8, Helix officially jumps the shark. They jump it hard, they jump it fast. Day 8 opens with a vector noisily traversing the gigantic ventilation shaft over the lab where Farragut, Jordan, and Walker are eating. It appears the vector can see everyone’s nervous/skeletal system, except for Walker. While this might explain why she was attacked by a vector a few episodes back (since she was in the early stages of infection she still showed up on their ‘radar’), it does not explain why she is sitting in the lab, eating.
How odd. I did not realize that the CDC’s policy regarding individuals who are infected with a deadly, and highly contagious, unknown disease was to grant them a pass if they merely looked healthy. I mean, why not? That seems totally plausible.
People are dying. Walker’s ex-boyfriend is a mouth breathing blue popsicle. Her coworker was killed and fed to hairless rats. She is stranded in the Arctic. But she has jokes about her recovery. Hilarious jokes. Thank goodness the last eight episodes totally set her up to be the comedy relief on this show. Or, you know, not.
Walker is not the only one whose behavior has taken a hard left here. Anana, who is supposed to be the law in her little town, throws caution to the wind and plays the glib, witty, and caustic card while moving around the facility, “undercover”. When Daniele realizes she is a walking liability, he boots her butt back out into the cold, vowing to stay behind and clean up the mess he helped create. I am starting to wonder if the virus kills common sense. The only ones who seem to have a clue are Hatake and the vectors.
The vectors, by the way, have become masters of strategy. They have moved from stalking the air ducts to actively trying to sabotage the food supply with black slime. They also listen to announcements over the P.A. system, coordinate rescue missions, and fireman carry their wounded.
Farragut and Jordan have undergone no less of a stunning transformation, from simple scientists to IED rigging laboratory terrorists. While their solution might seem dire, you know, trying to kill assassinate Sutton while putting Hatake back in control of the facility, it is only slightly less far-fetched than the following scenes. Particularly the one in which Jordan randomly finds a police issue crowd control sound cannon in an office. Which she knows how to use. Because who doesn’t?
What in the hell, Helix?
I take back my earlier statement that a little deux ex machina never hurt anyone and would be completely justifiable in a giant facility full of scientists. What the writers are doing with just such a setup is ludicrous in the extreme. You know what I bet Jordan finds in the next lab? A unicorn which she can train to stab her enemies in the ass.
Despite the show’s speedy decline into outright silliness, the one redeeming factor in tonight’s episode was still Hatake. MAJOR SPOILERS: Yes, Walker is his daughter. Yes, Sutton used to be his girlfriend. Judging by her end of episode monologue, she and Hatake might be aliens (I wish I was kidding). Whatever their past, Hatake is not going to let Sutton get in the way of Walker’s future. He neatly throttles Sutton, decapitates her, and puts her head on ice.
Not to worry, Jeri Ryan fans! I am sure there is a head-reattaching device somewhere in Arctic Biosystems that Jordan will figure out how to operate after watching a quick YouTube tutorial.