Helix: Cross Pollination, Review

As stingy as it is with answers to its mysteries, Helix knows how to ramp up the creepy, but stagnates in its own aimless, scattered story.

One thing you can be sure will happen at least a few times per season in Helix is that a virus-infected crazy person will chase one of the main characters through dark underground hallways. Although plenty of action and creepiness pervades the plot undercurrents in “Cross Pollination,” these sequences serve only as distraction for what amounts to a tiny increment of movement in the overall conspiracy.

The back story continues to be doled out, though, including a motivation for the social experiment on the island if not an actual reason for the outbreak. An end to Julia’s conversation with the young French immortal reveals a possible alternative to the large-scale death-by-Narvik proposed by a majority of Ilarians. Brother Michael’s flock, begun in the 1600’s, suggests enforced sterility as a way to wean the mortal population. So what went wrong? Julia’s storyline always draws me in and will likely yield the most answers in the end.

As expected, Brother Michael began his time on St. Germaine by falling in love with a woman whose first name began with “A,” and when you’re immortal you can afford to purge the flock any time you’re not satisfied with its members’ level of devotion. I was certainly shocked by the Jonestown-like actions of this episode, especially considering there aren’t as many potential “mycotics” anymore, and there are still six episodes left. I did get some satisfaction, along with Kyle, from seeing Amy imprisoned in a glass box filled with toxic plants, but as despicable as her actions have been, she’s at least trying to fight against Michael’s tyranny.

Clearly, Michael sees a way forward with Sarah’s immortal-but-unborn child, but I’ll admit I can’t predict what that might be. And if they’re going to subject me to the sight of a silver-eyed fetus making little moist, mewling noises, I might have to prepare myself. Alan admitted to have participated in the harvesting of Sarah’s baby under the influence of the nystagmus-inducing drugs, but Sarah’s resulting anger seems unreasonable and divisive. This seems like one situation where the CDC folks really need to stick together in order to succeed.

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In fact, Peter’s continued isolation is really becoming annoying. His character seemed so much more useful last season when he was leader of the vectors. This week, once more, Peter is reduced to complaining about his family with the addition of being a sounding board for Anne’s blind devotion to Michael. They really just don’t have enough for his character to do!

Helix has certainly improved its game the last few weeks, but this episode, even with all of its new directions and motivation reveals, just treads water. I find myself wanting to hit the fast forward button to see how it all ends. Helix feels like a four-hour miniseries stretched out over a 13-episode season. It’s interesting, but just too darn thin.


3.5 out of 5