Helix: Densho Review

Helix brings more immortality into the show and makes progress in the investigation of the outbreak on the island.

I tried to figure out the reason why I enjoyed this episode of Helix, entitled “Densho,” more than most. Besides the effectively shocking twists, I tracked it down to two things: finally getting some answers and the involvement of Ilaria! I’ve learned to accept a certain amount of absurdity from this show, but it’s nice to occasionally get a morsel of information to further the story.

This week, the progress comes in the form of a source for the fungal toxin: the honey! Those who have ingested the forbidden sweet are the ones who contract the disease. The young man, Travis, is said to have gone “mycotic” (a clever turn of phrase in a morbid situation), attacking and killing the girl he pines for. It’s refreshing to note that a threshold has been reached even for the cult members, who begin to question Michael, although some of them blame the CDC for the outbreak. Now maybe we’ll get somewhere!

I’m puzzled by the banishment of Soren, but I guess that’s because I’m supposed to be. If he is the key to the cure as Sarah seems to think, why was he left at the mercy of the forest zombies? At least Sarah is making headway, as are Kyle, Alan, and the other characters. This is good!

Peter’s reveal is one of the most surprising, as he speaks via satellite phone to none other than Sergio, who appears to be an executive at Ilaria! This puts a new slant to his desire to exclude his brother, Alan, from the outbreak investigation since he obviously is bothered by the building explosion in Paris from last season. However, when asked to find out more about why Alan is on the island, Peter gets the cold shoulder. In fact, he draws suspicion upon himself, and I’m anxious to see where this brother-against-brother conflict is going.

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“Densho” is a Japanese term meaning “to pass on to the next generation” – or legacy. In the far future, Hatake refers to passing his legacy to Julia, but it’s unclear what that means. Plenty of the most creepy and entertaining moments of the episode are spent wallowing in Hatake’s dementia (Andy Griffith anyone?), not the least of which was the final battle, axe vs. katana, in which a vision of Mama Jay distracted Hatake enough to allow Julia to gain the upper hand. I suppose the katana being passed on to the next generation has some meaning, perhaps in the lettering along the blade. I’ll admit, my curiosity is piqued, and I find myself hoping Hatake’s stomach wound wasn’t fatal.

Sarah, also an immortal, receives a similar wound at the hands of Soren’s mother, who blames the CDC for the outbreak and refuses to worry about the return of her missing son. Honestly, though, if Kyle can recover from a stoning so quickly, surely Sarah’s healing powers will save her life, if not the life of her unborn child (though what kind of life would the baby have anyway?).

Speaking of immortals, Brother Michael has a secret coming to the surface that seems to imply he’s been around for quite some time. There are references to mothers of varying ages, and his current triumvirate acts like the three Fates: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, with the eldest scolding the youngest for last week’s futile drugged-child attack on Kyle. There’s also the suggestion that Michael is literally the father of them all. Color me intrigued!

I’m still confused as hell and bothered by the unbelievable situations this show puts its characters in, but a good story with answers finally being doled out goes a long way towards distracting me from those shortcomings. It is, after all, only episode four of the season, so allowances can be made. Like the many fans of Helix, I have consciously decided to judge this show more in the B-movie category and enjoy the nonsense.


3.5 out of 5