Helix: Level X review

Helix goes down to Level X in an episode that is completely out of surprises, but still contains some vector drool. Here's Gerri's review...

Last week on Helix, we covered a lot of ground. We discovered that Dr. Walker is Dr. Hatake’s daughter. Daniel, the portly security guard, was kidnapped from the local community as a child. Dr. Jordan is a dousing rod for random police issue crowd control technology. And the nefarious Constance Sutton lost the virus, the cure, and her head.

This week, Helix suffers a small crisis of conscience, as though it suddenly occurred to the characters that there is something larger at stake. For all their isolation at Arctic Biosystems, there is a reason they are out in the middle of a freezing wasteland: to deal with the virus. A virus that has gotten quickly out of hand. The virus does not just have the potential to create a really, really, bad flu season, it has the capacity to make billions of angry, slime-drooling, zombies. And no one wants that.

Certainly, the characters have been preoccupied. First the CDC wanted to know what they were dealing with, then everyone was scrambling to save the infected Farragut, then everyone was scrambling to save themselves, then Walker needed saving, and then came Sutton with her squad of goons. It has been a busy week in the Arctic.

But by Day 9, both Hatake and the uninfected Farragut start to remember themselves. Neither wants the virus to reach the public, and neither wants Ilaria to get the upper hand. A fact that Hatake underscores when he explains to the remaining members of the CDC team that he was hired to create both the virus and a cure, which he smartly kept to himself. The problem is, now that Sutton has been put on ice, the people she answers to are probably on their way north.

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He and Farragut devise a plan to go down to the hither unknown Level X, which holds the virus vault…and appears to be where all the vectors have congregated. The vectors, who rescued the no longer frozen Farragut, feed him a mug of viscous black drool which causes him to first Hulk out and then become their vector messiah? I am not quite sure why he has become the hive leader, but for some reason the other zombies are more than happy to obey him and his straining neck tendons.

Farragut and Hatake’s plan is relatively simple; all they need to do is shut down the facility and drop the temperature inside, rendering the vectors inert. Naturally, it all goes awry.

Jordan almost immediately suffers from a seizure and starts babbling to Hatake about dying. She tells him about her tumor and the scientific discoveries she will never make. Unfortunately, her tear filled rant comes off as a bit shallow. I mean maybe if she had spent less time on her doctorate or learning about obscure pieces of police issue crowd control devices she would have had more time to deconstruct the human genome. Sheesh. Later she blurts out some revealing sexy time statements about Farragut. Unfortunately this only embarrasses her supervisor/booty call who seems more uncomfortable with the relationship than enthusiastic.

Farragut seems more inclined to look after Walker’s safety; with the safety of the world coming in a close second. While they are in the vault on Level X, he and Walker destroy Hatake’s disturbing catalog of diseases and discuss plans for destroying the facility and everyone in it if necessary. Even his brother.

Hatake is also feeling the love, and finally confesses to Walker that he is her father. This will not come as a shock to the viewers, the blind, the deaf, or the dumb. If you never saw the show before I could explain Hatake’s stalker photo album and man tears in 30 seconds and you would get it. The only person this was news to was Walker. Even after seeing a full on replica of her family cabin from Montana built into the floor of Level X, she still could not get over her incredulity. If Julia Walker is the whole reason that chaos has erupted at Arctic Biosystems, then I am starting to think everyone may be screwed.

While Hatake man-cries over his daughter’s rejection, and Farragut discovers that the virus was not in the vault, two other characters are also undergoing a radical growth spurt. Major Balls and Daniel finally come together in an effort to save Anana and her town from a rogue squad of Sutton’s goons. Daniel, who has changed the most, is coming to grips with his forgotten childhood. Meanwhile Major Balls regains a piece of his humanity every time Anana looks under his shirt. If only she’d lift it up over his head to get him to stop talking.

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2.5 out of 5