Helix sometimes leaves me speechless, and I can’t tell if that’s good or bad anymore. “Mother” was one of the strangest episodes yet, and although some of the oddities were, “Ewwww, cool,” most of them were, “Huh?” As the search for the cure continues on its oblivious way through the woods, the quest for immortality back in the abbey takes a few unexpected turns, some fatal. If this ends up being the final season of Helix, I get the sense these last few episodes have the chance to wrap things up with a bang.
It’s a real shame that Dr. Sommer was infected and had to be sidelined. His hallucinations featuring Soren taunting him with the chant, “Stinky Sommer rolls in shit,” likely stemmed from a childhood trauma, and it was fun to see through the eyes of a mycotic. But Kyle really has been the voice of reason on this crazy CDC team, and his suffering being observed so blithely by Alan was not nearly as compelling as Kyle’s direct involvement with the search would have been. As it was, the search team stumbled upon the bleeding tree only because Kyle threatened to throw Soren down the ravine near which it grew, so Kyle still wins.
Landry being sidelined permanently, on the other hand, was perfect! I’m so glad the immortality treatment was such a colossal failure, and his grotesque deformity was almost amusing, especially when Amy was beating his face asking for the Mother’s location, getting a hand covered in shmutz for her trouble. And who couldn’t love the Quasimodo tribute as Landry ascended to the bell tower? Plus the soundtrack! What could possibly top Landry’s fitting end, bouncing and falling down the open stairwell? Incest?! Amy was his sister the whole time? Oh, Helix, you slay me.
The problem is Amy’s childish yet megalomaniacal demands for immortality hold no power, yet Sarah and now Julia continue to assist her in her goal. Julia wants to find the Mother root to enact her worldwide infertility plan and “save” humanity from Ilaria’s more devastating Narvik C plan, and she’s willing to give Amy immortality for it. Her arguments and subsequent cooperation with Sarah are a welcome throwback to season one, and their discovery of the limitations of the immortality procedure does a lot to explain the present difficulties. I can only hope Amy will meet as fitting an end as her brother, Landry.
The loving couple’s mother, Anne, however, wins the most gruesome award of the evening. She seemed so innocent this whole season, and now to discover, along with Peter, the long-held secret of the pulled teeth was incredibly shocking! Apparently Michael’s quest for an immortal child included a birthing farm, where imprisoned mothers were given feeding tubes. Um, wow! More shocking still was Peter’s “releasing” of one of the hapless victims. Peter’s realization that he felt most respected when he led the vector army last season was a satisfactory explanation for his casual mercy-killing.
Although its meanderings sometimes make it difficult for me to suspend my disbelief, Helix delivers campy gruesomeness to an audience that embraces its insanity. As long as the season ends with a satisfying amount of resolution, I’ll give it points for effort. Until then, I will continue to roll my eyes and laugh at how charmingly bad this show is.