Well, if Helix does get a third season, it has set itself up for a complete reinvention again just as it did between seasons one and two. No one can accuse this series of leaving too many conflicts unresolved. However, turning everything on its head has consequences for the buy-in of the audience as well. The plot twists turned the viewers’ heads around so many times, it was difficult to get a complete picture of what was being revealed. “O Brave New World” was a fairly successful finale (and perhaps even an appropriate series finale), but the scattered storytelling left my head spinning.
The characters in Helix spend a lot of time wandering around looking for someone who escaped them or going back for something that they lost. This week, Julia lost Alan and the samples of the Mother Tree and spent much of the episode tracking him down to… the Mother Tree. Anne’s baby was lost for awhile but was eventually returned to her without a whole lot to show for it other a strange and winding journey for Amy and Landry.
And how about that Quasimodo couple, huh? Oh yes, it was horrific; oh my, it was hard to look at; oh goodness, Amy is such a terrible person. Wait, why am I watching this? Amy’s deformity and, her desire to do “whatever I want,” and her eventual fate at the hands of the toothless ones seemed to serve no other purpose than to give a little extra comeuppance to a character who was so easy to despise. But was it needed? If she had died in the CDC raid with her face melting off (which she should have), wasn’t that enough? Apparently not.
I am kind of glad, though, that Soren ended up being so important both for the mycosis cure and the cure for TXM-7. And you’ll notice that he had no trouble tracking down Peter in order to stab him, unlike his wandering adult counterparts. Bringing the identity of Caleb and the “Do you know the way to San Jose” code phrase full circle was one of the more satisfying resolutions of the episode. I fell victim, along with many others I’m sure, to the idea that Caleb had to be the immortal baby or perhaps the adopted child of Peter and Anne.
Perhaps the misdirection was a bit too successful since, after all the trouble Sarah went through of schlepping her immortal fetus around, the baby didn’t make it. I almost think the writers might be trying to fool us. Would they really use such an unusual birth just to motivate Sarah to work in population control in 2029? Don’t you want to do something with the stem cells or something equally gruesome? I definitely wanted more payoff from this subplot.
Some of the shocking moments that were piled up at the end of the episode were effective albeit overwhelming at times. It had occurred to me that Narvik C, for example, was a fabrication designed to force Julia to go after the infertility virus on St. Germaine. Likewise, Kyle giving the “Olivia” cure to the CDC and the safe deposit box information to the authorities was a nice bit of resolution. But one surprise that left me scratching my head, as cool as it was, was Alan’s transformation into an immortal. The irony is not lost on me, but the whys and the wherefores are.
Where to next Helix? Will you be relegated to the archives of thrillingly bad science fiction television, or will you reach new heights of absurdity in future seasons? Given the levels of suspension of disbelief required to watch the show, I’d pretty much accept whatever fate has in store for this show. I criticize the show quite a bit, but more often than not, I find myself having fun doing it.
And in the end, that’s probably the whole point.