Helix: Oubliette Review

A refreshingly sane episode of Helix reveals some pretty crazy details about the history of life on the flock’s island.

Cut through all the pseudoscience and campy horror gimmicks, and Helix has a very interesting premise, especially as it pertains to its immortal characters. In the latest episode entitled “Oubliette,” the show hits its pace and delivers more than a few revelatory albeit somewhat predictable details. And it’s so rare in this series that progress is made with the actual viral containment, however short-lived it may be.

In fact, very little is permanent in this show, including the supposedly grave wounds incurred by Julia and Sarah. The latter is brought in by Kyle and Peter to Sister Agnes, who is able to stop the bleeding and suture the wound. Sarah’s accelerated healing, as well as her pregnancy, does not go unnoticed, and this leads to Agnes’ undoing as she discovers the silver eyes of an immortal. Many audience members may have predicted Michael was an immortal himself, but it seems none of his flock knew there were others. Agnes paid the price for this knowledge, but not before telling another about her discovery. Brilliant dramatic unveiling!

Michael also learns about Jerome’s true identity as Peter’s brother, Alan, and I continue to admire Alan’s ability to see through schemes and learn the truth quickly. A flashback shows us that Kyle is working for someone who wants Dr. Farragut brought in for his crimes committed in Paris, but Alan figures out Kyle’s true intentions very quickly, just as he discovered Peter’s allegiances last week. No wonder Alan has survived this long! And Michael’s solution to Alan’s sibling rivalry is to throw him and Peter into an oubliette together, which of course gives the audience some of the same family drama everyone so enjoyed last season.

Kyle is seemingly the only one getting any work done around here, and he again resists the charms of young Amy in order to do it. As he supervises the dismantling of the infected beehive, she succeeds in being entirely unsuccessful at seducing the doctor. Landry is still slave to her “manipulations,” though, and retrieves a sample of the honey for her. That can’t be good! This preparation for future mayhem was well-executed and believably portrayed.

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I was surprised that Michael didn’t know about the honey, I must admit. He blindly insists that, “On this island, nature does what I tell it to do.” Is he simply an egotistical immortal who believes he can make the world whatever he wants it to be, like a god living among his worshippers? Is he in complete denial about those who are living in the woods? I can’t wait to see how he reacts to further attempts to eradicate the virus.

The Julia-in-the-future plot remained fairly stagnant this week, with only one plot point moving forward. Caleb has helped her during her recovery from the fight with Hatake, and they discuss the state of the viral outbreak and the outside world. It sounds pretty grim, but it gives the audience a bigger picture than it had before. I’m sure the symbols on the katana are meaningful since the blade is stolen in a surprise move by Julia’s mortal guide. So what do the inscriptions mean? If Hatake had a legacy, it may include a cure for the virus currently afflicting the immortals… or perhaps just the opposite. A compelling mystery!

I never thought I’d see a cohesive episode this season and was ready to submit to more nonsense this week. Thankfully, Helix delivered a well-composed narrative and furthered many ongoing plots. If they can keep this going, I may start actually to enjoy the anticipation of watching this show.



4 out of 5