Helix: Scion Review

Helix continues to lurch along, looking for footing on this island of paranoia and mistrust. Will it overcome its own ridiculousness?

As in season one of Helix, the CDC scientists seem to be not only in the business of preventing outbreaks but also of chastising those around them for not being completely honest and then storming off when the accused dismisses their concern with haughty contempt. Last year, Hatake was grilled: “Why didn’t you tell us there were monkeys?” This year, it’s Brother Michael, “Why didn’t you tell us there were super-fast zombies in the woods?” Or something to that effect.

I gotta give the abbey inhabitants one thing, though. They have many more levels of devious conspirators among their number than Arctic Biosystems ever had. As an example, there’s young Amy “lending a hand” to Fester-clone, Landry, to get him to “play time machine” with the children of the island, forcing them to stone Doctor Kyle and forget about it afterwards. Apparently, this is supposed to get the CDC to leave the island, but it just makes them more suspicious and adds to their already long list of mysteries to solve. Then there’s Anne, who is trusted by neither Amy nor Michael. Tensions are high, sure, but does anyone trust anybody in this cult?

Sarah’s perpetual morning sickness gets a quick mention, but I find her predicament, complete with silver abdominal veins, much more interesting than her insistence that they involve Alan in their outbreak investigation. Clearly, Peter thinks they shouldn’t trust someone who blew up an Ilaria building full of “innocent” immortals, perhaps forgetting that he killed a few people himself, albeit under the influence of Narvik B. Peter’s actions in this episode seem less like those of a skilled scientist and more like those of a jealous brother – a familiar tale.

It’s amazing to me that Alan hasn’t been caught yet, so transparent is his suspicion of his surroundings. His surveillance is painfully obvious, and his excuses are completely unbelievable, even to people who weren’t already prone to suspicion. His investigation of the wine barrels was strange as well, considering how he totally ignored the jars full of yellow goo.

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And that’s how the whole episode went. Confusing details followed by strange reactions leading to creepy scenes designed to shock or disgust without adding anything of real value to the story. The musical scoring of Helix has always been amusingly odd, but “Sunshine Day” playing while drugged children administered a beat-down was altogether silly.

Then there’s Hatake. Dear, beloved Hatake returns to the show in the future timeline inhabited by Julia. The island seems to have become a retreat of sorts for the immortal for some reason, which makes it all the more puzzling that he seems to be ignorant of Julia’s viral infection. Absorbed as he is with his hallucinations of former family members, it’s hard to tell if Hatake still has real goals anymore. His mistrust of Julia is warranted and understandable, and I’m willing to give this mystery time to grow.

It’s not that I begrudge Helix it’s mysteries; it’s just that many actions and motives seem needlessly opaque or utterly ineffective. This show is out to entertain audiences who enjoy disturbing scenes and gross-out horror, and it succeeds at that goal. The storytelling, however, is bumpy, uneven, and littered with potholes. Or should I say plot-holes.

Hopefully, next week’s episode will move things forward. I don’t need all the answers right away, of course; but one or two would be nice.


2 out of 5