This review contains spoilers.
2.13 O Brave New World
Have you ever turned up late to a restaurant, and they begrudgingly served you, but explained that the menu is ‘limited’? And, when the food turns up there’s a completely mismatched set of items on it that aren’t well cooked, presented or remotely appetising?
That’s O Brave New World in a nutshell, because what was presented as the finale of this season’s Helix, and probably the show, was mostly the offcuts that get pushed around the plate, never to be consumed.
Based on the whole new levels of bad that the season sank to, I wasn’t expecting anything that wonderful, but the writing in this episode well and truly stuck a finger up to those glutton for punishment enough (or commercially contracted) to watch it.
It started with where it previously ended, with the ‘no jeopardy here’ confrontation between Julia and Alan, where she’s shot him in the neck. As bloody as his injury is we know he doesn’t die because the season started with her looking for him thirty years in the future.
Meanwhile, the rest of the CDC is doing their best to go in ever decreasing circles, Amy is just loving her new look, and Peter is planning to kill everyone, as usual.
The Amy subplot really fell off a cliff, because they never actually bothered to try and explain why she’s still alive, given that she came into contact with the deadliest gas known to mankind. Most biological agents of this kind will kill in parts-per-million, not only after it covers both sides of the face.
Her eventual demise, caught by Michael’s toothless baby machines isn’t even pursued to its proper conclusion, which is probably a bonus. It was obvious from the outset that it would be Landry who is her undoing, and predictably that’s how it plays out.
She’s really victim to a very poor idea that those behind Helix love unreservedly: the notion of making a choice that has absolutely no fall-back position. Because I’m sure when you got up today you put the exact amount of fuel in your vehicle to take the journey you intended, because unexpected things never happen, ever.
Peter has the cure, doesn’t want anyone else to get it, so decides to set fire to the Mother root, because surely nothing can go wrong? He’s so dumb, it’s painful. And because Alan is stupid, so is his brother Peter. But then neither of them could organise enough brain power to tie their own shoelaces, based on their performances over both seasons of Helix.
A classic demonstration of this is that Peter keeps calling Alan a ‘Son of a bitch’, forgetting that he’s also a son of that same person he’s just reviled.But I assume Peter is also a fan of Austin Powers, given that he puts Alan in an easily escapable threat (that we already know he escapes from), and then ignores him. Surely, if you wanted to burn someone, you’d put the accelerant on their clothes, not in a pretty circle around them? And, so the dumbness continues.
The bit that made me laugh most was the bit where Peter goes back into the building for the baby, like he’s doing something brave, when it was him that started the fire, with no real thought for the consequences!
And there the story effectively ends with them all leaving the island with the exception of Landry and Amy, with nearly 12 minutes of running time left. I presume this was the window the writers had allocated themselves to inject something crazy to get a third season, but instead it became a dumping ground for silly unused ideas.
Kyle and Soren are the heroes, Julia’s been played by the Ilaria Corp, and From Here To Eternity is not so subtly playing on the hospital TVs.
There’s a final reveal as to who Caleb really is, which like the rest of Helix makes no sense whatsoever. It makes none because of the way he reacts initially to Julia, having already met her thirty years previously, and that for it to be who it is, he’d be at least ten years younger than the actor Jim Thorburn is who plays him.
But the bigger issue is what difference this makes at all, because the future Soren doesn’t do anything of great significance other than to chop Michael’s head off. Something he’s had thirty years to do, given that he knew where he was all the time.
The other twist thrown in here with zero impact was that to keep Alan alive she made him immortal too, or was it to annoy the hell out of him? Whatever.
Then, I can only assume because they had unspent budget, they created a glossy Ilaria Fresh commercial, and an overly future tech looking baby sequence where the immortals become the means for people to reproduce, or those that can afford it fourteen years in the future. Eh? And, for good measure, because the actress is under contract, this project is run by Sarah.
To say that this all seemed remarkably half-baked is making more of it than there is, because these are previously rejected ideas dressed up as plot, and at no point did any of it show an underlying structure or any hint of intention.
And there Helix ends, after one of the most tortuous seasons of TV I’ve ever had the misfortune of watching.
What really annoys me is that there are great shows I’ve covered, like Almost Human last year, which deserved another season, and didn’t get it. And there is Helix, a train-wreck of a show with no likeable characters or working narrative that gets another season and does this with that opportunity!I can’t seriously believe there will be another season, and if there is I most certainly won’t be reviewing it.
Read Billy’s review of the previous episode, The Ascendant, here.
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