Helix Review: The Hand of Man

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Damn you, Balleseros, did you have to go and do that?

I had a feeling my favorite characters would not be making it out of Arctic Biosystems alive. I'm getting ahead of myself, though. Let's start at the top shall we?

Helix Season 1 Episode 4 continued to provide answers, while simultaneously introducing brand new mysteries. The X-Files and Lost, a couple of my favorite shows of all time, always did a masterful job of this. Helix is definitely right up there with those classics, plus a touch of The Walking Dead's ruthlessness.

Yes, friends, tonight we learned that even our favorite characters aren't safe.

Again, Day 4 picks up right where we left off last week. Julia is stuck in Level R, with several infected patients who are hatching a plan to cut off the oxygen supply upstairs. She objects and gets sent packing.

Thankfully, a stranger in a biohazard suit comes to her rescue. Part of me thought this savior was Hatake, who had taken a secret passageway down to the lower level. Well, I was half right, Hatake's got a secret passageway.

Alan questions whether the satellite explosion was an accident, while Hatake drinks out of his "keep calm and carry on" mug. That's a brilliant detail, as Hatake is the epitome of calm on this show. Hatake reminds Alan that moving the infected to Level R was his idea and they must be abandoned for now. We learn the base has periodic supply drops, which I'm sure will come into play at some point.

With so many questions still up in the air, I think Alan made the right decision to give Peter the cure-all (SODRA). It allowed Peter to be lucid for a short while and we find out his affair with Julia was ongoing. Alan was surprised to discover this was not just a one time thing.

Didn't Julia tell Alan it only happened the one time? Now I'm not sure, but I could have sworn she had. We also find out that Hatake had Peter performing animal necropsies, nothing related to mutagens. Once again, Hatake seemed mostly interested in Julia. I realize Peter ends up in a vegetative state, but what if combining the Narvik-B with SODRA completes his transformation?

At one point, I caught Balleseros say to Hatake "you made a virus." This should have been a red flag that the guy knew all along what was going on. He tells Doreen that he's special investigations from the Pentagon.

Why exactly was he playing this game with Doreen? Was there truth to any of it? Did Balleseros simply use poor Doreen to confirm that the virus was man made?

You don't have the intellectual capacity to evaluate my work.

Dr. Hiroshi Hatake

The person in the biohazard suit turns out to be a young woman. She saves Julia from a rampaging vector. The two go looking for a hidden food supply (Cheez Whiz?) and come across a child's writing on the wall. Julia quickly realizes it's not only her initials, but it is her handwriting as well. Since Level R is the earliest stage of Arctic Biosystems, it is possible she had been there as a child.

What exactly is her connection to Hatake? Of course, Julia is infected, so she could be hallucinating the whole thing.

Another interesting revelation this episode was that Sarah is not infected but has a tumor. This explains the hand tremors and medication she takes.

What about the strange scar on her back? The doctor who comes to Sarah claiming to be sick happens to be an Oncologist. When the woman starts hallucinating, Sarah realizes the test doesn't work. I thought they might drag out the test's failure a bit more, but once again the pacing on Helix is just right. Alan is made aware the test is faulty and he tells Sarah to fix it.

Balleseros kept looking strangely at Doreen all episode. Especially, when she tells him the virus was "designed." Of course, he already knew that didn't he?

Someone designed this virus and it sure as shit wasn't mother nature. We're looking at the hand of man here.

Dr. Doreen Boyle

Hatake's secret spiral staircase is yet another one of this guy's secrets. He and Daniel confront the infected doctors responsible for cutting the oxygen to the base. It was interesting that Hatake managed to talk them into restarting the oxygen, only to kill them afterwards.

Hatake is definitely cold and calculating. Even Daniel was surprised by his actions. This episode Daniel came across much more like a pawn in Hatake's game.

The infected Oncologist tells Sarah she knew she would protect her from them. The infected always seem to mention "we" or "them." Do the infected share a collective consciousness? Sarah ends up taking morphine to calm the shakes, not a good sign.

Poor Doreen seals her fate, when she informs Balleseros that the single strand is completely unknown. What is that specific trait the designers of the virus want to manifest in humans? Personally, I doubt the answer is as simple as a super soldier serum or something along those lines. I mentioned earlier that we said goodbye to one of my favorite characters this episode. R.I.P. Dr. Doreen Boyle.

I have read several theories, where fans think Hatake has gone through and survived the virus. This is why his eyes glow white (opposite of the black-goo.) Whatever is going on with Hatake, that vector stepping out of his way at the end is proof he's not quite human.

What do you think of Major Sergio Balleseros after this episode?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (16 Votes)

Henry A. Otero is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Helix Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

You don't have the intellectual capacity to evaluate my work.

Dr. Hiroshi Hatake

Someone designed this virus and it sure as shit wasn't mother nature. We're looking at the hand of man here.

Dr. Doreen Boyle