Helix Review: The Infected Need Their Own Place

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Helix has done an excellent job of establishing its world, mysteries and cast of characters. After last week's premiere, I was instantly hooked.

Helix Season 1 Episode 3, answered a few more questions, including the fact that Peter is still highly functional. He speaks and knows to self-medicate. In other words, this is not another zombie show. That said, Helix does feel like a mashup between The Thing, 28 Days Later, and The X-files.

The pacing is spot on, it’s only day three and Dr. Alan Farragut has hatched a plan for achieving full containment of the infected. That’s pretty efficient, wouldn’t you say? I absolutely love the serialized nature of the show, and the fact that each episode represents one day since the outbreak.

Lots of Infected

Last week, when Peter smothered Julia with his nasty black-goo kiss, I figured they would write it off as a dream sequence or hallucination. I’m sure Julia, herself, thought she imagined the whole thing. After all, she struggles with the assault the entire episode. Honestly, I did not expect one of our leads to be infected this early in the season. Bravo Helix for going there! It will be interesting to see how Julia’s infection progresses and how it affects the other major characters.

Peter’s recapture was inevitable, but I was surprised he turned himself in asking for help. On a few occasions now, we’ve seen Peter’s throat begin to spasm wildly. It happened with Doreen’s monkey as well. The first time we see this is in Helix Season 1 Episode 1, when Hatake offers Peter water. Hatake called it “progress,” which means these throat spasms are of significance right? What does it mean?

We learned that Peter has been controlling his condition using morphine. However, after killing several people and spreading the virus, it made sense Hatake wanted him in a more isolated and secure section of the base. “Level R” just seemed too good to be true though, didn’t it? I mean, if they achieve full containment in the third episode, where does the show go from there?

Dr. Alan Farragut: This secure lab allows us to separate vectors from those who are just infected.
Daniel Aerov: Vectors?
Dr. Alan Farragut: It's what we're calling the infected who are physically attacking others to spread the disease, like Peter.

Before the infected can be moved down to Level R, the CDC team needs to determine which people without symptoms are also infected. Pairing Sarah with Julia to develop a rapid response test, leads to some interesting tension between the two. I like the way Julia smiles at Sarah, in a kind of, been there done that sort of way. Sarah is brilliant but extremely young and naïve. Though it was always possible Julia was infected, it doesn’t seem Sarah’s hand tremors have anything to do with the outbreak. It appears to be a preexisting condition but we have no clue as to the cause yet. Also, what’s the deal with that scar on her back?

Dr. Doreen Boyle is easily one of my favorite characters. She has this no-nonsense way about her. Doreen’s the kind of person that speaks her mind and doesn’t hold back. It’s a shame she’s falling for Major Balleseros crap. Come on, the dude reeks of horse manure. Sure, she called him out about the frozen monkey graveyard. But when they test the blood and the virus grows at a ridiculously alarming rate, it’s time to talk to Alan. I think Doreen is too damn smart to be keeping secrets from him for long. While I understand her distrust of Hatake, lying to Alan is completely unacceptable. I’m hoping she comes clean sooner, rather than later.

Speaking of the frozen monkey graveyard, is this not one of the creepiest visuals of the series, so far? I’m looking forward to finding out why the frozen monkeys look scared and as if they’re running from something.

Major Sergio Balleseros: There are people in the Army, myself included, who are wondering if this outbreak was an accident.
Dr. Doreen Boyle: You think Hatake did this on purpose? Why would he do that?

With Julia freaking out over the assault in the shower, Sarah seemed the obvious choice to crack the rapid response test. Did she have to be so damn cocky about it though? I guess she felt good about herself, beating Julia to the punch. The writers really fooled me with Julia testing negative. I never even questioned the accuracy of the test, I simply assumed it worked.

In the end, Julia coughs up some black-goo, confirming that she’s infected and the test doesn’t work. Hatake was devastated by the news that she had to stay in Level R. He’s been watching her with a kind of fascination, constantly inquiring on her whereabouts and has a scrapbook with pictures of her. Are Hatake and Julia related? Is he just obsessed with her? We’ll see how things play out.

Bad boy Balleseros taking out the one and only satellite dish, further complicates matters. Poor Julia is not only infected, but she’s stuck in Level R with no way of communicating with her team. How will she let Alan know the frakin’ test doesn't work?

That’s Helix episode 3 in a nutshell. If there is anything I might have missed, please let me know in the comments. Let’s strike up a conversation about Helix, I’d love to hear your theories!

Additional thoughts…

Balleseros asks about the research conducted in Level R with nuclear reactors. Daniel Aerov replies that it was “controlled fusion,” an abandoned project. Obviously, Daniel lied about not having monkeys on the base, so the guy can’t be trusted. Controlled fusion will probably come up again at some point.  

The “cure-all,” with a nearly 100% cure rate that kills over 75% of its subjects, must figure into the outbreak. Is the cure-all somehow tied to Peter’s condition? Was it used to alter the Narvik-B strain?

Do you think Hatake caused the outbreak?

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Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (17 Votes)

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

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