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Helix Review: Frozen White Head Room

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It’s amazing how these clever writers manage to provide answers, while presenting a whole new set of questions. Helix Season 1 Episode 5 finally revealed the infamous “white room.”

We also learned the fate of a fan favorite character, and her murder was solved. Dr. Walker has indeed been hallucinating. Daniel Aerov is tougher than we ever imagined. And Dr. Alan Farragut is starting to put all the pieces together.

An Embrace

Day 5 begins with Major Balleseros contacting his mysterious employers. They deny his extraction until he retrieves Dr. Hvit. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the frozen monkeys screeching when Balleseros set them on fire. Were they in some type of suspended animation from the Arctic temperature? If the virus alters DNA in order to make its host stronger, I guess it’s possible they were still alive. Did he thaw them out?

Sarah keeping her promise to the infected Oncologist though noble, was not a terribly smart move. The woman does attempt to infect her later on in the episode. I found it interesting that the infected doctor realized her aggressive behavior and snapped out of it momentarily. We’ve seen this a few times now, the person acting aggressive as a vector one minute and completely normal the next. Assisting the Oncologist with her wish to die was the right thing to do.

We're all waiting to die. I just have a little less time.

Dr. Sarah Jordan

I don’t think anyone was surprised that Sarah kissed Alan, she’s been wanting to do that since Season 1 Episode 1. Guess a little morphine goes a long way! Alan backs off realizing she’s high, and tells her to sleep it off.

Hatake impaling himself on a knife was impressive, though why he required such an extreme injury I’m not sure. He meets up with Julia and Jaye in Level R. There’s a moment where Jaye refers to Julia as “Jules” and then later Hatake seems surprised when Julia is talking to Jaye. There have been little hints here and there that Jaye was a hallucination. This fact is confirmed in the episode, but is Jaye a doctor from Julia’s childhood on the base? Who exactly Jaye is remains a mystery.

There’s a quick conversation about Hatake’s daughter who died in a fire. The strange thing is, he looks at Julia and says “you, (long pause), remind me of her.” In my Season 1 Episode 3 review, I mentioned the possibility that these two are related. It appears the writers are heading in that direction. I’m sure we won’t have to wait long to find out.

Daniel Aerov and Major Balleseros exchange a few words. Balleseros visits “cure-all” Dr. Duchamp in search of the mysterious Dr. Hvit. So, Hvit is in the white room, but where exactly is that? Duchamp tells Balleseros that Hvit is a kind of urban legend. “We are all in the white room” Duchamp says eerily. We come to learn that the white room is a reference to the Arctic. The twist is that instead of a living, breathing doctor, Hvit is just a frozen head. What in the world do Balleseros’ employers want with this head? Are they after its DNA or will it re-animate at some point like shapeshifter Thomas Newton from Fringe?

We are all in the white room. It's an inside joke among the base scientists.
We're in the Arctic. It's all the white room.

Dr. Duchamp

After realizing the security footage from Doreen’s lab had been tampered with, Alan decides to perform an autopsy on her. He discovers a needle mark on the back of her neck.

I’ve mentioned this before, the pacing on this show is just right. Doreen is murdered last week, and instead of dragging it out, Alan solves her murder this week. Many fans were hoping Doreen would somehow survive Balleseros’ brutal attack. Sadly, we now know that she’s gone for good.

If there was any doubt whether Balleseros was a villain or simply sacrificing people for the greater good, well he seems pretty damn evil now. Alan and Daniel discover Balleseros’ mini satellite dish, as well as the message about Dr. Hvit. Daniel heads out to confront Balleseros but gets knocked out. Alan follows and comes face to face with Balleseros, who attempts to explain Doreen was collateral damage. I’m sure there’s plenty of information, we, as an audience, are still unaware of. However, Balleseros’ methods are just plain merciless. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s one of this season's baddies.

Balleseros cuts Alan loose and pushes him out into the snow storm. I thought to myself, Helix won’t go the “Game of Thrones” route and kill our hero off, would they?

Daniel stabs Balleseros and leaves him outside to freeze, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the guy.

Thankfully, Alan makes his way back to the base and has a heart to heart with Sarah. It's a shame she didn't take the opportunity to come clean about her tumor.

In our final scene, Peter’s neural activity spikes. I had a feeling when the writers didn’t kill the character outright, that he’d wake up. Is Peter’s transformation complete? Will he no longer be a vector and have silver eyes? Man, it’s going to be a long week before we get some more answers.

In the meantime, knock yourselves out theorizing in the comments. Have you missed an episode? Watch Helix online right here at TV Fanatic.


Additional thoughts…
Why did Hatake run from the vectors in this episode? He clearly demonstrated some control over them last week. Was it so Julia would not learn his secret?

When Daniel discovers Dr. Hvit’s frozen head, there were six containers out there. Does this mean there are six frozen heads? If so, for what purpose?




What moment in “The White Room” surprised you most?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (10 Votes)
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From Around the Web

    30 Comments New Comment Subscribe

    Chris-larrondo

    Fell a little behind on this so I was able to watch both episode 4 and 5 in the same sitting. I called the Jaye hallucination quite early on, not sure if the person playing her was of any significance though.

    Question do you guys feel that Dr. Walker was there previously to make that etching in the wall or was this made during current time? I think they want to push us toward the mystery of her being there before or maybe she is a clone or something along those lines I dunno.

    I voted for the DR. Hrvit head because that was one thing I surely didn't expect to happen. Hank I was in the same boat thinking that Belleseros was the greater good type of character but seems more on the path of lets say an Umbrella Corporation type.

    Great pacing and definitely enjoying the score/soundtrack. Can't wait for next week.

    Hanko9
    @ Chris Larrondo

    Hey Chris, yes all signs point to Julia having been present at Arctic Biosystems as a child. This Friday's episode features a little girl and we're theorizing it's Julia (or a clone).

    The frozen head got my vote as well, that came out of nowhere but a cool twist!

    Friday's live Twitter chats with the cast are a blast, you should try to join in! Thanks again for commenting here, either folks are not interested in talking about Helix (which I can't imagine) or conversations at Google+ have died down quite a bit.

    Comment modified at

    Alex-b

    There is something else I want you all to know and to read.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narvik

    Notice what it says about Narvik, Norway being in the, "Arctic Circle". Is it a possibility that the Narvik A and B viruses came from this area and town of Norway, meaning they were discovered there.

    Hanko9
    @ Alex B.

    Very interesting, I wonder if the writers will mention any of this in upcoming episodes.

    Alex-b

    Something you may have not noticed right off the bat but Daniel was tossing the room (supposedly) with Dr. Farragut to find Sergio's involvement, wanting to know about the white room and above Dr. Hvit.

    Here is the thing, when Dr. Farragut turned away for a split second, Daniel was no longer in the room, there was no sound of a door opening either.

    Somehow, Daniel, the head of security went all the way to the edge of the base in a split second with goggles and a coat on to go outside to verify that Dr. Hvit's head was still there.

    Also, notice that in a couple of seconds after Daniel went outside, Sergio followed.

    Now, how do you figure out how this happens?

    Sergio didn't have his satellite communications device at the time, so he couldn't monitor the computers inside the installation, Dr. Hatake's office is far away, even using the corridors to shortcut the route time. It would be impossible to say the least, for both to do so.

    Unless of course, both are infected with the Narvik virus and it gives them powers that have not yet been explained. (Similar to a vampire?) Increased threshold to pain, higher constitution, extreme speed, omnipotence, etc.

    These are subjects they didn't discuss in Day 5 but it's some things to think about.

    Skheavner
    @ Alex B.

    Interesting ideas but just so you know the sound of the door opening is in the background, its low but it's there as well as in the captioning "door opens". I think that Balleseros simply planted the bait knowing they would go looking for him and that when they found the message that he had located Dr. Hvit, someone would check to see if he was missing. Basically laid in wait for his plan to unfold.

    Avatar

    Has anyone noticed the complete discord between the darkness of the show and the Theme Music?

    It takes me away ... and sounds like a Tropical Paradise LOL!

    Hanko9
    @ wizarddrummer

    I love the score, it sets a tone of unease and make the show quite unique actually. There are also the dark themes you expect in a horror show. However, the lounge/elevator music stands out precisely because it is so out of place.

    Alex-b
    @ wizarddrummer

    That's a form of lounge music, a branch of jazz.

    That's the whole point I was trying to make, the music, the action and what we see on the set are 3 totally different things.

    Then there is the website.

    Let's look at the word, "vectors" shall we. In the light of mathematics and object and action vectors.

    The people in this series are all vectors (not necessarily having anything to do with the virus).

    You may notice the different relationships and bonds being formed.

    For example; Dr. Doreen Boyle is the Object Vector, the Action Vectors are the Major and Dr. Alan Farragut.

    An Object Vector is being manipulated by two or more Action Vectors, which if you wanted to, you could use the mathematical terminology for vectors and attached each instance of interaction with both the Major and Dr. Farragut in a weighted sense and see who has more, "pull".

    To see who has more, "potential".

    In this case, Dr. Farragut has more pull because Dr. Boyle has known him longer, 15 years at least.

    In other words, who influences who, is really the question.

    The ones with "potential" are the most dangerous because there is a distinct possibility that they're really in control but they make the Action Vectors believe that they are in control.

    Also, notice when and where that music plays and for what reason. That's another clue as to what is going on. :))

    Alex-b

    While it's true that they did wrap the filming for Season 1 but Season 2 is yet to come, that is where the mysteries I believe will be explained to some extent.

    I do believe Syfy will "Greenlight" this for future season, they've done an excellent job thus far.

    Hanko9
    @ Alex B.

    Syfy has stated on Twitter they're happy with the ratings, however live viewing is averaging 1.5 million. Not phenomenal numbers really. The time shifted numbers climb weekly by 80% in the coveted 18-49 demo. Now that's a big deal if the show is to move forward with Season 2.

    I also believe Syfy will greenlight another season. Perhaps if they changed nights/time people would tune in live.

    Alex-b
    @ Henry A. Otero

    I believe the Friday nights are good however, if they would try Thursday night for the following times.

    West Coast USA / Mexico / Canada, start @ 7:00pm, Mountain Time for all 3 zones @ 8:00 pm, just as it rolling to 9:00 pm in Central and Eastern should be 10:00 pm.

    Also air overnight too so they can set their DVR to record it and let people know in each time zone when it will rotate in for them.

    Hanko9
    @ Alex B.

    Well traditionally Friday night's are considered "the death slot." Where networks send underperforming shows to die. However, since Helix launched on Friday at 10pm, Syfy might be looking toward DVR numbers (vs LIVE).

    Thursday night would be a much better option if the network is concerned with live numbers. Again, it doesn't seem they're too worried about "night of" ratings but looking more at time-shifted numbers.

    Avatar

    Just watched the ep. I really wish the show aired earlier in the evening, so that I can tweet with everyone else while the show is on :(

    Lots of shocks in this one. I answered the question above: Jaye was a hallucination, but really it was hard to choose. The frozen head was pretty creepy, as was the rat crawling out of Doreen's mouth---by the way, my husband and I watched the ep while eating dinner tonight. You really don't want to see a rat crawling out of someone's mouth while you're eating fettucine. This used to happen all the time with Fringe. We always seemed to watch it when we were eating dinner, and there was always something pretty gross in the first 15 minutes.

    Nice nod to Fringe, Hank. I thought of Newton, too!

    When Balleseros knocked out Dan I was worried they were going to kill him off, too. I really like that character and I think he's one of the good guys. He feels loyal to Hatake because he is, in essence, his father, but he's intelligent and moral. I don't think he can keep looking the other way for too long if Hatake keeps doing things he knows are wrong.

    Is Dan human? Is he infected? If he is, does he even know it? If he was infected as a kid would he remember? Just a few questions that are rolling around in my head.

    There's a whole lot more to this story than just an outbreak and I can't wait to see where the writers take us.

    Hanko9
    @ Fringeite

    I know what'cha mean about the show airing so late. Imagine me trying to write up these reviews at midnight or later haha. Surprised my brain manages to make some kind of sense each week.

    Fringe is always on my mind! Still miss it terribly :(

    I agree, after this episode I think Daniel leans more toward the good side. Though he did stab Balleseros with the ice pick and left him out there to die. It seems Dan is being kept in the dark as far as the virus. That's just my impression since the pilot. This is already one of the few shows I look forward to watching live each week (like Fringe).

    Comment modified at

    Alex-b

    If you look at it from the stand point that the Arctic base works a bit like an insane asylum you will start to notice some interesting things about the base and everyone that inhabits it.

    Take a guess of what the function would be of everyone you've seen so far in that base.

    I should also mention what helps people understand this concept, the color white (all colors together produce this), is the color of, "fear". There is white everywhere in that location. The outside where Dr. Hvit's head was stored, is well, deep snow and is also white.

    Many of the people in the base are saying, "We're all in the white room". So what does this, "really" mean?

    The absence of all color, is black, the color of the Narvik viruses. In psychological terms, black is a feeling of foreboding, dread and evil.
    Which is exactly what this Narvik virus is.

    Start looking at the colors you see and identify what those colors mean in psychology and aesthetics. You'll get a very different message from the Helix series.

    Be sure to watch the video of what we think is Julia Walker as a child playing Hop Scotch and asking if someone in the corner would play with her.

    Found on http://www.syfy.com/accessgranted/helix

    Then go to the Day 5 of get new content. Watch the video from that.

    Notice how she was, "taken" and notice the color of the arms, it goes by quickly but it gives you an uneasy feeling, as it should.

    Hanko9
    @ Alex B.

    I've been monitoring the Helix Access Granted Site as well. I love that Syfy is approaching the show's mysteries much like LOST did early in its run. There are always fans that enjoy digging deeper and if done well, those fans become hooked for the life of the show! Helix is definitely that kind of show.

    I also figured the little girl in the promo for next week (as well as the access granted video) was Julia. Makes sense because she was "supposedly" at the base in her youth. That can all be a hallucination as well though. Do you think the take-away from this quick clip is that vectors already existed way back then?

    Boy am I glad we connected on Twitter, it's going to be a blast discussing theories with you. You rock!

    Alex-b
    @ Henry A. Otero

    Here is another thing that might bake your noodle. There is a specific reason why Syfy is having the production and talent talk to us on Twitter. I have a feeling they're getting ideas from us to add to the show or to try to explain away any inconsistencies.

    I am ahead of them by several steps.

    Just think of another show where SyFy is using peoples' input to choose the fate of someone on one of their shows, "Opposite Worlds".

    You might have noticed that Javi mentioned that Dr. Doreen Boyle's death was trending, so they made it that she was dead.

    They also made it so that Sergio died for being, what I dubbed, "The Rat Bastard" for taking out Doreen.

    Something else to notice, all people who tweet under @helix for the show that are actors / actresses have so far died in the story line. That's a clue.

    Interestingly enough, there is no Hiroyuki Sanada (Dr. Hatake) official twitter page (even though I am following one on my Twitter list, I cannot ascertain it is really him).

    Also, there is no Jordan Hayes (Dr. Jordan) on Twitter, which makes this an interesting twist.

    Does that mean, that both Dr. Jordan and Hatake will make it to Season 2?

    I am pretty sure the staff writers, actors and actresses along with the creator of Helix, Cameron Porsandeh are watching this blog and comments like a hawk.

    * Wink * * Wink * * Nudge* * Nudge *

    Hanko9
    @ Alex B.

    Well many shows are using Twitter heavily now since Nielsen began TV Twitter ratings. Doesn't count in the overall numbers but they are officially measuring TV chatter.

    Filming on Helix is complete. Steven Maeda tweeted late January that he was working Post Production for the Finale (#13).

    They're definitely engaged and monitoring fan response, just not for storylines. A reality show like "Opposite Worlds" takes much less time to complete than a show like Helix.

    Comment modified at

    Alex-b
    @ Henry A. Otero

    Yes, I made the assumption that the little girl in the video was in fact Julia, however, if you visit the online videos (access granted), many, many children and adults are missing, I assume they were being used for experiments at that base.

    Of course, these could also be hallucinations of a sick mind too.

    What I did notice about the person / creature that grabbed the child we are identifying as Julia appears to be female. Could this be Julia's mother?

    Can this be Survivor 0? Is Survivor 0 actually Julia's mother.

    The reason why I believe it could be her mother is that, if she survived the virus outbreak back then. Julia would have a similar DNA makeup as her mother which would make her also immune to this outbreak.

    Julia make actually be part of the cure, that Hatake needs her to synthesize her own blood to help make the cure. To bond it with the SODRA and then give it to the other patients / sick people.

    Of course, this is all supposition though.

    As a sick mind of someone having a psychotic break would fill in the details too, to make it plausible.

    Hanko9
    @ Alex B.

    Again, love the Julia's mother theory. They haven't talked much about her right? I also expect Julia to play a big part in the cure. Hatake was the one that named her in the original distress call. Pretty sure of that.

    She's the key to all this seems like.

    Alex-b

    Here is another interesting tidbit.

    On a video exists a laboratory, in the lab, there is very heavy metal rack, this rack is toppled. In the video, you can see nothing against the wall, on the floor or in the frame of the camera knock this over. Nothing there but yet it exists on the security footage.

    Either the Narvik B virus makes things invisible or this really isn't happening. Meaning, someone could have had hallucinations that it was recorded and they were watching the closed circuit camera system in the security room when it was after the fact.

    If it's on the video tape, you'd think that Dr. Julia Walker would have asked what caused the rack to be knocked over but she didn't. Which is what I thought to be very odd at the time.

    Essentially what it comes down to, is that during a psychotic break, peoples' minds make up plausible events to connect A to B to C, as a protection mechanism and to help with continuity of a concocted story of their own making. Which is the reason why she didn't ask this very question. Because it "really" didn't happen.

    Here is something else to think about.

    What if what is being called a vector isn't, it's everyone else but those people. What if those were considered infected weren't but it was the others that were. Remember the hallucination factor.

    How long have these hallucinations been taking place and as to whom is having them?

    We are seeing the events happen from a 3rd person point of view (the camera) but what if this isn't how it really is, meaning what we see on camera is actually a hallucination or what people believe is true in someone else's psychotic break.

    Lots of different themes running through Helix. I guess time will tell what is really going on and if it's just a head game from one person that is infected or not.

    Also, this sounds like a psychiatric situation as well, simply put, the white room is another name of the padded cell to put patients in a straight jacket so they can't hurt themselves nor others, when they are deemed unsound of mind.

    Alex-b

    I know this sounds to be far fetched but as you examine what we know about the Navik B virus and what it does to peoples' minds that become vectors it could very well be possible.

    As I was saying on Twitter:

    It is a distinct possibility that Dr. Alan Farragut is either in a vegetative state or is having a psychotic break due to the stress put on him by the virus and the known factor of hallucinations.

    Whereas Dr. Alan Farragut seems to be the center of everything in Helix. Also, these are in no particular order.

    1. He's the leader of the CDC team.
    2. Peter is on the loose, he's infected by the Narvik B virus.
    3..Peter is captured brought to the infirmary and put in isolation.
    4. He escapes.
    5. Dr. Alan Farragut finds an ominous warning in a video, from Doctor Peter Farragut, that means, " Run like hell ! "
    6. Alan finds Peter after he infects Dr. Julia Walker.
    7. Peter asks his brother for help before conking out.
    8. Peter goes back in to isolation.

    Although, you may notice something strange, there is only 1 isolation chamber.

    The isolation chamber when Peter escape had the metal blown out and down, which would tell you the metal ceiling and duct work was punched down (think explosives and physics). If Peter escape from the gurney, the metal would be bent upwards, not downwards.

    That's inconsistency #1

    The next time he is put in isolation, the metal ceiling has no tears in it and no damage at all.

    That's inconsistency #2

    The one thing that actually fits all these inconsistencies is that of a sick mind, meaning that Alan may very well be suffering from a psychotic break because, people can and do hallucinate they see something that isn't actually there, happening or has happened. Also, since he could be disconnected from reality, it could be he is the one killing his team and everyone on the base when he gets loose.

    He has a strained relationship with his brother, Peter, and Alan's ex-wife (or we think that's his ex-wife), it could be Peter's ex-wife in reality and that Dr. Julia Walker could have been married to Peter and had flings with Alan.

    Everything in this series so far is connected with Dr. Alan Farragut which would lead me to believe hes the one that is sick and is hallucinating.

    Hanko9
    @ Alex B.

    Hey Alex, I've got to say your theories blew my mind. That's why I really wanted you to share them here at TV Fanatic.

    You are the first person that has mentioned Alan being sick and all this being his hallucination. I absolutely love that theory and it makes so much sense.

    Until you mentioned the inconsistency of the metal duct being punched downward, I didn't think of it. Either that's a HUGE clue, or a production team slip up. It looks better to the camera, so let's design the rip downward.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. You've got my wheels turnin' now and that's what I love about this show!

    Alex-b
    @ Henry A. Otero

    Oh, there is a lot more than what I am saying right now. There is no accidents (even though there is a lot of talk on camera about accidents happen) on set. Everything happened this way on purpose, just have to figure that one out.

    You might have heard of Survivor 0 and Level X, coming up. I think that will "flesh" out the details about what is going on or at least leave you with more questions than you have answers for.

    Could it be, the vector that infected Peter supposedly be Survivor 0 and be located on Level X? Could Survivor X have punched down the ceiling and released Peter so he could escape?

    Lots of interesting themes to think about.

    Avatar

    I don't understand why Julia is running away from the vectors or why they're chasing her if she's already infected. They're not zombies; they're not trying to eat her. They're vectors trying to spread the infection, and she already has it. Does anyone get this?

    Skheavner
    @ rarrgarr

    The vectors have been killing people, included those infected. I believe it was in the episode 274 where David went down to Level R and told Jules & Sarah that Dr. Sulemani killed a security guard. She then killed another person and was heading towards Jules when Alan shot her. That is why the people on the level panicked and are hiding out from the vectors. Another interesting thing that I will be covering in my next blog is that when Jules, Hatake and Jaye went through the shortcut the lights had all been broken and Hatake said that it was as if someone had set a trap, this is when Dr. Tracey attacked them possibly meaning the vectors are growing more intelligent, plotting ways to spread the virus and/or kill. My site is http://skh.xi34.com if you're interested in checking out my recaps & theories! Would love to hear your thoughts. I approach everything as a logical proof so I find it often helps to scan over the important events even if you watched the episode as they provide the backbone as for what's to come!

    Hanko9
    @ rarrgarr

    It's possible the vectors are much more aggressive now. They might not try to eat her but they can definitely hurt her. Besides, they're scary haha

    My guess is Hatake didn't stop the vector so Julia would not learn his secret. Of course, this being HELIX there's probably a different reason.

    Skheavner
    @ Henry A. Otero

    I agree that Hatake isn't ready for anyone to know his secrets yet. I believe he has more ulterior motives than are even obvious but I do think that Jules is connected to the virus and to Hatake, so he definitely wants to control what she knows and feed her information on his timetable. I write weekly reviews and theories posts so I don't go into as much detail on the multiple message board sites but if you're interested please check out my site!

    Hanko9
    @ skheavner

    I've definitely checked out your blog, fantastic analysis each week. That's why I asked you to come participate in our discussions, you've got tons to contribute. Thanks for taking the time to comment at TV Fanatic.




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