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?

The White Room Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (11 Votes)
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Helix Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

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

Dr. Sarah Jordan

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