This weeks episode of Helix puts the emphasis back on the deadly pathogen and those who have been infected. The idea that those affected obtain superhuman strength and a strong desire to infect others places the show at least one foot into the zombie genre. Though I am not sold on that actually being a good idea. Without the zombified aspects the deadly pathogen Narvik was enough of a menace especially considering Ilaria corporation intended to use it to wipe most of the world’s population. This episode quickly alluded to the fact that Alan and Julia were trying to discover a cure for Narvik. Julia revealed readily that she had kept a sample from being destroyed and together they found rather easily the cure. Before even three-quarters of the episode had passed the deadly threat of the infected zombies was over when Hatake and Julia managed to disable the infected and inject them with the cure. The whole matter ended on a anti-climax. I have no doubt we will hear again more about the Narvik pathogen but for viewers who had invested over 10 episodes into this storyline the dénouement was particularly weak.
Which brings me to the three Ilaria Corp super soldiers that arrived at the end of the episode. As presumably this is the often alluded to threat that Ilaria could muster we can deduce that the final two episodes will be about Alan, Julia and Hatake dealing with this new threat. The fear that the show will have run its course by the end of the season seems to me to very real. The three Ilaria soldiers managed to further undo almost 8 episodes of careful preparations by casually killing a group of scientist working at the base, including doctor Dr. Duchamp. this will set a dangerous precedent that unless its one of the core characters everybody will die just for better ratings. In my opinion Helix seems too focused on quickly settle storylines that may pay dividends in future episodes. It tries too hard to make up for perceived deficiencies of shows such as Lost. With both those infected cured and the Ilaria soldiers taken care off there will have to be some very creative thinking in order to come up with new plots to give the show further impetus.
The show is also suddenly hampered by its core characters not being as intriguing as they once were. Especially Hatake has suffered under these changes. His vague answers are simply not as cool or authoritative as they once were. The fact that the explosives he planted were so easily disabled by the Ilaria intruders also suddenly makes him more fallible than what we are used to. Hatake in Helix acts almost as in the same role as Ben Linus in Lost, but Ben never lost his cool calculating abilities even when he was down. The sudden disappearance of Anana and major Balleseros was noticed when the love triangle between Alan, Julia and Sarah seems to move in circle. Only Daniel or Miksa as he prefers to be called now had any real character development, with Hatake being forced to acknowledge that he didn’t know about his interest in little engineering projects.
The last two episodes of Helix were a bit of a let down. I get the sense they were preparations for the upcoming two episodes that will conclude the season. The three super soldiers send by Ilaria are certainly anything but cardboard cutouts as they are led by an actor who is only 17 (Robert Naylor) and the other two seem to be no-nonsense women. I do hope the shows creative staff will stop toying with its audience. Going for cheap thrills such as using the sprinkler to infect people (Black Rain, get it!) is almost as bad as allowing the characters explain why something can’t be done. It all seems a little bit too neat. Next week’s episode is entitled ‘The Reaping’ and will air on Friday March 21st.
Score; 7.2 / 10. Not as bad as last week but this episode did get on my nerves a lot.