The “Aniqatiga” episode was written by the gifted screenwriting team of Adam Lash and Cori Uchida. Produced by the great team of Lynda Obst, Sony Pictures, and Tall Ship Productions, the superb sixth episode of the developing Helix story arc was most ably directed by revered entertainment industry veteran Mike Rohl!
Mike Rohl is quite well known for his outstanding Director’s work on many science fiction, mystery, thriller, horror and fantasy television series that we admire.
Mike’s body of work in the industry includes Beauty and the Beast, Continuum, Arctic Air, Primeval New World, Haven, Smallville, Eureka, Supernatural and many more fine entertainment accomplishments you can learn about at his official web site!
Doreen Boyle (Catherine Lemieux) is dead. Like The Eagles “Hotel California”, it seems that at Arctic Bio Systems Doreen, people can check out any time they like, but in the “Hatake Hotel” you can never leave!
Doreen is the first major character to die on Helix this season. This seems to be the new normal with science fiction series of late. Everyone but the lead character, and possibly the leads love interest can be killed off. Writers and producers have explained that this gives the series more of a sense of reality.
People die in real life, so it is natural to kill off characters on television. According to TV Tropes and Idioms, this technique is also used to keep genre savvy fans from being spoiled by the format. This means that, in an hour long show, you may be able to figure out who done it by the 15 minute mark when the villain is usually introduced. For more on this trope, check out the spoiled by the format write-up. I guess we fans are just too darned smart for our own good.
If I was pitching Helix to a network, hoping to get it funded, I think I would tell the funders that Helix is Lost meets The Walking Dead. The characters are stuck in an isolated self contained location faced with a deadly plague.
This raises the issue that the writers have a very limited pool of characters to work with. Fans will cry foul if a character with great scientific knowledge were to suddenly show up out of the blue. We will have to see what happens as the season progresses.
Dr. Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell) is convinced that Doreen (Catherine Lemieux) was killed by a man with a plan. Farragut believes that Major Sergio Balleseros (Mark Ghanime) murdered her because she knew too much.
Tensions increase when Alan tells Daniel Aerov (Meegwun Fairbrother) that he is going down to level R. Aerov tells him that is not happening, “No one in, no one out. That includes Dr. Walker”.
Speaking of… an obviously very ill Dr. Julia Walker (Kyra Zagorsky) seems to be hallucinating; of a little girl at first, then of Dr. Peter Farragut (Neil Napier). Since he does not go away upon command, he must be there for a reason. She comes upon the little girl again.
When the child turns around, she is covered with that black goo that the vectors all seem to have. This startles Julia conscious. So, not an hallucination as much as a nightmare.
Julia seems to spend a fair amount of time looking at herself in the mirror. She obviously does not like what she sees. My solution – stop looking in mirrors. Julia also discovers that Hatake’s (Hiroyuki Sanada) wound is healing incredibly fast. He answers, “must have good genes”.
Alan knows chemistry. He uses a liquid, then a blow torch to cut a hole into a grated floor so he could break in to Level R. Finding a chain lock on the door, Alan says that it was no quarantine, it was just lock them up and forget about them. As they look through a window in the door, several of the vectors dash forward, break the glass and open the door part way, reaching for them. Both Sarah and Alan make a hasty retreat and check for possible infectious contact.
Since the original mission was to get to Julia, the mission they failed miserably, Alan determines that in order to get to Julia, they will have to treat everyone.
After Julia has what looks like a seizure, she comes too, with Hatake giving her the once over twice. He gives her a shot of something he calls a sedative and tells her she will be all right. Then, as she loses consciousness once again, he is very solicitous to her, humming like a father looking after his daughter.
So, where is Major Sergio Balleseros? He was dragged away at the end of the last episode only to be handcuffed to a couch, shirtless. Hmmm. His captor, Anana portrayed by the fabulous actor Luciana Carro, is the only peace officer within 400 miles, she says.
Sergio makes the mistake of trying to reach for a pair of scissors and gets easily overpowered. Balleseros is not that smart, I guess because tough as nails Anana kicks his butt, more than once!
It turns out Anana wants to know what Balleseros knows about Arctic Bio Systems. She even finishes that thought with a threat. If he does not want to talk, she can take him back to the base and let whoever was attempting to kill him, finish the job.
Alan and Sarah are busily making more new discoveries in the way medical personnel from the CDC usually make discoveries – through a microscope. The virus is the delivery mechanism – the Fedex of the microscopic world. Hatake, as usual, is keeping an eye on them.
Alan bursts in on Hatake and accuses him of using his brother, Peter, as a lab rat. Hatake tells him that he has the wrong end of the stick. There is no conspiracy. They were working on a cure for cancer that would be delivered by the virus.
Unfortunately, there is a bit of a wrinkle. There is always a wrinkle with these things. According to Hatake, they had not placed the gene therapy into the virus yet. Alan is sure there is something, or else why did his brother Peter change?
While Sergio denies any knowledge, Julia finds herself in a new location. It looks like someone’s family cabin; very cozy. That is when she noticed the little girl is back, sitting across from her, playing with a doll. Peter is also suddenly there. When she asks where she is, he tells her it is her dad’s party. He is only along for the ride. Curiouser and curiouser. Maybe this should have been titled, Julia Through the Looking Glass. It turns out, as I suspected, Julia is talking to herself when she was a child in Montana.
To emphasize the enjoyable weirdness of the episode, the next scene is scored by the music from Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy by Tchaikovsky. We also learn from Anana that children have been disappearing from the area. No wonder this lady cop is involved. I am surprised that she is the only one. Should there not also be some federal law enforcement team such as the FBI or RCMP, if the Arctic Bio Systems is in Canada?
We also get the opportunity to watch the virus grow out of control again as it did when Doreen and Sergio had a look at it a few days before. The problem with having your own agenda and not sharing information is that the same mistakes are likely to happen more than once as it has here. If this was cancer, the rate of growth would not only be astounding, but terrifying.
Alan uses the same technique as Doreen used to stop it – carbon dioxide which quickly cools things down. They decide to try the same thing on Peter – cool him down to slow the virus, which works enough in conjunction with a treatment provided by a vodka swilling doctor hiding out on the base (discussed below).
Okay, it seems I was wrong. The writers are introducing new people with skills in a closed environment which is not so closed after all. There is a town nearby with children who have been disappearing for the past two decades.
Now, we meet Dr. Adrian (Julian Casey) who has been spending his time drinking Vodka and watching the Three Stooges. As Alan attempts to get him involved in the strangeness going on, Dr. Adrian seems only interested in what is in it for him. Once that is settled, we discover that this self centered dip is the Cryo-systems expert. They walk into a giant refrigerator. Inside, there is a big fish tank with what look like mice or rats enjoying an underwater swim. None of them have tiny scuba gear, so something is amiss.
His captor, Anana is giving a big hug to someone. It is Aerov. No, it is not. Sergio attacks only to discover that it is not Daniel. It is Anana’s brother and Daniels twin, only Sergio does not know that yet.
Payment for that discovery is back in the handcuffs with duct tape for good measure. We do learn that her brother is one half of twins. The other twin disappeared when he was just four years old. Pieces are falling into place.
At this point, two things occurred to me. If Anana is a police officer, shouldn’t she have a headquarters with a jail cell? As well, she reached over to the end table beside the couch to get the photo she showed Sergio. If it had been there all along, are we to believe that he never showed the slightest bit of curiosity about what was around him while he was handcuffed to the sofa?
Julia is having yet another dream/hallucination. This time, everyone is having a holiday dinner together at the cabin in Montana. Meanwhile, the little girl skips around the table. Julia is asked to carve the turkey. As she does, black liquid comes out of the bird…oh yum. Everyone laughs as she yells, “this is not supposed to happen!”
Alan, trying to save his brother, has had Peter brought into the Cryo lab. Like the rats, Peter gets the blue liquid pumped into a cryo-suit so that it fills up, including virtually drowning him. Adrian promises that this is normal. As Peter’s core temperature drops and he settles into the experience, there is Hatake, watching, yet again.
To complicate things even more, Alan seems to have a bit of an emotional crisis. Sarah arrives just in time to give him a big hug to help him feel better. This, for some reason, always ends up with kissing and even more often,sex between two people who are attracted to each other but will not get physically involved until there is an emotional crisis.
The episode ends with Julia regaining consciousness, looking completely cured, except, now her brown eyes shine an eery silver blue!
The more I think about this series, the more I am sure the writers must have been fans of LOST. There are many similarities.
For example, like the island that the passengers were on, the base in the middle of nowhere, is not what it seems on the surface, nor are most of the people. There is still a great deal of weird going on that will tantalize viewers all season long!
Personally, if I were Alan Farragut, I would not still be patiently tolerating Hatake and his secrecy. I would have punched him in the face by now. It might not have helped much, but it would have made Alan feel better.
Maybe he still will on the next episode entitled “Survivor Zero” since a new character is introduced, Constance Sutton played by science fiction legend Jeri Ryan.
Obviously a loyal minion of the overlord Ilaria Corporation, owner of the Arctic Bio Systems base, Sutton appears in the final moments via military helicopter to get some answers from Aerov and Hatake!
We look forward to seeing more of you here soon at our review and analysis site dedicated to the great new science fiction horror series Helix!
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