We here WormholeRiders believe that Helix is the best new science fiction horror drama series to come along in many years!
As evidenced in the previous episodes of this fantastic show, we have been treated to the many layers of each character, but if you thought that we had seen it all, you have obviously not jumped into this pool with both eyes open. There seems to be no end to the depths of these characters and the gravities that these players bring to the table in their portrayals of a “Mad World” as aptly illustrated by Michael Andrews in his rendition of the classic Tears for Fears song!
After a brief review of previous episodes, which in my opinion did all that it could to jog our memories as to what has happened over the course of the series, I found myself with a mind refreshed and ready to ask more questions. I mean, what could tonight’s episode solve? It has been mentioned before, but for every question answered, two or three more stand in its wake!
We hear footsteps and are focused on a doorway, finding Dr. Sarah Jordan (Jordan Hayes) coming through said doorway, ever looking over her shoulder – like she’s being watched. No sooner is she through the door way when a vector has begun to crawl out of a duct. Now Dr. Jordan is off to the races, running for her life. Until she rounds a corner into a room with a gate that comes to a crashing close, we then realize that she has been the bait, the bait in a ruse to CATCH a vector.
The vector is then captured, thanks to Daniel (Meegwun Fairbrother) and his crew, and their cattle prods (though I’ll bet at the end of the credits, there will be a line swearing to the fact that no vectors were harmed in the making of this episode). Dr. Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell) is also on the scene, reassuring Jordan that she did good, and that they only need one vector.
As Jordan, Daniel, and Alan start to discuss the lack of vectors on Level R, Dr. Hiroshi Hatake (Hiroyuki Sanada)arrives. Hatake starts to insist that Alan and Jordan return to the ground level, that it is too dangerous for them to be on this level. Beginning to argue the merits of “dangerous” with Hatake, trying to figure out how all the vectors disappear, Alan retraces the steps of the captured vector. In doing so, he discovers that there is an air flow from the duct, an air flow that indicates that Level R is NOT the bottommost level of the base after all.
Daniel, with his new sense of power, insists that Hatake tell Alan EVERYTHING, making the ultimatum, “or I will.” His hand forced, Hatake reveals that there is another level, Level X. And it gets better, Level X houses the “virus vault” and that this vault contains “core samples”, ORIGINAL core samples. Alan’s first thought is to question about the Narvik A and B strains, if the vault has them. Daniel answers before Hatake can think of another stretch of the truth, telling us that, yes, there are samples of Narvik down there, and more – Hatake created the virus! Hatake’s response is simple, “come with me.”
Back upstairs in Hatake’s office, he is faced with 20 questions from Alan, Jordan, and Julia (Kyra Zagorsky). He tries to quell their tempers by insisting that he is the good guy, that if he hadn’t been the “one” then, Ilaria would have hired someone who would have had no qualms delivering the virus. Claiming that Sutton (Jeri Ryan) was just a messenger, what comes next will be far worse, “next, they will send an army.” Very ominous, that Ilaria will not stop until they have the virus.
Questioning Hatake about the picture, the picture of him and her, when she was a little girl. Julia has put together that she couldn’t have been more than 6 years old at the time. Hatake reveals that he knew Julia’s mother. He discloses a great admiration for her mother – that she was a great scientist, that she was a mentor.
Hatake also reveals that he visited Julia’s mother many times in Montana, that that was when the photo was taken. But, Julia is on to him, she questions the fact that the photo was taken nearly 30 years ago, how is it that he hasn’t aged?
Hatake seemingly shirks her questions by simply responding that he as a very young man. Then the discussion takes on a distinct tone when she confronts him about why she is at the base now.
Almost immediately Klein is searching for a way out, he doesn’t want to be in the base when Ilaria comes back.
More now about Level X. As explained, it is an abandoned Russian trading post from the mid-1800s. The group looks on as the cluster of vectors seems drawn to the vault. Hatake tells the troupe that they are drawn to the heat of the vault; it has its own power source. It is decided that they need to get down to the vault and destroy the samples.
The vectors have moved away from the vault, as if drawn to something. They have been drawn to Peter Farragut (Neil Napier), and we see them attempting to “revive” him. In a most disgusting manner, vectors spit up their black goo into Hatake’s mug, then pour it into Peter’s mouth – awakening the being. Peter suddenly awakens and is ready for action. His presence and actions commanding the respect, awe, and dread of the vectors.
We see Alan and his captive vector in the “cold lab” with Dr. Adrian (Julian Casey) being subjected to extreme cold. A plan has been hatched – Alan will bring the cold to the vectors, seeing as Dr. Adrian does not have enough CFC gas to flood the entire Level X.
As Alan goes to tell the rest of what he wants to do, we are taken back to Balleseros and Lt. Klein. Balleseros’s eyes are opened to Anana’s (Luciana Carro) pending doom, thanks to an Ilaria squad being sent to her village to liquidate the population, then burn the village to the ground.
The plan is devised, and the group is split. Julia and Alan will head to the vault, Hatake and Jordan will take the power grid offline, and Daniel and his crew will prepare the base for plunging into the cold for a half hour. During the preparation, Jordan is suddenly struck by the shaking and quivering we had been introduced to in earlier episodes. She implores Alan that she should go with him and Julia, but Alan insists that she be with Hatake for he does not trust Hatake. Just then, Hatake shows up and hands Alan a Luger. As Alan attempts to hand the pistol to Julia, Hatake offers this ominous warning, “She won’t need it, you will.”
We see the different teams begin to carry out their assigned tasks. As the drill goes “live” and Jordan and Hatake have completed the first half of their “mission”, Sarah begins to suffer from her tumor. As the power goes down, Balleseros sees opportunity, he picks the lock to free himself and Lt. Klein. While descending the secret staircase, Julia and Alan discuss how they only have 28 minutes and that if they are not successful, the base will have to be burned to the ground – with everything and everyONE in it.
It takes almost no time for Alan and Julia to reach their door, and an equally minimal amount of time to open the door – a moment of truth in regard to Alan’s estimations with the vectors and the cold. Julia and Alan reach the vault, and are taken aback with abhorrence and disbelief as to what they have stumbled across. The vault is FULL – Julia and Alan stare at each other as they realize there are more samples in this vault then they have at the CDC.
As the half hour wears on, Jordan begins to frighten Hatake. He believes that hyperthermia is now taking hold of her. She continues her sermon about all that she has never done, and now never will do. They are now to start to bring the building back online, but instead Jordan collapses, painting Hatake into a corner – help Jordan, or turn the power back on. He decides to throw all the switches then tend to Jordan.
Balleseros manages to convince Daniel that he needs to go, Daniel tells him no, that THEY need to go. Balleseros had pleaded his case that at some point, it just needs to stop.
Level X then cuts back to Julia and Alan as they are making their escape. They make it back out of the vault and to the steel door, close it up, and then start to head back up the secret staircase. As they begin their ascent, Julia makes them stop, seeing her initials on the floor by a grating. Worried that they don’t have the time, Alan does not want to go there, but Julia will not leave without investigating first. She tells him that she does not know how her initials got there, but she knows that she did this, and that she is now here for a reason.
Reluctantly, Alan helps to open the grating and the two of them now go down instead of going up. They go down into the rabbit hole like Alice, find a staircase to get to a floor level. After shining the flashlight around, Julia says that this is it, this is why she’s at the base, then she finds a light switch. She freezes as the lights come on, and Alan is left asking Julia what this place is. All she can do is to respond with, “Home.”
Alan and Julia try to work through why they are looking at a replica of her Montana home. She seems focused on the how, how did he build the replica – to the exact specifications, and EXACT copy. Alan is rightly focused on the why, why bring a child to this fake cabin and make her think that it is home. When pressed to come up with an answer, Julia recalls an exchange with Peter whereupon he had told her that it is about her, it has always been about her.
Daniel and Balleseros catch up with Anana, though it is more like she caught up with them – their tracks went cold due to darkness and blowing snow. Through a heated exchange, Anana was able to sneak up on the boys. Quieting them down, she tells them about the goon squad that passed her a few hours ago. The three of them take off for the village to save the day. They place themselves on a ridge out of sight, seeing the villagers rounded up and being marched into a trailer. They figure out that the trailer is most likely going to be set on fire and that they need to act now. Daniel, Anana, and Balleseros come up with a plan that puts them in the thick of things. So thick, that a confrontation erupts between Daniel – Miksa – and his twin, Tulok. It is plan that relies on the wool being pulled over everyone’s eyes.
With the power back on, Hatake can cater to Jordan and do what he can to treat her. After her collapse, she still appears delirious, thinking that she is talking to Alan, reveals that her surgery did not work. Hatake finds her scar after Jordan divulges that the tumor was too close to the spinal cord. Right then and there it becomes imperative that he gets her back up to the main level for proper treatment.
Julia and Alan are emerging from the rabbit hole, only to be confronted by Peter, the vectors had managed to open the door while they were “at home”. Alan pulls the gun out, and Julia circles Alan, keeping the vectors at bay. As Julia and Alan flee, Peter is not at all happy with the situation, and becomes quite animated.
We are now taken back out to the village, and we see an Ilaria crony pouring gasoline on the trailer. Another has just given the order to finish Tulok, to make an example of him. Now having a handle on the situation, and the goon squad believing that Balleseros is defacto in charge, he orders Daniel to finish off Tulok, thus further putting the ball in their court. Daniel and Balleseros take care of the squad, and Anana jumps in on it too, much to Tulok’s surprise. Afterward, Tulok returns a favor to Daniel.
Alan and Julia find Hatake hunched over Jordan, and all rush to her aid. Hatake steps aside, and Alan and Julia take over and take Jordan to the ICU for treatment. To his astonishment, Alan is reprimanded by Hatake for not knowing of her tumor. He beats himself up for not seeing her deterioration. And before letting Alan take Jordan to the ICU, Hatake MUST confront him about where the core virus is. Now it’s Alan’s turn to toss out the astonishment, he tells Hatake that they were never there. This week’s quote of the week goes to Alan when Hatake claims that that is impossible. Alan’s response is simply, “Given the last 9 days, you may want to remove that word from your vocabulary.”
Julia departs the lab as Alan continues to stabilize Jordan, after “hearing” about Alan and Jordan’s biology lesson. She reminds Alan that it is okay, that they are divorced, and then coyly takes her leave.
In the final scenes of this episode, we find Julia again in Hatake’s office, facing him and querying his recollection of her childhood. She wants to know why he built the replica of her home, how and why he knew her mother. Julia feels certain that there is nothing at all coincidental about any of this. Moreover, she wants to know just exactly who Hatake is, who he is to her.
Hatake pulls an old keepsake-type box from a drawer in his desk, pulling out a photo. As he does this, Hatake explains to Julia that “this was one of the happiest days of his life”, Hatake completes both the statement and the photo by saying, “me, you, your mother”…and lays out the other half of the torn photo – Julia’s mother, J (Amber Goldfarb)!! Once again, the music used in this scene just captures the tension of this portion of this episode, it fills the necessary silence.
Explaining the plausibility of “J” as her mother’s name, short for “Jane” to a four year old, Julia’s eyes are beginning to become widely opened…and then one shoe drops, that the replica of the Montana cabin on Level X is NOT a replica, that Julia NEVER lived in Montana. Julia is becoming increasingly apprehensive and anxious now, and again beseeches Hatake to tell her who he is. I do not think that she was quite prepared for Hatake to drop this other shoe, the coups-de-gras, that she “has her father’s eyes.” He claimed that he had been waiting a long time to reveal this, that he was afraid of rejection, that he wanted her to know him better.
There is a quick cutaway to Anana’s cabin, where we get a glimpse of a warm family reunion, a relaxed Daniel, sharing a laugh with Tulok and Anana. This is short-lived as Balleseros comes in to bring all crashing back to reality, to warn them that Ilaria will be on to them soon. Anana again jabs at the men of the world as she tends to Balleseros’ injury YET AGAIN.
In the closing moments of this superb episode, we are treated to Michael Andrews’ “Mad World” as we bear witness to lonely hallways, an ailing Dr. Jordan with a concerned Alan caring for her, an overwhelmed, dazed, and agonized Julia, and the lonely plight of the mysterious Dr. Adrian, revealing to us where the core virus samples of Narvik A and B have disappeared to. The music selection for the closing act is poignant as it lends to us a sense of complete loneliness with our auditory organs while our eyes fool us by showing us that no one is alone.
This was a tremendously crafted episode, from writer Sean Crouch, all the way through the production crew – Brad Turner, Lynda Obst, Steven Maeda, to name a few. I would also be remiss if I did not mention Reihold Heil and the musical selections for this episode. I cannot wait to see what happens next!!
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