So, while we are talking answers, questions, and crops, I would have to definitively say that our good friends from the Helix Writers Room are up to their old tricks again.
Take for instance the name of this episode: Scion – what is a scion? Well, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, Scion is a word with a dual meaning – a duality, if you will.
Read into it what you will, but I absolutely see Julia as a scion, and the botany being conducted on the island of St. Germain certainly has (disturbing) undertones of “scion activity”.
We heard a few very key lines imparted by Sister Amy: “Isaac and Soren have completed their path”, “my mother’s control is an illusion”, and “it’s about time we took things into our own hands”…as she concluded her “dealings” with Landry.
If there is one thing to be said about this episode and this season of Helix, there are several time shifts and jumps throughout as the episodes play out, sometimes head spinningly fast yet the first one for Scion was subtle.
As the next scene unfolds we see a lush and green forest and hear the chopping of wood. Pan out and we see that is a long maned Hiroshi Hatake (Hiroyuki Sanada).
Unexpectedly, we then hear the voice of Daniel Aerov (Meegwun Fairbrother) talking to his father about a set of deer tracks that lead off into the woods, as he is hanging 2 captured rabbits.
And it does not end there – without warning we are treated to Jane (Amber Goldfarb) emerging from the “family cabin” with a lemonade for herself and Daniel.
Jane is jovially joking about Daniel’s singing as he hears a creak off in the woods, Hatake then orders Jane and Daniel back into the cabin as he grabs his axe and takes off into the woods – only then are the frosted corners of this “dream” cast off to reveal to the viewers that he is now the one hallucinating, that Daniel and Jane were not really there!
Back to the present day Brother Michael (Steven Weber) and Sister Anne (Severn Thompson) are in a botany lab grafting two plants when they are confronted by Peter Farragut (Neil Napier) regarding the disappearance of Soren.
Played perfectly and unassumingly by Steven Weber, his Michael acts truly surprised by this news as Anne immediately turns the fault on Peter, that Soren is now “missing from your care?
I thought that you had him under quarantine?” Peter tries to spin the conversation back to the fact that Soren is missing and that he does “not have the manpower for a coordinated search” and without batting an eyelash, Michael says, “done” – leaving Peter speechless and dumbfounded.
Michael continues and begins to lecture Peter on grafting, on how precision cuts are needed, on how if there is “not enough humidity and the scion will not flower, with practice there can be plums on peach trees, tomatoes that grow in the snow”…now the unnerving part, “if only it was so easy with people, unfortunately the results are far less reliable once you add free will into the mix.”
As Peter leaves, there seems to be a rift of mistrust being formed by Michael for Anne, it seems like he IS the shady one yet suspects her of wrong doing while Anne seems genuinely distraught.
Last episode we saw Sarah Jordan (Jordan Hayes) waking up to a bloody nose, this episode it is time to show off some morning sickness and a silver veined abdomen.
We quickly cut to Sarah and Kyle Sommer (Matt Long) in their makeshift lab processing more analyses and experiments on collected data that fail to yield any positive results to their inquiries, and we are treated to another great and sarcastic Sarah line, “this is like emptying the ocean with a teaspoon, this will take weeks.”
At this point Kyle suggests comparing the samples from the ship to those collected from Soren and Isaac. As he goes to look for the samples he is distraught to find out that they are missing and the only logical place for them to be is the boat shed where they found Leila’s body.
As Kyle and Sarah get into it, Peter arrives and tells Kyle that he and Sarah will go to the shed to retrieve the samples, that Kyle should stay and try to get information from Amy about the children, as he has formed a “rapport” with her. On their way out, Kyle offers Sarah a pistol and after a few contemplative seconds, she takes it, unbeknownst to Peter.
From one wooded area to another that is 30 years into the future, Hatake is searching and listening for the “intruder”. A fuzzy figure appears in his line of sight, and as Julia (Kyra Zagorsky) stops to take a breather and a sip, Hatake startles her with his axe to her neck. “I knew that they would send someone, I did not think that it would be you.”
Judging by her reaction, Julia was also not expecting to find her father. Struggling to convince Hatake that she means him no harm, she grapples with trying to get him to understand that they are in the same side, that “the immortals have scattered to the winds, our time is over; the GXM7 pandemic is destroying us, I just want to help the few that are left.” And the axe is slowly lowered from her neck.
A quick glance at Alan’s (Billy Campbell) doings on the compound’s grounds shows him being questioned by another member as to why he has raked the same spot now three times.
Truth be told, Alan is distracted by the loading of wine barrels into a nearby building. After trying to convince this member that he could go for a good drink every now and again, Alan questions why there are wine barrels if Brother Michael forbids alcohol. This follower tells Alan that is “better not to ask” and that Alan needs to “embrace your own path and not your neighbor’s”.
Kyle is now taking blood and saliva samples from the children, under the supervision of Amy. He starts to ask questions of his first “patient” Lizzie (Kayla DiVenere).
Lizzie is coached through her answers by Amy, but when she is able to get an unedited answer in, Kyle is even more drawn to ask more questions but does not get the chance as Amy quickly comes back over.
Kyle quickly and crisply asks for the next child, seeing that he would not be able to get any additional information from Lizzie with Amy hovering about.
With a mask on, Sister Amy tells him to not come close as she goes to a glass cabinet and removes a globular seed pod from a plant behind the glass. She describes it as “Seraphim’s Breath” and that the Mayan’s used it for human sacrifice.
As Sister Amy cuts the pod open, revealing smaller seed-like granules she says that “nature gives us free will and then it gives us the ability to take it away” and then puts the granules into a pestle and crushes them with the mortar.
Amy also reveals to Brother Landry that their leader Brother Michael and Sister Anne do not know what she and Landry are up to!
Landry opens the box showing us an antique looking mask and tells Lizzie to take a breath, she does and within milliseconds her eyes go absolutely nuts and move back and forth at great speeds like there is something definitely wrong!
After a quarrelsome trek through the woods, Sarah and Peter finally make it to the shed and immediately notice that Leila’s body is missing and begin to speculate on how and why. Sarah finds the boat samples still on the ground where they had been dropped.
As she goes to pick them up there is a crash and yelling at the door and unlike the vectors of season one, this “thing” seems to have retained some of its faculties as it is yelling for Sarah and Peter to open the door and telling them that they cannot hide in there all day.
They bust out a back window and take off running back to the abbey. The “thing” manages to catch Peter, and as it looked rather grim for Peter, we hear and see two gunshots – Sarah had shot and killed the man and he had bled yellow ooze.
Now back into the future and at Hatake’s cabin, he is making tea for himself and Julia – using the all too familiar “Keep Calm and Carry On” mug, as well as a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug. Hatake is again talking to Daniel, as a matter of fact he is almost arguing with him.
Daniel is trying to make Hatake understand that Julia cannot be trusted because she had betrayed him (them) once before already, that “you don’t see clearly where she is concerned, you never have” Daniel lectures him.
A smirking Hatake retorts, “I know what she is, I made her that way.” Huh???? We find Hatake and Julia sitting on the steps of the cabin, and she still does not trust him fully – taking the cup that he did not offer and also waiting for Hatake to take a sip of the tea before she did. Rightfully so to be skeptical, she chose the wrong cup – the world’s best dad had tainted her tea!
We cut to a panicky Lizzie come to fetch Kyle because the children are sick. She leads him back out to the children, but as he cannot see them immediately he questions Lizzie and her eyes begin to dart again.
Kyle becomes concerned and with all of his concentrations on Lizzie, the other children close the circle around him and as “It’s A Sunshine Day” begins to play, and to the BEAT the children stone and beat Kyle up with rocks and small boulders!
Peter and Sarah, having returned to the abbey, confront Michael and Anne about the “bears” outside the protective walls of the abbey.
Beginning his calm, composed, and controlled response Michael is interrupted by Peter adamantly correcting him to be called “IT’S DR FARAGUT!” when Michael calls him Peter. In his explanation Michael says that some people choose to leave the abbey, “they come because they’re tired of living their dishonest lives, but if they reject their true path, often there’s nowhere for them to return.”
Michael declares that no one is thrown out, he simply “helps them to see that they are their decision, once made they have to live with them.” “Or die by them?” Sarah adds, only to be met with “if that’s their path” by Michael. Peter and Sarah storm out of the room.
Recounting that on their journey back to the abbey Sarah had mentioned that the man in the woods was exhibiting “ergot poisoning” – in a general explanation, ergotism can cause both convulsive and gangrenous symptoms.
Sarah discusses with Peter the possible origins of the pathogen, that perhaps it is not an outside germ, that perhaps it was created in the abbey, perhaps even through grafting.
Upon their arrival to the lab, Sarah and Peter find a badly beaten and unconscious Kyle on the ground.
The next cut is of Hatake gently brushing Julia’s hair and humming. We find Julia strapped to a wheelchair and an IV in her arm. Very loopy, Julia questions Hatake about what is going on, what is he doing to her, what did he give her?
Only it is Hatake that is doing the questioning – having given Julia sodium pentothal she reveals that not only is she still working for Ilaria, she is dying. With a twinge of disbelief, Hatake happens upon the lesion on Julia and as we can all see, the disease is growing and getting worse.
Flash backward in time and an all cleaned up Kyle, along with Sarah and Peter go to check on the kids, as they simply cannot believe that the children are responsible for Kyle’s injuries. When the threesome gets to the kids’ room, they are all playing happily together, no blank stares or darting eyes. Lizzie even comes running up to Kyle and gives him a hug and asks what happened to him, did he get hurt?
Flabbergasted the team goes back to the lab and begins anew in a pursuit to find what kind of a pathogen they are dealing with, turns out that it is a fungus, not one that they have ever seen before. Sarah pleads with Peter to bring Alan on board, loud enough for Kyle to hear – her plan worked. She has forced Peter’s hand regarding Alan, however Peter will allow the contact but only on Peter’s terms, and that means confronting Alan ALONE.
Having nabbed the keys to the “wine barn” in a bit of trickery earlier in the day, under the cover of darkness Alan makes his way over there and sneaks in. First thing he sees is shelf after shelf of mason jars filled with yellow goo.
Turning around, Alan finds the wine barrels that he is looking for and begins to open them. One by one he gets more frustrated as all the barrels are empty, except for on barrel with one lonely tooth. It is at this point when Alan starts to scrutinize the tooth a little closer and he is clocked over the head by Peter.
And finally, once more into the future we find Julia groggily waking up, coming into and out of consciousness. She can hear Hatake in the kitchen carrying on a one-sided conversation, but for us the viewer we see that he is joined by Jane and Daniel again and they seem to be discussing Julia’s immediate future. Jane pleads with Hatake that Julia is “a strong woman that would burn the house down to clean the stove” and that she must be shown another way, “don’t do this Hiroshi, she doesn’t belong here.”
He tells her that she was right to come to him that he can save her, but first she must meet her family. At this point Julia is thinking that Hatake has gone off the reservation, “what family? There’s no one here!”
We are then treated to a blood curdling scream from Julia as we see what she sees – at a dining table are a “strapped to a wheelchair Julia”, “crispy and severed neck Jane”, and the “headless Hatake, Daniel”.
Thoughts on Scion:
Now I do not know what I enjoyed more in this episode, the writing, the delivery or the acting. Obviously you cannot have one without the other. I have been completely impressed with Steven Weber as an actor on Helix this season, his delivery of the written dialogue is incredible; it is dry, deadpan, and waaaaaaaaaay to convincing! The two major scenes at the beginning in the botany lab and toward the end in his office, both confrontations with Peter, Michael seemed to get a rise out of Peter without breaking a sweat or raising his voice – so much can be said without saying a word.
And dare I say we saw a softer side of Hiroyuki Sanada in this episode? As deviant as a character Hatake seems to be headed toward this season, it takes another tremendous actor – bringing unexpected levity at times – to pull this off. It was great to see the Hatake family reunited again this season, all of them, Hiroshi, Jane, Daniel, AND Julia!
I would also be remiss if I did not mention the music selection for Scion. The choice of music is also becoming a hallmark to the wackiness of Helix. Completely out of place for the scene, but completely right for it as well, the selection of “It’s a Sunshine Day” – who thought of that? Who is responsible for this? I cannot wait to see what Reinhold Heil comes up with for the next episode!
From the top down with writer/creator Cameron Porsandeh, director Jeremiah S. Chechik, and writer Allison Miller, to producer Steven A. Adelson and showrunner Steve Maeda, this show that is Helix that you guys have created, thank you! We here at WormholeRiders LOVE it!
Thanks to Kenn for final audio, video embedding , additional image selection and staging. And many thanks to you for reading and visiting WormholeRiders News Agency.
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