Sunday, January 26, 2014

Helix - The Beast Within.


As Charlie Brown would say,


I think we all knew Doreen wasn't long for this world.  (Especially, if you checked her IMDB page.)



But I think her death at the hands of Major Balleseros was bitter indeed.

Murder, mayhem and betrayal stalked the most recent episode of Helix, "Single Strand."  It was the discovery of that "single strand" that ultimately led Major Sergio Balleseros to eliminate Doreen.  He was playing her for a patsy and using her until she confirmed the findings he needed to know.

I think when he said to her, "I like you too" he meant it.  The two seemed to have real chemistry and certainly they were thick as thieves with the little secret they kept from Dr. Alan Farragut.  United with the same goal and seeking to help others, Doreen and Sergio made quite the dynamic duo.

That ended.  (No more snarky quips like that, "Fox Mulder crap" from her!)

As the viewing audience, we had the right to suspect Sergio and as the episode proceeded we got further confirmation that Dr. Hatake and he were working together.  As Sergio noted to Hatake, the virus that was created did not come, "as advertised" and as promised to "our employers."


The betrayal continued as Dr. Hatake, with security man Daniel in tow, met with the three, "not so wise men" and extended an olive branch to them in order to get the oxygen scrubbers back on.  Like Sergio, Hatake was willing to murder the people that trusted him in order to cover up his machinations.

But what is it exactly they are covering up?

We learned a little more about the virus this past episode thanks to Doreen.  She discovered a genetic message that was, "a massive splice job" in a "completely unidentified single strand" that stood to change people, "from the inside out."

Super humans?  Super soldiers? (Very X-Filey.) Super mystery!



I like the byzantine nature of this show.  Not only does the plot have many twists and turns but the facility itself seemingly goes on forever and contains many secret rooms, alcoves and stairwells.  An architecture that lends itself to the paranoid and claustrophobic nature of the show.  I half expect a Minotaur to be guarding the labyrinth of pathways or like in Dante's Inferno, lay in wait near the seventh circle of Hell.





Doesn't it follow logically that we'll come across a beast of such nature in this show?  If the virus looks to change people from the inside out and perhaps convert them to some sort of super human or soldier then shouldn't we expect to see one of our characters converted into such a man/beast?



I have a candidate!  Let's face it, Daniel is a bit brutish already and he'd make a perfect Minotaur to guard Hatake's secrets.


Then again, if we are looking for a super soldier then why not start with one that has the makings already?  (It was certainly beastly what he did to Doreen!)


I suppose if we are going to pursue the metaphor of the beast guarding the gated secrets then Hatake should be the prime suspect.


He doesn't even have to transform himself into some sort of zombified freak much like the one he stared down as he proceeded along the hallways.  As posited before, he may have already infected himself, applied the SODRA cure and survived the consequences.  He has just chosen not to reveal himself.


Speaking of reveals, Dr. Julia Walker found herself not to be alone in her own private circle of Hell.


We meet the lovely, "Jaye" who along with Julia has been separated from the rest and left to fend for herself.  She seems resourceful and every bit the survivor such as "Newt" from the Aliens movie.


It is along with Jaye that Julia discovers one of the real mind benders of this series.  We know Hatake is interested in Julia and we learned from the temporarily cured, Peter, that Hatake has a bit of obsession for her and he relays this on to Alan.

What is the nature of this obsession?  Has Julia been there before?  As what, a child?  How long has this facility been around???!!!

Evil can take on many forms in this show.  Not the least of which is the murderous bent of some of it's characters whether the have been infected or not.  How much further must we descend into the depths of Hell before we find out what is really going on?  The advertising for this series reminds you of the consequences when one attempts to play God.  Perhaps that is a bit of a canard in and of itself.  As Doreen noted, the single strand seeks to manifest a trait.

Maybe it is not God that we'll find at the end of the maze but the Beast that is already within.








 

11 comments:

  1. And why in the official cast/character photos was Balleseros the only one standing in front of a red background? The fires of Hell? Oh, and I have to admit that it was Sergio who blew up the dish; I really thought we were being distracted by "someone in ACUs."

    Alan gets a clue, I think, next episode. Doreen's body is face down under the shelving. It would have been more natural for her to be face up.

    I liked the revelation from Peter that he and Julia had been doin' the dirty together for an extended period. Says a lot about Julia's profession to Alan while they were suiting up on Day 1 that she hadn't seen Peter "since that night.". The write-up on i09.com says they had seen each other right before the infection. I didn't get that from watching, but...

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    1. That's right, Sergio is Hell spawn! I saw a teaser where he gets denied evac. Maybe he won't be so inclined to damage the facilities if he is going to be stuck there with the rest of them.

      io9 may have seen a little more of the series than we have. I wonder if Julia is deliberately hiding things from Alan or legitimately can't remember them. She was surprised to see her scrawl on the wall so maybe she has an excuse for not being forthcoming. Maybe.

      Do you think Alan comes off as a little clueless? He has "acted out" when it comes to Peter and Julia.

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  2. Drat... I enjoyed the character of Doreen, and enjoyed the relationship between her and Belleros. I didn't enjoy getting all invsted in the characters to have the rug pulled out, but well, I guess thems the breaks.

    Seeing the "virus" concede authority to Hatake at the end was very chilling, for some reason. A virus, an illness, with enough control over the host to recognize its "creator", its own personal god, sent chills up my spine.

    And indeed, I'm betting Hatake had something to do with Julia having been there before, and having such interest in her. A bit of an Olivia Dunham, methinks, as she likely had something done to her at that time, and now perhaps she is ready to "come into her power", or whatever will happen.

    Daniel. He seemed like a simple guard at first, but maybe he will develop a conscience? He seemed honestly shocked by Hatake's actions. Will be curious to see what he does.

    The revelation from Peter was interesting indeed, though not too surprising. Well delivered... those two actors work well together.

    Can't wait to see what's next! I will really miss Doreen. She was different, she was interesting.

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    1. Nice usage of "drat' Ingrid.

      Yes, I think they should have kept Doreen on. I have a fairly low tolerance for snark. But her pop culture references were precious. A little levity here and there with a show like this is valuable. And I really do think she had some on screen chemistry with Sergio.

      As far as the virus "conceding" authority, it makes me wonder if Hatake is infected also, he just has control over it. Not sure on that one. He could be "Alpha" to that group infected or not. That scene was similar to what was explored in the movie "World War Z". If you're sick already the zombie virus ignores you. (It only looks for a healthy host.)

      I'm excited to see where the mystery between Hatake and Julia goes. It is very "Fringey". You're right Daniel was shocked. He was protecting Hatake when he shot that "Vector". Hatake had "malice aforethought."

      Bring back zombie Doreen!

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    2. I agree with your low tolerance of snark - it is vastly overused these days. This show is quite dark and serious, however, and as much as I enjoy it this way, a little humor is nice. And coming from a character like Doreen, it made perfect sense for her to be that way.

      Nice point about the fact that maybe the virus concedes to Hatake because he too is infected. Could be. Or another play on the god mythology, a bit like the nanites on Revolution.

      Haha... zombie Doreen... Could happen! Except she might be missing her face after those rats were through with her. Poor girl, nasty way to go.

      Jim in Georgia - interesting idea, that is something to consider.

      Duckyislost - Agreed! Doreen was the most relatable! After her, both Hatake's bodyguard and the idiot who killed Doreen are the characters I'm wondering about - how they will develop. The geek from Almost Human should be in here somewhere... :-D

      Can't wait to see what happens... (helps me forget about my back issue!)

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  3. I just remembered. It was Doreen who said "Frak" in Episode 1. We'll miss ye, lassie.

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    1. I briefly entertained the thought she would be infected and come back as some sort of zombie wise guy. But no one has come back from the dead on this show. (Yet.)

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    2. "Yet" is a good qualifier. I'm pretty sure we're not through with Peter (yet), although he would seem to be flat-lining at this point.

      RE your response to Ingrid, I don't think Hiroshi is infected; I think he's survived (post-infected?) and is now a "changed" man. The definition of changed is in the to be revealed category.

      Over on the wiki where we have the who's the most interesting character poll, Hiroshi has 31 out of 54 votes (57%). Alan and Daniel each have zero!

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    3. I'll have to go over to the poll and reassert my "interest" in Julia. I think I'm getting a bit of a TV crush on her. (Don't tell Jenny over at Sleepy Hollow.)

      My ideas about Hatake are just theoretical. Or perhaps wishful thinking. Sometimes I go beyond the scope of the shows I watch and reach the outer limits. But infected or post infected, I think the single strand that may have been activated in him has changed him. If indeed he was infected. I actually hope so. No offense Hatake.

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  4. Why oh why did you have to kill off Doreen so soon show? She was the most relatable character, perhaps Jaye now swoops in to take her place? Only please keep the gas mask on, yes the virus isn't airborn (yet), but the mask is a barrier to mouth to mouth transmission. Ingrid I love the Olivia Dunham parallel! Does anyone else get an Agent Coulson Tahiti vibe when Julia talks about Montana? Like her memories of Montana were put there to cover her real childhood memories?

    So Sara pretty much crumbled in the space of two episodes. I still hold that her illness renders her immune to the virus. Perhaps the lady doctor she saved will try to infect her next episode. I don't get why Sara is outright lying to Alan at this point and staying in close proximity to a potential vector. The doctor says I knew you would save me from "them", again not "it".

    If what Sergio says is true (virus has opposite of the intended effect), was the original intent to make the infected submissive? Then it went the opposite direction and made them hyper aggressive? (This would be very like the Miranda population turned Reavers in Firefly/Serenity.) But as we saw in the end, they are also submissive, to Hatake. Did he hijack the original directive to create a personal army?

    So was Peter working at the base simply a ploy to get Julia to return there?

    Lynne

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    1. I like how you characterized Doreen as "relateable." Indeed she was. A normal person, one of us. Not eye candy like Jaye. I hope that isn't why Doreen was let go. She wasn't cute enough.

      Sarah is a cipher. I think they are still thinking through her character. Maybe she will develop like Captain Irving did on Sleepy Hollow. Like I mentioned to Ingrid above and before on these pages, Sarah could be damaged goods and that is why the virus ignores her. Just like in "World War Z."

      You may have hit the nail on the head. Hatake may have hijacked the original intent of the virus and made it his own for whatever reason. OR!

      The self preservation trait of the virus may have kicked in and now the infected Hatake is protecting his brood unintentionally. Either way, it's his baby!

      Is Peter "Julia bait?' Good question. Peter seemed to be trustworthy on his gurney confiding to his brother. Or it could be the virus self preservation trait kicking in and telling Alan half truths.

      Such a clever virus!

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