Sunday, March 23, 2014

Helix - What's In The Box?


"Even monsters have their reasons."




Anyone that's scene the movie, "Seven" knows the famous tag line, "What's in the box?"  The harrowing answer turned out to be both stunning and tragic.  I instantly thought of that quote when a box of sorts was revealed to open the latest episode of Helix, "The Reaping," 

Like Chekov's Gun once the box was revealed at the beginning it had better "go off" by the end of the episode.  Boy, did it ever.  Spoilers ensue.



I should mention the quote to start this blog post ("Even monsters have their reasons.") came from an exchange between Sarah Jordan and Julia Walker when they discussed the motivations ranging from people like Hatake to Spencer Chissik aka "The Scythe."  But why bring "The Box" all the way back to ABS?  As leverage for Hatake to give up his research and in doing so, his self?

Certainly it wasn't to leverage Julia, Spencer didn't even know Jane was related to Julia.  Couldn't he have provide Hatake with a video feed or perhaps a body part to convince Hatake to surrender?


Speaking of body parts, did anyone else get the feeling that this particular appendage would grow back for Julia?  She did mention to Hatake in the "Montana bunker" that he was "healing nicely."   A clue perhaps to their amazing recuperative powers?  Of course, we all know this doesn't apply to heads.  Hatake has provided us with a lesson in that.  But how are the two related?  Why fingers and not heads?  If the finger does grow back we will gain some more insight into the nature of the immortals.

But I digress!  Thanks to the opening of the box we've learned that Julia's mother and Hatake's wife is still alive.  I had mused that her head was being kept somewhere but this is even better.  I'm pretty sure Hatake had told us Jane was dead.  If I recall, he had blamed the chained up Gunnar for her death.  Was he lying?  He has proven to be an untrustworthy narrator.  

Jane has obviously aged, thus precluding any notion that she is an immortal.  So this  reveals another demon released from the Pandora's box that was her prison.  Jane being a mortal and having a child is a miracle.  So sayeth Spencer the Scythe.  "A miracle" were the words he used.  Not an abomination mind you, a miracle.

An interesting choice of words.  Apparently Mr. Scythe was impressed.  Does he think of himself a miracle?  It doesn't seem that way.  He did refer to Sutton as his mother but there was no reference that he shared any similarity to Julia.  It makes one wonder if Sutton was his biological mother.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say no.


A similar dynamic played out to start our episode.  Daniel challenged Hatake with the closeness of their family ties.  While Hatake professed his love for Daniel and reiterated that Daniel was his son.  Daniel countered while that may be true he still wasn't of Hatake's blood.  Hatake had no response for that but the hurt was evident on his face.   

Where was the hurt on Spencer's face when he realized his "mother" was dead?  Immortals are not bereft of emotion so where was the anguish from Spencer?  At first I thought being forever 15 had something to do with it but then realized his psychopathic nature was probably more responsible.  (Hanging out with Colombians?  I'm guessing it's the narco-terrorist kind.)  We have a bit of a toss up here.  Either Spencer is incapable of the anguish because of his psychopathic nature or Sutton wasn't his biological mother and believe the latter to be true.



If there is one thing that Helix gets right it is the family dynamic.  I hated to see Daniel go and the heartbreak Hatake displayed looked real.  Fortunately, Meegwun Fairbrother portrays Daniels twin, Tulok, so he isn't necessarily off the show.  I wonder how Hatake will react when he is face to face with Tulok.  I'm sure it will be a powerful scene.




To further the bizarre nature of the family dynamic in Helix we have this video taped scene between Sutton and Hatake that Spencer was viewing.  When Sutton referred to "This abomination" I wasn't so sure she was talking about Julia.  She seems to be holding up one of casings that holds the two strains of the Narvik virus.  The writers seem to be teasing us with what Sutton is actually referring to since both subjects, Julia and the virus, are mentioned in the same breath.  Sutton did use the familiar, "your daughter" to characterize Julia so I'm guessing she thinks the virus is the abomination.

I'm also gratified to see "The Willis Hypothesis" reintroduced.  I hung my hat on that notion as to Hatake's cure for the Immortals and their having to die 10,000 times and or splicing it into the Vectors.  A clue to the nature of his "Willis" work came when Hatake mentioned to Alan, "I have dedicated many lifetimes" to his work.  Many lifetimes of the others he's seen pass him by in his immortality or the many lifetimes he's painfully endured regenerating 10,000 times as Gunnar obliquely referred to?

"Even monsters have their reasons"

So, to get back to my earlier premise, Sarah, I think you just spoke a thousand words (10,000 words?) and revealed the true reasoning behind Hatake's work.  

It's worthy to note in the same exchange between Alan and Hatake the two argued over whether immortality improved humanity.  Alan saw the the obvious downside to that philosophy while Hatkae seem to favor the reverse.  


When Brad Pitt's character implored to Spacey's , John Doe,  "What's in the Box?" he was urged by Morgan Freeman's Somerset not to look.  Because if he did he would change and Doe would win.  Doe did win.  Now that the box has been opened on Helix who will win?

It should be a game changer.  Who will it affect the most?  Hatkae with the revelation his wife is still alive and now being held hostage?  Or Julia now knowing her mother is still with us? 


Odds and Ends.

  • Who is the "He" that Spencer refers to in his digital messaging to start the show?  The one that always gets "the credit."  Don't tell me he has a brother.
  • Hatake was thirteen when he was immortalized?
  • Sarah reiterates she's always wanted to leave her mark on humanity.  Now she has an eternity to do so?
  • The Hawaiian music as the elevator descends and Julia is taken.  So funny.
  • Alan finds the Julia pictures Vector Peter hoarded.  Peter claims not to remember.  Yeah, right.
  • The "Hobson's choice" for Hatake ala Fringe.  A choice where there is no upside or the illusion of choice.  (Choosing between his children. We saw it on an "Arrow" island episode too!)
  • Alan the tactical genius.  I was wondering when he was going to grow a pair.  Well done Alan.


The scene where Alan and Peter fight like brothers.  Again, a real strength of Helix.  So convincing.


The excellent use of reflection when the captured Julia faces her tormentors.  Not only does she see her self but she sees the person she used to be, mortal.


The cured Peter facing up to his actions.  Will this go somewhere in the future?


Sarah rocking the "Kiss My Bass" cap.  Both clever and very funny.  Menaced by Immortals, Vectors and untrustworthy allies.  Sarah shows some real "tude".  As I said in my Facebook post of the same nature. "You go girl!."

One episode to go!

12 comments:

  1. Sarah has grown as a character. A little too quickly to be believable, in my humble opinion, but nonetheless I like her more and more now. I could easily see her having an evil side. (her hat is a must-have...)

    The music they play in all the elevator scenes on Helix is just so perfect. There are several outsides scenes so what do we get this time? Hawaiian! (It's cold as heck here now, with MORE snow on the way - Hawaii would be amazing right now...) The last time there was elevator music, I think, was when there was massive bloodshed, and the music was so.... elevator-y... perfect.

    I think you are right about Julia's finger, bets are on that it will grow back.

    I wonder if their way of being immortal also might have something to do with "transplantation"... no idea where to go with that, but the dying a thousand deaths and all could point in that direction.

    Julia's mother. I have no guesses at this point about her. Didn't expect that one.

    Friday (Saturday) cannot come fast enough! It'll be a heck of a long wait for season 2. Oh wait, Orphan Black comes back, whew!

    Oh and then I watched an episode of Continuum. Shouldn'ta oughtta done that...

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    1. Ingrid, you have to start at the beginning with Continuum!

      Sarah's ok, I'm a little indifferent about her. But with her wanting to make her mark on humanity, well, this could open up a myriad of possibilities. I have a feeling we'll see a cure for immortality without being beheaded. I bet Julia will take it but Sarah won't. She'll want all that time to make her mark over generations. She may become a player for the dark side or just a rogue scientist and aren't they the worst kind?

      Transplantation as in organ transplants? Renewal from the inside out? That would be right up crazy street where Helix happens to have its address.

      Friday will be here soon. I guess I'll to stay up for it. After some beer research I usually call it an early night having to get up at 4:30 for work.

      I think naps will be in order.

      Watch Continuum from the beginning Ingrid!

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    2. Continuum may be my summer watching thing. My x-Files are almost finished (I only have up to season 6) so that might take over.

      Transplantation... maybe like plants? You know, you take a cutting...? Or perhaps regrowth from the inside out, like you said, or transplant the "core" of the person into a different body... could go in different directions, I guess. If that is even it.

      Yeah, I usually call it an early night after wine research, lol. But I might try to stay up for this one, and put my reading on hold.

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    3. God, I miss the X-Files. I dragged my wife to an X-Files convention where the Cigarette Smoking Man was the featured speaker. We had our picture taken being arrested and thrown across the hood of a car by two men in black. It was awesome. Got it on the "Transplantation." Here's my plan for Friday night. Beer research, light TV, nap, Helix and maybe an emergency up to date blog post. Oh, then sleep and get up at 4:30 to work. The last part is not my favorite.

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    4. The Friday plan sounds doable! Except for the 4:30 am part. I may try to stay up, but will likely watch Saturday.

      Wow, an X-Files con, how awesome!!

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  2. HI Dave,

    Your tenacity is admirable. I'm just waiting to see which of the many remaining mysteries will be solved next week.

    I have to say I find Spencer/Scythe just as cartoonish a villain as his "mother". Perhaps she's his "mother" because she immortalized him? Bet he and Sergio are about zero percent friendly. Speaking of Sergio, Anana fighting with her brother over some dude from team evil that she met a couple days ago? EYE ROLL. Neck collar bombs, where have I seen those before. Oh yeah, every show. Time to think up a new personal explosive device TV writers of America.

    Jane in the box. (snort) If Illaria had her all this time why wait until now to dangle her fate in front of Hitake as motivation? Seems like playing this card first would have been more expedient. Because TV?

    Completely agree, whoever is in charge of music choices on this show, A++.

    Think you're right on Julia's finger regenerating, she'll be flipping Scythe the bird again soon.

    Also think The Willis Hypothesis and abomination talk has to do with the viruses and the way their prey evolve. It would be easy enough to engineer a virus that is transmissable and kills people if that was the goal. That isn't what these viruses do. Lets hope we get some answers on why they do what they do to their prey.

    Resting my head in the white room, Lynne

    PS. I'm very much looking forward to Continuum's return!

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    1. Lol, I'm not much of a Sergio/Anana shipper either. Doreen was his flame, in my book. I agree about the slightly cartoonish characters of Spencer and his mom, but A: this is the show's first season - they ALL go through growing pains with stuff, and if that is it, I'm sure it will settle down later, or B: Could there be a reason for it? I would not put it past though nefarious little writer/weasles. There may be a plot point in there somewhere.

      Regardless, I find it immensely fun. Ducky, the one thing I agree 300% with you is: Anana is sticking up for Sergio after less than a week of knowing him? Like, no. That don't work none.

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    2. Completely agree on Doreen. Whether it was romantic or platonic she had far better chemistry with Sergio. Oh and PS this guy you are crushing on is a murderer Anana!

      I can't quite get what they were going for with Sutton/Scythe. The rest of the show is so serious and ominus and the two of them were/are rather mustache twirly and seem rather petty and emotional. I guess I was expecting cold calculated efficiency. It occurs to me that we really haven't met the "big bad", whoever is in charge of Illaria Corp that Sutton/Scythe are reporting to. Does Scythe have a daddy?

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    3. Or does Scythey have a brother Lynne? We have quite the animated Helix discussion on Facebook about this, maybe someday you will join us. I agree, Doreen was Sergio's true flame. Those two had instant on screen chemistry. I'd love to see the Hatake/Tulok meet up but I think it would be surpassed by the Hatake/Sergio reunion. Does Sergio know Hatake killed Sutton? I don't think so.

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  3. Snark attack!

    Hi Lynne,

    Tenacity? In what, chasing down every thread that Helix drops? It does get to be a bit much. Sometimes I lack brevity. Oh, I get it, that's what you are saying. Sigh, insert sad face emoticon here.

    On to the snark.

    Careful with those eye rolls, they may stay that way. At least that's what my mother and several teachers told me. I really want to see that Sergio/Spencer match-up. Nice call. If I may, I'll add to your prediction and say this is where we find out Sergio is an immortal also.

    Yeah, I haven't seen any "shippers" out there rooting for Anana and Sergio; but I bet they are on tumblr somewhere. (Insert little heart emoticons here.)

    The bomb collars aren't very new are they? But at at least they were consistent with the whole beheading thing. What's next, leaning out of a train when there is another one coming in the opposite direction?

    They actually came up with an answer for your "Jane in the box" complaint in the first five minute preview of the next episode. Spoiler alert!

    It just hit me today we may not get an answer to the whole virus thing. Just a hunch. Or it may be just a pedestrian thing. I hope not. A cliffhanger answer would be better.

    Careful with resting your head in the White Room. I don't want to come across a jar with the eyes set to permanent eyeroll!

    Thanks Lynne. (Sad face emoticon.)

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    1. Hey now, the tenacity comment was not meant to be snarky, quite the opposite. And no, I don't think your posts are too verbose. Quite the opposite, I like the enthusiasm you show in delving into the depths of this show and finding parallels with other source material. It's illuminating and makes me think about the show in ways I hadn't. I guess I'm just a little frustrated with some of the surface level hijinx the show is resorting to of late. I'm glad you are steadfastly trying to follow the various threads it has spun out.

      I forgot to mention that I also really enjoyed that Alan/Peter scene. At the beginning of the show it seemed like their relationship would be a key dynamic going forward. Unfortunately Peter was mentally MIA for most of the season. Instead the world revolves around Julia. I really hope they spend a little time on Alan and Peter as brothers in the finale, I like their dynamic.

      OK on the bomb collars, point taken, of all shows to use that device recently at least this one did already establish the importance of beheading. I can see how that would be a weapon with unique use against silver eyes.

      One more episode to see which threads tie up and which ones spiral out further. Time for Hitake to come clean on several fronts if you ask me...

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    2. Oh, just having a little fun at your expense. I'm suffering from baseball deficit and too many black goo cocktails.

      Illuminating eh? If that makes me a member of the Illuminati then I'll take it. (It appeals to my Machiavellian side.)

      "Surface level hi jinx" can be a problem. I hope they don't get seduced by it. Too cheap and easy.

      The Alan/Peter thing was great. I love how they spar, it's so convincing. I'm not sure if I would welcome a love triangle, or love quadrangle if you include Sarah though. Then again the actors make it so convincing that maybe I should give them a break.

      Well, except for Sergio and Anana that it is.

      Yep, one episode to go. I hope they rock it.

      Doreen returns from the dead!

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