Helix - Do You Know the Way...
...to San Jose?
Whatever the course taken by Helix Heroes it's clear, as the song says, "I've been away so long I may go wrong and lose my way."
I think judging from the season 2 premier of Helix we are to understand their has been a passage of time and in that time things have changed greatly. Including certain characters losing their way and going back to "find some peace of mind."
The song "San Jose" couldn't be any more appropriate.
Also how appropriate from a thematic point of view we get a yacht adrift at sea to open this episode. Lost and abandoned by all humanity, what once was a vessel of privilege and merriment now is a floating charnel house of horrors.
Speaking of solitary vessels, we are greeted with a high speed Zodiac as it approaches an island.
It's Julia! Was anyone else cheered by hearing "San Jose?" It's a great song but in the context of Helix it is totally bonkers. When Julia hits record on her device the music abruptly stops. Was she listening to San Jose? It appears not but when a question is asked from behind we get this.
"Do you know the way to San Jose?"
What's the tie in? Is it Julia and Alan's song? Does it have some therapeutic effect like a soothing mantra for immortals? Is it code that only a handful or less can understand? Whatever the reason you better answer quickly lest you be whacked by a stick. This vignette also provides us with our first movie tie in/homage.
Do you know the way to San Jose, Is it safe?
Answer correctly or suffer the consequences!
Before I get too far, we get a deliberate look at Julia's finger. Is it a prosthetic or is it regenerating slowly and that's why it looks so off? (Please let it be regenerating.)
Another high speed boat has also approached the island.
Also under the category of, "Hooray" it's Peter, Sarah and the new guy Kyle. (GIF thanks to Run Like Hell on Tumblr.) In concert with the Coast Guard, which means the US government is involved, they are to board the yacht and investigate whether there has been a new outbreak of Narvik or not. The ramifications of which means it's not much of a secret anymore.
On the yacht itself we find a new population of the "infected." Instead of the victims oozing black goo, we instead see an organic infestation.
I'm calling these new people, "Veggie Vectors." Like it?
This draws our new team to the island. The crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter, Manitou (a Manitou is the spiritual and fundamental life force understood by Algonquian groups of Native Americans. It is omnipresent and manifests everywhere: organisms, the environment, events, etc. Thanks Wikipedia.) wants nothing to do with them.
The are dropped off on the island of St. German (St. Germain, as one of the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom, is credited with near god-like powers and with longevity. A nice Immortals tie in.)
Peter seems to be in charge which begs a few questions. How did he retain his status with the CDC? Does his perfidy with the Ilaria group remain a secret? Does anyone know he was in league with the Scythe? How is he dealing with his guilt?
Sarah seems cold and arrogant. Does it come with being an immortal? Her healing powers are alluded to and Peter knows all about them. Does she know all about Peter? Sarah also drops a bomb shell on us, Alan blew up the Ilaria building in Paris. Wow, that's a bit extreme. He did know Julia was in there right? Did he give her a heads up? Thanks for info, "Hot Zone." (Her new nickname references her risky courageousness but does also mean she may be willing to do herself harm. She seems happy to be an immortal "a gift" but does she have a suicidal complex?)
Our trio finds themselves on "Skull Island" which is famous for the movie home of King Kong. Later on "Brother Michael" refers to all the dangerous animal activity outside the compound. Like Kong, whatever is out there is as close to being a human without really being one at all.
We switch back to Julia and Leatherface (another horror movie reference?) Leatherface continues his interrogation of Julia. "Do you know the way to San Jose?" Again, I wonder if this is code for something. Julia continues to profess her bewilderment.
Leatherface grows tired of her intransigence and starts to pick at her eye.
Just then Peter, Kyle and Sarah kick the door in to rescue Julia.
Shades of Silence of the Lambs when the FBI was set to raid Buffalo Bill's house when Clarice Starling was about to do the same thing. Both vignettes happened at the same time and led you to believe they were at the same location. Helix put it's own spin on it but it was equally effective. (Didn't fool me though, thanks internet spoilers.) Two timelines!
Our trio did make a horrifying discovery. Layla murdered and hanging upside down from the rafters with her eyes plucked out. Didn't swallow your gum this time eh Kyle?
Can we draw a relation to Julia having her contact removed and Layla having her eyes extracted?
Whatever is running around loose on the island, let's say our Veggie Vectors or a close relation, is plucking out the eyes of each other because they are Immortals and the "cure" has driven them half mad. (Okay, full on crazy perhaps.) (More on this later.)
Leatherface has calmed down enough to reveal his name to Julia, it's Caleb. (One of the twelve spies sent by Moses to the promised land, hmm, interesting.)
Crackpot theory two!
Yes, I'm diving right into this one. Caleb is the son of Alan and Sarah. He's about the right age for thirty years later where he and Julia are right now. I figure he's followed his father to the island in search for a cure or perhaps because he was brought there as a child. He does seem a little unhinged. Is he an immortal? He seems distrustful of them but not surprised by their existence.
Julia's reveal of her illness and the fact that she is dying doesn't seem to phase him. Is he cured? Or he immune much like Layla was?
As we move on our CDC trio has been discovered by torch wielding women. I sense women have an important standing on this island.
This sense is further validated by the eerie portraits of women across from Brother Michael as we get our first look at Steven Weber's new character from behind.
Three women also take an important role when they interrogate Peter, Sarah and Kyle. Although the eldest one seems put out when she hasn't been properly introduced. A clue to her real standing or has she been robbed of her identity as a cultist?
The creep factor continues when Brother Michael meets with the trio. Peter gets a hug and Sarah gets touched. Whoa, which was worse, letting Peter know Michael is aware of his humanity or touching Sarah and thereby telling Sarah he knows she is an immortal? Neither? Just a weirdo? So creepy.
We return to Caleb and Julia and Caleb tells her he knows of Alan Farragut. The above frame is perhaps a homage to the original Planet of the Apes where Dr. Zaius warns Charlton Heston's Taylor he may not like what he finds. A decrepit future where man has laid things to waste.
Caleb leads Julia to Alan's grave (thanks a lot Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.) This further deepens my suspicion that Caleb knows Alan more than what lies beyond the grave. Alan's tomb lies amidst the ruins of the Compound. What happened to them? What happened to Alan, Sarah and the CDC team? As a further connection, was the phrase, "Do you know the way to San Jose meant for Sarah to recognize?" Is it their "safe" sentence and that is why Caleb knows it, to recognize his mother? (Is Alan really dead?)
Speak of the devil and he appears! Why is keeping his identity secret from Sarah? (Yet he had to see her.) He delivers the food, does that mean he, as a man, is in a subservient role as opposed to the women on the island? It seems he has infiltrated the island group. Is he in league with Brother Michael? No longer working for the CDC? Working for Ilaria? (That would be a neat trick if he is working a deep cover double cross.)
Also, speaking of the ladies, they seem to working a little dentistry magic on another female deep within the Compound. We got another dentistry reference from Candace Sutton when she was filing her teeth in season one. Is this "Dental Patient" another Immortal? Does the dental reference draw a line to the Immortals or are the ladies just having fun? Oops I forgot to holler "Crackpot theory."
Crackpot theory 3!
Brother Michael is working on a cure for the dying Immortals. Or is he trying to bolster Humanitie's defense against the Narvik plague? Is Brother Michael responsible for the TXM7 pandemic of the future? Maybe his "cure" killed just about everyone.
The jars of green goo against the wall seem to be variations of whatever Brother Michael is working on. Bad news for the Immortals or just Humanity. Or both?
Plants seem to figure heavily into this season of Helix, note the flesh eating Venus Flytrap,from the intro. Nice metaphor!
Helix returns next Friday, pea soup anyone?