Those of you who follow my Helix reviews can imagine how excited I was with this intro. Out of the entire series, this is possibly my favorite intro as it finally puts the spotlight on my favorite story arc of this new season so far. Not only do we get to see Ilaria's pursuit on Alan, but we get some sneak peek imagery of the "Paris Incident" as shown in a few case files. The impactful moment in this intro however is the character who this mysterious Ilaria agent is speaking with. My intrigue to last night's episode heightened once it was revealed to be the "too cool and innocent to be a good guy" CDC member himself, Kyle Summers. Honestly, didn't see that coming seeing as we already have a double agent in our mix of scientists being Peter (I'll get to that later). Another thing that made this intro stick out to me was the constant cuts to seeing Kyle rescuing Sarah after she was stabbed. A brilliant way of showing sort of a two sided image of the character bringing up a new question for this season, "Can we really trust
"On this island, nature does what I tell it to do". One of the coolest lines I've ever heard from a villain now confirming the direction that I imagined for Michael in this episode. When he picked up that flower, I knew he would use it to compare to something, but never did I think he would scare the life out of his own people with it. Honestly, that was one of the best villain moments in this series alongside the introduction to "The Scythe" in Season 1. Not only do we get a sense of Michael's power and intellect on the island, but we also see that he's capable of doing whatever he thinks is necessary to get results. However, I'm beginning to wonder just how much abuse his "servants" can take from him before what I can imagine as being a revolt would take place. I do understand that he is a mastermind of manipulation to these people, but aside from Sister Amy having her own hidden agenda of escaping, I'm wondering what's going through the mind of Sister Anne after moments like these. You can see the fear and torture in her eyes, yet we see her apologizing with a straight face in the next scene. It's compelling how much control Michael has over these people and later we'll learn what makes him seem like he's above everyone else to a degree. There's also that strange moment where Michael looks at Sister Anne with a sense of disgust (although subtle) to her face even though he praises her as being an intelligent leader. It's when he says "It's a shame what the years have done to you" do we see his feelings about her. Of course him speaking about her age being her downfall will come to confirm my theories about him in the end of this episode.
Speaking of Michael's servants, we finally get some spotlight on Sister Agnes in this episode (although that light cuts off in a quite traumatic ending). I actually really liked the whole "Sister Agnes to the rescue" moment when she tells Peter and Kyle that she's treated every wound on the island for the past 50 years and they would just get in her way. There's that moment where they back off of her once they realize they really have no choice in the manner. I was wondering where she came from knowing that Sarah was injured but it occurred to me how small the island is and how word gets around rather quickly in a tiny community. After she heals Sarah to health, I began contemplating on whether or not she would pull some stunt on her with Michael and it turns out I was right. It seems that there is nothing genuine about the care and safe keeping from anyone on this island as it always results in some backstabbing plan through Michael. In this case, we see Sister Agnes taking an unknown pollen-like extract from a plant to knock Sarah out with after suspecting of Sarah's fast healing as pointing to her being an immortal like Michael.
Before this happens, I really enjoyed the conversation between the two about having a legacy being the only thing that matters. We get a sense of where both characters' minds are with their current state of living. On Sister Agnes' side, she states that even though she's cared for 100s of people on the island, she'll eventually end up just being a picture on the wall. To Jordan, that may be a figure of speech or nothing significant, but to the viewer, we know that the wall metaphor points to Michael's wall of framed significant people of the island. His wall of generations of leaders of the island so to speak (and of course we find out her connection with him in the end). On Sarah's side, not only does she briefly mention not being close to the father of her child, but she delivers a very significant line that leads to Sister Agnes suspicion. She says, "Trust me. There's more to life than living forever." A powerful line especially given the delivery (the acting has began to improve drastically in this season compared to the last). You can start to really see how immortality has taken a mental toll on her especially with the baby situation. At first, I wasn't really interested in her character as being immortal like Julia until this very scene made me realize her arc as someone who was sort of cursed with living forever instead of being blessed. I'm actually eager to see how her character continues on especially with Alan and his situation affecting everything.
Remember that outrageous music choice utilized a couple episodes back when Kyle gets almost stoned to death by a bunch of manipulated children? Well, it looks like this week's episode made an effort in topping that with Kyle running for his life from a bunch of infected people (perhaps Kyle has the ability to conjure up his own soundtrack when he's in danger). Seriously, the same thing that I said about the children scene in that episode will be repeated here. It felt completely off in comparison to the overall episode's tone. It was the one thing out of the entire episode that made me not consider it as being my favorite so far. Being a music producer myself, I understand the importance of scoring in any piece of visual art which is why I constantly bring up these specific scenes and their music choice. The theme music for Helix itself does hint at a show with a sense of charm and edginess and yes this scene does go along with that concept. The issue comes in with whether or not I should be taking what I see onscreen seriously in those specific moments given the obviously seriousness of the scenes take place before or after. Should I honestly be scared for Kyle's life or should I be laughing at the fact that he's running from infected people with a 70's disco feel in the background. I do have to admit that the scene by itself is quite entertaining (the main goal of the show of course), but when inserted to the episode's overall feel, it does feel unfitting. I think these types of scenes would work best in the intro which leads into the Helix logo and theme music. I say this is as it's easy to look over a quite charming intro than to have a strangely pieced in scene in the middle.
Music aside, we do finally get a lead in this season's infection story as the disease contained honey begins to get dealt with by the CDC through Kyle as well as some of the community helping out in breaking down the wall where the hive dwells. I'm starting to get more and more intrigued with this whole idea of a hive full of infected bees carrying an infection that can change humans into savage creatures or killing them in grotesque ways. It again reminds me of "The Last of Us" where mother nature takes over the human race in a similar fashion. I'm more than curious in finding out the stages of this new disease and how our beloved scientist team will figure it all out. One of the things that I missed a lot about the show is its serious approach to medical science being the hero. All of those scenes involving experimentations and studies of an unknown and dangerous virus stole the show for me in Season 1. I'm hoping we can get more of that approach to the show in the upcoming episodes as we've merely stuck to the reasons why these scientists came to the island in the first place. I do understand the many character arcs and stories that are intertwined almost having nothing to do with the virus (that we know of at the moment), but let's not forget what made this show show up on people's radar when it first came out. I'm pretty sure we'll get more answers on the virus especially if Kyle continues to go out of his way to get answers even if it means getting almost killed.
As much as I have praised the many individual characters of the show, there is a tiny handful that does not resonate with me well at all. First off, not only does Sister Amy come across as a evil slut (pardon my language) that needs to die very soon on the show, but her partner in crime, Landry, is just as terrible to see onscreen. The best way I can describe my feelings about these two is that they coincidentally have the worst scenes in the entire season so far. Literally every moment involves either Landry doing something behind the scenes that continues his deserving of being dead very soon, Amy being a bit too whorish in trying to get what she wants from Kyle (lucky guy), or her obviously getting what she wants from Landry by "pleasing" him (let's leave it at that). Also it doesn't help that they were the culprits of having the worst intro in the entire series. My advice is that you give Sister Amy something more to her character than the "seductive slut of evil" approach. Although, she does have one redeeming quality being her intellect on plants and how she created the drug to control the children. More scenes like that would make me appreciate her more as a great side villain.
As for Landry, I don't think you can redeem such a personally hated character (unless the writers pull of some miracle like they've done in the past). I stand by any decision of just killing him off as soon as possible. Maybe then will we see Sister Amy's agenda come out even more through a desperate move on her part. I can already see a scene play out where she kills him off after not needing him anymore. That works fine for me.
Now we get to something that I've been anticipating since Season 1. The moment where Alan not only discovers Peter's connection with Ilaria, but confronts him about it. I was wondering what would happen if these two had one long moment just speaking with each other alone and it seems that Michael offered up something even better. By throwing them both down a pit, not only does the two have no choice but to confront each other, they also have an tension filled desperate need to hurry things along. That leads to the inevitable as we see the two duke it out with each other through words and fists. Much like the Sister Agnes/Sarah scene, we get some of the best character dialogue and writing in this series. I can honestly say that I got exactly what I asked for in the last episode review I did when I stated how much I hoped they would finally clear the air with each other. In this case, we get another reference to their abusive father and how none of them could ever want to compare to him as his sons. As brothers, they also hint at their fights in the past as Alan would say something like "You've always had a good left hook". He also sheds more light on his motivations to doing what he did in Paris claiming that he did it to find Julia. Although I've been fascinated by the character arc for Alan, the show finally threw me a reason to dislike him a little. When Alan tells Peter that Peter could never be better than him it showed another side to the character that I was hoping didn't exist. It's finding out that your hero in a comic book is sort of a jerk (although I couldn't see Alan as being a straight forward hero by any means).
Alan also confronts Peter about his secret ties to Ilaria and how Peter is a disloyal traitor to him. I was surprised that this confrontation didn't lead to us finding out more on why in the world Peter could be working for them in the first place. However, I'm fine with them holding onto that secret a little longer as I know it will blow up in everyone's face in the long run especially with Kyle's tie with them as well. The moment where Alan eventually cages Peter down in the pit leaving him was a very powerful moment the more I thought about it. He would literally cage in his own brother (family is mentioned by Peter in this scene ironically) just to find out what's going on and continue on his personal mission. Although Peter can be seen as a bad guy to a degree being with Ilaria, Alan has now become something more than just an anti hero to a degree here. It's amazing how this character has evolved when looking back to the first episodes of Season 1. Reminds me a little bit of Breaking Bad, when you slowly see the decomposing of a good guy transitioning to an anti-hero, and then a full on villain through tragic situations. I don't think Alan will completely go that route in his story, but he has definitely wandered around on that path. As for Peter, I can only assume that Kyle might be the one that gets him out of there, but we'll have to wait and see what happens after he handcuffed Alan.
As for the more complex aspect of the episode, we get our flash forwards in Julia's timeline showing her being healed and cared for by Caleb. I must've missed something along the way to this moment as I still don't quite understand his piece to the puzzle of this story. So far, he's just been there as the creepy masked guy who clubbed Julia, tortured her, and eventually started to help her. I'm tempted to look up everything he's done in the show so far to see what I've missed, but I feel like next week's episode will fully uncover his intentions and why he's so interested in Julia. In their scenes together in this episode, we see Caleb constantly questioning Julia about her fight with Hiroshi and how she could murder her own father. It was interesting to see Julia's story through an outsider's view on the show, but through Caleb, it feels like he's letting on more than he's telling her (as made apparent when he steals Hitake's sword from her).
Very interesting to see more of the sword's symbols in full light again as Caleb holds it asking about its meaning. It was interesting to see how he views Hitake as "the man who speaks to ghosts" really emphasizing on how insane Hiroshi became over the years in that cabin. In their conversation, we also get a great comic book character shout out as Julia compares herself to Wolverine in being immortal, but not indestructible (funny how he had no clue who Wolverine was). It all leads to Caleb of course stealing the sword before Julia woke up causing her to miss him before he escaped. What does this all mean about the Caleb character? One can only theorize at this point, but the real question is how in the world is she going to get catch him now that he's gone to who knows where? Also, does that sword have a significant meaning that only she was suppose to know about once she deciphered the symbols? So many questions and that's one of the things I love about this show. There always seems to be something for me to look forward to in the story. As for Julia, I hope she gets all the answers that she seeks.
Finally, the moment that every fan is probably yelling about in either excitement or disgust. We see Michael's villainous image in full glory as he finds out about Sarah's immortality. I was wondering how he would take such news until they revealed that he himself is immortal as well (or "silvered eye" as they cal it). I was almost 90% sure that he was immortal from since the first promos of this season showcasing him as a villain, but it was still a great moment to see her covering up his eyes (not for the squeamish to see by the way if you're afraid of needles). Sister Agnes started to become a very interesting character as she starting calling Michael out as a liar stating that he claimed to be the only one of his kind. This showed the reasoning behind Michael's god-like image amongst his people as being the mere fact that he's an immortal. It showed how one could take advantage of this "power" becoming a false leader amongst innocent and desperate people. So through Sister Agnes, I finally got the "Michael is a great villain to pay attention to" moment that I was anticipating since episode one. After it is revealed that she was his daughter, we get the series' most twisted (no pun intended) death scene ever as he snaps her neck. Even though I complain about the series removing impact and tragedy of certain scenes by their choice of music, this was one death scene that was done exceptionally well. I honestly was shocked beyond words seeing this innocent old lady killed off by her own father in cold blood. Not only is Michael a false leader with power, but he is also a psychopath who would murder his own family to keep his secret safe. I knew I would begin to like this character soon, but this episode sped things up for me in a good way that now I can't wait to see what he does next.
Things to Point Out:
-Ilaria's Documents on Alan
-Hitake's Hidden Message
-Michael's Wall of Fame
Written By Fandom 101 Contributor Saleem Frazer