Helix Season 1 Review “Aniqatiga”

Helix Episode 5 The White Room (1)

The disparate strands that make up the DNA of Helix bonded beautifully in this week’s captivating episode. “Aniqatiga” continued to build upon the strong character interactions that have elevated the previous two entries. It also expanded the series’ overall mythology in a manner that felt natural and for the first time gave me hope that this may be a show with more than one season’s worth of material.

Inside the base, progress is being made. Alan (Billy Campbell) and Sarah (Jordan Hayes) have discovered that the virus acts as a delivery system (supposedly for a cancer cure-all, though this information comes from Hatake, so it’s probably not true), and uncovered a way to dramatically slow its effects. Campbell and Hayes have great chemistry, and watching their characters work together to beat the virus (and Hatake) kept Helix‘s main story alive and moving forward while the new elements were introduced.

Their relationship also moved forward in a big way this week, as the two gave into their feelings for one another culminating in a moment of passion we all knew was coming eventually. There were many ways the writers could’ve handled this moment, most of them clichéd. It’s a testament to them that when these two finally got together, it seemed like the logical progression of their journey together rather than an arbitrary move just for drama’s sake.

Julia’s journey is progressing in a similarly logical fashion, as clues are steadily being revealed about her true nature and a hidden past linked to Hatake and Arctic Biosystems. Here is where this week’s Helix was most impressive, taking full advantage of the virus’ hallucinogenic properties to explore the mysteries surrounding Julia. Using Peter as a guide through her subconscious was brilliant, and also allowed us to enjoy the talents of actor Neil Napier again. I also enjoyed the holiday dinner scene, featuring the show’s major players all sitting around a table coaching Julia in remembering things long forgotten. I mentioned last week that a lot rested on Julia’s plot line, and the show continues to handle the revelations behind her character capably.

As the established characters were making progress inside Hatake’s House of Horrors, a new character, Anana (played by Battlestar Galactica‘s Lucianna Carro), was making progress outside the base in her apparent quest to get to the bottom of Hatake’s research. Having rescued Balleseros from his icy fate, she pumped the (I believe imposter) major for information about the base’s goings on. Along the way we found out that Daniel is most likely her long lost brother, who disappeared at the age of four. He wasn’t the only missing child from her small settlement though, as Anana showed Balleseros pictures of several children who’ve disappeared over the years since Hatake set up shop nearby.

I like this development. It comes at a time when Helix is beginning to show some signs of cabin fever. The story is still interesting, but introducing new elements from outside the base keeps things from becoming too focused on its limited setting. That mystery can only sustain itself for so long.

“Aniqatiga” feels like this season’s crucial turning point. We’ve arrived at a place where the forces behind the mysteries lurking in the shadows are about to make themselves known, and the show we think we’ve been watching looks to be morphing into something altogether different. At the same time the technical execution of the show; camera angles, music, and acting, have never been better.

It’s all coming together in a perfect storm of creepy and mysterious awesomeness that I can’t wait to see unfold as the back half of the season commences. We meet the Ilaria Corporation next week. Get ready.

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