Helix (Syfy) Interviews: Jeri Ryan and Executive Producer Steve Maeda Talk Ryan’s Killer Guest Arc and More

Helix Episode 7 Survivor Zero (6)

Helix has delivered one shocking twist after another since its premiere (frozen monkeys, anyone?), but the turn of events coming in this Friday’s episode “Survivor Zero” will have everyone talking. Happily, TV Equals had the opportunity to join in a conference call with the woman at the center of the action, Jeri Ryan, as well as Helix showrunner Steve Maeda.

Read on to get a sneak peek at Ryan’s scary corporate woman Constance Sutton and more.

Who is Constance Sutton?

In short, Sutton is one of the people who Hatake was so terrified to see show up. She is a representative of the Ilaria Corporation, who isn’t happy with Hatake doing his own thing. Expect her to be characterized by her duality: she presents herself as a professional who is there to help, but it will quickly become clear Sutton is more than she seems. In fact, Ryan said she got to do a bit of “scenery-nibbling.”

When asked to describe Sutton, Ryan said, “She’s kind of a ball-buster.” Maeda backed Ryan up and further elaborated that Sutton walks a line between maintaining “corporate niceties” and letting “her fangs come out.” Like all of the characters, Sutton has a personal agenda as well, even though Maeda noted it won’t become apparent until further down the road. It should also be noted, Sutton will make a lasting first impression, so keep your eyes on Ryan this week. Here’s a hint about what is to come: both Maeda and Ryan agreed “she’s a fixer.”

Is Sutton the Real Big Bad?

With all of his secrets and hair sniffing, Hatake has appeared to be our big bad for the season, but Maeda revealed Sutton’s entrance will shift our perspective on the characters we thought we knew.

“One of the things we wanted to do was take our characters who seemed to be villains and try to humanize them and create some kind of unlikely pairings,” Maeda said. “And also, take our characters who seem to be you know on the side of the angels and turn them a little bit and twist them and give them some unsavory motives perhaps. And so yes, we’re trying to find those balances, and I think you’ll see them.”

We will see Sutton and Hatake confronting each other soon, as well. Ryan, who describes herself as a “Hiro fangirl,” discussed a scene where things get a bit physical. While she was excited about how smoothly Hiro (Hatake) pulled off the action during the scene (he didn’t flinch even when he had a book thrown directly at his face), as viewers it gives a big hint about their characters’ dynamic.

What’s the Deal With the Ilaria Corporation?

The company Sutton represents will play a big role moving forward. When asked to describe them, Maeda said, “They’re a pharmaceutical giant. They do good work and they make lots of drugs, and their public face is actually benevolent. But behind the scenes, there’s a lot more going on than what you might expect.”

The origin story of the company will play a big role in the back half of the season, and it should give us some insight into how the company became what it is now.

Maeda on Helix’s Intensity Level

Does the show make you jump? That won’t stop anytime soon. When asked if he had any intentions to soften the intensity of Helix, Maeda responded:

“We want to keep up the intensity. There are light moments coming, but they tend to be kind of in the service of – it’s black humor definitely, and they tend to be in service of keeping everything moving and just sometimes you find those moments you know in the worst situations. So yes, we have 13 episodes and we really want to – our mantra was to keep the show moving, and so we want to have down time, we want to have character time, but we definitely want to keep everything twisting and turning and keep you coming back for more, hopefully.”

Is There a Back-Up Plan in Case Helix Doesn’t Get a Season 2?

Nope. Maeda said the finale is “locked in.” In other words, if Syfy doesn’t give them a second season pick-up, there could be an eternal cliffhanger. Ryan isn’t worried though. “I’m not cautious, she said. “I’m going out there. They’re picked up.”

Let’s hope she is right, if for no other reason than after the next episode everyone will want to see more of Sutton…

Helix Episode 7 Survivor Zero (1)

Helix airs Fridays at 10/9c on Syfy.

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