Helix Season 1 Review “The Reaping”

Helix Episode 12 The Reaping (6)

“The Reaping” took some admirable steps towards infusing Helix with some substance to match its considerable style this week. Relationships between characters were explored with some pretty decent payoffs, and Hatake in particular was forced to confront the consequences of his past actions. Unfortunately, the show seemed to rush many of these moments in the sprint towards the season (series?) finale, reducing their impact and causing them to again (it’s been an issue for most of the season) feel forced.

It’s A Family Thing… You Wouldn’t Understand

Of course Constance Sutton turns out to be The Scythe’s mother! Everyone else on this show is related, right? What’s one more family connection? Helix‘s penchant for adding unnecessary twists in the way of familial connections once again adds little to nothing to the show’s proceedings. It’s like they’re trying to make the story more intriguing and epic but don’t realize that further developing the existing characters would accomplish this far more effectively.

The Scythe’s backstory, an immortal 15 year old acting as an assassin for an evil worldwide corporation run by other immoral immortals, is so ripe with potential that it didn’t need the element of Sutton being his mother. While it may have added a sense of Hatake’s actions coming full circle to their showdown at the end of the episode, the scene would have worked just as well (if not better because it would have kept the story larger than simple revenge) without it.

That the show tried (WAY too hard) to convince us that Julia (Kyra Zagorsky) and Daniel/Miksa’s (Meegwun Fairbrother) shared connection to Hatake made them family was just as bad. Julia offered to allow Daniel/Miksa to think of her as a sister? What does that even mean? They have absolutely NOTHING in common. They’ve had minimal interaction throughout the entire season, and suddenly Julia wants a family relationship with him? Nothing about their interaction here was earned, and it felt shoehorned in so the audience would feel worse at Daniel/Miksa’s death.

It’s a credit to both actors that while the dialogue here was shaky and the scene really wasn’t believable, it was still interesting and poignant in its way. Particularly Daniel/Miksa’s wish to see more of the world, I wish we’d gotten more of a sense of his character (misplaced loyalty to Hatake/betrayal by Hatake/love of Hatake) before the end. He was more interesting in this episode than any other, and not because of his sacrifice later at the end (which was surprisingly heartbreaking to watch).

I also wish we’d have gotten more from the only family relationship on the show worth caring about, the one between Alan and Peter Farragut. Peter would have been so well served by at least one scene in which he had to come to terms with his horrific actions over the past twelve days. Instead he shows up completely healed and behaves as if nothing ever happened. What a tremendous missed opportunity for character growth in someone who up until this point was the season’s number one threat. I think Billy Campbell and Neil Napier would have knocked a scene like that out of the park. Shame we didn’t get one.

By the way, could they have been ANY LOUDER in the air ducts? Shhh!!!

I Am A Mustache Twirler, Like My Mother Before Me

Earlier this season, I remarked on the night and day difference between Constance Sutton’s (Jeri Ryan) first appearance and her second. In only two episodes, she went from an engaging and charismatically menacing villain to a generic Saturday morning cartoon bad guy. The writing for the character was jarring in its unevenness, but at least it took two whole episodes. Her son did it all in one.

The Scythe was so much more interesting before everything became about avenging his mother. After that revelation, he launched into monologues and random bad guy kissing and actions with seemingly no purpose except to scream, “I’M THE BAD GUY!!!” These elements took away most of the badass cred he gained at the end of last week’s episode. Between those and the ease with which he was taken prisoner (though I laughed at Alan’s exchange with him before he hit him with the crowbar), The Scythe no longer seems like a credible threat, which also makes Ilaria itself a less credible threat.

Everybody Loves Julia

Julia once again finds herself in danger at the end of this episode and of course everybody rushes off to save her. But here’s a question for you… why?

What makes Julia so important hasn’t yet been fully revealed, so everyone in the bunker getting up in arms over her kidnapping seemed like a bunch of people going crazy for no reason. One person went after Duchamp and the roughly ten other scientists with him when they failed to show. Four people went after Julia. After all the deaths over the past twelve days, why?

The End Is The Beginning Is The End

For better or worse, Helix ends its first season next week and seems poised to spin the show off in newer, larger directions. Are you hoping for a season two? Are you, like me, watching because you’ve put too much time into the show to stop now? Sound off in the comments below!

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