Helix Season 2 Review “San Jose”

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Helix is back for a second season with another revolting virus , TXM-7, that poses a threat to mankind. The arctic biostation is a thing of the past, and the action is moving to an island off the coast of Washington, St. Germaine. We see at the beginning that Dr. Julia Walker has arrived on the island to determine the source of the pandemic, which suggests that there is a connection between it and the shadowy Ilaria organization.

Surprisingly, the CDC team investigating a ship filled with disease-infected corpses is led by Peter Farragut. At the end of last season, we saw that Peter may not be who we think he is and may have a special relationship with Ilaria. I think anyone who saw the episode can agree that this virus looks way nastier than the Narvik virus from last season. Some of the bodies have bubbly, fungus like growths erupting from their mouths. Blech. There is a lone survivor who says they were on a “side trip that wasn’t in the brochure.” That’s a huge red flag – it’s likely their exposure to whatever virus was on the island is not an accident.

We find out that the story is beginning a year and a half or so after the arctic station explosion. Which begs the question…where is Dr. Sarah Jordan’s baby? She found out last season that she was pregnant, so where’s the kid? We’ve also got a new face who’s joined the team, Dr. Kyle Sommer (Matt Long). He seems like a nice guy, which makes me worry he might end up the first main character on the chopping block.

The team ends up taken by some kind of cult with a penchant for Druid-chic. They’re brought to a surprisingly large abbey. The group is led by Brother Michael (Steven Weber), who gives uncomfortably long hugs and loves to eavesdrop. We discover at the end of the episode that Alan is already at the abbey. Undoubtedly, Alan is some kind of mole. The preview for the season suggests that Brother Michael has a hand in the creation and/or transmission of the virus.

Interlaced with the CDC story, we see Julia get taken captive by a masked man who keeps asking her if she knows the way to San Jose. This reference combined with the intro music is a clue that the song has some significance. We find out that she’s actually on the island 30 years in the future. Naturally, because she is now one of the Ilaria immortals, she hasn’t aged a day. She goes in search of Alan and finds only his grave. Which considering 30 years has passed, that shouldn’t be all that surprising.

Even though we don’t know what side he’s on, Peter is a great choice to lead this expedition. Neil Napier gives the character a sense of serious and weight that is similar to what Billy Campbell brings to the Alan Farragut character.

This episode was delightfully confusing and intriguing. There are a ton of new questions/mysteries. What is the deal with the cult weirdos? Who is the dirty guy with the bloody teeth hissing in the trees (this appears connected with the end of the episode when the druids pull out the woman’s teeth and pump her full of goo)? Why is the island full of skulls? Why were the girl’s eyes gouged out when the CDC team found her body? What’s with the druid robes? Can the new virus really kill the immortals?

It’s going to be a fun season that will hopefully give us answers along with all these questions. It’s also going to be interesting when Hatake reappears. This season has a Hostel kind of vibe to it and looks like it may be darker than the first season.