Helix “Oubliette” Review (Season 2 Episode 5)

Helix - Season 2

In this week’s Helix, we learn a lot about Brother Michael and have a semi-satisfying confrontation between Peter and Alan. Now that Michael knows that Sarah is an immortal (whether he believes it yet is unclear), it seems inevitable that we will have some sort of clash between these titans.

Let’s start with Peter and Alan. Like a rat, Peter decides to out Alan to Brother Michael. He’s expecting Michael to be outraged and to instantly go after Alan. That’s not how things shake out. Michael is unfazed when he learns the two men are brothers. He comes up with a plan for them to hash out their differences. Both Peter and Alan find themselves at the bottom of an oubliette (something any Labyrinth fan is familiar with).

Peter and Alan confront the situation head on by pummeling each other. Alan is pretty harsh with his statements that he’s always been better than Peter. Can he wonder why his brother doesn’t have his back when he says things like that? Peter accuses Alan of being a murderer for blowing up the building in Paris. We still don’t have a complete explanation of why Alan did that. He tells Peter that he did it to save Julia. We need a bit more explanation there. I was surprised by Alan’s complaining over losing Julia. My sense in the Arctic was that he was done with that relationship, even though he still cared for her. In the end, they agree that Peter will help Alan reach the grate at the top of the oubliette so they can escape. Naturally, when Alan gains his freedom, he’s not eager to share it with his backstabbing brother. Even after Alan tells Peter he knows about his connection to Ilaria, Peter doesn’t come clean. There’s not a better way to say this—it’s a dick move for Alan to leave Peter down there, but Peter had it coming.

Sadly, Peter is not the only duplicitous person on the island. It turns out that Kyle is working for the government and his real purpose in going there is to help with Alan’s capture. It’s hard to tell how enthusiastic Kyle is about this job. He’s kind of got a his hands full with fungus zombies and murderous kids. Kyle heads back to the orchard to check out the beehive that he thinks is spreading the virus. This time, he’s smarter and wears protective gear. Unfortunately, the bees are not the only things he has to worry about. The cult members are lurking behind the trees and rush out at him. After the beatdown Kyle took from little kids, I was glad to see him turn the tables. While I can appreciate the kitsch factor of Helix’s music, it didn’t work for me in this scene. It killed any sense of danger or tension.

Meanwhile, Sarah recovers from the knife attack thanks to the help of the old lady. During their conversation, it becomes obvious that Sarah is one of the immortals. The old lady confirms this by knocking Sarah out and removing her contacts. We see later that contacts are a much better solution for covering the silver eyes than the injections to the eyeballs that Michael takes. The old lady tells Michael about Sarah, but he’s skeptical. Then we find out that the old lady is actually Michael’s daughter and that he’s been on the island for 500 years.

One problem I’m having this season is the Julia storyline. I get that she’s on the island looking for a cure, but I’m not sure why all the other crazy stuff has happened. Why was she kidnapped? What did Hatake have to do with anything? At this point, I’m guessing that her newly departed captor is the long-gestated son of Sarah and Alan. Also, since we didn’t actually see Hatake die, I assume that he is still out on the island somewhere. This storyline isn’t working for me. It’s too slow and, frankly, boring. I don’t really care what happens to Julia.

I feel like they are missing an opportunity to build up the Ilaria threat. They should take a lesson from Person of Interest, which has done a great job with its criminal organization, Decima. Ilaria’s presence and purpose should be more clear by now. We’re already on episode 5 – let’s move this along.