Helix “Cross Pollination” Review (Season 2 Episode 7)

Helix - Season 2

This week’s Helix finally got the show back on track. We found out about Brother Michael’s past, his endgame, and the extent that he will go to in order to realize his plans. Parts of this episode should have come in the third or fourth episode. Now, it almost feels like we’re starting a new mini-season going forward. Dang it Helix! You’ve got to fix this pacing problem if you want people to stick with the show. Anyone coming into the season without an investment in the characters has probably already bailed.

We start with a big jump to the past to see the origins of Michael’s psychosis. Circa 1600, Michael was a French nobleman who fell in love with a peasant. When she cheated on him, he killed her and her lover. He promised himself that no one would ever make him a cuckold again. His solution is to move to an island, create his own society and breed a family completely loyal to him. Giving this character some context made things so much better. Now, he’s not just this wooden, creepy figure who gropes his descendants. He’s broken, twisted, and has been stewing on his plan for more than 400 years.

Michael’s master plan is still a bit sketchy. Mademoiselle Durant tells Julia that Michael is working on a way to render men infertile. She tells Julia that this may be a better alternative for population control than Ilaria’s genocide plan. It’s basically a trap-neuter-return system on a potentially larger scale. I’m not sure how that connects with the fungus disease. I’m also thinking this plan is about as good as Ilaria’s.

Back on the island, Peter gets some company in the hole. Ann joins him and the two have a pity party, “Nothing like a road trip through Ratville to build character.” During their conversation, it almost seems like Peter thinks of himself as the good guy. How can that be if he’s in cahoots with Ilaria? Is he actually in cahoots with Ilaria?

Alan isn’t faring much better than Peter. He wakes up and has flashbacks to his attack on Sarah. He knows something bad happened, but the details are fuzzy. Sarah wakes up in the abbey dungeon and also isn’t sure what’s happened. She suspects, though, that something was done to her fetus. I know I’ve been advocating for Sarah to abort her non-developing fetus, but it was not cool for Michael to take the choice away from her, which is what it seems like he’s done.

Sarah manages to escape and on her way out runs into a couple kids and their infected father. This leads to the most ridiculous moment of the episode. As they are running for their lives, Sarah stops to tell one of the kid’s a story so he won’t feel scared. It’s not exactly an uplifting tale, but more importantly why would she stop? Just pick the kid up and keep moving – or tell him to suck it up. While she’s down there, Sarah also finds a bloody tooth on the ground. Am I missing something here? Do we have an explanation for the teeth removal?

Michael now realizes that he has a problem. He’s losing control of his flock, so it’s time to reboot. I kind of liked seeing Michael put the smack down on Amy, but then I remembered that the implication is that he’s going to force himself on her to have another child. Then I felt sorry for Amy, which is something I never thought would happen. After hearing Michael’s plans for Amy, I thought Kyle would take pity on her and let her out of the glass case. Nope. He left her in there, which is kind of harsh. While I liked the scene in the lab with Michael making his poisonous concoction, I did not like the carnival music. It feels like they’re forcing the kitschy music where it does not work. It’s not quirky – it’s distracting.

You have to feel super sorry for Alan when he finds Sarah and performs the ultrasound. They discover that she is no longer pregnant. I was worried that Alan would keep his role in the events a secret, but he confessed everything. Sarah is understandably upset, but I think she will calm down eventually.

The end of the episode is an example of what Helix can be. Michael serves the poison to his congregation, after demonstrating that it’s harmless. They clearly don’t know he’s immortal. I didn’t actually think they’d drink it. Michael is one sadistic bastard. He gives out orders that the children should get theirs first, and even hands a cup to a small boy. The tone of the scene is perfect. The music, the slow motion…it captured the horror of the situation. Viruses and mass murder are supposed to feel scary and menacing. If Helix gets a season 3, I would really like to see them head more in this direction.