This week’s line: “There are no mistakes, only missed opportunities.” Yep.
This show reminds me of Caprica at this point. It’s just so diffuse. There’s a difference between a coherent mystery that goes murky around the edges and a collection of mysteries (a new one every episode) that don’t really seem to relate. You can pretend they relate because they’re all in the same show, but at some point the audience stops buying it.
Take the opening sequence of this episode. We start with Evil Military Guy (EMG) where we left him last time, bleeding out on the snowpack. It appears to be hours later in the dark, with frost on his face. An unseen person starts pulling him. We cut to our stalwart hero Alan, whom is mourning over Doreen’s body bag outside in broad daylight. The Security Daniel shows up. They get snippy with each other.
EMG wakes up, still in the night, and struggles with whoever is dragging him. This unknown person punches him in the face, a poor bedside manner by any standard. Alan and Security Daniel go back inside to find Dumb Dr. Sarah wheeling a corpse down the hallway on a gurney. It’s the dumb infected lady from last episode. Everyone just sort of takes it in stride. Alan and Security Daniel yell at each other. Alan leaves in a huff to somehow get Julia out of the quarantined Area R basement; Security Daniel gets stuck with the corpse. I think Security Daniel got the better end of that deal.
Are we at the opening credits yet? Nope. Now we go to infected Julia down in Area R. She’s hallucinating. She sees a little girl with a doll who vanishes when Julia gives chase. Julia subsequently runs into a hallucination of Peter (Alan’s infected brother) who leads her back to the little girl. Of course the little girl is infected when she turns around, but since she’s a hallucination, who cares?
Are we finally at the opening credits yet? Nope. Julia has to wake up screaming. So it wasn’t a hallucination after all—it was a dream. Or maybe a hallucination inside a dream. Or a maybe dream inside of a hallucination inside of a dream. Cheap shock effects can get tediously deep at times. Anyway, the evil Dr. Hatake is asleep inside their barricaded room. Vectors shriek out in the hall.
Finally, the opening credits.
Alan doesn’t care what Security Daniel thinks. He’s going down to Area R to retrieve Julia no matter how hard Security Daniel tries to stop him. Since Security Daniel has the elevators locked out and holds all the keys, Alan decides he’ll have to get creative. As in make homemade thermite, something he hasn’t done since high school. Sure. Whatever.
Julia looks at her obviously infected face in the mirror. Then she checks on Hatake. If you guessed that his self-induced impalement from last episode has already healed over, give yourself absolutely nothing since I’d have been stunned if it hadn’t. It looked to be doing remarkably well even last episode. It’s also no surprise that Julia starts convulsing.
Alan burns through a grate with his homemade thermite. He sticks a ladder down through the resulting hole and that’s all it takes to get to the impenetrable, totally isolable Area R. That was, of course, a totally isolating grate he cut through. They go down the hallway until they find a door padlocked shut, which Alan proceeds to start cutting away at with a metal saw. As he does, a Vector smashes its hand through the door’s window and grabs Sarah’s arm. More Vectors come to push at the door. Alan cuts off the hand grabbing Sarah’s arm, and they run back up their ladder. They pull it up behind them, too. Thank goodness. At least the impenetrable Area R is now fully isolated again.
See, Alan? Security Daniel said you were an idiot for wanting to go down there.
The evil Dr, Hatake gives Julia an injection he claims is a sedative. It’s red. Who wants to bet that’s his own magic blood that makes his eyes glow when he takes out his evil contact lenses. As Julia goes to sleep, Hatake leaves through one of the many secret passageways that lead into the impenetrable, totally isolable Area R.
EMG wakes up on a couch in a pretty flimsy looking one-room house. He’s chained down. He looks remarkably well for a man stabbed in the gut and left outside in Antarctica for hours. Remember, each episode is supposed to be a day. So he was stabbed and left when it was still light on Day 5 (last episode) and found after midnight on Day 6. Whatever.
Now who should walk in but Luciana Carro, “Kat” from Battlestar Galactica. It’s good to see her again, but kind of depressing to know her career trajectory has left her still seeking work on low rent SyFy shows. Anything is possible, I suppose, but I’m not holding my breath to see Katee Sackhoff, Grace Park, or Tricia Helfer show up within a light year of Helix. Tedious bickering between Luciana and EMG occurs in multiple snippets. Her name in this show is Anana. Her story arc is ludicrous. She’s, get this, a law enforcement officer from some unnamed entity with a shack in Antarctica close enough to the infamous Antarctic lab beyond all international boundaries to reach it by snowmobile. And she drives around the Lab to spy on it, either unnoticed or unsought since everyone figures the deranged woman on the snowmobile has to freeze to death eventually.
Anana is spying on Arctic Biosystems because 31 kids have gone missing within a 200-mile radius of Arctic Biosystems over the last two decades. How does that thought make any sense? If she’s talking about the Arctic Biosystems we know, the one in Antarctica, it hasn’t been around for two decades and there’s no way 31 kids have ever been within 200 miles of it to be kidnapped. If she’s talking about some corporate entity back in the real world, how is that even detectable? Over the last two decades, I’m certain more than 31 kids have gone missing in a 200-mile radius around the major Exxon offices worldwide, but you don’t see me staking out some refinery. The same would be true for any major international corporation, which Arctic Biosystems must be in order to finance a huge lab in Antarctica.
And if you want to investigate the multinational corporation Arctic Biosystems, shouldn’t you do that in a normal way back in the real world? With legwork, detectives, subpoenas and the like? Not by having one woman randomly circle an isolated Antarctic lab on a snowmobile. I can guarantee you she’ll go missing.
Alan just magically discovers that the virus is a gene delivery vehicle. He yells at the returned Hatake (remember those secret passageways), wants to know what gene therapy they were working on. A cure for cancer, of course. Only the relevant sequencing hadn’t been introduced to the virus yet. When Alan leaves, Hatake slaps Security Daniel for killing EMG: “You fool! When he fails to check in, THEY will come.”
Could THEY hurry it up? Your last real chance at a ratings boost appears to be getting Jeri Ryan on screen.
Julia hallucinates a cabin with Peter and the little girl. It takes forever for her to recognize it as the cabin she spent summers in as a child. I can only assume the little girl is her, but she doesn’t recognize that, either.
Alan and Sarah do some lab work. The purple liquid in the Petri dishes is quite pretty. Light and fluorescent. Alas, it turns black and starts growing the same menacing looking weeds that Doreen grew a couple of episodes ago. Only Doreen was smart enough to do her work in a glovebox. Here it’s just out on the open; fortunately, a simple fire extinguisher stops it, leading Alan to his big breakthrough for tonight—cold slows it down. And since there happens to be a convenient cryo therapy guy somewhere in this lab, we’ll be doing a groundbreaking experiment on infected Peter. Whatever.
EMG gets free in the policewoman’s shack. He sees Anana hug Security Daniel outside. He grabs a knife and jumps Security Daniel, only to have Anana puts a gun to his head. The big reveal—this Security Daniel isn’t actually THE Security Daniel. He’s Anana’s brother Talook. Or Tanook. Or Kirkuk. It’s hard to make out. And yes, he had a twin brother who went missing somewhere within 200 miles of an Arctic Biosystems something or other.
How would you know that? I mean, suppose you were 190 miles form an Arctic Biosystems installation. That’s about the distance from Austin to Dallas. If your kid went missing in Austin, why would your attention rivet on Dallas?
And Daniel is head of security at a huge corporate lab. Doesn’t he have to be older than 24, sort of a maximum age if was kidnapped two decades ago but wasn’t old enough to remember?
Peter’s in some funky suit getting pumped with cryoliquid to reduce his core temperature. It looks like it might work! Sure it does. Alan and Sarah are so excited by this turn of events they make out. Alan seems to have scored since their naked together later, but he’s obviously an inattentive lover; it doesn’t even occur to him to ask about that massive tumor scar running down Sarah’s back. Hopefully she didn’t twitch too much and spoil the mood.
Julia’s having some ridiculous hallucination where she serves turkey to all our characters in the cabin. Everyone says supposedly witty, leading things. It’s stupid. Julia cuts the turkey and black goo comes out.
Security Daniel (Not to be confused with Talook, or Kirkuk, or whatever) takes Hatake out to see EMG’s body. It’s missing! Yeah, we know cuz’ we watched that already. Then THEY arrive in helicopters.
Thank God. Maybe THEY will do something that makes sense. Like kill everyone.
Oh, and Julia wakes up. She no longer looks infected, and her eyes are starting to glow. Told you. Maybe she’ll develop a hankering for cryptic, pointless evil schemes next week.
And the previews say Jeri Ryan has arrived. Whatever.