Helix: 'San Jose" (Season 2, Episode 1)


"I'm from Texas. we don't go to the bathroom without a gun." Uh, is there a red state anti-defamation league out there somewhere? If so, give me a call.

It's Helix, folks. What else would you expect but trashy, incoherent hipster crap? I'm slumming tonight just to see what they did with last year's ridiculous ending. To no one's surprise, they basically ignore it. Last year we had a desperate CDC team fighting a lethal outbreak in an imaginary North Pole base; this year we have a desperate CDC team fighting a lethal outbreak on an imaginary island twenty hours by boat from Seattle. I guess if you don't know what you're doing you might as well do it twice.

Let's see. We open with people on a boat being killed by zombies who have white pustules on their face. That's so much more original than vomiting black blood.

Cut to Julia what's her name, the newly immortal daughter of that mysterious and boring Japanese immortal from last season. She arrives at an island by herself, proceeding to ominously state that the pandemic may have originated here and that her contact is nowhere to be seen. Someone says "Do you know the way to San Jose?" She turns to find a guy in green army-like clothes wearing a primitive brown gas mask. He looks for all the world like one of those Sand People from Star Wars. Tusken Raiders, right?        

The Sand Person knocks her out.

Back on the boat, three CDC people are checking corpses. Along with white pustules, this season's guest disease makes orangeish cauliflower sprout from the victim's mouth. It's supposed to be a major gross out but it looks too fake to work. Kind of like Dr. Kyle Sommer, who's so ludicrously Texan, at least in some writer's stereotypical imagination, that he cannot possibly achieve liftoff as an actual character. He explodes on the launch pad in a blizzard of bad jokes.     

Along with Kyle, there's Dr. Peter Farragut, last year's guest infectee, and Dr, Sarah Jordon, last year's resident quickee for Peter's brother, Alan. Alan is nowhere to be seen. One awkward line of dialogue claims that he blew up a building in Paris and so is now on the lam. Whatever. Anyway, the doctors three find a survivor named Leila. They take her and their samples back to a Coast Guard cutter where they proceed to insist on visiting the last island the boat visited, the mysterious island of St. Germaine. The Coast Guard captain tells them that it's twenty hours from Seattle by boat. That means that if she drops them off there, they have to understand there's no way humanly possible for anyone to reach them for two weeks.

Isn't twenty hours less than two weeks? It was the last time I checked. Oh well. This show has always been awful about basic geography and modern transportation.

What strikes me as inexcusably rude, however, is that the three doctors take Leila with them to the island. Isn't that kidnapping? I mean, there's no legal reason she has to go.

Our resident Tusken Raider drags Julia to some large shed and ties her up. The three doctors find a dead rabbit hung from a tree. They insist on bringing it with them.     

First kidnapping. Now they've stolen a dead rabbit. Crime is a slippery slope indeed.

The next extended sequence is incredibly irritating. It keeps cutting back and forth from Leila panicking and racing through the woods to the Tusken Raider shouting "Do you know the way to San Jose?" at Julia. He must ask it like five times before the doctors find a field of skulls. Leila goes missing for good.

The next sequence is, if anything, worse. The Tusken Raider takes off his gas mask and proceeds to remove Julia's contact lenses with tweezers. Who the hell thinks that's a credible idea? Just wrap your arm around someone's throat and slowly edge tweezers toward their eye, which is bucking up and down along with the rest of their body. What could possibly go wrong?

The point of this is for the three doctors to arrive at the same shed and break in to find no one. Kyle spills the rabbit, which he put in a glass jar and poorly packed. We watch the rabbit decay from Day 1 to Day 10951 (thirty years later) to demonstrate that Julia is in the future. She's come seeking the secret of a disease called TXM-7. It can kill immortals and originated thirty years ago. So yeah, they'll be expecting us to watch two distinct ridiculous stories this year.

Leila is dead. Mysterious people in hoods show up to tell the doctors this island is dangerous before escorting them to a walled compound lorded over by a cliché cult leader. A different hooded guy brings food to Sarah. When he leaves the room we see that he's actually Alan. In the basement below, hooded people pull two teeth from a woman before pouring opaque liquid down her throat.

Thirty years later, silver-eyed Julia says she's here to find Alan. The ex-Tusken Raider takes her to his tombstone in the abandoned compound.

It's not clever. It's Loony Tunes.

The the the that's all folks.