Sunday, February 23, 2014

Helix, Season 1, Episode 8: Ultra

Day 8:

Goo zombies in the pipes! Crawling around and looking down on Alan (booo!), Sarah (yawwwn) and Julia (hmmmmm) eating lunch and discussing Julia’s miracle cure. She’s hungry, she’s happy – and she’s evil enough to fake choking to death to freak out her colleagues

That was mean – but her colleagues are boring so she gets a pass. She wants to get to work testing her blood for the cure, but Alan is more wary – he doesn’t want everyone losing their mind if they think they have a cure – especially not with Constance wandering around being evilly awesome. She also lets everyone know that Hiroshi has been happily running down to quarantine to play with her quite regularly- and that he even helped her get back.

Then an alarm goes off – because it’s television. Someone makes a grand revelation so something has to happen to stop them discussing it. It’s a rule. I call it the Plot Alarm.

Alan joins Daniel to find a goo-zombie that has been killed – Daniel’s calling it a whim since no-one was infected, but Alan notices that the goo-zombie has oozed black goo all over the food. Nice. Alan starts dishing out orders in the odd belief that Daniel doesn’t know how to decontaminate a room, despite working as security in a top secret medical lab. Alan again tries to challenge Daniel’s loyalty to Hiroshi but even if Daniel isn’t Team!Hiroshi, that doesn’t mean he wants to be Team!Arsehole.

While Alan wastes his time telling Daniel his job, Sarah is testing Julia and Julia shows her her silver eyes. Quite why she felt the need to swear Sarah to secrecy I don’t know. It’s like “hey, here’s a major symptom of my miracle cure – let’s not talk about it!” Because there’s no way it’s relevant, right?

Constance, meanwhile, is still evil and awesome and she has an awesome new plan – get her men to let the goo-zombies run around to cause lots of fear and inspire the CDC to work faster. Because nothing motivates quite so much as a zombie nipping at your heels.  She’s also confused as to why everyone cares so much about Julia – why does this woman matter?

Daniel is actually Team!Anana, and has Anana dressed in scrubs so they can both move around the base and investigate the missing children. Alas, Anana is something of a Raging Bad Girl and is going to be pretty awful undercover. He’s still not ready to be called Miksa, though

Alan goes to see the restrained Hiroshi who claims he has nothing to do with Julia’s cure and that her being virus free puts her in danger from everyone; they both believe that being the only person in the world to beat the virus, Julia will be experimented on for the rest of her life.

Constance drops in to visit Julia who has decided to have a rest without wearing her contacts (ok, it may make little sense in her keeping her eyes a desperate secret but at least she’s really bad at it). Constance grabs her head and clearly sees her silver eyes. Alan arrives to protest but finds goons with guns and Constance explaining that since Julia contains one of Ilaria’s proprietary therapies that now makes Julia Ilaria’s property. Alan would like to point out things don’t work that way, Constance nearly points out things work however the woman with the army decides they work out.

Anana goes to see Sergio who is examining his let-me-show-you-my-abs-some-more wound and she’s brought Daniel along so that promises lots of snarling. Anana wants Sergio’s help in finding a list of the lost kids but Sergio and Daniel think they should head for the hills because everyone is so going to die. He also reveals that he’s not a happy fun person – and yes, there were missing kids in the town where he was from, he knows: he did the kidnapping. After Daniel silently confirms that yeah Sergio works for the bad guys, Anana and Daniel leave; but Sergio now has something to pick the lock

Constance visits Hiroshi who denies Julia is “one of us” which she calls bullshit because she’s seen the eyes. She asks if this is the “Willis hypothesis. She threatens him with  reckoning for what he’s done (he still denies) and shows off her nifty roll of torture implements (it’s probably a bad sign when you have a travel case for torture implements). Hiroshi isn’t impressed – but Constance is a grade A evil genius and threatens to torture Julia.

Alan tells Sarah that Julia’s going to be shipped off to be experimented on but Sarah’s sure they won’t find anything – because she didn’t. Not one hint of an immune response. But he intends to rescue Julia – with explosions!

Julia isn’t waiting for the explosions – after hearing the goo-zombies run around the vents, she climbs up herself.

News of her escape is passed on to Constance who is angry at Hiroshi’s disloyalty – but he just can’t really get on board the whole genocide train. She doesn’t take bad news well – especially since Hiroshi has an awesome smug look (his facial expression doesn’t even change, you can just feel his smugness). Constance is again confused as to why Hiroshi thinks Julia is special; Hiroshi turns it back into an insult in her and reveals that he and Constance were once a thing. He also continues to throw smugness at her. He uses smugness like a lethal weapon

In the ducts, Julia runs into several goo-zombies – who move past her and leave her behind.

Daniel leads Anana out and she’s angry he won’t come with her – but he refuses to run from a mess her created even if he has been brainwashed as a child. She also draws the connection between Daniel and Sergio – both taken as children, both brainwashed and raised on lies and both of whom now feel guilty for what they did and feels they don’t deserve better. She hugs him goodbye, much to his awkwardness and she leaves him with a photograph of all three of them – him, Anana and his twin brother Toluk.

Sarah and Alan continue their chemistry playing when Julia reaches the vent above them. Alan wants Julia to free Hiroshi so he can take the base back – because Hiroshi in charge is better than Constance – who he intends to kill. DUM DUM DUM.

They booby trap one of the microscopes and have Constance look down it to see the supposed cure – and a guard notices how nervous they are. He grabs Constance and pulls her to the floor as it explodes; Sarah and Alan run – and manage to hide. But Constance is alive and well and rather annoyed (the only thing wounded is her vintage Dior) – she announces on the tanoy that if Alan doesn’t go to isolation she will kill his brother. Of course Alan wants to go (though his brother is nearly dead anyway)

But there’s another option! See the room they’re hiding in just happens to have a sound cannon, and Sarah just happens to know how to use one. Pfft, why not throw in a machine gun, a bag of gold and a magical ring that bestows super powers if you’re going to stretch things that far?

Julia finds Hiroshi and has many many many questions as she releases him – nor is she willing to wait and stay safe as Hiroshi wants. So he drugs her with a handy drug syringe that was lying around all handy like

Anana finds Sergio trying to steal her snow mobile and she’s shocked that he used her – yeah he’s evil, he did say. They have another fight that she handily wins – again – so he runs with her keys and gun (she should stop dropping things). But guards see them and start running towards them – so he gives her the gun and the snow mobile. She runs and he stays to be taken by the guards.

Julia wakes up with a photograph – a torn photograph – the remaining figures showing Hiroshi and her as a child. And a guard points a gun at the back of her head.

Alan turns himself in to Constance – who promptly drains Peter’s cryongenic thingy and tells the guards to kill Alan – which is when Sarah uses her sonic cannon against the guards, dropping them. With the broken life support, Peter is approaching critical – but goo zombies fall from the ceiling and collect him as the lights go out and Sarah keeps shooting noise at people. In the darkness, Hiroshi also makes an appearance and pulls Alan to safety.

Hiroshi assures them that the goo-zombies won’t hurt Peter and they return to his office, but Julia is already missing.

Constance gets her report from Daniel who tells her the power was cut by goo-zombies. Julia is prepped for transport in an hour and Constance is a little annoyed that Daniel let Anana escape (no-one told him not to is his defence). Constance seems to count on Daniel’s loyalty which is a shame for her because he goes to Hiroshi – he’s not a fan, but Constance is way worse than Hiroshi in the same way that the ebola virus is way worse than dysentery.

Hiroshi sends Alan and co to free Julia where she is being secured in a packing crate. He goes to see Constance – taking out her guard in a millisecond. He asks for Julia again and Constance responds with the cryptic “you always had a weakness for them, there were rumours.” But there’s something to bond over – he’s still wearing the watch she gave him (albeit with replacement parts) awww he does care. Constance gets emotional – they were going to change the world, they took a vow; but he doesn’t want to live in the world she wants to create. She keeps talking about “us” as if there’s many of them – and calls Julia an abomination and Hiroshi’s daughter.

And Hiroshi attacks, they fight and it turns out one of those replacement parts in his watch is a garrotte wire. Nice upgrade. Noooo Constance

Next we her Hiroshi’s voice over the tanoy system – the Ilaria corporation is no longer in control. Her men are in custody (we see her private bodyguard being cornered and either shot or committing suicide, it’s hard to see) and we see Alan and Sarah rescuing Julia.

Julia and Alan talk – Julia’s upset by how she’s changed and it’s clear it’s not just a simple cure that saved her from the virus.

Hiroshi and Daniel also have their confrontation – Hiroshi hopes Daniel will understand one day but Daniels doubts that being kidnapped from his parents is something he will forgive. And Daniel insists on being called Miksa. They’re out in the snow to deposit Constance’s head in the big stash of weirdly preserved heads they have.


Julia being experimented on for the rest of her life – and Alan believing it. Isn’t that a reach? I mean, people do have surprising immunities to diseases – there are people who are immune to AIDS for example – but even they aren’t going to be confined to a lab and AIDS is actually a disease ravaging the world. This virus is confined to one lab – there’s no need to imprison someone to research a cure to it, to find out what little genetic twist they have

Now, it’s believable if you understand Constance’s evil master plan to TAKE OVER THE WORLD! MUAHAHAHA but Alan doesn’t know that…

I think it would be more impactful to hear this CDC doctor plotting murderer if there Alan had been developed more as a character rather than an alpha male bully. As it is, his doctorness fades to nothingness against the cliché of the male lead who will Do What Must be Done, damn it and damn you and your rule book!

This base is amazing – whatever you want is just THERE. Need some sedative? It’s right there by the chair you’re bound to, in the syringe and ready to go. Need to escape? That’s ok, we have a SOUND CANNON just lying in back storage!

Sergio, you’ve got, maybe, 2 more episodes to decide whether you’re good or bad before I decide I want a goo zombie to eat you.

Shouldn’t people be a little worried by how intelligent the goo-zombies are becoming? They’re having their little war and completely ignoring the growing threat.

Constance! That’s 2 interesting female characters I liked this show has killed off.

Sergio and Miksa are both interesting characters in that it draws on an evil that happened very often in marginalised communities – including the poor Latino and the Native American communities that they’re both from; children were and are stolen, sometimes under the guide of adoption, sometimes without even that excuse, to be used in various underhand ways, to be sold or, in some cases, just to try and break up the community and destroy the cultures which the Native Americans were from. By actually using the communities in question, while not actually referring to these crimes, the show is managing to draw parallels without appropriation.