“Aniqatiga” deals with Day 6 of the CDC team trapped at Arctic Biosystems research base, and in the early going it really dials up the horror quotient. A mysterious figure drags Balleseros’s body away (not dead yet!) and Alan eulogizes Doreen (who is quite dead). Alan and Daniel run into Sarah as she is wheeling Amanda’s body to the morgue, and confesses she aided her death by giving her an overdose of morphine. “So much for not killing the infected, right, boss?” Daniel quips. Alan isn’t happy with the remark, and further isn’t happy with Daniel preventing him from going to Level R in search of Julia.
But down to Level R Alan and Julia do go, giving us a nasty Vector (zombie) attack, with one of the infected smashing through a door window to grab hold of Sarah, which Alan promptly saws off with a hacksaw. The episode had some other nice horror moments, with Julia hallucinating a little girl (who turns out to be child Julia), who appears laughing and sweet one minute, and in another appears in a creepier zombie form. Julia also hallucinated a bizarre dinner party, complete with a turkey that oozed black blood when she cut into it. And then there was yet again a good ending that makes us want to come back next week, with Julia, who was injected with a “sedative” by Hatake, wakes up screaming out of her hallucinatory stupor with silver eyes. Those same eyes we saw in Hatake in the first episode. Hmm. The mystery grows…
We do meet the person who dragged Balleseros off. Turns out her name is Anana (guest star Lucianna Carro, who has appeared in Falling Skies as well as Battlestar Galactica), and she’s local law enforcement with a very strong interest in the activities of Arctic Biosystems. It seems over the years 31 children have gone missing from a local village, and Anana suspects that the research base may be involved. She wants Balleseros to talk, but he refuses. And with him attacking her brother thinking it was Daniel, one has to wonder if the major may have a touch of the virus. We’ll have to see where the series goes with this, and as things are, it’s probably going to be someplace creepy.
For the most part, the episode went back and forth between Julia hallucinating Peter and her home as a little girl in Montana, and Alan and Sarah running tests on the virus. The discovery they make is an interesting one, as the virus is designed to be a delivery system for a form of gene therapy, which Hatake swears was meant to cure cancer. The pair also get a taste of just how fast the virus can grow, watching it spring forth from some petri dishes and nearly take over a lab table until Alan freezes it with a fire extinguisher. Once they discover cold has an effect on the virus, they seek out Dr. Adrian, who was working with cooling systems. The show veers into The Abyss territory with an oxygenated liquid that surrounds organic beings and keeps them alive. Julia’s reaction even reminded me of that scene in Cameron’s 1989 sci-fi flick where the character of Hippy panics when one of the soldiers drops his pet rat into a small tank of the liquid. Naturally, Peter takes to the treatment. Whether it affects him remains to be seen.
Julia also discovered the Hatake has some excellent healing abilities when she examines his wound and finds it nearly healed. “Must be good genes,” he tells her. Julia seeing her child self also leads one to believe she has a deeper connection to both the research base and Hatake. There has been some speculation that Julia is Hatake’s daughter. This episode seemed to add fuel to that theory, especially with her “guests” at her dinner party tell her that she holds all of the answers. What those answers are should prove to be interesting, and I wonder how the show will reveal them to us.
In other events, Daniel told Hatake how he dealt with Major Balleseros, and Hatake was none too pleased, calling Daniel a fool, and saying that “If he does not check in, they will come.” And in the end, that is just what happens, as Daniel and Hatake go in search of Balleseros and find he’s been taken away, and are greeted by a helicopter coming in to land at the base. Looks like we’re going to find out who they are fairly soon.
Overall, “Aniqatiga” was a solid episode, with some nice horror movie moments (the screaming Vectors in the hallway were a little unnerving) and a little bit of humor. Alan and Sarah having a sexual tryst seemed a bit forced at the end of the episode, but Julia and her silver eyes worked well in giving us that incentive to return next week. Helix is turning into a pretty decent series for SyFy, and while it keeps raising questions it does make it easy for us to come back to hopefully find out the answers.
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