Helix: Review of the episode “Single Strand”- More questions and more trouble

helixWARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE EPISODE WILL FOLLOW.

Since each episode basically follows one day in the crisis at the Arctic Biosystems research lab, the fourth episode of the season finds Day 4 making things even more tense for our CDC team. Julia is trapped down on Level R with the other infected personnel, and communications have been cut off, due to Balleseros blowing up the dish last episode. Things start to make people take actions that could have dire repercussions. The scientists locked in on Level R find a way to cut the oxygen scrubbers off, trying to force Hatake’s hand. Alan takes a chance with the universal antiviral that Hatake’s people had developed, despite what he knows of the results when it was tested on the monkeys. And Doreen and Balleseros make a discovery about the virus.

The episode moved at a slightly slower pace, and raised some questions even as we got one or two answers. We get further confirmation that Balleseros and Hatake are working for the same people, as Balleseros accuses Hatake of botching the virus and not delivering one that was supposed to work as promised. Balleseros seems to do a good job concealing what he knows from Doreen, reacting whelix2ith some surprise when Doreen discovers that the virus was man-made. It’s still a bit questionable as to why Balleseros is trusting Doreen, and why she continues to go along with his demand of keep quiet about what she discovers. He does reveal that he’s part of a black bag operation for the US Army, but makes it sound like they were investigating Hatake. Other scenes suggest the Major’s involvement is a bit more nefarious. But for now we’re still in the dark as to just how much he truly knows. Even by the end of the episode, we can only assume that Balleseros’ involvement with the creation of the virus runs deep, and he is willing to protect the secret at all costs. When Doreen reveals her findings to him that the virus is an unidentified single strand of genetic material that seeks to change people from within and that she is going to fill Alan in, the Major takes the only action he sees open to him. It was a bit of a creepy scene at the end, when after plunging an empty syringe into Doreen’s neck he leaves her body on the floor of the lab and lets loose the rats to handle the clean-up. Maybe Balleseros is channeling is inner Willard?

Balleseros wasn’t the only one hiding secrets. We find out Sarah has a tumor, which is the cause of her tremors and is reacting with the virus. She does reveal to Alan that her test to see who was sick or not didn’t work, but also hid from him that she was keeping a sick woman in her quarters. Not sure what she injected herself and the woman with, but it seemed to give each of them some sort of peace. Meanwhile, Alan has a talk with Peter when his brother becomes partially lucid, and finds that Peter wasn’t the lead researcher at the facility all along. He was merely there to perform animal necropsies, and that Hatake’s main interest in him was his relationship with Julia. Peter ends up flat-lining, and by episode’s end it appears that he is dead, despite Alan’s efforts to revive him.

Julia on Level R gets oustehelix3d from the other people, and encounters Jaye, who mysteriously shows up in a gas mask at first, and later helps Julia to escape a crazed Vector. We don’t get too many answers as to who Jaye really is, other than she’s been hiding down on Level R since the crisis began. We get a brief moment of tension when Jaye pounds on the door asking the others to let her and Julia in, which attracts a Vector. The scene seems to have been cut quickly, since we see them hiding from the infected person and the next time we see them they’re finding cans of Cheese-Wiz. The most interesting part of that scene was Julia finding her initials scratched into the wall, obviously written when she was a child. Julia realizes that she’s been to the station before, but we don’t know why she was there or for what reason. Hopefully future episodes will shed light on this. Her being there previously though may explain in part Hatake’s interest in her.

Speaking of Hatake, he returns to villain mode, as it becomes evident that he will do whatever he needs to to keep the station and its secret safe. When Balleseros accuses him of not producing what was asked he didn’t seem to be too rattled, and when they realized the oxygen was being cut off to the station by the people on Level R he insisted on handling it without the Major’s help. He shows Daniel a secret passage, and they confront the men who’ve turned the oxygen scrubbers off. At first it seems he was being reasonable, saying that they all needed to work together, and got them to lay their weapons down and turn the oxygen back on. Just that quick, he shoots and kills the three men, much to Daniel’s surprise. He tells Daniel that he will keep the station safe at all costs, and has him take care of the bodies while he attends to other matters, presumably those concerning Dr. Walker.

While a slow mover, the episode did keeps things interesting enough to keep you engaged, and uncovered a few more mysteries that we need answers to. The body count is rising, and the show does a decent job of raising the tension as well. We’ll have to see if they can keep it going through future episodes. The need for answers will keep me returning next week, at least.

 

8.5/10

Thomas Juretus

Born in 1963. Enjoy videogames, movies, comics- anything that tells a story. Have written three novels (The Zarchler Chronicles Book One: The Cassandra Crisis, Shalgroth The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Two, Madman's War The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Three) all published and available through PublishAmerica. Currently working on my fourth book, a sci-fi/murder mystery.

Thomas Juretus

Born in 1963. Enjoy videogames, movies, comics- anything that tells a story. Have written three novels (The Zarchler Chronicles Book One: The Cassandra Crisis, Shalgroth The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Two, Madman's War The Zarchler Chronicles: Book Three) all published and available through PublishAmerica. Currently working on my fourth book, a sci-fi/murder mystery.

%d bloggers like this: