It’s been 15 months since Arctic Biosystems blew up in Helix’s Season 1 finale and, as you might expect given that final epilogue, they haven’t been quiet ones for the CDC members. But even with the mysteries of Ilaria—and Julia’s disappearance—lingering over what’s left of the team, it’s still time for another case and, more importantly for Helix faithfuls, another disgusting virus.
The series set in motion its plan to revamp the show each season, taking us from the soundstages of downtown Montreal to the Abbey of Notre-Dame-du-Lac in Oka, Quebec. One chilly, wet weekend this past summer, the cast and crew are in the midst of filming the fourth episode of the season and Canadian Jordan Hayes—last year’s CDC rookie—is nursing a tea and analyzing how becoming immortal has turned Dr. Sarah Jordan into an up-and-coming name at the organization.
“She’s much more reckless this year,” Hayes tells TV, Eh? inside the former monastery. “Last year she was terminally ill and this year she’s basically invincible, and not really vulnerable to any kind of disease or anything. So she’s able to put herself into critical situations, hot zone areas where she can really be effective.”
Hayes chalks it up to an urge to boost her reputation—mixed in, of course, with her character’s desire to help people. “That’s why she got into this field in the first place,” she explains. “Along with a love and passion for science—but I think that she’s also very ambitious and wants her name to be recognized amongst the greatest scientists of her generation.”
That certainly seems to be the path she’s on when Season 2 of Helix opens. Sarah’s now a no-nonsense expert capable of throwing a decent punch and having nothing to do with newcomer Dr. Kyle Sommers (Matt Long, Mad Men) or his jokes. Then again, Sarah doesn’t seem to be too thrilled about much now that she’s on a team being led by Peter Farragut (Neil Napier, Bullet in the Face), dubious brother of Season 1’s hero, Alan (Billy Campbell, The Killing).
“A bit of it is because of the competitive nature,” Hayes says. “Maybe Sarah feels like she’s proved herself and she should be team captain—but I think it’s more that she sees that Peter isn’t Alan, and he’s not the same leader that Alan was. She really got spoiled in her first expedition, where she had Alan as a leader, and now she’s stuck with Peter, who she thinks isn’t as good.”
Of course, Sarah’s relationship with her former team leader is a bit more complicated than whether Alan was simply better at the job than Peter. Right before Arctic Biosystems lit up the Arctic in a final, desperate attempt to contain the Narvik virus, Sarah found out from one of the doctors at the base that she was pregnant and Alan—at that point in the arms of his ex-wife—was the father. Hayes couldn’t say much about how that played out for Sarah on the super-secret set, but she did confirm it’s “still a plot point in the second season.”
It’s plenty for Season 1’s rookie to have to handle, hot zone expert or no. But Hayes seems to be relishing the extra challenges facing her character.
“To add that dynamic on top of everything else that she had gone through—being terminally ill, basically losing her life and then coming back to life and becoming immortal—on top of all of it, now she has to deal with bringing a child into this life that she has … I mean, as an actor it was good because it’s a lot of juicy, complicated things to work with but I mean, as a character she has to deal with a lot, for sure.”
Helix airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Showcase.