Review: Reason and purpose on Helix

After last week’s creepy opener, Helix moved past teasing us with another, nastier virus and really started getting into the inner workings of Brother Michael’s compound on St. Germain. I’m guessing the science geeks behind the series (and those among the fans watching it) were more than a little tickled by Michael’s response that all things have a reason, not a purpose.

Applied more broadly to the season, right now it seems like each of our CDC members—past, future and present—have a reason for being on the island if not necessarily a purpose. With the lone exception of Alan, who might have a bigger scheme in the works since he’s leaving hipbone clues buried at his gravesite for Julia and telling Sarah to take his brother and get out of his way.

Since Alan has come to St. Germain by way of a long list of immortal murders, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to question whether the island is just the unfortunate starting point of a particularly gross infection, or whether this all has something to do with Ilaria. And since the immortals were the group responsible for the last outbreak, it also doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to suggest this is their doing too. But what their reason is and what their purpose might be are still yet to be revealed. Hatake may have wanted the chance to activate Julia’s immortal genes, but I doubt we’re going to hit any secret child beats this time around—and that line of reasoning doesn’t explain why the organization ordered a virus and a cure the first time, let alone a second.

There’s still also the tricky issue of how Michael and his followers fit into that design (or lack thereof if we’re taking our cues from Darwin). There seems to be a strong thread of individualism to his teachings, along with the notion of abandoning your ties to others to freely be yourself—the kind of mentality that just might encourage a psychopath to unleash a virus on the world in order to gain just a touch more freedom. But Michael almost seems too benevolent to be the kind of leader keeping his followers around for gratification before ultimately reigning as one of a few kings over a devastated planet.

Despite objections from the downright creepy Anne, Michael was strangely and calmly welcoming of the CDC—willing to break the rules to look after the health of his followers when he didn’t have the resources, but at the same time pointing out just how isolated the scientists were. There’s something rotten in the state of St. Germain, but I’m not sure world annihilation is the goal. And bearing in mind the pathogen’s similarities to Narvik—the kind that had Peter freezing with flashbacks—I think there’s something to the superhuman strength and violent frenzy the diseases cause that might be the real “reason” behind their appearance.

But there’s also the problem that the virus is slowly leaking pustules all over Julia’s body 30 years down the road, which means something either went very, very wrong with its creation, or that the person responsible for this goo—looking at the people pumping it into unsuspecting followers last week and their leader—weren’t just interested in infecting mortals. Begging the question, as you’d expect, of who Michael is and whose side he’s really on.

Goo-ey goodness:

  • The title, “Réunion,” is a nice little nod to the filming location.
  • If I were the guy eating breakfast next to Alan, I would be very, very worried.
  • Watching Sarah throw caution to the wind and work in the lab without protective gear has me calling her death sometime this season.
  • “I’d be surprised if he’s here for the food.” Sarah’s getting sassy.
  • Did Julia stumble across Soren’s skeleton? I’m not sure what I’d do if it turns out there’s a Minotaur in the woods. Or a wisp of smoke.
  • Let it be known that I asked Jordan Hayes about Sarah’s pregnancy while on set and used the words “It’s been 15 months, so I’m assuming she’s no longer pregnant.” How very silly of me.

Helix airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showcase.


3 thoughts on “Review: Reason and purpose on Helix”

  1. Anne’s mother looks REALLY familiar. I’ve been racking my brain as to whether we’ve seen her on the show or on TV in general. It’s on the tip of my tongue where I’ve seen her before.

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