DEADtime TV: Helix ‘Densho’

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Balleseros makes an appearance, and that feels like an important part of “Densho.” It not only finally ties this season’s weird new virus to last season’s Narvik strain, but also cements the fact that in some way, the immortals at the Ilaria Corporation are definitely a part of it. And that includes Peter, who makes the phone call to Balleseros after knocking Alan out. Something’s afoot, and tied in with all of the other stuff about flash-forwards and bee-honey viruses, it creates one of those rare moments where it feels like maybe Helix really does know what it’s doing.

That comes with a lot of steps in the opposite direction, though. Those flash-forwards with Hatake are, so far, not useful at all for the viewer. In “Densho,” Julia battles it out with Hatake after he threatens to make her into another guest at his dinnertable – meaning he’s going to preserve her in formaldehyde and make a nice Julia-body. Unfortunately, she’s not the next dead person, because she manages to get a stab in at Hatake before he slices her up with his katana.

Back at the island, back in the present, Sarah and Kyle stumble on the presumed secret of the new virus; bees have made a hive over by the apple orchard, and their honey is quite possibly the vector for the virus, since Soren did have an elevated sugar level in his system. This is getting too close to the truth, and Brother Michael and others in the group are upset by these developments. Soren’s mother specifically wants no part of helping them figure out what’s going on, putting Sarah in a tough spot.

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It’s nice to see Helix settling down to allow the viewer to figure out what’s going on. As the season continues, the show keeps dropping hints in our direction without bothering to elaborate on them; but since “Densho” makes strides to show what the new virus really is, the writers will now have to decide how to connect it to Illaria. Are they really in on this, or attempting to stop it? Is this virus what causes immortals to lose their immortality? Right now it’s not clear, especially because of the flash-forwards. But at least it feels like Helix might be going somewhere.

With that said, I’m still not sure what to think of season 2 so far. It’s significantly different in tone and structure (although that Andy Griffith tune as Julia attempts to escape from embalmment was pretty nice), and though these episodes seem to have a lot going on in them, when one stops to think back, Helix hasn’t really done much progressing in these last couple. “Densho” in particular only works to lock down the potential vector for the virus, something that was pretty clear once Kyle found the honey.

Still, it’s refreshing to see Helix plowing ahead with its crazy storylines. It might not be a great show, but at least it has something new to offer every episode (I can’t say the same for The Walking Dead). Wherever this is going, there’s got to be one important thing that connects this season: what Julia is doing in the future, and why it’s important for the show to keep jumping ahead. That is still the most disparate thing about Helix so far.

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