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Review: Some Answers But More Questions in Helix’s “The White Room”

By on February 2, 2014
(l-r) Meegwun Fairbrother as Daniel Aerov, Mark Ghanime as Major Sergio Balleseros -- (Photo by: Philippe Bosse/Syfy)

(l-r) Meegwun Fairbrother as Daniel Aerov, Mark Ghanime as Major Sergio Balleseros -- (Photo by: Philippe Bosse/Syfy)

By Clinton Bell

Helix is still a very mysterious show, but “The White Room” gives us some answers and raises some new questions along the way. It closes the book on a few lingering plot threads: Jay is confirmed to be Julia’s hallucination, Alan is now aware of how sinister Balleseros is, and Balleseros is apparently working for someone other than Hatake.

We also gained some clarity on the relationship between Daniel (who is working with Hatake) and Balleseros; whomever they’re playing for, they’re certainly not on the same team. Balleseros’ employer is a mystery, but it involves Dr. Hvit’s frozen head, located outside the base under the ice. While the frozen head reveal is a silly development, it’s also one that feels right at home in Helix’s crazy story.

I like that Daniel has evolved into a real character. The writers made some progress with him last week when he questioned Hatake’s decision to kill those guys, and they continue to evolve him in “The White Room.” Daniel, who initially came off as dumb and evil, has become someone with a conscience.

Not much has changed for Julia since last week. Late in the episode, she comes to the conclusion that Jay is just a hallucination caused by the infection. I’m relieved that the writers didn’t drag out the Jay subplot longer than it needed to be; it was an interesting diversion for a little while, but its shelf life was set to expire.

On Sarah’s side, I’m still not on board with what she’s been doing the last few episodes. At the end of the episode, she comes clean to Alan with the headaches she’s been having and the morphine she took, but makes no mention of the tumor she has. Again, we’re left wondering why Sarah is so concerned about somebody finding out about the tumor. On the positive side, now that the infected woman is dead, Sarah will have to do something other than hang out and shoot up next week.

Billy Campbell does good work with Alan again this week, and the writers do, too. I admire how Alan worked quickly to get to the bottom of things. Now that he knows that Balleseros blew up the satellite and killed Doreen, it’ll certainly make things more interesting if Balleseros survives his wound, and I expect that he will.

There are still a plethora of lingering questions. What’s up with Dr. Hvit, and why is his severed head important? What is Hatake hoping to accomplish with Julia? Is Dr. Duchamp a hidden antagonist? Now that Peter is no longer a vegetable, what’ll happen with him? Those are just a few examples, and I’m sure there will be more to add to the list next week.

Additional notes:

  • I think Hatake’s story about his daughter is true, and I think one of the reasons he is doing all of this is because of her.
  • Have any of the characters slept at all since the series began?
  • When Doreen’s mouth opened, I thought for a second that she was still alive, but it turned out to be a rat pushing its way out of her mouth. Gross. And awesome.

One Comment

  1. Jordan

    February 2, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Great review Clinton. Helix keeps me coming back for more each week. There are simply too many questions demanding answers to stay away. Has Julia been here before? Is Hitake human? What’s with the head in the jar?

    Having said that, there are some small issues that are spoiling my enjoyment of this otherwise excellent series. Julia and Jay’s loud banging and shouting on doors while there is a deadly vector nearby. Hitake’s insistence that it was too late to go back for Jay, despite her being a figment of Julia’s imagination, and the fact that Balleseros really should have killed Alan, but left him alive – to spill the beans to everyone – instead. Sarah, in particular is a hard sell. Why is hiding her tumor more important than the lives of every uninfected person on the floor? Why would she share her room with an infected scientist who at one point tries to kill her? Is her compassion bigger than her sense of self preservation? Her actions to date seem incredibly silly. As you said, now that the infected woman is dead, Sarah will have to do something other than hang out and shoot up next week.

    I think Helix is fantastic when it steers clear of these silly scifi/horror TV tropes.Looking forward to your thoughts on the next episode. Looks like there will be more on Julia’s childhood.