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TV REVIEW: Alan & Sarah Try to kill Sutton With the Power of Science on Helix’s “Bloodline”

By on February 24, 2014
Billy Campbell as Dr. Alan Farragut and Jeri Ryan as Dr. Constance Sutton. (Photo by: Philippe Bosse/Syfy)

Billy Campbell as Dr. Alan Farragut and Jeri Ryan as Dr. Constance Sutton. (Photo by: Philippe Bosse/Syfy)

By Clinton Bell

This week’s episode—entitled “Bloodline”— is the best episode of Helix we’ve seen in quite a few weeks. Unlike the last few chapters, “Bloodline” starts fast and keeps the momentum going for the duration of the episode. It’s a busy instalment that thrusts all central characters into grave danger. What I liked most about this episode is how it gives Alan an edge and tenacity that we haven’t seen before. Around the episode’s midpoint, Alan and Sarah attempt to kill Sutton with the power of science. It fails, but it’s still exciting to see Alan and Sarah fight back, which is something they’ve mostly avoided in the past.

We also learned more about Julia and her relationship to Hatake. Sutton refers to Julia as Hatake’s daughter, but it’s still confusing as to what she means by that. If Julia is his (presumably adopted) daughter, then why doesn’t she remember him at all? While “Bloodline” is a hectic episode, I think there would have been time for the show to detail Julia and Hatake’s relationship. We’re close to finally learning why Julia found her handwriting down on Level R—a mystery that sprang up so long ago that I suspect half the audience has forgotten about it.

As for Sutton, I must admit I was surprised to see her get killed off this week. Time will tell, but my initial feelings are that Sutton was killed too early, and that the show could have gotten more out of this character. Her arrival gave the show a sense of urgency it had been lacking. Hatake putting Sutton’s severed head in a jar in the ice suggests that Sutton has a strong link to the mysterious Dr. Hvit, whose head was also in jar outside the base. Could they both have had the same mutation?

The child abduction story that Anana is so concerned about mostly stays in the background this week, but should develop into something of major significance in the coming weeks. Though I’m interested to learn more about why these children were abducted, I’m uninterested in Daniel and Anana’s involvement. These two characters are relatively flat, and their scenes together lack spark. We do, however, now know that Hatake stole Daniel from his family a long time ago; yeah, we pretty much knew that last week, but it’s good to have it confirmed.

Now that Hatake has taken control over the base again, it’s unclear where the show goes from here. Naturally, I have to assume that we’re just waiting for the next Sutton to show up and reprimand Hatake; Alan himself even believes that this is what will happen next. Until then, will Hatake go back to being the main antagonist even after everything that happened? Julia is apparently cured, but is also dealing with some sort of new affliction that we still know nothing about; will Illaria come after Julia again? What will happen to Peter, and why did the Vectors take him? What’s the status of Sarah’s tumor?

Personally, I’d appreciate it if Helix addressed these questions before introducing new ones. Judging on how the show has progressed, I expect Helix’s mythology will keep getting weirder and more mysterious. I’d like to see the show dial back on the mysteries a bit and focus on delivering tense, character-driven episodes. And raising moral questions about the ethics of the research is something I’d like to see explored more, too. This is a science-fiction series after all, and the best sci-fi finds ways to relate to the modern world we inhabit.

 Additional notes:

– Julia’s Alien prank was a nice moment. Just because this show is dark doesn’t mean it has to be humorless.

– Daniel has recently learned surprising new details about his life, but—oddly—he doesn’t seem too upset about it. I want to see what kind of strain this has on his relationship with Hatake.