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TV REVIEW: Helix “Fushigi”

By on March 10, 2014

Photo by: Philippe Bosse / Syfy.

By Clinton Bell

The revelation that the Illaria Corporation consists of immortals is quite possibly Helix’s wildest twist yet. It’s hard to determine how much of a game changer this will be in the long run, but the show treats this twist like it’s a big one.

I’m not sure what to make of the reveal as a whole. It opens up a lot of new possibilities, but I want to see where the show goes from here before making any judgments. Though part of me wonders if this reveal might have been more dramatic if it had come earlier in the season.

The basement scene with the creepy immortal is the episode’s strongest moment, but it is born from the episode’s weakest segment: Alan and Julia’s encounter with an Illaria soldier. The soldier is completely unnecessary, and only exists because the writers needed Dr. Adrian to die, and because they needed to get Alan and Julia to go into the basement. After the soldier captures Alan and Julia, Daniel appears out of nowhere to save them. It’s a sloppy segment that taints a compelling, eerie scene with the chained immortal.

Meanwhile, Sarah is near death and has a catastrophic seizure—so bad that Hatake puts her into a medically induced coma. In previous reviews, I complained that it didn’t make sense for Sarah to keep her tumor a secret. This week we learn why: Sarah has worked her entire life for this job, and would rather spend her final days in the field than dying in a hospital bed. That is a better explanation than I expected, and one that makes sense, too.

I liked the brief moment where Hatake and Sarah connect over their mutual love for science, and if Sarah survives her cancer, I welcome more scenes with these two. I suspect that she will survive, and that Julia will be the one to cure her.

Speaking of Julia, “Fushigi” ends with the reveal that they didn’t destroy the NARVIK virus canisters, and that Julia secretly stored them in her bag. I’m not sure why she would do this, but I’m sure bad things will happen because of it.

The episode’s least interesting moments all dealt with Daniel, Balleseros, and Anana. I’m not at all invested in their B-story, and I don’t care what happens to them. Their interactions with each other are stiff and rife with lame dialogue. The dialogue on Helix has always been weak, but it is particularly noticeable whenever Anana and the others are on screen.

And are we finally close to learning what exactly is going on with Peter? Peter and the other Vectors are able to communicate with each other—are they planning something?  With only three episodes left, Helix still has a lot of loose ends to tie up. But will it?

Overall, “Fushigi” is a mostly average episode, but one that comes with a major twist bound to shake up the series considerably.

Additional notes:

– The abandoned station was a nice looking set. The Christmas lights and music were a great touch.

– Still no word on why the base needed all of those abducted kids.

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