HELIX (2015) – S02E02: ‘Reunion’ Review
Oh ‘Helix’, I wish I could hate you, but you’re so damn interesting. The 2nd episode of Season 2, aptly titled ‘Reunion’ is a creepy one. The last shot of last week’s episode showed a bunch of the hooded folks from the cult compound funneling some kind of liquid into someone, a scene reminiscent of similar ones in Season 1. But ‘Reunion’ finally explains what Alan Farragut has been upto since the Season 1 finale.
Flashbacks into the past show how Alan’s search for Julia made him desperate, tracking, torturing and even murdering Ilaria employees and immortals for clues to her whereabouts. One of those clues lead him to the island of St. Germaine, but why and what the connection is to Julia isn’t explained. It’s a reasonable backstory for Alan, but I don’t feel like his desperation to find Julia would commit him to kill people. That seems a little exaggerated.
Sarah stumbles upon an infected cult member while another young infected boy interrupts a council meeting where Steven Webber’s Brother Michael was giving his cult speech. Michael finally agrees to let Peter and the CDC team to investigate the virus using his lab, treat the young boy and find the infected man called Isaac. During a discussion with Ann, one of the senior cult members, it’s apparent that they have something to hide, and also that she and her family have been on the island for generations, as depicted by a family portrait wall of all her female ancestors. The fact that they have secrets is further confirmed when Peter speaks to the mother’s boy and she keeps looking to Ann before answering.
So far the story is following the exact same path as Season 1, which is as frustrating as it is interesting given the new setting and mysteries. Even the virus is exhibiting similar symptoms of rage in its victims like the Narvik virus. The switch to and from the present and future is really cool here as we see time lapses of parts of the Island go from perfectly built to gradually becoming ruins, or forests go from lush, to withered back to evergreen again, or vice versa. It’s a very visually interesting technical aspect of this season that’s very cool to see.
In the future, Julia digs up Alan’s supposed grave to find the bones of multiple people inside and one containing a map of the island, highlighting a specific spot that according to creepy Caleb, she doesn’t want to go. He does however help her there until she finds the field of bones that Peter and Kyle found in episode 1. Not much else happens with Julia this episode. But I wonder how long they writers can maintain her story, being disconnected from the rest of the cast. Also, I wonder who lives on the island in the future with Caleb.
While searching for Isaac back in the past, Peter is reminded of his past as an infected zombie in Season 1 causing him to freeze as a rage induced Isaac attacks. Hopefully things happening this season will in some way connect to, and expand upon the 1st season, unless this was just an isolated fleshing out of Peter’s character. Sarah reveals to Alan that she has been pregnant for 15 months with his frozen baby. Her immortal status has frozen her pregnancy for eternity along with her, which is a little fucked up. The revelation of this on Alan is lost as he simply cannot help due to whatever reason he’s on the island. Probably the most dickish reaction to the news in the history of all unwanted fatherhoods.
The island and who the cult is a big element of the story this season. Alan has a conversation with Michael that shows that he may be a geneticist who is combining plant strains to create new species. This is further shown as the apple trees on the island have also been modified to be super plants resistant to anything that may harm them. Add to this that the infected Isaac kills himself and his death releases a small cloud of yellow spray, which I suspect is the disease going airborne, something some plants also do with spores. So plant life looks to be a big thing this season. How or why is yet to be shown.
The ending of the episode is the creepiest as the young infected boy, now cured, is taken outside of the compound by one of Michael’s close people, Landry, and left there, almost as a sacrifice for… Something. A heavily diseased man says hello to him right before he takes him into the night. While looking diseased, the man obviously possessed some intelligence, as he seemed to speak perfectly fine. Are there two groups of people living on this island together? Michael’s cult and another, sub group of humans?
As frustrating as ‘Helix’s flaws are the story is too damn interesting to not follow. Where is Julia going? Why is Alan here? Too many questions, never enough answers and a mysterious tone that keeps me coming back every week.