Helix is at its best during crazy, grossout action scenes, and last night's episode played to this strength big time. Not only did we meet the ultimate Big Bad posthuman, but the science got so campy that it felt a little bit like Speed Racer meets Darth Vader. And that was kind of great. Spoilers ahead!
Time is running out for our ragtag gang of superhumans, scientists and black goo zombies, because Ilaria's army is on the way. Hiroshi responds by planting bombs all over Arctic Biosystems, hoping that all the remaining scientists can hole up in his Montana cabin basement bunker as the Ilarians and zombies burn above. We watch Hiroshi zipping around in his high performance fabric outfit, sticking Oreo-shaped bombs everywhere.
The vectors are upping their game, luring the non-goo guys out into the open with the promise of microwaved rats. Also, they are eating each other's blood and operating on each other and pouring sacks of their bodily fluids into the vents so that everybody will be coated in goo and get vectory. This situation is referred to by the scienticians as "the virus evolving." Show, I seriously just give up on your tech talk. Any time somebody talks about science I am going to pretend I am watching Speed Racer.
Meanwhile, Sarah has completely recovered from her tumor, thanks to an injection of Julia's spinal fluid. So Alan and Julia hatch a plan to synthesize more of the spinal fluid stuff and cure as many vectors as possible before the mini-apocalypse. There's a lot of Chim-Chim science here, with Sarah suggesting they add cryo-something to the vaccines to "slow the virus evolution" while the cure does its work.
Then Miksa reveals that in his spare time he's created a special backpack that can spray people with vaccine or something, so they can use that to shoot cryo-something while shooting the vectors in the stomach with the vaccine. This is a great moment where Hiroshi looks with pride at his son, and realizes how little he really knows about how awesome Miksa has been all along. Hiroshi's been so obsessed with finding Julia again — because "she's important," he says with ominous ambiguity — that he hasn't had time to enjoy the son he reared when Julia and her mother left.
There are a few great scenes where Hiroshi and Julia are running around, spraying and shooting the vectors. Of course they get Peter first, who immediately freezes and starts barfing black goo. Because we couldn't have an action scene without somebody barfing, drinking barf, or exploding into a pile of stringy blood yuck.
And then — the perimeter is breached! Time to go outside with guns! Turns out Ilaria has sent a bunch of exploding drones as a distraction while they dispatch a guy nicknamed the Scythe, an assassin who is "the worst of us" as Hiroshi puts it. Apparently he's a one-man killing machine, and he looks pretty much exactly like a cross between Racer X and Darth Vader. See how important Speed Racer is turning out to be for this show?
I completely loved the scene where Scythe Racer arrives with his henchpeople, slowly coming into focus as three shiny black-clad figures in the long, white hallway of Arctic Biosystems. This show has so much campy-scary style.
Julia, Alan and everybody else are gathering in the Montana cabin bunker to weather the explosion, and Sarah starts getting these blinding headaches. Is it her tumor returning? Nope. She's got the silver eye. Oh, shit. Well, no time to deal with that little detail, and what it means about what's going to happen to the cured vectors. The gang needs to close their blast doors and blow up the base.
A group of the remaining non-goo scientists are gathered in an elevator to go down to the shelter when Scythe Racer shows up. Of course they are totally naive for some reason, and invite this motorcycle helmet trio into the elevator without asking any questions. In fact, they immediately say, "Hey we have a cure and we're all going down to the bunker!" Great job, dipshits. Never tell people in shiny black body armor what your secret plan is, OK?
As Scythe Racer gets out of the elevator with his henchpeople, we see he's left scientist stir fry in his wake. Yeah, he really does kill with scythes. This is a totally badass detail.
That's when Miksa decides its time to blow the facility up. But when he pushes the "destroy all Oreos" button, nothing happens! One of the henchpeople looks at the bombs as she gets out of the elevator, and mutters, "Amateurs." I guess those bombs really were tasty cookies after all. Then all the badasses take off their motorcycle helmets, and we see that the henchpeople are two female ninjas, accompanied by a silver-eyed teenage guy who is apparently the Scythe. Getting a little Ender's Game here, but OK. I like it. So far Illaria's bad guys — like Constance — have been among the best characters in the show.
So now Scythe Racer is on the track, chasing down Chim-Chim and all the other scienticians. Plus, everybody is going silver eye! But at least Miksa and Hiroshi have sort of resolved their daddy issues, and even Julia is calling Hiroshi her father in front of everybody. I know I've said this before, but damn Hiroshi is a player.
We still haven't figured out what the silver eyes are, and what the immortals' true plan is. How do the vectors fit into all this? And what are they evolving into? A virus hive mind or whatever it was that Spritle said? I can't wait to find out. If this show gets another season, all I can say is that I hope it's starring a team of immortal scientists led by Julia, Sarah and Hiroshi.