Behind the Surprise Twist that made us Scream on Helix

Did you see what happened on last week's Helix? Madness! We are all still dealing with the massive upset that happened. Why do terrible things happen to characters we love? To find out, we talked to the actor who plays our favorite (and now horribly mangled) scientist. Massive spoilers ahead...

If you didn't know — last week we lost a wonderful character, Dr. Doreen Boyle, to the dickish Major Sergio Balleseros in a vile attack that left her as food for rats. It was horrible and infuriating — especially since she's the only one on the show with actual smarts. Thankfully we were able to share our sadness and frustration with the actress herself (who does NOT have the same accent as Doreen), Catherine Lemieux. Here's our one-on-one final farewell.


How do you feel right now?

Catherine Lemieux: I'm actually really sad. I'm sad for myself, but I'm also sad for Doreen, because in the story she was really getting somewhere. She was one of the people who was actually getting answers and getting somewhere with all the tests that she's doing. And then she's taken away… She's taken away! So when I read the script, and got to the end I thought, "Oooh, she knew too much." I just kind of think that's what happened to Doreen. She just knew too much.

But she's my favorite character!

I'm sorry, she's my favorite one too. I had the best time. I had some of the best lines on the show. And she was a bit of a comic. I can't believe how much of my own personality I was able to kind of put in there. Everybody is so great and supportive. It's been a tremendous experience. Awesome. I don't know if all TV experiences are like this, but I've been so included as part of the cast and my character. It's been a great ride, albeit a short one.


Let's talk about the actual act because OH MY GOD, are those rats eating your FACE?

I'm told that this is what happens. I'm told that what really gets me is the air bubble to the brain. And then I'm finished off by the rats.


That's a terrible way to die.

I concluded that I was paralyzed but that I had some sort of life to me when he dumped the rats on top of my body.


I thought he liked you! It's one thing to kill you with a seizure inducing air bubble but then he goes and dumps RATS on you. I feel like that's a kick while you're already down. Screw him.


I thought we were getting somewhere too. And they definitely have a dynamic that made Doreen hold back information from Alan. And that's where I was going with the character, that was my justification that maybe there was some closeness happening. She kind of let Major Balleseros in, in that sense. Again, not telling Alan about what was going down is a huge deal. It's a big deal. So I put put it together that as motivation that it was because, A, her Dad is in the military. I think she warmed to Balleseros on that level, and kind of trusted him in that sense. And then yeah they were spending some time together. There were friendship building activities happening.

It took me by surprise, because of the scene that she had with Alan where it became very apparent that she is the one that he confided in. So I was surprised to see her go after that reveal.


I've been told that before the story in Helix begins, Alan used Doreen as a shoulder to lean on when everything happened with Peter and Julia. So, as far as I'm concerned, Doreen knows a lot about that situation. And what happened between all of them.

Which makes me hopeful. I know that everyday in Helix is a day and this series moves forward, not backwards, but is there the potential for Doreen to return in a flashback?


I would love for that to happen, obviously. People in the process have said "we're sorry we killed Dorey and we're sorry that this happened, and that because this is a scifi series certainly anything can happen." But I am absolutely not privy to any of that potential happening. I think the best case scenario for her would be setting up a prequel. Because certainly there is a human story before the infection.

But she's definitely dead? She's not going to come back with like half of her face chewed off and really pissed, right?


You know what? I pitched [that] to Cameron (Okay, it wasn't a pitch — I was asking if this could happen) but because the rats are infected with the strain of the virus that turns people into superheroes. Is she actually dead? Technically, she's been eaten by the rats. She's infected. And couldn't that propel her into still existing? What if the last scene of the show is Doreen's hand is bursting through the snow. And that's the cliffhanger for season 2?

Did you know they were going to kill you when you were cast in this series?

The way that, that happened was I was told that I had four episodes, that was the contract. I would have to say that I was praying that I was giving them the best Doreen, [so I could] possibly keep her on. I kind of technically new in episode four something was going to happen, but as I read through it I really didn't know until the last moment. Until it was actually written down, "Balleseros shoves needle into her." That was halfway through episode 3 too, I kind of knew as I was filming it.


Well it feels like everyone is going to die on this show anyways. The rest of you CDC crew are all sick or have tumors.

Exactly! And I think that, as a cast, everybody knew that their head could be on the chopping block at anytime… But I have no idea where the show is going as of episode five. So I will absolutely be watching, riveted, along with everyone else.


OK so if you're really dead, and you know where you are in episode five, I'm assuming your body is in episode five. Did you have to film that yourself?

Yes. They deal with that in episode five.

Wait, do you have to play dead while they drag your body places?

I had to be a dead body when they dissect the body.

What was that like?

That was actually a lot of makeup. That was actually two hours of makeup, and there's a huge scar that I'll have on my chest. Yep, I was topless except for a sheet that was over me. It was actually, to be honest, really kind of painful to just lie there and pretend to be dead. You can't be breathing and you definitely have to be still. For me personally, that was maybe my toughest day. I went though a lot of makeup from all of the scarring from the the rat attack as well.


Are they going to show your face?

Yeah… I hope so. These FX makeup people are amazing. They are so amazing. Just incredible.


I'm so pissed the Peter is probably going to live and you died. I know he's "dead," but you know.

I'm pissed for Doreen. She's a bit of myself. I reacted as Doreen when I read it, "Oh no, he did not just do that — God Dammit!" I also have some slight regrets about having not pleaded to have a bit more of a fight scene with Balleseros. He really just grabs me, it's so surprising and it happens so quick. I wish, as Doreen, that she would have kicked his ass a little more.


Then those rats go straight for your face.

Those rats are amazing. Those hairless rats are very sweet. People think that rats are so evil, but they are actually quite smart. They had this crazy technique where they put the box of rats on my back, and they had food in the box so the rats would run into the box across my back. They had all kinds of smart tricks to get the rats do what they wanted.


[Last Question] How many times do you think you said the word monkey?

I propose that people start a drinking game with the amount of times that people say monkey on this series.


Thank you Catherine Lemieux! You were the best thing on Helix. we look forward to see your beautiful face ripped to smithereens by rats this Friday on the next episode of Helix.


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