Saturday, February 15, 2014

“To Trim the Herd”

Watching Syfy’s wonderfully addictive new series, Helix is like viewing a soap opera on steroids.  I will not even try to summarize the ever branching plot developments, (see, except to say that the characters’ relationships are being ever shuffled into new arrangements as further revelations are made.  Two things were especially intriguing about last night’s episode.  It was a delight to see Jeri Ryan as the incredibly evil Constance Sutton, the chief operating officer of the Ilaria Corporation.  She has spewed forth an endless supply of malevolent corporate-speak ever since she got off the helicopter, and is a relentless threat to just about everyone still alive at Arctic Biosystems.  (Jeri Ryan was great as the liberated Borg “Seven of Nine” in Startrek: Voyager).
The existence of “Level R”, where the scientists infected with Narvik-B have been quarantined for many episodes, implies that there additional levels A through Q, and perhaps R through Z.  In last night’s episode, shots of the ascending and descending elevator gave viewers a sense of the immensity of the Arctic Biosystems facility.  My wife and I had earlier argued whether the Narvik B virus was extraterrestrial in origin; now I am willing to go out on a limb and speculate that Arctic Biosystems—judging by its circular form—is actually a submerged alien spacecraft.
The choice of episode theme music remains whimsical and amusing.  Last night it was Peggy Lee’s version of the classic rhythm and blues tune Fever, which was the background to scenes of hungry zombies prowling the halls and exiting the air vents.

With every episode of Syfy’s Helix it gets harder to tell who the really bad guys are.  A rating scale of 1 to 5, (bad to worse), may be needed at this point; see helpful chart below.

Helix character
Evilness Rating
Constance Sutton
Hands down the most evil of the lot.  She arrived last night as the representative of the Ilaria Corporation.  She has the same “eyes” as Hatake, (and now Julia).   She wants “the virus and a cure” so that it can be used to ‘trim the herd.’ One scene shows her filing her teeth.
Dr. Hiroshi Hatake
Has inflicted his gruesome research on co-workers and the children of a neighboring arctic village.  All of his relationships with others are creepy and hazardous.
Major Sergio Balleseros
He killed my favorite character, but has subsequently been beaten up by both Manana and Constance, and has spent the last several episodes chained and handcuffed—so sympathy is building for him.
Daniel Aerov
Hatake’s loyal and malevolent adopted son and henchman.  However, he was reunited with his sister in last night’s episode, and may switch sides as he learns of Hatakes’s depredations of the local village’s children.
Narvik-B infected Zombies
Vile, but innocent victims of the Narvik-B virus.
Peter Farragut
Cryogenically frozen for a couple of episodes now, though Julia Walker keeps hallucinating about him.

For more information about the show, see Helix | Syfy.  Helix is on SyFy Friday nights at 10:00.

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