If there is one thing this show knows how to do it is make your heart race as the suspense builds, which lead to an extremely enjoyable pilot.
Helix didn’t waste time getting to the meat and potatoes and the show. The viral infection spreading through the arctic facility is already leading to some gruesome deaths and Dr. Hiroshi Hatake is leading the investigation. Quickly, the CDC is brought in on the case even though the facility location is on international territory. Arctic Biosystems is doing a lot of work with mutations which seems to have brought on this disease.
The show quickly established the dynamics between the characters and the intensity of the situation. Head scientist Dr. Alan Farragut is going to see his dying brother, Peter with Dr. Julia Walker his ex wife tagging along (there’s also a massive crew along with them). Whatever this disease is, it makes it almost impossible for Peter to recognize Alan. Not to mention, it turns your blood black, which generally isn’t a good sign. If the tension that surrounds Farragut and the others will continue, the show will be filled with interesting drama as well as the shocks. It was nice to see that Alan still knew his brother well enough to know he was given the sign to run. Too bad Alan and his team are already in too deep.
There is a tension the runs between the CDC crew and the original crew at the facility. Some of the CDC crew comes into the facility like the abrasive American attitude that we are known for, while the other half who care more about finding out what is causing it than why they’re there. It means that despite the CDC crew’s well meaning intentions, they are met with resistance from the Arctic crew. This is largely due to whoever is the big boss over Hatake and the colluding American Major Balleseros.
There were some great moments of tension and suspense that would have worked a little bit better if there was a bit less talking. Peter’s escape was well handled as it increased the stakes for everyone involved considering the only thing they had ruled out about the disease was that it was not airborne. Juxtaposed with the reveal that there really were monkeys being tested and all were gone, with at least one busting out on its own. It was a great way to build the tension as Alan crawled the the air ducts after Peter. It’s rare the a show or movie can make me feel nervous anymore, but I had genuine pangs of anxiety as the infected monkey attacked Dr. Boyle and Alan found the dead body wasn’t Peter.
It was genuinely eerie to see the monkeys frozen in the snow after they’d been released. It makes me wonder by a company would release potentially dangerously infected specimen, whether they knew they’d freeze or not. It seems highly irresponsible and works perfectly to establish Hatake’s motivations as well as Major Balleseros’.
The episode was good, but it could have been tightened up a bit. There were a number of foolish actions that just shouldn’t have been made, like Farragut taking off his suit in isolation. There were also the bad effects that came in the form of the animals. Fortunately, the show seems to recognize this and did it’s best to minimize the special effects, something I wish Once Upon a Time in Wonderland would do. I wish they made the infected scientists a bit more sympathetic. Instead, they were incredibly selfish and despite realizing there was a high likelihood that they were infected, they still wanted to get out even after seeing what would happen. It made it very easy not to care what happened to them.
What we know of the disease thus far: Infection happens fast. The infected become incredibly strong. The infected have black blood. The infection can be spread orally. The infections causes a delusional state. The infection may result in a hive mind mentality.
What did you think of the episode?
And how terrible was it to see peter assault Julie while she was in the shower.