The pilot of Helix promised a strong show that would be all about some sort of scientific mystery that was threatening to sweep the entire arctic base of Arctic Biosystems. From the first episode, we knew that the stakes were high and it was all about preventing the potential spread of an incredibly deadly virus. To make the entire situation even more terrifying, we got to see the effects of this virus, Narvik. It had the potential to infect everyone it came in contact with making them deadly vectors of the disease. From episode one we saw that it could hold an audiences attention with a blend of science and horror that didn’t feel silted.
Unfortunately, the show wasn’t able to keep that high standard that we saw in the first two episodes. As the show became less about suspense and horror and more about characters we lost some of the things that Helix really did best. it was unfortunate, but the result was a series of more character driven episodes. That said, the show was not a failure by any means, but it could stand to be to be stronger in the coming next season.
The first few episodes really played up on the suspense. Those early episodes thrived on the tension and uncertainty of the situation. Everything that we saw from then on raised the stakes and made things even scarier. Particularly moments of vectors crawling through air ducts and attacks on healthy people made the early part of the season strong. That dwindled as the season carried on. In many ways it was because we stepped away from the vectors and focused on Ilaria as the enemy instead. While Ilaria is definitely a scary company, we didn’t know much about them to make us fear them at first. And no, Hatake’s consistent you don’t know what they are capable of lines were not ample reason for us to be afraid.
Much of the character work was the worst bits of the show. This isn’t because that characters themselves were bad, but the decisions that were made were. Like I mentioned previously, Hatake repeatedly avoided answering questions, even when others had earned the answers. The result was a character that was interesting, but did things in incredibly uninteresting ways. This is the same for the vast majority of the characters. They were hindered by their dull decisions that made it so we could learn more about them as people.
What Comes Next
In order for Helx to thrive they are going to need to focus on they way they choose to tell the story. This means that they need to work on pacing so we don’t have laggy middle episodes. The characters need to make decisions that make sense for them rather than for the story. And most importantly the plot needs to make sense.