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Helix - San Jose - Review: "Take Me To Alan"



Review Guide:
Episode 2.01 San Jose - Advanced Preview & Review
Episode 2.02 Reunion - Review
Episode 2.03 Scion - Review
Episode 2.04 Densho - Review
Episode 2.05 Oubliette - Review
Episode 2.06 M. Domestica - Review
Episode 2.07 Cross Pollination - Review
Episode 2.08 Vade In Pace - Advance Preview & Review
Episode 2.09 Ectogenesis - Review
Episode 2.10 Mother - Review
Episode 2.11 Plan B - Review
Episode 2.12 The Ascendant - Review
Episode 2.13 O Brave New World (Season Finale) - Review

Helix - San Jose - Review/Recap

As soon as the première episode kicked off it became clear very quickly that the show had changed a bit from its sophomore season. Sure the aspect of Horror is still intact, and presents itself nicely during the première, but everything else has been changed slightly. There is a new team formed of Peter Farragut, Sarah Jordan, and a newcomer, Kyle Sommer, who I did like a lot. He added many comedic lines to some scenes that didn't require any, but made the scenes feel less dire, and grim. Kyle also shared a few scenes with Sarah, where they bonded, and I felt that they connected with each other on a personal level. He is definitely someone who I can see being a potential love interest for her now that Alan is out of the picture. There is also a new case, non-related to the Narvik virus. This virus unlike the Narvik is fast and aggressive, and instead of that black goo that would turn them into a different "species" this virus comes out of the person’s orifices, which chokes them to death.

The team first heads out to investigate a possible virus that the army believes could be related to the Narvic, luckily it's not. They then request to be taken to this remote island which they believe is the source of this new infection. Again, a sense of isolation much like season 1. Whereas in season 1 the team were stuck at a scientific outpost in the middle of the Antarctic, this season the team are isolated on a remote island. Again, it's the same premise; the team get dropped off by a military escort and told they would be out of communication for a couple of weeks. Keeping the plot different with just changing the location, and the virus isn't a bad move for the show, as moving too far away from the original plot for season 1 that made it a hit with viewers would be too risky for them to take.

The first episode introduced us to the new Hiroshi, Brother Michael played by the wonderful Steven Webber. We don't learn too much about him, but we do know that he is the leader of this new cult the team come across. His intentions sound honourable wanting to help, and protect people, but he most surely has a dark agenda. We do actually get a little glimpse at an event happening in a basement where a woman is tied up being injected with something, this leads me onto believe that the virus was man made by the cult or at least some members. Since the virus isn't airborne it would have to have been consumed or physically injected into someone so the cult has to have something to do with it. More shockingly though Alan is there with them. We don't know if he is there against his own will or if he chose to be there and knows what's going on around him. The most likely scenario is that he went there to continue his search for the Ilaria corporation, as at the end of season 1 that's all he had his mind set on.

The show has also moved forward into more syfy related areas, this episode we saw multiple timelines throughout the episode with the CDC team in the present and Julia in the future. This is a bold move for the show to take, but I did like it a lot throughout the opening episode. It allows the writers the creative freedom they need to tell a compelling story that can hold the viewer’s interest levels. Seeing so early on what happened to the Abbey where the CDC team headed will, like myself, leave you all in a state of mind that has you wondering what happened there which will make us more keen to continue watching the show. Some episodes in season 1 failed to keep me interested all the way through, but I think this new creative look for the show will be able to consistently do that.

Elsewhere in the première we saw Julia meet with a strange man named Caleb, whom by the looks of it knew all about her, and her immortality, which has me wondering if he knew Alan or has some involvement with Ilaria. Also worthy of noting is that the Ilaria storyline that was the main focus for the most of the first season doesn't seem to be a central focus for the show anymore as of yet. I have a feeling though that this new cult has something to do with Ilaria some way or another, or at least the new cult leader brother Michael. Once Julia and her new friend Caleb have a talk, and settle things out he agrees to her request to be taken to Alan, which was her reason for going to the island. He takes her to Alan's grave. The show does a good job this episode playing with your emotions, we see Alan in the present, but only a tombstone to represent him in the future. This was another thing I found interesting about the première episode, as it is a strange thing for the show to do. I have to wonder now if the show has set itself up that way to mess with us, and if dead doesn't necessarily mean dead. From now on I have to go into each episode with the knowledge that Alan could die at any moment. Showing the tombstone also removes the shock value most deaths come with, so perhaps it will turn out that Alan isn't really dead after all, but if he is Helix just killed off their main character which could end up failing or working.

This episode whilst very good didn't shed any light on who actually survived last season's deadly explosion. We know the CDC team survived, but we still are unaware of the fates of characters such as Hiroshi, Balleseros, Tulok or Anana. In a recent interview that was conducted with one of the show's producers, they claim that just because some characters haven't been seen in promos or talked about doesn't mean they wont show up at some point. I don't want to ruin it for anyone, incase some don't watch the promos, but one of the four characters mentioned above was seen in the latest trailer for the show. Even if they do show up I have to wonder how any of them will fit into this new storyline since none of them are scientists, and they only really fitted into the previous seasons storyline, I am sure that the writers though have something up their sleeves and will surprise us.

Other notes
- We hear that the new virus spread across the world, and if it's not airborne can people get it upon contact with an infected?
- Who hanged Leila? Was it to try to prevent the virus from spreading?
- I loved the narrative twists, especially the one where it led you to believe Peter was about to open the barn door to find Julia.
- The decaying rabbit was the highlight of the episode, it was extremely well done,and it looked stunning. I loved the way it showed us how long it takes for a rat to become nothing more than bones, but also the difference in years between the two timelines.


Summary
It was a really good première episode. The new direction the show is taking with implementing multiple timelines is the much needed boost this show needed. It needs more viewers, and adding a little more syfy, and creativity to the storytelling should certainly help them do that. It was a solid episode that dished out a dozen puzzling mysteries, and offered us many questions already regarding the island, and Julia. So far though I am impressed with the new season.

As always , thank you for reading! Be sure to let me know in the comments what you thought of the episode!
About the Author - Robert Fruin
Robert is a sixth form student from the United Kingdom, who is currently studying IT, Media and Business Studies. Robert is a huge fan of the ended ABC series LOST, he has seen it many times over and has even visited some of the filming locations for it. Robert mainly watches drama series such as Game Of Thrones and Person of Interest, but has a soft spot for the comedy The Middle. Some other shows he watches are The Walking Dead, Arrow and The 100. Some other interests include cycling, photography and kayaking. Robert will be reviewing Z Nation,The Librarians, Sons Of Anarchy, Intruders, The Fosters and Aquarius. Feel free to connect with him on any of these social media sites.
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