I’ll be honest, I pretty much hated the first season of Helix. It had potential, it was essentially announced as a single-season event, much like Under the Dome, but like Under the Dome, it turned into an ongoing series without any actual meat to the story.
I waffled about watching the second season, there were some plot threads that I thought might be interesting and so, unlike Under the Dome, I gave Helix season 2 a shot.
Wow, did I make a mistake.
For those who want to know my epis0de-by-episode take on the first season of Helix, I covered it in my TV Thursday series. It started out promising enough, a group of CDC scientists stuck at a remote polar outpost where a deadly virus had been created. There was suspense. There was intrigue. Nobody was really who they pretended to be. And then… it all turned into a vast conspiracy by the Ilaria Group, a mega-corporation made up of mysterious immortals. They left off with a cliffhanger and the next season could have been really cool, filled with the machinations of the immortals and a war against them fought by a small band of plucky scientists. Unfortunately, that’s not how it worked out. They decided to just re-do the first season over but without any of the things that made it somewhat interesting.
How much of a reboot is it? In the first season, a remote facility is run by Dr. Hiroshi Hatake, an immortal in disguise engaged in unauthorized genetic research for his own purposes. A group of CDC doctors becomes trapped at the facility and forced to uncover the vast conspiracy to keep an evil corporation from releasing a deadly plague on all of humanity. In season two, a remote island is run by Brother Michael, an immortal in disguise engaged in unauthorized genetic research for his own purposes. A group of CDC doctors becomes trapped on the island and forced to uncover a vast conspiracy to keep an evil corporation from releasing a deadly plague on all of humanity. How stupid do they think their viewing audience is?
But for playing the same storyline over again, season 2 did it much, much worse than season 1. At least the first half of season 1 was a mystery because we hadn’t seen the schtick before. Season 2 had no such excuses. In fact, where most of season 1 was decent science fiction, virtually all of season 2 was absurd fantasy. You went from legitimate scientists trying to uncover a deadly virus to a forced rape baby-factory in the basement, magical trees, abortions performed backwards, ridiculous on-screen mutations and everyone acting entirely out of character. While the roles in the first season were hardly high quality, they were simply caricature in the second. You had immortal Sarah carrying her development-frozen fetus around in her backpack, you had Peter turning into a replacement cult leader, you had Julia seeking a means to stop human reproduction because Ilaria commanded it and Alan was a religious fanatic turned undercover agent trying to figure out Michael’s secrets.
The whole thing was filled to the brim with plot holes and absurdity. From the very first episode, when the CDC team was told that they could go to the island, but nobody could come back to pick them up for 2 weeks. Sorry, you can have a whole fleet anywhere on the planet faster than that, it was just a plot device to get their “one day per episode” trope to work. After the military arrives on the island to rescue the survivors, they fail to evacuate in time and it is revealed that part two of the plan, killing everything on the island to keep the plague from spreading, would be implemented. The military flies over and spreads some acidic toxin designed to eliminate everything… except for anyone inside of buildings, inside of the numerous caves on the island, and frankly, most things that are exposed to the mist. The secondary villain Amy gets mutilated by the fog but apparently survives just fine, at least until the end. Toxic my ass. And then, even after being told that nothing could ever be allowed to get off the island, the military makes not one but two rescue attempts!
It was all so predictable. I called Caleb being Soren. I called Alan becoming immortal. They throw Brother Michael down a deep dark hole for 30 years, yet when Julia uncovers him, he’s still fine, having not had anything to eat for 3 decades. Sure, he’s immortal, but they go to great lengths to say that just because they are immortal doesn’t mean they can’t die. Starvation for decades won’t kill them? What will? They spent a ridiculous amount of time during the season with Sarah and her fetus-in-a-jar, yet just wrote the whole thing off in 30 seconds at the end. And of course, Mutagen-Amy shows up specifically to take her vengeance on Sarah and Julia who promised her immortality but only gave her an acid bath, then ends up dying without ever encountering either Sarah or Julia. At least they didn’t set things up for a third season because I’m hoping they don’t get one. They really can’t they wrapped things up pretty solidly, at least through 2029. Ilaria won. Humanity lost. Please say this is the end.
I can’t suggest this for anyone. It’s just bad on every level. The story isn’t clever, the plot twists don’t make sense, it’s bad writing through and through. If you didn’t watch it, consider yourself lucky. If you’re thinking of watching it, don’t bother. I’ll save you 13 hours of your life you can’t get back.