Helix did the right thing in its season finale, setting part of the episode on Day 235, giving us a glimpse of how Day 13's hellish ending affected the survivors. Now that the show's been renewed, those Day 235 moments are pretty damn important. Spoilers ahead!
Peace-loving Alan has become a stylish interrogator, willing to use torture and wear snappy overcoats in France just to save Julia from Ilaria. Alan is brutally beating a silver eye, asking him where "she" is, and the silver eye is mumbling a bunch of things about how he's endured more torture than Alan could ever imagine. And Julia — well, we'll talk about what happened to her momentarily.
So on Day 235, Alan is in France, enjoying a croissant after beating that guy and reading a newspaper about how the "black saliva" is causing "deviant blood" (yes, my French translation skills are super awesome). There's a picture of burning cars in the paper too, which is apparently not a bunch of protesters in Paris but yet another sign that the black goo zombies are rampaging.
Then we head back to Day 13 to find out WTF turned Alan into the kind of guy who wears button-down shirts. Let me say out the outset that despite promises from certain producers of this show, the mystery of the first season was not solved. We still don't know why Ilaria wanted to create the black goo virus and a cure; we still don't know what the immortals are; and we still don't even understand what Julia is, because once her mom starts talking it becomes clear that more is going on than we thought.
So basically here's the scoop. Hiroshi is super sad about Miksa, but not really that sad because he would have chosen Julia over him anyway because (as he puts it to Julia) she's his "blood." Together they decide that they need to get her mom Jane back from Ilaria, which has been holding her mother for 30 years in a drug box or a torture chamber or whatever else this show will retcon in there later.
This means that when Julia's mom took her away from Arctic Biosystems so long ago that she somehow deposited Julia somewhere and then was kidnapped by Ilaria. Neither she nor Hiroshi have seen Jane in 30 years. They've got the Scythe tied to a chair and they're trying to get information from him about Jane, but Alan refuses to use torture — unlike his Day 235 self. (Yet another character arc taking place offscreen, grumble.) All the immortal kid does is show them pictures on his tablet of how the black goo virus is running wild in Puerto Rico. I don't understand why they're able to subdue him so easily when he's an assassin ninja superhuman, but whatever.
I love the scene where Alan, Julia and Hiroshi decide to get down to business, so they put on their Dr. Horrible outfits and jam guns down the backs of their pants.
And what does all this cosplay get them? Sergio, who has returned in full "I totally love my new girlfriend Anana" mode. He's there, inexplicably, to get a list of stolen Inuit kids from Hiroshi. Even though this scene makes almost no sense, and refers to a list of stolen kids we've never heard about before, it's great to see the Badass Prince Charming version of Sergio. He's done some stolen orphan bonding with Anana and now he's going to bring justice to the natives and stuff.
Also, I liked how Sergio just shot the Ilaria guard chick without a second thought. You go, Easily Reformed Character With Cute Lips! While Anana weeps over her dead brother Miksa, Hiroshi writes down a list of all the Inuit kids he stole and where they live. I guess we can save that plot for next season.
In a show whose hallmark is contrived scenes, especially involving bad science, the moment when Sarah learns she's pregnant was still a standout in the contrived category. While Sarah organizes the crazy scientists, one of them steps forward and out of nowhere says, "With all you've gone through, you need a blood test." And she agrees.
Which — WTF? A blood test? Sarah is A) a brilliant researcher who probably knows how to give herself any possible blood tests she might need; and B) doesn't seem to think it's weird that this so-called hematologist is referring to "a blood test" as if that is a thing. Also, she has already gotten like twenty zillion tests, and it hardly seems to make sense that this undefined "blood test" will reveal anything. Still, she goes up to his lab and he looks under the microscope and does this amazing "blood test" that apparently reveals everything including whether Sarah is a Taurus and what she likes for breakfast and that she's pregnant.
The absolute worst part is when the hematologist tells her she's pregnant and pats her on the arm condescendingly and says, "Congratulations." Because of course being a pregnant silver eye in a facility that's under attack is a great thing.
Speaking of which, Sergio and Anana and Miksa's twin brother have brought a zillion skidoos to help the remaining people at Arctic Biosystems escape to Nunavut with them. But while the rescue plan gets underway, we stumble over a new plot twist that actually makes sense.
Peter has been conspiring with Ilaria all along, and infected himself with vector juice so that he could bring the black goo virus off the base for the Puerto Rico beta test. So this actually goes pretty far toward explaining why Peter was the rock god of the black goo zombies. Anyway, Peter cuts the Scythe out of his bonds and gives him the ignition device for all those explosives that Hiroshi planted around the base. And the Scythe said something about how Ilaria appreciates his work and that his sacrifices have not gone unnoticed, yadda yadda.
Then the Scythe knocks Peter out, so it looks like he escaped without Peter's help. So I'm pretty sure that Peter is still working with Ilaria on Day 235 when he meets up with Alan for a Seekrit Discussion, even though he's not happy about it.
So a bunch of crap happens once the Scythe gets free. First, he blows up the base and we aren't sure who got out alive. Jane begs the Scythe not to kidnap Julia with the virus and its cure, and calls him Spencer. "Don't call me that," he says and then cuts her throat. Hiroshi runs to her, then flops over. I'm not sure if that means he's dead or just really sad. One thing is for sure — Jane is dead, and she seemed to know a lot more about the immortals than we realized.
Jane begs Spencer not to kill more people, and he yells back that "her kind" have killed more than he will in their "witch hunts and crusades." That's a classic "I'm a vampire" line, by the way. Why not mention our genocides and drone strikes? This guy seems more worried about medieval stuff than present day threats. And Jane tells him that this notion about humans being killers is just "lies" spread by his parents. Which — hate to tell you, Jane, but humans actually are genocidal maniacs. So it's not lies. It might not be a good justification for wiping out humanity, but those crusades and drone strikes actually happened.
Ultimately none of this gets us any closer to knowing WTF the immortals are or what their plan is. So let's get back to the action.
Alan, who has just had a "I'm rekindling our relationship" kiss with Julia, races after the helicopter that has come to scoop up the Scythe and Julia. Inexplicably (or should I say "as usual" in this show), Alan has somehow gotten Constance's head out of the jar under the snow (how did he have time to do that????) and tosses it into the helicopter — I guess to distract Spencer the Scythe? I think it's going to backfire, because probably Ilaria can rebuild Constance from her head, or can implant her brain in Julia's body, or whatever.
As Meaningful Music plays, Spencer freaks out and Alan tries to rescue Julia. But she's chained to the helicopter! So she hands him one of the black goo thermoses, and pushes him out of the helicopter. Which thermos did he get? Virus or cure? We don't know.
What we do know, as we return to Day 235, is that Alan's torture paid off. His silver eye has revealed that Julia is "probably" alive, and Alan passed that intel off to Peter in a secret meeting. Before that meeting, however, Alan did some spy stuff with chalk marks on a wall. He also left a LOT of Euros behind for his coffee and croissant. So he's part of some kind of underground something something.
Peter is most likely still working for Ilaria, whose offices are located in a nice Paris building that looks like it's from the 18th or 19th century. Love me some stock footage architecture porn.
At this point we can't be sure if Alan thinks Peter is on his side, or is playing Peter. Or if Peter is playing Alan. All we know is that there is some mumbling about how they're glad Julia is safe and that Alan and Peter are supposed to rendezvous at a place.
Meanwhile, in Ilaria's boardroom, the silver eyes are all being bossed around by Corporate Badass Julia.
Great suit; nice prosthetic finger.
I think my one great concern about this show, as we plunge into the next season, is that so much of the crucial action takes place offscreen. Plus, what we do see on screen often seems so contrived and forced.
I am completely intrigued by this conspiracy, and I love the ambiguous immortals. But this show is definitely going in the direction of Lost, in that it holds back answers and then builds new mysteries into every reveal.
Let me just repeat: We ended this season without ever knowing what the black goo virus actually does (other than make you barf goo), and without ever learning who wanted to create it and why.
The central mystery of the season is entirely unsolved. Yes, we know a few things, like the fact that the people who run Ilaria are immortal and that they wanted to make the virus. But that's not an answer to the mystery. That's just a new set of questions. Why are they immortal and what is their goal?
As much as I love this show and its craziness, I don't appreciate being jerked around and told that the answers I seek are just more questions. I'm down for the Day 235 future, but not if the whole point of taking me there is just to show me more inexplicable scenes and unveil more unsolvable mysteries.