Helix Post-Game: Aniqatiga Is The Exact Opposite Of Logical Storytelling

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helix“There are no mistakes. Only opportunities wasted.”

These words, spoken by Dr. Hatake in “Aniqatiga,” last night’s episode of Helix, could be about this completely brainless show itself. Less than a week after executive producer Ron Moore criticized science fiction for turning into a “popcorn” genre in recent years, his own endeavor plumbed the depths of stupidity and came up with its arms completely full. The fact that he refers to Helix as “adult sci-fi” makes me think the horse he’s on is so high in the sky that he isn’t breathing properly. Moore should have taken one look at show creator Cameron Porsandeh’s trite jumbled mess and hidden behind the upcoming Outlander adaptation.

I’m surprised they’re still spelling “day” right in the opening title screen, but from there things immediately dive into the dum-dum zone. “Aniqatiga” opens with a frost-covered Major Balleseros—who was previously stabbed with an ice axe and left to die without a jacket—being dragged away from a heaping frozen pile of blood, which was nearly impossible, given the wound. And then he wakes up! Only long enough to take a punch to the face, but still. He then wakes up again completely free of frostbite and obvious pain also shirtless and handcuffed, inside the warm nearby home of a woman named Anana (Luciana Carro). She says she’s the only peace officer in the region and wants answers about what Arctic Biosystems is up to. They’re apparently responsible for the disappearance of 31 children in the area in the last two decades.

My immediate line of thought is to ask, “Who the fuck actually lives around this place and why are they keeping their children there?” But then I get distracted by Anana’s idiocy. Not only does she get herself put in a chokehold after pulling Major’s covers up over his bare torso, but she also just leaves all kinds of potential weapons within his reach. So OF COURSE he uses a pen cap to get out of his handcuffs, so that he can run outside and tackle Anana’s brother, who just so happens to be twin brothers with Second Banana. DOWN TO THE SAME FACIAL HAIR! I seriously considered slapping my TV at that point. It turns out Second Banana is one of those 31 kids who previously went missing, and Anana just knows that Biosystems has something to do with it. We can expect this A+ detective duo to get cracking on the case next week.

Onto Julia, who has gone from “I hallucinated that one woman” to “My dreams are full-blown psychosis,” with her face becoming more scarred and veiny as her condition worsens. She not only runs into Peter, who somehow has advice for her despite being an invention of her subconscious, but also a little girl, also named Julia. She later has a dream Thanksgiving dinner with all the main characters. Even the turkey bleeds black when carved.This surreal scene could have been golden if it wasn’t surrounded by laughable drama. All of these “visions” are presumably happening just so Julia will remember that she was one of the missing children taken into the base for one reason or another. We knew that two episodes ago when she recognized her own childish scrawling on the wall. Why are they dragging this out?

Remember how Hatake was with Julia during her big breakthrough last week? He tells her some nonsense about why he didn’t tell her she was crazy, and then gives her a “sedative” that we later find out actually cures her. I would never have known that this was the case if I hadn’t read the description on DirecTV, even though she wakes up completely vein-free. However, that description says he does it before Major’s cavalry comes in, but he doesn’t even find out about that until he’s back with everyone else. (Watching him slap Second Banana for stabbing Major is pretty epic.) I’m not sure who is to blame there. I guess he’s curing her because she’s one of the only people left that’s smart enough to figure out a cure…waaaait a minute. If he already has a cure, then WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? He’s obviously used something on himself to account for his fast-healing wounds, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see what it is.

A mildly interesting bit from this week is when Hatake tells Alan that the NARVIK virus is actually a (drink every time they say) delivery mechanism for a cancer cure. Sarah calls it brilliant, apparently forgetting that it completely fucks up everyone that it’s given to. I think I’d rather live with cancer than try to eat people, but that’s just me. Alan and Sarah’s work with the virus, in one of the least convincing CGI scenes in visual media history, leads them to the discovery that cold halts the virus. So of course they take Peter down to some guy who hasn’t “taken a shit without a chaperone for the last six days” that works with cryogenics. Peter is then given VFC immersion hypothermia, which makes his tongue fall into the back of his throat in a gross way. He may one day live to tell the tale.

The grossness that is Team Alan and Sarah is on full display as well, as the two find their attempt to rescue Julia foiled by a group of vectors. Billy Campbell’s performance includes my least favorite moment in the series thus far. Not only do they make out again, but they have some gross, gross sex. It was all worth it for Alan’s post-coital staring into space, which was admittedly excellent.

The “plot” takes an almost exciting turn at the end, when helicopters marked “Laria Corporation” land outside the base, just as Hatake has figured out that Major was taken just by touching his frozen blood. Jinkies! This means the arrival of Jeri Ryan, but at what cost? Your sanity? My sanity? Second Banana’s sanity?!? See you next week.


  1. Andrew Hunt says:

    I don’t understand why many people are thinking that Helix is illogical. perhaps its me.
    To start with the show is only in its first episodes, so there are many things not being told, which is a hook to drag the viewer in.
    Regarding the retro-virus: I know a little about this from reading “the hot zone” , but other films and books (such as 28 days later and its follow up 28 weeks, I am legend.) and consider it credible enough for me to want to continue with the show: at least for another five/ six episodes. besides, I always watch about 10 episodes, by then the character’s and the show’s flaws are there to see.
    What needs to happen is that the virus needs to spread from the complex: and that is what it is trying to do:
    The acting is not poor, in fact the only thing that’s “out” for me is the intro music.
    This has me really thrown, as it suggests black humor and, lets be honest, there is nothing funny about what is happening in Helix. Nothing at all.
    the producer calls it adult scifi, and from a biological science position he is right: not many teenagers (or adults) know enough about how a virus works to consider it credible, but virus do work in the way that the show suggests; they posses the host and force it to do things. I can cite many: a virus that invades an ant which then enters the colony and devoured it from the inside out is just one. Any hot zone virus is another: it bleeds out of the host and attempts to infect an individual though contact.
    also this is no ordinary retro-virus: it shapes the DNA of a human. So from that angle how do we know that the Sargent who was stabbed and left to die in the snow has not been shaped by the virus already, as has been the leader of the station? At this point in the show, we don’t.
    I will agree that there are far too many hooks in the show, and that needs to be addressed. more telling and less showing is vital, if the show is to survive.
    But perhaps its not meant to. Perhaps its a device meant to lose money and avoid certain people paying taxes: just a thought.

  2. Richard Smothers says:

    My question is “Why, exactly, is Nick Venable so easily confused?” Show’s too confusing for him? Maybe he should watch Lost In Space reruns, seems like that might be more his speed. I know, I know, he feels very clever with his pithy little one-liners and feeble double-entendres and I’m sure his mommy must be very proud, but the poor little fellow’s objective critical abilities are so thoroughly non-existent he may as well be a plumber reviewing someone’s interior design work. Go take a nap, Nick, and have yourself checked out for pre-Alzheimer’s; someone who’s so easily confused as yourself may be at serious risk of leaving the house and not being able to find their way home.

    • Nicholas Venable says:

      Excellent job making yourself comfortable on the highest horse in the land. If you’d have actually defended Helix in any way, this might have been a relevant jab at me, but you didn’t, and it isn’t. Thanks for being able to read this!

  3. Sharon Kirtley says:

    Killing Doreen was stupid! And all the other stuff the author of the above article said.

  4. sounder says:

    If this bio lab was set in space it would have a better chance at being interesting.