There’s a new show on the SyFy channel called Helix. It’s about a mysterious compound in the Arctic (Antarctic?) where scientists play with the kind of science we have a healthy fear of. Obviously, something goes terribly wrong and plots ensue.
Episode one opens with two guys in hazmat suits going into a room where two men are decomposing on the floor. They seem unconcerned. One guy isn’t dead, he’s alive and suffering. He’s all like, “Water…”
One guy (Sinister Asian Guy) gives him water and the he reacts like it was hydrogen peroxide and the second hazmat guy says, “What was that?” Sinister Asian Guy says, “Progress…”
Meanwhile, at the CDC Lead Scientist Guy is looking for things while his competent assistant hand-holds him through the basics of walking and talking at the same time. This idea of Super-Scientists being too dumb to live is consistent throughout the episodes I saw.
So, Lead Scientist Guy is delivering an orientation speech to a bunch of new scientists about how they’re the only thing between the human race and certain death. Applause from his audience and the TV audience is assured he’s REALLY smart and qualified.
Back in his office some dude from the army is like, “There’s a secret base in a place that’s technically no country’s territory and they have something that needs investigating and the US military wants you to do it… By the way, tor brother is there.” It’s all very vague and specific at once.
Lead Scientist is all like, “I choose my team. I have reasonable questions.”
Army Guy, “Yeah, cool. Don’t worry about the details or the secrets.”
Apparently everyone is totes okay with the lack of details, jurisdiction, and trust. On the plane to the secret base we get back story and details. The Assistant has a thing going with the Lead Scientist; Lead Scientist’s Ex-Wife is part of the team; Ex -Wife and Brother Mike cheated together.
At the base Sinister Asian is consistently sinister, his lead security officer is dopey and takes his job very seriously even though he seems way under qualified and was somehow adopted by Sinister Asian who looks to be in the same age range as him.
Lead Scientist is checking his brother out and it seems, based on the fact that he looks to be decomposing, he’s sick… But with what?!
Everyone leaves to go mull it over. Lead Scientist watched Brother Mike’s video diaries and sees a weird hand gesture they use to use to tell each other their drunk father was drunk. Ex-Wife asks, “What’s it mean?” Lead Scientist, “Run like hell.” DUN DUN DUUUUUUN.
While everyone’s off lubing up their thumbs to put in their asses, Brother Mike breaks out of his room and into the ceiling.
After a quick round of who’s fault is it, we cut to the Country Bumpkin Scientist and Army Guy. Apparently Army Guy’s specialization is essentially plumbing and Country Bumpkin’s is looking at stuff. She looks at the rats and the mice and asks where she can find some monkeys to look at. Security Guy says, “There are no monkeys here.”
Bumpkin is all, “But there MUST be monkeys.”
“No monkeys means no monkeys.”
So Army Guy is swabbing pipes and Bumpkin is all like, “lemme look at that.” She finds MONKEY HAIR in the pipe!
Brother Mike is on the loose and everyone is bickering.
Bumpkin and Army Guy go hunting for monkeys. After breaking into a locked area (no alarms go off and neither of them think make there’s something on the other side of this door we’ll want to keep locked in), they find a bunch of empty cages and one monkey. He’s all bald and angry so Bumpkin calls out to him like he’s a declawed kitten. Well, surprise, her attacks her face with his mutant monkey strength and rage.
Everyone is off in their separate corners doing science and pointing fingers. Brother Mike finds a group of scientists (the base if full of them) and spits black goo in their mouths… Somehow the CDC team determines that the virus of Brother Mike is looking for a perfect host. Knowing Brother Mike and a deadly virus are on the loose every one separates to make themselves easier targets.
Army Guy uses a secret satellite to make a secret call. ( Outside he discovers a but load of frozen monkeys running away from the base.)
Bumpkin is alone in a basement with her monkey cadaver.
Ex-Wife is thinking in the locker room shower.
Assistant is having hand tremors alone in her room.
Lead Scientist is mulling.
Apparently the CDC doesn’t believe in the buddy system, common sense, or proper containment.
Army Guy bops it and they pat themselves on the back.
I guess there’s a big mystery around what the virus is, who Sinister Asian is, who pays for all this, and why everyone, despite years of education and field work, is so stupid.
Helix isn’t a bad show. I just feel it’d be a better movie. It’s a good enough premise but how long can this last. You’re so far from civilization, there’s no reason you can’t just lock it up and throw away the key. How long can they run around this base making bad decisions?