Helix is a show that has taken the art of misdirection to a new, chilling level. At first what seems like a rather straight forward plot, splinters into a complex web of biological horror and psychological terror. It plays very much like a CSI series, but if Walter Bishop from Fringe took too much acid and let loose some seriously bad stuff.
ulterior motives, uncertain loyalties, and increasingly complex interpersonal manipulations all propagate as fast as the virus the characters are fighting against. After the first two episodes, things escalate quickly. Almost every character becomes enshrouded with secrets and lies that muddle the relationships you expect. The only other show that exceeds this complexity is the second season of American Horror Story. While AHS is a far superior show, Helix’s completely insane plot and character development certainly is as enjoyable.
Rarely does five minutes go by before whatever you thought you knew becomes twisted and strange, creating a sense of disorientation that helps drag you into the experiences of the characters. And that is important, because for a show with admirable complexity, it does suffer from an unexpected flaw. Surprisingly uninspired dialogue is everywhere, nearly every scene seems so familiar its almost distracting. But all the twists and turns and uncertainty somehow push it down and out of the way, most of the time. Sometimes the dialogue is unintentionally humorous, which can break the tension and sense of fear that otherwise never subsides.
I can’t say that Helix is a masterpiece, but it really is worth the time of every horror and SciFi fan. It’s an undeniable entertaining show that is never predictable, and always keeps you second guessing everything. If I had one real issue it would be how surgical face shields appear more onscreen than any individual character… Still, I can forgive that, because Helix has drawn me in and kept me entertained. Even if it is as crazy as a barrel of squirrels!
It also doesn’t hurt that Jeri Ryan showed up recently! Give it a shot. Don’t be too critical, and just allow the weirdness and rage zombies to grab you!