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HELIX's Shadow Falls

Helix poster

Written by : published Saturday 29th March 2014

The title of SyFy's Helix season finale, which aired last night, is "Dans L'Ombre." Translated into English, it means "in the shadow." There is definitely one character lurking surreptitiously in the base, someone who betrays those who trust him and remains uncaught as the frozen base meets its end. Where will Helix go from here?

"Dans L'Ombre" begins and ends about eight months after the rest of season one. While the general format has been one episode equals one day, basically taking our characters through a two-week crisis, the plot spreads its wings and soars beyond that small scope now. To be honest, the story was beginning to feel quite limited, stuck in one base in the middle of nowhere, as cool as that is at the start, but by the end of the hour, the writers have literally opened up an entire world of possibilities as the show is about to get global.

I hope this change of scenery helps. I really enjoyed the middle of the season, when Constance Sutton (Jeri Ryan) showed up and things got tense. But the secrets that have been spilling out these past couple of weeks seem tame by comparison. Even the arc involving Julia's mother seems tired and limp, which could be why Helix couldn't wait to get rid of the new character almost as soon as they find her.

I wonder how much Alan (Billy Campbell) might drag things down. Campbell works great as a supporting player, but as the leading man, is a bit boring. The writers are trying very hard to punch up Alan's arc, reviving his romance with Julia (Kyra Zagorsky) and making his brother, Peter (Neil Napier), secretly evil. Normally, this would be enough to make any character exciting, but even in the scenes where Alan is beating up a guy, he still seems a little bland.

The most interesting character on the show is probably Hiroshi (Hiroyuki Sanada). Originally introduced as an antagonist, we now know that Hiroshi is blackmailed into much of what he has done, and really has been trying to save the day. The sacrifice of his son, Daniel (Meegwun Fairbrother), is heartbreaking, but at least he still has Julia. Hiroshi's mission to protect everyone, especially his family, possibly clearing his name in the process, though he will never live down his guilt and regret, is definitely the most compelling reason to watch.

As "Dans L'Ombre" ends, we are left with more questions than answers. Did Julia slip Alan the virus or the cure? Why is Julia running Ilaria? Are the silver-eyed people a different species, as The Scythe (Robert Naylor, Being Human) seems to imply (Ilaria is, after all, an extinct genus of the marsupial family, so maybe evolution and branching species come into play)? How will Sarah (Jordan Hayes) and her pregnancy fit into the next chapter? How about Sergio (Mark Ghanime) and his shifting alliances? Has the virus spread beyond Puerto Rico? How come Alan can't get anyone in power to listen to him, given his position and the destroyed base, something too big to cover up?

I don't know that Helix is as fleshed out as it should be. There are terrific moments, such as when Alan throws Constance's head into the helicopter to distract The Scythe, or when Hiroshi reveals the truth. But there are also many seemingly unconnecte, threads that don't really advance the main story. I found season one good, not great. Can a second year work out the kinks?

Helix will return to SyFy.

About the author JeromeWetzelTV


Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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