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Syfy (ended 2015)

Helix S01E04: "Single Strand"

Day 4 in Arctic Biosystems translates to Episode 4 for us, and you know what that means... 4-EPISODE TEST TIME! So of course it was a bad time for Helix to turn in its worst episode yet. Yeah, "Single Strand" pushed some mysteries forward (Julia was in the lab as a kiddo! Sarah has a toomah! Hatake and vectors are friends!), but it threw them at us rather clumsily. And most disappointing of all, this was also the show's worst-looking and most plainly structured episode to date. The cool cinematography that made the first two hours so fun is gone, and our main characters all have their own problems to deal with—some not quite as interesting as others.

However! I dunno why, but I'm still enjoying the show, especially as a Friday-night hour of spooks. It's a far cry from the brilliance of Battlestar Galactica, but it's miles ahead of major network attempts at science-fiction; considering the slim pickings when it comes to competent options in the genre, we have to take what we can get. And there are some things Helix does really, really well. As I've said before, I think the research facility itself is the show's best character (dead psycho monkey a close second), and the auditory whiplash from abrupt cuts between scenes—cutting off the score, or slightly changing the hum of the machines—is a little treat that I find myself way too excited about. Sure, the acting and dialogue (ouch, that dialogue) are just a tornado and a shark and a Tara Reid away from Sharknado, but I knew that would be the case (and accepted it) when I changed the channel to Syfy. Sometimes I want all the characters to shut up just so I can hear the whirring of the lab's machines. Quiet, scientists! I'm trying to listen to the symphony of machinery!


When I mentioned the poor structure of "Single Strand," I was referring to the fact that each CDC character took off on his/her own adventure, in contrast to the team effort to identify the virus and figure out how to contain that we saw in the first three episodes. That was much more interesting to me, probably because it seemed a lot more important than being cooped up in a room with one infected person like Sarah was for this entire episode, or waiting for an anti-viral serum to kick in on Peter, like Alan was saddled with for most of the hour. But since "Single Strand," was divided into four separate stories, let's take a look at them individually, shall we? 

The episode introduced us to the series' first big single-episode problem, otherwise known as "stretching it out," with an oxygen quandary. The basement dwelling infecto-losers realized they could turn a valve that would deplete the oxygen supply to the entire base, setting the clock for about six hours before people would start passing out. With the roomy basement able to hold more breathable air, the "infected's" air supply would last longer than that of the more cramped facility above them, giving them the upper hand in getting freed from their subterranean prison. Sheesh! That's a pretty serious "If I can't have it, no one will" decision there. I'm still a little perturbed by the mob mentality of a bunch of scientists putting self-preservation ahead of that of an entire species. You guys are really bad scientists!

So everyone dying from no oxygen should be a big deal, right? Except it wasn't. After raising the big "OH SHIT" flag to start the episode, this major crisis was hardly touched on throughout the hour, while people literally waited bedside or in their rooms. WHAT? Hello? Six hours until everyone dies! That's just one viewing of Klondike! These people need a crisis prioritization workshop. Instead, Hatake said, "I will take care of it" in that lifeless voice of his, and Alan essentially gave him the thumbs up and spent time with Peter. Not only that, but aside from a few blaring alarms, there was very little movement on the oxygen-depletion plot while Hatake casually strolled around the facility and showed off his hidden staircases. (Hidden staircase means it's official, Hatake is a supervillain; piranha pit and white fluffy cat still to come.) Also, big whoop, he has a hidden staircase. Once in the basement, Hatake engaged the oxygen kidnappers with some pretty bad negotiating and then shot them all as soon as they flipped some switches, so problem solved and everyone won except for those three dead scientists. Yay! Crisis that no one really cared about averted. 


Poor Dr. Cutie Pie (Sarah). She had the worst chunk of "Single Strand" as an intense, infected lady scientist came to her asking whether she was sick or not. Sarah administered her completely ineffective virus test, and the results came back negative! And wrong, of course. Sarah's broken test completely ruined her character. She was supposed to be the smart one, yet her first attempt at "science" was a total failure. Who is she now other than the cute, doe-eyed Canadian chick? She's the cute, doe-eyed Canadian chick with a tumor, that's who! Yep, her shakes are being caused by a cancerous mass inside of her, and the infected scientist will keep her trap shut if Sarah does the same about the infected scientist's condition. Sarah said sure. This was a really bad scientist decision on Sarah's part; Someone needs to teach Sarah and Doreen what "infected" means. Later, Sarah popped a bunch of morphine out of boredom, I guess. I don't really get what the point of that part was, but if it leads to Sarah becoming some sort of morphine junkie, I'll be asking for the check. 

Elsewhere, Alan gave Sarah a run for the worst storyline of "Single Strand," but since Alan's portion was just boring and he didn't do anything as stupid as Sarah did, he's off the hook. Alan had Peter injected with the anti-viral serum, and we waited and waited and waited for it to take effect. It finally did, and Peter experienced a few hallucinations that flashed back to a time that Alan had conveniently mentioned earlier in the episode. How fortunate! What are the odds!? Then they tripped over some of that love triangle baloney that Helix wants us to be invested in but I refuse to care about. It turns out Peter and Julia had been boinking well before Alan caught them. Sorry, Peter. Soon after breaking his bro's heart, Peter went into a vegetative state, leaving us all to wonder what else we could have been doing while this snoozy story unfolded. 


At least things were much more interesting down below, as Dr. Julia got kicked out of the quarantine "safe" zone. This was the straight-up-horror part of "Single Strand." Very The Last of Us. One mean vector chased Julia around (why did Julia leave the safety of her hiding place?) until Julia was saved by Jay, some random gas-mask-wearing woman who we know nothing about because Julia didn't bother to ask her a few incredibly basic and entirely obvious questions. They rummaged for food together and did cheese-can whippets (well, that's what I would have done). Later, Julia would find her initials on the wall, scrawled in her own young-self handwriting. She'd been at the facility before! Dun-dun! Now Hatake's obsession with her becomes more clear. There's some chatter about Julia being Hatake's daughter, but I don't buy it. Please don't be Hatake's daughter, Julia. Please. Julia has to be a key to this virus thing somehow, because even though she's infected, she isn't showing the same signs as others. Patient Zero perhaps? Innate immunity? Is Julia the perfect carrier for this virus that Hatake is looking for? Is Hatake actually a robot? 

Finally there's Doreen. Another bad scientist decision: She still kept all the details she knew about the virus between her and Balleseros. Did all of these scientists graduate from Selfish Scientist University? I mean, that's beyond dumb. If this virus gets out, it's all on Doreen and Sarah, because they refuse to share findings with the supposedly brilliant Alan. Anyway, Balleseros continued to puppet-master Doreen into doing things for him, this time DNA-sequencing the virus. She discovered that the virus was man made, and that it was delivering a strand of unidentifiable DNA. Basically, stuff we already knew, right? And with her usefulness to Balleseros finished, old Ballsy injected her with some death juice and then knocked over a bunch of rat cages her to stage an accident. And *crosses fingers* I think the rats started eating her Kenny-style! What a waste of a character. Doreen was there just to accidentally help Balleseros, I guess. But at least her death launched the best part of "Single Strand." 


In the final minutes of the episode (this show has a knack for great final minutes), the music kicked in, and Hatake roamed the basement and walked right past that vector who was chasing Julia, and the vector just let him pass, almost with recognition and a respect for authority. All this while the rats swarmed over Doreen's twitching corpse. Fantastic! Is Hatake himself at a different and more advanced stage of infection? Are vectors designed to recognize him as their leader? Has he designed this whole CDC investigation as a means to get Julia to show up and be his virus queen? And why was this scene so much fun while most of the episode was boring? So many questions, so many terrible theories. 

Helix is on a downward trajectory, but it still has this occasional sense of fun that I'd like to see more of. The series should embrace the energy of that goofy theme song and final scene instead of Alan and Peter talking about being Eskimo Brothers or virologists breaking the first three rules of viruses. It's those glimmers of potential that will keep me coming back, and I'm hoping that "Single Strand" was an anomaly. Despite all its mishaps, Helix has established itself as a watchable series and after four episodes, it has just barely passed TV.com's Four-Episode Test. 




SPEAKING OF STRANDS

– We're still not entirely sure who Balleseros is, but he mentioned to Hatake that they work for the same employers. It would seem he's at the facility as some measure of quality control—maybe an investigative third party who's authorized to do what he thinks is necessary to make sure Hatake gets his work done, so the big powers that be (there are always bigger powers that be in shows like this) can rest easy knowing their investment is going pay off. But Hatake might be going Colonel Kurtz and turning the experiment into his own power trip. I dunno, I'm just guessing here. 

– How calm was Alan about the oxygen and Sarah's broken tests? He was just like, "Okay, go make another test then! Bye, I'm talking to my brother." 

– "Am I the only one alarmed by this?" Alan asked of the exploded communications station. Yes! Yes, you are, Alan. Everyone else does not seem bothered. 

– Next week: It's White Room time!


What'd you think of "Single Strand"? Does Helix pass YOUR 4-episode test?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/10/2015

Season 2 : Episode 13

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Really good episode I love the ditty music during the more dramatic music LOL. The show really growing on me and just hope we will reach a satisfactory conclusion.
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Despite this show is so bad executed, for some reason I can't explain I just can't stop watching it. I guess its the overall plot pretty authentic and exciting, even complex (how the doctor was there before?) and no matter how bad is filmed, you want to know what happens next... I've felt that (lighter but still) with UtD as well. Can someone make a descent remake for both shows please? ^_^
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnY1ZcbiqUc episode 4 song
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It passes the test and I'll continue watching it, but I share your annoyance in how bad these doctors are about sharing findings or cooperating with a quarantine for the common good. Add to that a complete lack of concern about the failed infection test and the destroyed communication tower. Alan and Co. should certainly know by now something is seriously wrong at this base and Hatake is behind it.
Good idea for a sci-fi series but plenty of holes.
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I still find it interesting, but just because of the concept of being stranded in a gigantic lab in the Arctic with a strange black goo virus and crazy, paranoid people around you. Dunno, it makes me think about "The Thing" and "Dead Space". If the show doesn't improve its dialogues, it should just replace all speech with the ambient sound of the research facility.

The ending was good! However, I'm a bit sad/disappointed they killed off Doreen - her character had potential, which is more than I can say about Sarah.
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Just saw all 4 episodes in 1 sitting, WOW all the characters (doctors!!) are so stupid!
So Sarah would rather keep an infected person in her room and not tell anyone so that her big secret of having a tumor won't get out. Hmm let me see worse case scenario of Alan finding out she has a tumor, she no longer works at CDC. Worse case scenario of having an infected person in your room YOU GET YOUR FACE EATEN OFF. As for Doreen she should be renamed DUMBREEN, hey lets share ALL my findings with some random military guy I just met 2 days ago instead of my team who I'm here with to solve this outbreak. Finally why do all these doctors/scientists act like a bunch of idiots, hey the base is overrun with an unknown infectious disease but ALAN why aren't the CDC evacuating us! Hey ALan let us out of isolation so we can spread the disease to even more people.
Oh yeh and Juliet trying to hide the fact she got French kissed by Peter was also a really smart idea, I work for the CDC but I'm not going to tell anyone an infected zombie just stuck his tongue down my throat because that's how I roll. 4 episodes in my rating for this show is 1 big /FACEPALM
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Well, as poor as much of it is, it passed my 4-episode test and will remain in my watch queue.

And while it's not saying much, it's still better than Under the Dome. Right? ......Anybody?
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its better than UtD, but the wife and i will still be watching that hot mess when it comes back on. we love laughing at how dumb it is and then reading the hilarious tv.com review of the shows
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I agree with mostly what Tim mentioned. I really enjoyed the first 3 episode and this 4th episode was quite disappointing. It almost turned into a bad version of The Walking Dead. Instead of biting and turning others into Zombies, this one had the infected blowing air into the human mouth instead.

I will still watch but things really need to improve fast. It means more mysteries of the big picture revealed.
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Sorry Helix you have been banished to land of forgotten TV shows. I was really hoping this would be awesome due to Ronald D. Moore being apart of the crew but alas I've upped my standards for TV and can't waste time on crap while I have so many other good things to watch plus catching up on Boardwalk Empire.
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I hereby decree Dead Pam/Doreen must be officially as "Poreen". Any 'nay' votes? Those lab rats have a full dinner menu 'fo shur'. She is dead and the group as a whole just got exponentially SMARTER.
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I stand by my original thoughts. These are the stupidest smart people ever. They do everything possible wrong. I know they have to make mistakes but come on. Hide an infected in your room?

I have a little hope left for the show. Ep 1-2 were good but it was hard to like anyone. 3 wasn't bad, mostly just kept things going. This one progressed the plot at least.

The only one I'd like NOT to be shot is the one that got eaten by rats.
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My main complaint about this show so far is that for a bunch of scientists that hold multiple PhD's most of them seem rather stupid. The most interesting parts, level R not included, are the parts that have nothing to do with the CDC people. I have absolutely no invested interest in any of these people's problems. More about the virus, the shadow investors, Balleseros, and Hatake please!
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I had the thought that Hatake was creating his own army of infectees or something...
And they've repeated that Julia "doesn't get sick" thing twice now - wasn't it twice? - so I'm going with she's something of an asymptomatic carrier.

Anybody else have a flashback to Orphan Balck when Doreen was "reading" the DNA code? haha

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*Orphan Black, sorry... I don't read what I type, apparently. :P
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Just because Sarah injected herself with morphine, it doesn't mean she's an addict. Her gabapentin went down the drain and she was resorting to cutting her pills, which means she's probably not getting the dose she needs. She took the morphine after she went looking and couldn't find gabapentin. Oh, and gabapentin is something used to treat neuropathic pain. So I'm guessing she's in pain because of the tumor.
Other than that, she was pretty stupid about not turning in the other doctor. what are they gonna do if they learn she's got a tumor? throw her off the base? that might actually be an improvement from a survival point of view, lol.
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Helix is definitely NOT on downward spiral. This episode is no worse than first 3.

I was very , very skeptic about this show. Thought it was gonna be some medical-outbreak-thriller. But , I was wrong, so far it is very good

Not as good as Orphan Black or American Horror Story but

right there with Continuum, Haven

And far, far better than Defiance, Under the Dome,, Revolution, Almost Human (it has GREAT production but is essentially cop show),Falling Skies.......etc
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I just realized that if you say Dr. Farragut really really fast it sounds like Dr. Faggot :D
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Didn't find it that bad of an episode. Passed the test with flying colors. Good bye to the doctor (and the actress that could have played Pam Poovey if 'Archer' wasn't animated.). This is the best show this network has produced on its own in ages amidst its reality boom so I hope it sticks around. It is miles and miles better than 'Defiance'. This is an excellent cast struggling through some clunky dialogue but it its just trying to find its footing.
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When i started watching the show i was hoping to see a darker atmosphere like in Battlestar Galactica and more horror. Instead there's too much love triangle and waiting for a cure and scientist acting like rednecks. In short too much stupidity. What often separate good shows from bad ones is that actions has to make sense, or at least must not be stupid, but unfortunately this show is littered with them. I like the show but I agree with Tim in that it's on it's way down and it had better come up with something profound to keep it alive. I feel a bit of wasted potential.
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This show is still great. I am actually glad they didn't drag out the cliched lack-of-oxygen-plot, but solved it quickly and easily.

Too bad they killed off Doreen so soon since she was the best female in this show and had potential as a scientist, but instead they have two other boring ones who are both infected/sick somehow and one of them is really stupid and a dumb scientist (Sarah). I really find Sarah annoying and really stupid.
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I'm still hooked. Julia is my favorite but I dunno why really, lack of anyone else to really like perhaps? ;)
Poor Dr Doolittle scientist RIP, you were fun but your wardrobe even funnier. Tried to come up with a fitting text for your gravestone but all I have is; I didn't know he was a rat, wish I didn't under a shelf were at and that I still had my bat.
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Willing suspension of disbelief is one thing, but a huge base where you can't even crack a door or window? And if this is supposed to be winter in the arctic, there's a suspicious amount of sunlight up there. I don't mind the occasional bending of rationality, but this is just lazy writing.
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"However! I dunno why, but I'm still enjoying the show, especially as a Friday-night hour of spooks. It's a far cry from the brilliance of Battlestar Galactica, but it's miles ahead of major network attempts at science-fiction; considering the slim pickings when it comes to competent options in the genre, we have to take what we can get."

I agree completely. Lol I can't believe I'm agreeing with Tim! ;)
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Episode 1: 2/5, E2: 2/5, E3: 1/5, E4: 1/5. Overall 1/5.
This show has failed my 4 Episode Test.
It stumbled out of the gate and at episode 3 it tripped up and planted it's face into the ground. I almost gave episode 4 a 2/5 because there were some intriguing moments, but this show has failed all my basic tests for a good TV, but the main two are:

Firstly, the characters are terrible. "why did Julia leave the safety of her hiding place?" She's an idiot! Not one of them has any common sense and none of them are convincing as scientists. It doesn't help that the writers don't even seem to know anything about them from three episodes ago. Seve Ballesteros (or whatever you call the none-golfing "science" army guy) made a big deal of the fact that he was a super-plumber or whatever during the pilot when Doreen (I want to call her Pam) was ripping the piss out of him for being "just a plumber" and yet when Hatake told him the oxygen scrubbers were off-line he was all "duh, is dat bad?" Suddenly he's just an army grunt with an agenda again. And what the hell is "doe-eyed Canadian Idiot" playing at? Not telling people about her tumour isn't reason enough to harbour an eventually psychotic infected person? What are they going to her, send her home? They can't lock her up for have a tumour. Shittiest reason ever for keeping potentially catastrophic information to yourself. None of these people are smart enough to be scientists, especially for the CDC - one of the most specialised scientific organisations in the world.

Secondly, it doesn't live up to its billing. This is supposed to be "Sci-fi", but it isn't, it's just "fi". A bit of effort to research the science behind the story they are peddling could have given this show a lot more legitimacy but it seems as though they couldn't be bothered so they just sat in a room and imagined what they thought would be cool and/or thought-provoking. They were wrong. They have no idea how a facility like this works. They don't realise what goes in to keep a site like this running, the power requirements would be massive. And seriously, oxygen scrubbers? They'd just pump in air from out side and heat it up, and the air already inside would be filtered and pumped outside, anything that could survive the filters would be destroyed by the extreme cold - in fact the extreme cold would be more effective than the filters. So not only was the "crisis" very badly handled, but it was total unnecessary too. Equipment is used incorrectly and the "scientists" have no idea what they are doing with half it. Also, I'm lumping in the use of the setting with this one, because, as Tim said, the science facility is the best character on the show, but it just isn't being utilised. The potential is there for this to be a lot more atmospheric - tense, dark and claustrophobic - but it isn't. Remember the beginning of the brilliant movie Alien, the camera shows us the ship on which we are about to spend the next two hours, we get to explore with the crew over the next 15-20 minutes, we can see where they live and it looks great. The facility on Helix is a dis-jointed mix of generic rooms and endless corridors. I wish they'd given us a better tour of the facility during the pilot, let us know how it all fits together, let us get to know this potential tomb that our protagonists are now residing in. But alas, it's all flash and no bang.

The dialogue is among the worst on TV, no one cares about the tacky little love triangle or that the "doe-eyed Canadian idiot" is "in love" with the "gruff troubled genius" lead scientist that's twice her age. The writers seem to think that giving a character a secret means they are more than just a one dimensional caricature of a real person, but it doesn't, it just means that they are too dumb to share very important information.

I do like the fact that there was the random gas-mask girl lurking around the infected sections, I want to know who she is and why she was hiding, but why did they have to ruin it with the overly-exposition-filled Julia's initials "I've been here before" scene. And I am intrigued by the Hatake/vectors relationship (the only 'ship worth investing in) and I want to know WHAT Hatake is? I'm just not sure if the few small interesting aspects of the show are worthy of putting up with the rest of the garbage. I think I'll continue to read Tim's reviews (hoping that he continues to write them) and if it seems like it's picking up I'll try jumping back in. One positive that it does have coming up... Jeri Ryan is apparently signed up for a couple of episodes, I just hope she's a cyborg, this show could use some "sci" to go with that "fi".
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Burn!

Nah great points, same here, the guy's a military expert on systems and he's like "who's scrubbers"

Yep 1st episode the place was the inside of the tardis, now it's just a claustraphobic basement and a smaller upper level, given the elevator ride in the pilot Hatake's staircase must be huge.

Trying too hard to be Lost, Jay shows up in the mask and summons Julia but turn a corner and hey presto she's gone (is she fucking with Julia or what) eventually she saves her at the last minute from a vector and they great buddies despite the fact that Julia is a couple of black phlegm coughs from being a vector herself. Now the initials ... WTF... does everyone in fiction suffer amnesia? if it had been a Dharma clock counting down inside a hatch I'd a been equally underwhelmed.

Science - wrong

Dialogue - wrong

Will keep watching and hoping.

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"given the elevator ride in the pilot Hatake's staircase must be huge." lol, yeah!
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About Julia's wall scrawl, anyone else think they might be going with a younger clone version of Julia doing it?
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This episode wasn't the best, but you're right about those final moments (the vector's response to Hatake, and Doreen's death), they're enough to convince me to keep watching.

While characters being trapped in a highly dangerous and isolated area is one of my favourite basic plot ideas, Helix suffers the same problem as all the others seem to do at some point, particularly in this episode. It's not logical that in such an enclosed place these characters can have their own story lines and major things can occur yet all the other characters remain oblivious to these events. And of course no one ever bothers to tell one another anything. Doreen pretty much deserved to die for her lack of communication.
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Good god, were you writing this in real time? I was expecting better writing, this was a little scattered and a tad juvenile.
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"Have to take what we can get?"
No. We most certainly do not. The fact that this crap is the best there is at the moment, is all the more reason to boycott it. That is the only way to get the Siffy channel off it's ass and start doing proper Sci-Fi again.

No it didn't pass.
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Couldn't agree more. The only other shows that are remotely close to being Sci-fi are both police procedurals "with a twist" (they all have a twist now).
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stopped watching after the pilot. Strain rip-off. boring. terrible acting.
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Yeah Single Strand lagged, and it was pretty frustrating watching Lt. Maccio lead Doreen on when it was sooooo obvious.
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I like the show and yes, it is leaps and bounds better than what the standard networks offer. I can and will sit through more episodes of Helix where I could barely get through episode 3 of S.H.I.E.L.D. and haven't been able to sit through another full episode yet.
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I was going to watch it last night, but I passed out after 9:30 PM PST. I was that tired! DOH! Anyways, the episode was slightly better than the first three. It still needs to get moving. I will give a few more episodes more before other (show/serie)s return with their new episodes and I get busier.
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I don't think they've adequately explained their lack of ability to communicate with the outside world. One hour a day or something like that via satellite. Satellite phones work 24/7. The satellites they use are parked in geostationary orbit, so they don't move out of range. Surely an outfit like Arctic Biosystems, which can afford to build & operate this facility is such an extreme environment, isn't renting the use of a satellite for just an hour a day. Why does all their communication go through just one dish? Surely they'd have several smaller dishes that are easy to install & replace. It's called redundancy. If this facility was there when Julia was a child, how have they not improved their communication capabilities? It's a glaring plot contrivance and plot hole.

The wind turbines are ridiculous too. Several smaller helical ones that can withstand higher wind speeds without having to be shut down and locked in place before they blow apart would be wiser than what they have. Apparently the base also relies on solar panels, which is also ridiculous at whatever latitude they're at. I suppose we're to believe that level R was comfortably heated for 5 years too, which given it's size is a huge waste of energy. For how much power the base uses generators would need a huge supply of fuel that doesn't freeze, so they must have a nuclear reactor.
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But didn't that one guy blow up one of the communications things, that thing outside? So they're missing a big part of it. But I could be missing something. (pun intended :-P)
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Yea, he blew up their big satellite dish, which is apparently their only dish. Considering that it took a top-tier contractor 2 months to erect it and would be very difficult to replace, they should have had several smaller ones as backup or instead of the huge dish. Several smaller, easier to replace dishes can have the sensitivity of and send & receive as much as a larger dish.
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The shoddy science is the biggest problem I have with this show, it never occurred to me that the engineering was bollocks too! The communications mess pisses me off as well. And you're absolutely right about the wind turbines, there was always something about that picture that didn't sit right with me but I could quite put my finger on it, other than the fact they are the wrong type altogether, they would need around 40 of them to power that place up, probably more when you consider damage and back-up systems - solar power is next to useless up there.
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HELIX gets my thumb up. I see it as a kind of blend in between X-files and FRINGE (I say a kind of), just without the funny parts or irony of both those two shows. But it is intriguing and intense, and the more we know about the story, the more I understand that I know nothing about what is going on on HELIX (I can hear Ygritte saying You Know Nothing Jon Snow). That means there are still many new things to come, so of course HELIX pass, for me, the 4 ep test. I am still on the road for the long run with this show.
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I'm extremely intrigued, I find myself being completely (almost, or as close as someone w/ADD can be) absorbed into it and then it's like OMG where did the time go?!
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I'm sticking with the show because I'm interested to see where its going, but it is not comparable to Fringe or X-Files - not on any level. And while I think the acting is actually pretty good, none of the characters draw me in the way the characters in those two shows did. I'm wondering if the problem is with the separate directors. I know episodes one and two were very different due to the different directors, does anyone know if that trend has continued? Because Tim is right, all the camera angles that made this show visually interesting are gone now.
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I agree completely that H is not Fringe and Xfiles. Both great shows, and nothing has fill the emptiness after Fringe so far. But Helix does has bit and pieces from those two shows, but that is the way I see it.
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I'm guessing Bellisario told Doreen the truth because he liked and respected her. But a professional like him wouldn't allow his feelings to get in the way of his mission. He's definitely my favorite character. I just wish I knew whether he is a double or triple agent.

I'm guessing that Hataki was told to make super soldier types that are also contollable. But he's playing his own game. I'm just not sure what Julia has to do with Hataki. I agree with others who think she's an earlier version of the experiment, one that was more successful.

I love the tension on this show, and the visuals are too cool. I can take or leave the dialogue, but can a vector please take out the security guy, he's awful!
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The conversation between Sarah and crazy infected scientist lady just blew my mind. "Hey I am infected with a very dangerous, highly contagious pathogen, but if you promise to keep it between us, I won't tell anyone you have a tumor."

......................WHAT?!?!?!..........................

Since when is a tumor the equivalent of a freaking man-made super weaponized virus?!?!?!
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Crazy infected scientist understood quick that soon to be Junkie Sarah will not let anyone know about her tumor. Not at any cost, even if she has to protect the poor infected woman.
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I don't dispute that. But I think the secrets they exchanged were not of the same value and thus the situation was ridiculous:

If Sarah keeps the infected woman's secret then everyone in the safe zone becomes infected and turns into a vector;

if Sarah doesn't keep the secret, the infected woman is quarantined and reveals Sarah's condition to her boss, which given the circumstances doesn't change much for Sarah since they can't exactly send her home.
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1. Julia - I think Hatake & Co experimented on her when she was a child. Also someone altered her memories - she doesn't remember living in Artica. She might be the first human - alien hybrid (cause I'm convinced Hatake is an alien)

2. Doreen - she deserved to die for her stupidity. At least the rats won't be hungry anymore.

3. Hatake, the security guy and the military guy are working together - I suspect they're all alien.

4. Jay - she looks interesting. I hope we will find out more about her next week.

5. Sarah - can someone please kill her? She's hiding an infected woman in her room and risking the lives of everyone in the compound.

I liked "Single Strand" and I'm looking forward to see what happens to Julia next week.
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OMG, me too!!! I was thinking that exactly! He's a freakin' alien, or something... The ep was weaker in some ways than previous ones but the interesting developments and revelations made it all worth it. I was really upset to see the lab woman, is that Doreen?, get killed by military guy. She had to be one of the best characters.
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Totally agree about Hatake and Julia (and possibly sec guard and Balls), I think they're either aliens or at least have some alien dna..obv Julia just doesn't remember cuz she was either too young or had some kind of memory wipe. Maybe Hatake's alien race is dying out for some reason and they want to mix their dna with ours so their race can live on. Or maybe they're a parasitic race and they've run out of hosts?
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I'm actually enjoying this. It passed my four-episode test, which really says something (Hello Sleepy Hallow and Blacklist). The dialogue is awful, and for the life of me, I can't imagine real CDC scientists keeping secrets from others about, you know, infectious diseases that can kill and stuff. But, whatever. The pace is brisk enough and the show is visually effective. It's entertaining, so I'm gonna stick with it.
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I have a friend who is a retired biochemist. One thing he often complains is how the secrecy, luck of communication and jealousy made progress and research very difficult while he was active in the job.
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It depends on the environment the scientists are working in. If they work in an environment where they are conducting research where they have to publish lots of papers in order to earn a raise, then yes, that would be the case.

But I work in a scientific field (mining) that concentrates on teamwork. And having worked as a research scientist in teams representing multiple fields of study, that kind of attitude is not only extremely counterproductive, it nets faulty processes that can cost the company millions of dollars, which then gets you demoted or fired. This makes working as a team critical, and keeping the paths of communication open is key.

As a top CDC team working on an unknown outbreak, each of those scientists knows that keeping secrets from each other is tantamount to a death sentence.
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And they are doing it so blithely without thought. "Don't tell anyone the test they are using for diagnoses doesn't work at all." "Okay." What?
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Did your "friend" work for the CDC? If he didn't then i doubt you can compare. They're there to investigate so keeping secrets doesn't make sense and that's why the actions of these so called scientist are questionable.
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Yeah, but you gotta figure the CDC when on an active investigation would share information more freely if for no other reason than to keep themselves safe.
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According to my friend, the end result is not so important as the price of finding something that the others did not. He tells me that scientist are selfish people. Now he enjoys watching SC FI mostly, and has little contact with former co-workers. They don´t talk to each other much ;)
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Ugh, Peter/Alan convo was so lame. Instead of talking about their sucky dad and the boring love triangle, Alan should have tried to get more info from him, I dunno...Although Loreen made me facepalm with her decision making, I still liked her. RIP. Your Kenny mention made me LOL XD
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I suspect I am continuing this for just answers. I watched and probably will watch Under the Dome and Ravenswood for the same reason. Here though I am suspecting I know them and basically this will be the stop gap for between when the third Atlantic Gene book and the final book in the Passage series (is that the name of that series or is it the Twelve?) come out (as those are thebooks I feel like I am drawing from).
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You mention Under The Dome. I am sorry, but there is nothing so bad as that. HELIX in my opinion is a very good show, so far.
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The one major high point for me was killing off by FAR the worst character. She was single handedly dragging this show down with her terrible acting. According to her IMDB page she's an assistant director and hasn't really acted much in anything. She should probably just stay behind the camera, she was terrible. I want to keep typing sentences that really is giving out the same information, because I want to keep mentioning how bad she really was. I mean...wow.
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I thought she was pretty bad too, but the IMDB page only credits her for ONE job as an assistant director, and it was for a short film starring people who don't even have pictures on their IMDB pages. So she's more of an actress than an assistant director.
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Well, if she's an actress, she's not a very good one. imo
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I so totally agree. She was horrible. Here's an idea. When casting a show, try to hire real actors.
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I don´t agree at all, I think she was one of the best actors, she seems real and she gave the show the dose of humor that makes SiFi watchable. As Fringe.
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Is Doreen really dead, or will the mice infect and thereby save her?
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I thought they were lab rats.
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I'm truly hoping she's dead.
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4th episode and it just smoothly landed on my WTF did I watch this week. From now on it's only recaps of this show. Can't be bothered with anything else. Bye dr. Hitaki. Hope to see you in some cooler TV show.
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The only thing keeping me from giving up on the show is the mystery around Hataki and now Julia. That still intrigues me quite a bit. Most of the other stuff just bugs or bores me.
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So much stupid. So so very much stupid. So much that I don't even know where to begin. Now correct me if I am wrong, but this was supposed to be like an A team of CDC people. I mean they don't just send the rookies that don't know anything to highly secretive labs with an unknown virus right? It is like they were all absent the day CDC school taught standard operating procedures. Rule number 1. If you have a family member in the hot zone, you are not allowed to go because your objectivity will be compromised. Number 2. If you have a debilitating brain tumor, you are not allowed to go, because you are already compromised and your judgement and efficacy will basically be null. Number 3. Trust your team members and no one else. No matter what secrets they tell you. Number 4. If you find something tell a member of your team. It is important that they know before anyone else. Number 5. Don't isolate people until you are absolutely sure that your test in fact detects the pathogen that you are attempting detect. Number 5. Trust your team members only, seriously only your team, not kidding just the members of your team. Don't even think about trusting anyone else. Stop it.

Despite all of that it is still pretty watchable. If only for Hataki and Walker's story. And now we know that Alan wasn't the get, it was Walker all along. And she seemingly is the end game since the virus isn't affecting her, yet. Hitaki likely infected Peter, since Peter was basically doing crap work to get her there. Alan just came along because it was his brother which he really shouldn't have been allowed. But he is there and I have to wonder why Hitaki hasn't killed him yet. Unless he thinks something that Alan is going to do is going to fortify the virus.

Pam/Doreen deserved to die. She was by and far the dumbest character and stupidity should hurt and or kill the host. Especially in a scenario like this. She pretty much did everything wrong and for that death is deserved. I mean did she even tell Alan what happened to the virus? No. Then, yes. death. It is really too bad that she can't die twice.

Sarah shouldn't be there. She has a brain tumor and likely it is untreatable because otherwise she would have had it removed or treated. Unless she is so enamored with Alan that she is willing to submit to the degradation that the tumor is going to do to her cognitive and neurological abilities in order to hang with him for a bit. Either way she compromised the mission before she was even at the Lab. And I am surprised that she was able to catch the vial of Scotch that he tossed at her. However, this is interesting because I have to wonder if she is incapable of being infected as well. Presumably the virus and vectors wouldn't infect her if they could sense that she is damaged or inferior. I also wonder if she at some point is going to inject herself with the virus in an attempt to cure herself and that the virus will destroy the tumor. I mean she already just self treated with morphine. And now she is a smack head which further compromises her and the mission. Bang up team Alan.

Really, really dumb. Almost as dumb as the FBI in The Following but at least this is still intriguing. And that makes it a bit entertaining.
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OMG that is hilarious, LMAO!!!
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Are you REALLY sure? Cuz I was thinking bout trusting someone ouside my team..

hahahaha great post Mate
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Mate- You saved me a lot of typing. Ditto everything you said. So glad they killed off idiot Doreen. Don't let the rats kick you on the way out. As ridiculous as this show is, I still want to see where it goes. So who's the dumb one now? Me.
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Yeh, it really is rookie night.

I mean, SOME of it I can understand.
  • The cancer (spine? brain?) patient is keeping it secret for some reason... bad on her but it's not the team's fault. I don't think the team was like "Oh well let's take her anyway" I'm wondering w t h is up with that... is she TRYING to make matters worse?
  • Considering the WAY this pathogen is spread... with some of the infected turning into hulk-zombies and TRYING to infect others... having a small test-sample of "successful results" backed up by solid-sounding science from a trusted colleague was probably good enough.
    In a real / regular scenario then it would have received more testing. But in this weird scenario, with a trusted and supposedly super-smart colleague saying "here's how it works" and showing that it works... it was probably "ok let's do this."
But the rest... yeh amateur hour. The blonde doctor keeping her discoveries and weirdness a secret on the say-so of a stranger? Wow, that was just 20 kinds of stupid. That's like "running to your bedroom when chased by a psycho" stupid instead of getting outside.

Going when your brother is one of the infected is a big no-no too... but it gives us some touching scenes.

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they killed boyle! she was my favorite!
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Pretty good episode. The characters continue to do stupid things (I am looking at you Doreen and tumor girl who's name escapes me), but it did help move the story along and we can see that their actions are going to have really bad consequences. Doreen is dead - getting eaten by rats..uugghh gross, but deserved for her being STUPID and not saying anything to Peter. Tumor girl at least admitted the test didn't work, but not telling about the sick on their floor is INCREDIBLY DUMB - I won't tell you have an infectious disease that can kill all of us because you won't tell anyone I have a tumor (cancer) - for someone who claimed to be so smart Tumor girl is incredibly stupid. Hataki continues to interest me with all of his secretive behavior, and now we know that Julia was at this place sometime in the past, I wonder why she doesn't remember. This episode set more things in motion, I am intrigued to see what happens next. The acting and dialogue is still not the greatest, but I can look past it - its SyFy, and if you have EVER watched their cheesy movies (which I do for the hilariousness of how god awful they can be) then you can accept this show for what it is. I think it has the possibility of getting better. I will keep watching for now.
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"Doreen is dead - getting eaten by rats..uugghh gross, but deserved for her being STUPID and not saying anything to Peter"
You mean Alan, Peter was a lil tied up getting better and then dying lol
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Oops you're right lol I meant Alan. LOL
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I know it shouldn't, but "tumor girl" made me giggle everytime you mentioned her.
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LOL. I couldn't think of her name so that seemed fitting.
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I feel like this show is going down the toilet fast. I'm very disappointed. And they killed the only character that I found realistic, and one of the few that could act. Good bye Dr. Doreen Boyle, I miss you already.
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Damn, I love this show. Yes, it's ridiculous in many ways, over the top, bad dialogue, unintelligent characters, ... but maybe it's because the horror genre is the only place where I can overlook these issues and just enjoy it. On the other hand, the atmosphere is excellent and the story is developing fast. At this pace, most characters will be dead at the end of the first season.
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I think this episode was the best yet in terms of..everything really.
My thoughts:

1. I hope we find out what hatake is soon. Its not even that the vector stepped aside for him if you payed attention you'll notice that for a brief second it almost looked afraid of him. In addition the man is just cold it even took his son by surprise

2. Doreen may not have been the brightest character in the world but..wow she's going down in an awful way.

3. I felt really bad for alan in this episode. it was a really relatable situation I think. he was trying to save his brother. You could call him stupid and naïve for trying this un tested on humans super drug that has a good chance of doing more harm then good but..he had too

4. every episode makes me hate sarah more

5. so Julia was there at that facility as a child? why? this gives more fuel to the theory that hatake is her father..or at least related to her in some way.

6. why is no one questioning how involved hatake is with Julia? alan doesn't seem to care , his own son didn't even try and stop him from going down and getting Julia...

7. I don't know what to think of balleseros. He's obviously not heartless , as seen by his remorse in "having" to kill Doreen. However he doesn't seem to bright to me, I mean the man wants answers and yet he killed the woman who could have gotten them for him. also..he needs to just stop killing everyone or this show is going to run out of cast members.
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You referred to 'his son' twice here. Who's son Hatake's or Alan's and who is supposed to be the son? I must be missing something,
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Aha! ok I didn't know that. I was thinking that adulteress chick was the one that was related to Hatake. I can't remember her name. I should but I don't.
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I read a profile , I believe on the official site for heliz that said that the security chief was hatake's son.
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Suspicion is that the security chief is Hitaki's son.
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Ugh, I really, REALLY want to like Sarah, but it's proving almost impossible. Also, I find it highly improbable that an accomplished scientist would keep dangerous secrets to protect her pride and keep people from finding out about her tumor.
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dont know how long the show will last if they keep killing everyone off.

very cool stuff with Julia being there as a kid & the main dude somehow being in control of the infected
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If they keep bringing in characters we've never seen before, like Jay, this show can continue ad infinitum. I like what little we've seen of Jay and, honestly, she's the most intriguing person so far!
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i agree, but there are only so many people on the base and it's not like someone is just gonna hike in. ha
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