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Helix, Episode 1.11: “Black Rain” highlights how the vectors have evolved

Kyra Zagorsky, Billy Campbell, Hiroyuki Sanada
Kyra Zagorsky, Billy Campbell, Hiroyuki Sanada

Helix, Season 1, Episode 11: “Black Rain”
Written by Tiffany Greshler and Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Directed by Jeremiah Chechik
Airs Fridays at 10 PM on Syfy

While Dr. Hatake’s murder of Constance Sutton worked in bringing Dr. Walker out of danger, it seemed unlikely at the time that the Ilaria Corporation would let something like this go. This idea only deepened with the revelation that the company’s ex-COO was part of an elite group of Immortals running the company. This week sees Arctic Biosystems suffer the consequences of Sutton’s death, in an exciting episode that adds a new dynamic to the inhabitants of the base while reducing a major threat.

The ability to seemingly transfer immortality is a fascinating development this week. This is significant particularly in relation to the vectors, all of whom were also dosed with RNA proteins that appear to be crucial to the immortality of people like Dr. Walker and Dr. Hatake. It will be intriguing to see if the immortality does manifest itself in the vectors over time, and how they react to the knowledge of what it really means for them. How the group feels about Dr. Hatake as well as the base and Ilaria is something that hasn’t been explored, as they are just now coming out of the grips of the virus. It’s entirely possible, as has been seen with the other scientists at the facility, that many of the infected are not particularly fond of their circumstances, and being unwittingly made immortal may be the last straw for many of them. On the other hand, it’s also feasible that some of the scientists may react in the wrong way to this newfound immortality, taking it as a sign of superiority to the detriment of the group at large.

In addition, the survivors of Arctic Biosystems have to be concerned about the threat of Ilaria, both now and in the future. It will be nearly impossible for such a large group to completely stay hidden, or keep their immortality under wraps, which may mean that they will have to keep looking over their shoulder for Ilaria for the rest of their lives unless they take drastic action. This may end up in the group deciding Dr. Hatake represents the lesser of the two evils, making him the leader of the group in their fight against Ilaria. How these changes dictate the next steps of the group, particularly those who disagree with this decision, as well as Dr. Walker and Dr. Hatake themselves, will be worth keeping an eye on.

Kyra Zagorsky, Neil Napier
Kyra Zagorsky, Neil Napier

Daniel learning of Dr. Walker’s lineage is also intriguing. Much of Daniel’s hate towards Dr. Hatake has revolved around the fact that Arctic Biosystems forcefully took him away from his family, but despite everything, Daniel has always thought he was Hiroshi’s only offspring. How Daniel reacts to the idea that not only did Dr. Hatake have family before, but that his daughter is now on the base, will be fascinating to see. It’s easy to interpret Dr. Hatake’s actions with regards to the Narvik virus as a show of favouritism towards Dr. Walker, which might make Daniel feel less wanted at the base, as he would see himself as the lesser child in Dr. Hatake’s eyes. On the other hand, however, both Daniel and Dr. Walker feel antagonistic towards Hiroshi for the secrets he has withheld, which may make them allies in the fight that emerges in the wake of Ilaria no longer being a threat. It will also be intriguing to see whether this changes Daniel’s perception of Dr. Hatake. Regardless of recent events, Hiroshi is still the closest thing to a father figure that Daniel has, and he may see this new information as an indication that he will have to compete with Dr. Walker for Dr. Hatake’s affections. Especially since Dr. Walker doesn’t share this idea, it will be interesting to see how she reacts to any possible antagonism from Daniel, as well as how Dr. Hatake responds to it.

Overall, this is another wonderfully tense episode. The escalation of the vectors to their current level of coordination and intelligence has been done very effectively over the course of the season, and it will be fascinating to see how the escaped vectors respond to the new situation. Not only have they suffered the loss of their leader with Peter Farragut being cured, but the presence of the Ilaria assassins makes them part of the hunted, rather than the hunters. This is not a position the vectors have been in before, particularly with regards to a group they are seemingly unable to see, and how their intelligence copes with this promises to be compelling. It will also be interesting to see whether news of Ilaria’s attack and the Scythe’s presence on Arctic Biosystems reaches Sergio, and how he responds. The presence of Daniel at the facility, going against Ilaria’s most dangerous assassin and someone who’s immortal, might cause Anana to send Sergio, or come over herself, to ensure her brother isn’t harmed. Sergio, however, would have to balance his desire to protect Daniel and possibly Anana from harm with his preservation instinct, which would be sure to tell him to keep far away. This risk gets further complicated by the knowledge that once the Ilaria threat is negated, Sergio would have to deal with Dr. Farragut over Doreen’s murder. How he deals with the situation, as well as how Dr. Hatake and the group deal with the new Ilaria threat, will be worth keeping an eye on over the next few weeks.

– Deepayan Sengupta


About Deepayan Sengupta

There was once a time when I thought Scarface was the best movie ever made, and Home Improvement was appointment television for me. While I still have a soft spot for both, those days of naivete are long behind me, as I’ve subsequently managed to broaden my horizons. Ambition is the most important part of a movie for me; if it tries to do something unique, tell a well-worn story in a different way, or take on large themes in a honest manner, I can forgive many flaws. If there’s one movie fact I’ve learnt after all these years, it’s that Employee of The Month is to Office Space what fast food is to fresh fruit.

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