Helix has the hydra of casts—chop off one character, and two grow to take his place. Actually, we don’t even get the pleasure of kissing Balleseros goodbye after Daniel abandons him on the ice with an ax-wound, but still gain local cop Anana and Daniel’s twin brother. Still, while we lost Dr. Boyle and Dr. Van Eigem (the patient Sarah mercy-killed) in the last couple weeks, we picked up (in addition to Anana and her brother) the cryogenic specialist Dr. Adrian and two helicopters’ worth of the Ilaria Corporation. For a confined, diseased and rapidly dwindling population, there’s no shortage of new blood.
For Alan, though, there’s no replacing Dr. Boyle, who made him the sporadically successful scientist he is today. He bids her body bag goodbye out in nature’s cryogenic chamber, though maybe even she’s not finished yet—Dr. Hvit made a comeback, and he’s just a head. Alan demands Daniel find Balleseros, realizing he was responsible for Dr. Boyle’s death, but Balleseros, even unconscious, manages to stay one step ahead.
Anana drags Balleseros (“call me Sergio”—OK, Sergio) back to her cabin somewhere near the lab, tucking (and handcuffing) him in on the couch. At first, it appears Anana may have captured Sergio for sexual purposes, given the S&M-inflected escape attempts she practically invites him to make. But she’s actually been investigating a missing-children case for some 20 years, making surprisingly little progress considering the number of arsons, bombings, attempted murders and acts of animal cruelty that take place at the facility (and that’s just on the outside). Sergio gives her the first big break she’s had by revealing Anana’s lost brother is Daniel, who may be one among dozens of kids long thought lost who Hatake raised and stashed away somewhere in the lab.
Even the dead and the imaginary come back strong in the episode. The real Peter is given new hope via the cryogenic immersion chamber, and he looks the best he has all season in Jules’ head. We also encounter little Julia in Jules’ fantasy world, taking the place of Jaye as Jules tries to dream her way into a better understanding of her past.
The virus itself actually may be struggling the most. Everybody on Level R may be infected, as a gaggle of vectors attack Alan and Sarah when they try to cut their way in (one of the best pure-horror sequences yet in the series). But we’d already kissed Level R goodbye—what have you done for me lately, Narvik-B? Research shows the virus is a potent at ever, proliferating with the least encouragement. But its future looks limited unless it gets over that aversion to cold, or more likely, finds a warm-blooded host to convey it out of the base.
Even with all the new bodies coming in, Jules is still front-runner to be that virus-mule. Shut up together, Hatake shocks her with his rapid healing capacity, answering the question of why he was willing to stab himself last episode. “Must be good genes,” he says, with a significant look at Jules. He then flips the doctor-patient relationship as Jules’ symptoms worsen by the minute, both on the outside (veins crawling up her face, bloodshot eye) and the inside (visions of Montana). Hatake injects a red liquid to sedate her, though it has stranger effects, too. Incidentally, Helix does a fine job of making the viewer grateful for any splash of red to relieve the white-and-black of the lab—even if the red is usually a bad omen. As Jules fades into sleep, Hatake hums a little tune, just soft enough you can’t be sure it’s a lullaby.
For her part, Sarah would love to get a handle on the virus, as it holds out hope for curing her cancer. She and Alan grow much closer over the course of the episode.“(I can’t lose you, too, Sarah,” he says while they hunt for Jules, you’re totally my fallback plan.) Sarah still hasn’t let Alan in on her illness, though he knows much else, from her helping Dr. Van Eigem die to her morphine problem. And of course, they share the greatest mystery of all: love (even if during their postcoital embrace Alan looks like he wishes he were a vector, so he could chew his arm off).
Sarah and Alan also make a fine research team, discovering the facts Dr. Boyle paid for with her life—the virus is a delivery system. They further discover that Fantasia music helps the virus grow, while cold stops it. That leads them to Dr. Adrian, who’s apparently under strict guard even if he’s just hanging out watching the Three Stooges. (This must be where Daniel’s security squad has disappeared to the last couple of days.). Adrian drowns Peter in a kind of cryogenic womb, putting him (and the virus) on ice.
Jules under sedation hosts a nightmarish Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings: creepy kid, weirdly happy guests, cranberry sauce and a turkey that gushes blood. However, the revelation Jules has been seeking never comes. We just find out what we already know—it’s always been about Jules. She wakes up looking much healthier, but screaming, with the Sinatra variant of the disease (you know, like Ronan Farrow). But who’s her daddy? Hatake’s the only other person we’ve seen with that blue-eyed look, and he shows her a father’s tenderness; but he also does to Daniel (sometimes, when he’s not backhanding him), and Daniel was stolen from the locals. Might Jules have been too? It seems more likely Hatake took all those kids as compensation for losing his daughter in the fire, but was that little girl our Dr. Walker? Should’ve asked little Julia, I’ll bet she knows.