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Helix – S1E4 – Single Strand

Previously, on Helix: “274

Helix | Promo

Holy crap. Hold on to your seats, kids. This one’s a doozy! (I hope I get to start saying that every week.)

As we open Day 4, the panicked “mostly-probably-infected” inhabitants of Level R, led by Dr. Frenchy McFrenchguy are cooking up a plan to force their release by shutting off the oxygen scrubbers for the base. Since the only controls are within Level R, this will force the “upstairs folk” to set them free. This will also dwindle their own air supply, but they reason that upstairs will run out of air much sooner than downstairs. Dr. Ex-wife tries to convince them that this is a terrible idea, and gets voted off the island for her troubles. Now locked out into the hallways of Level R with no company save at least one loose Vector, she is startled to encounter a lone person in a gas mask, who then immediately vanishes.

Helix | Gas mask

Upstairs, The Good Doctor, Dr. Frankenstein, and Son of Frank argue about the plan of action now that the satellite is down. TGD wants to unseal Level R, but is argued down by Dr. Frank and Son.

Cut to Dr. Girlfriend, who still has the shaky hands, but now has a bottle of pills, seemingly indicating that her shaky hands might not just be leftover nerves from being attacked by infected. She is startled, spilling her pills down the sink, in her room by a female doctor in a cardigan who had previously tested negative, but now is convinced she is infected. Dr. Girlfriend test her again, and again she tests negative, but Dr. Cardigan is still not convinced.

Badly Infected Brother is doing worse, and unable to watch it any longer, The Good Doctor forces the doctor in charge of the Sodra mostly-lethal antiviral treatment to administer the experimental drug to BIB. Dr. Sodra puts up some moral resistance, but ultimately complies.
The drug is administered and quickly takes effect, reducing BIB’s fever, and bringing him back into the land of the coherent. This leads to a series of reminiscences about their childhood and their drunken bastard of a father.

Helix | Lab

Shady confronts Dr. Frank in his office, and jokes about blowing up the comms array, demanding the “results you promised our employers”, and condemning the “virus that does everything BUT what you promised”. Just as the conversation is getting heated, an alarm rings throughout the base, making everyone aware of the game of chicken that the infected in Level R have just begun.

Shady and Quirky Girl Scientist retire to the lab to perform further testing. Quirky demands more answers out of him, and Shady reluctantly feeds her some bullshit about being on a Pentagon black bag investigation team, here to suss out just what these wacky scientists are doing outside of government boundaries. Largely he uses this as a cover to point her down the avenue of research that he wants, mentioning using a virus as a genetic delivery module. Intrigued, she immediately begins to run tests, which ultimately reveal that the virus is in fact man-made, designed to latch to specific cells and deliver a payload.

Back in the hallways of Level R, Dr. Ex-wife manages to attract the attention of Baldy Vector, but is saved, after a short chase, by the gas-masked figure from earlier, who reveals herself to be a terribly pretty doctor. The two join forces to attempt to hunt down some food. Pretty Doctor shortly panics, banging on the door to the gen pop room, and attracts Baldy Vector and his wiggly throat.

As Dr. Girlfriend is reassuring Dr. Cardigan that her tests are foolproof, and that she’s fine, Dr. Cardigan begins to pointedly exhibit the paranoid hallucinations that are a hallmark of the virus.
Dr. Girlfriend is finally forced to admit that her test is faulty. When she makes to leave and tell The Good Doctor, Dr. Cardigan throws some blackmail into the mix, calling Dr. Girlfriend out on her pills and shaking. Dr. Girlfriend admits that she has a brain tumor that she has been keeping hidden from everyone. Dr. Girlfriend tells TGD that her test is faulty, but not only does she not mention Dr. Cardigan, she actively denies that there could be any infected upstairs, only that everyone downstairs may not be infected.

Helix | Blue shirt

Dr. Frank and Son decide to head downstairs to deal with the oxygen scrubber issue. He leads his Son to a secret staircase that the Head of Security obviously did not know about, and the two head to Level R and confront Dr. Frenchy and his cohorts who are guarding the scrubber controls.

After Dr. Sodra and TGD notice that the virus is beating back the antiviral treatment, TGD attempts to use the remaining time with his brother to get some answers. The only useful tidbit he manages to extract from BIB is that he was more of a grunt scientist than an individual project head, as Dr. Frank had let on. BIB also confesses that the affair with Dr. Ex-wife was much more extensive than TGD had known, then promptly goes into cardiac arrest. Dr. Sodra and TGD manage to keep him from dying, but he is left in a coma, on artificial respiration (of course, leaving him free to wake up and resume his Death Vomit duties at a later date).

Dr. Girlfriend’s pills run out, and her shakes get worse. She attempts to raid the drug storage, but cannot find her drug of choice. What she does find, however, is morphine. She administers a dose to Dr. Cardigan, who she still keeping in her room in secret, but then also administers a dose to herself.

Doctors Pretty and Ex-wife escape Baldy vector, and find some food. Then randomly, they notice some scratches on the wall behind the food cabinet. It’s the initials JLW with some flowers. Dr. Ex-wife is stunned, because not only is it her intials, it’s exactly the way she used to write them when she was a girl! She has been here before! (Curiously, she specifically refers to her “childhood in Montana” more than once in this episode, leading me to believe we’ll eventually find out that “Montana” was actually here, perhaps explaining Dr. Frank’s weird obsession with her?)

Speak of the devil, Dr. Frank and Son confront Dr. Frenchy, his brother Darryl, and his other brother Darryl at the oxygen scrubber controls. Dr. Frank has a very reasonable and diplomatic conversation with the three, convincing them to lay down their weapons and turn the scrubbers back on. He and Son turn to walk away, and Dr. Frank suddenly snatches Son of Frank’s gun, spins around and kills all three of the foolish doctors. Son of Frank is taken aback by this, and, coupled with his surprise at the secret passage his father did not trust him with, begins to give us the impression that his loyalty to his pop may not be absolute. Dr. Frank orders him to get rid of the bodies while he “takes care of something”. Son of Frank knows “something” is Dr. Ex-wife, and doesn’t like the idea, but also doesn’t seem to know anything about why his father is interested in her.

Shortly, we witness Dr. Frank walking down the dark hallways, presumably searching for Dr. Ex-wife. Abruptly, his flashlight beam falls across the bloody, growling face of Baldy Vector. However, as Dr. Frank gets closer, instead of getting more agitated, Baldy calms down. They come face to face, and Baldy submissively shuffles to the side, allowing Dr. Frank to pass.

Helix | Infected

Meanwhile, Quirky has finished analyzing the virus’ payload, and determined that while it contains human as well as various animal DNA, she has also identified a single strand that does not match any known terrestrial species. As she relays this to Shady, he begins to look increasingly sad, right up to the point where he grabs her, stabs her in the neck with a syringe of something, and leaves her twitching on the ground. He seems slightly less sad as he knocks  the rack full of Narvik infused rat specimens over on top of her, leaving as they begin to gnaw on her face.

So, SON OF A BITCH!!! Dr. Girlfriend has a secret infected in her room and a secret tumor in her head; BIB is in a coma; Dr. Ex-wife secretly used to live here as a child; Dr. Frank is the Vector Whisperer, and will also shoot you in the head after he shakes your hand; and Shady MacGyver is a dirty rat who will feed you to the rats! Tune in next week, same rat time, same bloody black goo vomit channel!

About Chanse Horton (47 Articles)
Chanse Horton was raised in a cave by Tibetan Death Buddhists and fed a steady diet of good comics and terrible B movies. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA, with his wife and two direwolves.

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