Helix - “What’s In The Box”
"Even monsters have their reasons."
Anyone that’s scene the movie, “Seven” knows the famous tag line, “What’s in the box?” The harrowing answer turned out to be both stunning and tragic. I instantly thought of that quote when a box of sorts was revealed to open the latest episode of Helix, “The Reaping,”
Like Chekov’s Gun once the box was revealed at the beginning it had better “go off” by the end of the episode. Boy, did it ever. Spoilers ensue.
I should mention the quote to start this blog post (“Even monsters have their reasons.”) came from an exchange between Sarah Jordan and Julia Walker when they discussed the motivations ranging from people like Hatake to Spencer Chissik aka “The Scythe.” But why bring “The Box” all the way back to ABS? As leverage for Hatake to give up his research and in doing so, his self?
Certainly it wasn’t to leverage Julia, Spencer didn’t even know Jane was related to Julia. Couldn’t he have provide Hatake with a video feed or perhaps a body part to convince Hatake to surrender?
Speaking of body parts, did anyone else get the feeling that this particular appendage would grow back for Julia? She did mention to Hatake in the “Montana bunker” that he was “healing nicely.” A clue perhaps to their amazing recuperative powers? Of course, we all know this doesn’t apply to heads. Hatake has provided us with a lesson in that. But how are the two related? Why fingers and not heads? If the finger does grow back we will gain some more insight into the nature of the immortals.
But I digress! Thanks to the opening of the box we’ve learned that Julia’s mother and Hatake’s wife is still alive. I had mused that her head was being kept somewhere but this is even better. I’m pretty sure Hatake had told us Jane was dead. If I recall, he had blamed the chained up Gunnar for her death. Was he lying? He has proven to be an untrustworthy narrator.
Jane has obviously aged, thus precluding any notion that she is an immortal. So this reveals another demon released from the Pandora’s box that was her prison. Jane being a mortal and having a child is a miracle. So sayeth Spencer the Scythe. “A miracle” were the words he used. Not an abomination mind you, a miracle.
An interesting choice of words. Apparently Mr. Scythe was impressed. Does he think of himself a miracle? It doesn’t seem that way. He did refer to Sutton as his mother but there was no reference that he shared any similarity to Julia. It makes one wonder if Sutton was his biological mother. I’m going to go out on a limb and say no.
A similar dynamic played out to start our episode. Daniel challenged Hatake with the closeness of their family ties. While Hatake professed his love for Daniel and reiterated that Daniel was his son. Daniel countered while that may be true he still wasn’t of Hatake’s blood. Hatake had no response for that but the hurt was evident on his face.
Where was the hurt on Spencer’s face when he realized his “mother” was dead? Immortals are not bereft of emotion so where was the anguish from Spencer? At first I thought being forever 15 had something to do with it but then realized his psychopathic nature was probably more responsible. (Hanging out with Colombians? I’m guessing it’s the narco-terrorist kind.) We have a bit of a toss up here. Either Spencer is incapable of the anguish because of his psychopathic nature or Sutton wasn’t his biological mother and believe the latter to be true.
If there is one thing that Helix gets right it is the family dynamic. I hated to see Daniel go and the heartbreak Hatake displayed looked real. Fortunately, Meegwun Fairbrother portrays Daniels twin, Tulok, so he isn’t necessarily off the show. I wonder how Hatake will react when he is face to face with Tulok. I’m sure it will be a powerful scene.
To further the bizarre nature of the family dynamic in Helix we have this video taped scene between Sutton and Hatake that Spencer was viewing. When Sutton referred to “This abomination” I wasn’t so sure she was talking about Julia. She seems to be holding up one of casings that holds the two strains of the Narvik virus. The writers seem to be teasing us with what Sutton is actually referring to since both subjects, Julia and the virus, are mentioned in the same breath. Sutton did use the familiar, “your daughter” to characterize Julia so I’m guessing she thinks the virus is the abomination.
I’m also gratified to see “The Willis Hypothesis” reintroduced. I hung my hat on that notion as to Hatake’s cure for the Immortals and their having to die 10,000 times and or splicing it into the Vectors. A clue to the nature of his “Willis” work came when Hatake mentioned to Alan, “I have dedicated many lifetimes” to his work. Many lifetimes of the others he’s seen pass him by in his immortality or the many lifetimes he’s painfully endured regenerating 10,000 times as Gunnar obliquely referred to?
"Even monsters have their reasons"
So, to get back to my earlier premise, Sarah, I think you just spoke a thousand words (10,000 words?) and revealed the true reasoning behind Hatake’s work.
It’s worthy to note in the same exchange between Alan and Hatake the two argued over whether immortality improved humanity. Alan saw the the obvious downside to that philosophy while Hatkae seem to favor the reverse.
When Brad Pitt’s character implored to Spacey’s , John Doe, “What’s in the Box?” he was urged by Morgan Freeman’s Somerset not to look. Because if he did he would change and Doe would win. Doe did win. Now that the box has been opened on Helix who will win?
It should be a game changer. Who will it affect the most? Hatkae with the revelation his wife is still alive and now being held hostage? Or Julia now knowing her mother is still with us?
Odds and Ends.
Who is the “He” that Spencer refers to in his digital messaging to start the show? The one that always gets “the credit.” Don’t tell me he has a brother.
Hatake was thirteen when he was immortalized?
Sarah reiterates she’s always wanted to leave her mark on humanity. Now she has an eternity to do so?
The Hawaiian music as the elevator descends and Julia is taken. So funny.
Alan finds the Julia pictures Vector Peter hoarded. Peter claims not to remember. Yeah, right.
The “Hobson’s choice” for Hatake ala Fringe. A choice where there is no upside or the illusion of choice. (Choosing between his children. We saw it on an “Arrow” island episode too!)
Alan the tactical genius. I was wondering when he was going to grow a pair. Well done Alan.
The scene where Alan and Peter fight like brothers. Again, a real strength of Helix. So convincing.
The cured Peter facing up to his actions. Will this go somewhere in the future?
Sarah rocking the “Kiss My Bass” cap. Both clever and very funny. Menaced by Immortals, Vectors and untrustworthy allies. Sarah shows some real “tude”. As I said in my Facebook post of the same nature. “You go girl!.”
One episode to go!