Friday, March 7, 2014

Helix - Fushigi (Ep. 10) [TV Review]

Welcome to the ever continuing Helix review series.
Today was Day 10, Fushigi. Excellent title, Fushigi (不思議) is Japanese for 'wonder; miracle; strange; mystery; marvel; curiosity.' Thank you old school anime, Fushigi Yuugi, I learned something from your title.

Glad they have an on-site MRI.
Each week it seems that Helix goes up and down. This episode was like three weeks combined. There some really good points and some points all I could do was pull a Picard Palm.

It was a middle of the road episode, so it gets a middle of the road rating, well a touch above middle.

3 out of 5 stars
That's a thousand yard stare...
The episode begins with Sarah discussing her tumor with Farragut. She gets an MRI and the discover that the tumor is spread to the brain and spinal fluid. Not good. Very not good... Also, when she is in the MRI she hallucinates a Vector attack. Likely this is caused by said tumor.

A running issue of the episode is the Inuit fleeing their village before Ilaria crashes down on them like an old school god.

OH. And we get snappy dialogue as well.
Hatake: "Trust me."
Farragut: "Ironic words coming from you."

Bring back my snowcat!
Anyways, Hatake shows Farragut video of the sneaky bastard scientist who fled with the Narvik virus in Level X (day 9). Farragut and Jules head out in a Snowcat to an old abandoned radar station some 50 miles away. Snowcat!

No. I don't need an ice axe. Thanks.
While this is going on Sarah is given a hint to research Jules DNA and not just the viral tests. She does this and discovers that since her infection Jules telomeres have lengthened! There was some mention of telomerase as well. She then jumps to the conclusion that since cancer cells are essentially due to a shortening of the telomeres, if she can use Jules spinal fluid, she might be cured. The rapid way this is presented gets real close to becoming the Super Science trope, but not quite. I have no idea if this is right... it just seems far fetched.

Back to Jules and Farragut. They have arrived at radar station and caught up to sneaky scientist theif. A brief scuffle occurs. They capture the scientist but break the radio. Jules can fix it! Once its fixed, creepy holiday music starts up... thanks show.

A guy from Ilaria shows up, shoots the scientist through the window... (he somehow escaped from the Inuit tribe). Jules and Farragut escape into another creepy basement. Here they find a man chained to a pole. He has silver eyes! He's bald and insane, and no, I'm not implying they are causally connected, they are just two facts.  

Big reveals. He's been locked up down there for 29 years. He mentions the rule of 4s: 4 minutes without air, 4 days without water, 4 weeks without food. I had always heard of that as the rule of 3s. Reality probably says those are contingent and variable. Anyways.

We do lean that "there can be no more than 500." Which at first is very vague. Turns out that 500 immortals (silver eyes) run Ilaria. Dun duhn!

What bugged me was not the plot in this episode. This is much what I have seen coming for some time. I did not fully expect Ilaria to be run by immortals, but I did think they were working towards such an end... or at least someone was.

No. What bugged me was the dialogue. Some of it was just beyond cliche.
1.) "There is nothing in this world to fill an eternity," creepy bald silver eyed guy.
2.) "Science and miracles are not that different," Hatake.

Item one (1) bugged me because it is a cliche line filled with tripe and BS designed to make average people. I'm a nerd and otaku. I could spend years upon years upon years simply indulging in watching and reading everything possible. There are millions if not billions of books to read. I could learn all the science I ever wanted to. There are millions of activities to try. If you have an imagination and touch of curiosity, I think you could easily live for a near eternity. In fact you never know what new stuff lies ahead. The line is pure undiluted premium BS. I hate it, obviously.

Item 2 bothers me on a different level. The two terms are mutually exclusive. Miracle (n): a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency. Science is in the business of explaining things. Miracles are the mealy minded explanation for things that a person is too lazy to try figuring out.

There were a few other moments that bothered me and lowered the episode quality. They appeared to briefly kill Sarah just for extra pathos, it was unneeded. Still... with all my complaining, I'll finish out the season. We better get some answers to the numerous questions, and they better come soon. There are only three episodes left.

The amazing this is that this episode was right in line with last weeks. Neither great nor miserable. That seems to be a first.

Who let JJ Abrams on set?

Previous Helix Reviews:
- Eps. 1 & 2: Pilot and Vector
- Ep. 4: Single Strand
- Ep. 5: The White Room
- Ep. 6: Aniqatiga
- Ep. 7: Survivor Zero
- Ep. 8: Bloodlines 
- Ep. 9: Level X

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