[WARNING: Slight Spoilers]
The new season of Helix starts off creepier and much more chaotic than before. If you enjoyed season 1, then you’re going to love season 2!
As I noted in my review of Helix season 1, I very much enjoyed the elements of Transhumanism that were included – from a large emphasis on bio-technology, indefinite life extension, etc. As a Transhumanist, myself, these were aspects of the season that I greatly resonated with. The only problem being – as is the problem with most of Hollywood-dominated films and TV shows – those who even resemble Transhumanist characteristics are demonized as the “bad guys.”
Season 2 of Helix doesn’t appear to be any different. It starts off with two scenes transitioning from one another – one is of Julia investigating a mysterious Northern Pacific island, hoping to backtrack on another plague that killed a lot of people, similar to the NARVIK virus, only to then be confronted by an unknown assailant in a hazmat suit; the other scene is of a woman named Layla who is hiding at the bottom of a boat, listening to her fellow crew members being slaughtered to death by those infected with the unknown virus.
Not to give away too much, for Julia, clearly no longer doing CEO work for the immortals in a French corporate headquarters, as was revealed in the finale of season 1, she has now been captured by the unknown assailant, who frequently asks her if she knows the way to San Jose. Not knowing how to answer his question, the man grabs some tweezers and plucks out her contacts to confirm her identity as one of the immortals. To save her own life, she reveals to him something that he and others now believe to be impossible: not only is this new virus killing people, but they’re also killing the immortals. To top it off, she, too, is infected.
As for Layla, she luckily survives the attack. Soon thereafter, the CDC respond, consisting of Peter and Sarah from season 1 and Dr. Kyle Sommers. Layla tells them about an island they visited to take a break at, only to then sail off. Only then did the virus begin infecting people on the boat. As they reach the island to continue their investigation, they’re soon confronted by a group of religious primitivists (cultists) not long after losing Layla after she fled from fright, believing any outsiders to be a harm to their well-being. Thinking past their judgment, however, they take in the CDC to protect them from the supposed “horrors” of the island. Something about the cult doesn’t sit right for the team though, believing that they and the virus have a connection.
I’m excited for this season. It has all the hall markers of a great sci-fi horror show. Whether it maintains this edge is still up for question, but it certainly already challenges the Tranhumanist narrative from the get-go. First off, it puts into question the supposed “immortality” of those who were genetically modified to achieve indefinite life extension. This makes a good point, however, of future diseases and viral strains that might adapt to a post-human world and inflict as much harm as diseases of our past did – polio, small pox, TB, etc.
“Today, humans suffer from a wide range of diseases and disorders that didn’t exist in the past, a trend that will likely continue well into the future… Deliberate acts of bioterrorism and biohacking will introduce entirely new and unexpected problems, such as the deliberate dissemination of bioengineered viruses or brain hacking.” – George Dvorsky, “10 Diseases That Might Afflict Us In The Future”
Another challenge issued was the narrative of who would survive a disease-ridden world – the bio-engineered post-humans or the neo-Luddite primitivists? In season 2 of Helix, it would appear that, while the immortals are becoming infected by the new virus, and subsequently killed one by one, a group of neo-Luddite cultists don’t appear to be infected whatsoever. How is this possible? Of course, that is one of the questions the CDC are contemplating, making the cult all the more suspicious.
If you haven’t watched episode 1 yet, I highly recommend you do so! Episode 2 will be airing tonight, 10pm (EST), on the SyFy channel. I guarantee you’ll be on one hell of a ride for this new season!