In fact, once she and Pete part ways with Helena, she doesn’t even pretend to care about the case. Blah blah blah guy transformed from a cave man into a regular man blah blah confessed to crimes he didn’t commit blah blah unique artifact blah whatever. She goes, “What are we missing?” And Pete starts talking about detective stuff, and Myka goes, “No, dude. What are we missing about why in God’s holy name H.G. Motherfucking Wells is working at some strip mall police station in the suburban Midwest, like some kind of … like she thinks she’s … like a regular person? OK, Helena is not regular. Helena is extraordinary. This is like if Leonardo da Vinci went to work at a Home Depot.”
Pete solves half the Helena conundrum in a second. He makes a throwaway joke about how maybe she’s exiled herself to Boone, WI because artifacts have the tendency to make her crazy or evil or dead. And hang onto that Lego piece because we’re about to snap the other half of the mystery into place in just a second.
Pete and Myka interview the mutating guy who confessed to the murder last night, but he can’t even talk about why he did it because when he’s terrified out of his noggin. They try to interview the guy’s partner in crime, but he, too, got terrified out of his noggin. Like, his noggin split open and his brains leaked out is how terrified he was. The mayor doesn’t give a crap. Criminals are criminals according to his math, and one dead criminal plus one jailed criminal equals a public opinion victory. Two solid hours of concentrating on this case is literally all Myka can handle right now. Her willpower is all used up. Finally, she acquiesces to her hammering heart and tells Pete to go interview the dead criminal’s family while she tracks down the surveillance video of the police station parking lot. And by “surveillance video” she means “the perfectly proportioned form of Helena Wells.”
In a white house with a picket fence lives HG Wells, which is weird enough by itself, but when Myka knocks on her door, Helena is immediately joined on her front porch by a dude. A boyfriend-y dude. Myka’s eyes almost pop out of her head like a cartoon wolf. And then a third person comes to the door. She’s eight years old. She’s whip smart. And she obviously regards Helena as a mother. Lego snap! Mystery solved.
What Helena is doing in Boone, Wisconsin is what she’s been doing for practically her whole life: trying to resurrect her daughter.
The pseudo-daughter — Adelaide is her name — is awesome. She has keen powers of observation, which she’s honed under HG’s tutelage, but also she’s like a second grader, so she doesn’t have much in the way of a social filter. So, for the first time ever, someone straight up calls out Myka and HG’s body language.
The camera always pushes in on Jo Kelly and Jaime Murray’s faces when Myka and HG are looking at each other, which is one of the ways directors talk to audiences, of course. It means, “The things they’re not saying are the most important. The conversation isn’t in the words.” But what’s also always fascinating, like little Adelaide just said, is the physical awareness HG and Myka always have with each other. Whatever else is going on in the room or in the world, watch how their bodies are always tuned into each other. It’s textbook. They stand too close, they mirror each other’s posture, the only time they break eye contact is to speedy-quick glance at each other’s lips. Their bodies are always turned toward each other no matter what. Adelaide’s no dummy, but she reads it as “dear old friends” because she’s a little kid and doesn’t know what the air feels like between two people who are four seconds away from climbing on top of each other.
When the dad and Adelaide walk back inside, Myka’s face goes, “Are you serious right now, HG Wells?” And Helena’s face goes, “It made a lot more sense in my head before I was forced to juxtapose it with you.”
Inside her “home,” Helena explains that she’s trying this new thing where she lives with a nice, dependable, normal man (who happens to have a daughter Christina’s age) in a very safe place in Boring, America, where the daughter (who happens to be Christina’s age) probably won’t be set upon by robbers and murdered in her sleep (like Christina was when she was Adelaide’s age). She one time lived for quite a while with her soul separated from her body. She was Emily Lake then. Maybe she can be that Emily Lake again. Myka’s face gets more bewildered by the second and when Helena tells her not to laugh at her new deal (which, again, is the same deal it’s always been with less artifact thievery and personally manufactured doomsdays), Myka makes this noise that’s just like: “Laugh? I’m about to puke. But, sure, OK. Ha. Ha. Ha.”