7 things to know about Helix's virus-tastic (and twist-filled) season two premiere

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Jan 15, 2015, 5:30 PM EST

The first season of Syfy’s Helix was an icy thrill ride, and Ronald D. Moore’s outbreak tale returns this week. So, how does the new season shape up?

What started as the simple tale of a CDC team sent to a remote research base to investigate a mysterious virus turned into an insanely twisty tale involving everything from immortals to massive conspiracies. Season 2 is almost like a soft reset, at least in terms of the setting.

In case you’re new to the series (or if the details are a bit fuzzy from the yearlong layover between seasons), here are the basics: A CDC team was sent to Arctic Biosystems to investigate a dangerous pathogen called the Narvic virus. It had two strains: One turned folks into black goo zombies, while the other just killed you.

Turns out, the virus was being developed by the Ilaria Corporation, a shady company run by 500 immortals who can be identified by their shiny, silver eyes (they sometimes wear contacts to hide in plain sight). We still don’t know much about them. The virus was meant to “thin the herd” of humanity, but things went haywire. Due to some injuries on site (and a lingering tumor), two members of the team wind up with the immortal silver eye abilities. The season ended with the arctic base being destroyed and the team scattered/on the run.

Check out a 5-minute recap of Season 1 below if things are still a bit fuzzy:

One of the biggest shockers from Season 1 really came in the final moments of the finale, when the action skipped forward and we got a glimpse of how the world has changed since the events in the arctic. That flash forward (which you can see recapped in the above clip) is a bit of a fakeout, though it seems former CDC team leader Dr. Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell) is still on the run.

I had a chance to check out the Season 2 premiere, “San Jose,” and here are a few things I thought you should know before the Helix action returns.