This week’s episode of BEYOND definitely gave us a lot to chew on. More of the mysterious Realm is seen than ever previously. A new character is introduced who also seems to have come out of a coma with strange powers. And for those of you waiting for that glorious rekindling of Willa and Holden’s past romance, your wait is finally over! Sort of.
Last week we left off with Luke, Holden’s younger brother, entering his college dorm room with his girlfriend to find his older brother waiting for him, with bloody knuckles and blood-stained clothes. I was kind of hoping to see a little more of this scene play out, as I’m always a fan of a good “Did you just murder somebody?” scene, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. We pick back up in a MUCH more interesting spot–the laundromat (sarcasm). Holden is watching said bloody clothes with the help of Luke. As you’ll recall, the blood comes from Yellow Jacket Man, who Holden mercilessly beat to a pulp. Holden tells his brother he “fell off his bike.” Okay. Luke tells Holden he should join him for a college class, if for nothing else, to get a look at some of the babes around campus. “You need a win,” he tells Holden. “You’ll know when you get it.”
You’ll also remember last week Yellow Jacket Man told Willa at the hospital that Holden is a “ticking time bomb” like “all the others.” This week, Willa investigates what he meant by that. She goes to old comatose man Arthur’s bedside, who she was up until very recently able to communicate with inter-dimensionally via SMS Text somehow. But Arthur hasn’t been in contact for some time now. We learn that Arthur is in fact Willa’s grandfather (by name or blood, we’re not sure). Willa waits until Daniel, the bedside assistant to Arthur, steps out for a bit, and springs into action looking for answers. She opens a safe where she finds a bunch of notebooks and tapes. Seems like a good place to start.
Back at college, Holden attends a psychology course which he finds pretty interesting. They just happen to be discussing dreams and how they represent unfulfilled wishes of the psyche. Holden asks what about nightmares–specifically ones where old men surrounded by fire chase you or faceless men try to kill you. The professor says this represents something wrong, and it is the way the psyche tries to course-correct. We’ve heard this term before when Jeff, Kevin’s older brother, told Holden the universe has a way of course-correcting. What IS the correct path that these unseen forces are trying to send Holden down? We don’t get the answer this episode.
BUT we do get a very out of the blue karaoke rendition of Macy Gray’s “I Try” between Holden and his crush Jamie. He stood Jamie up last week because, you know, flashes of strange men and creatures trying to kill him. But she agrees to go out on a double date with Holden, Luke, and his pill-popping girlfriend, on the condition that it’s a great time. Lofty goals with this crowd. Of course mid-song, Holden gets his flashes (now of a wolf chasing him in the realm and biting his arm viciously–you know, typical Macy Gray inspired fare) and darts out of the date. When he pulls himself together, Jamie has understandably had enough. He’s cute but clearly out of his mind. She says goodbye.
AAAAAND Holden gets hit by a car, flipping over its hood and windshield and landing in the street. Now he’s knocked out and in the Realm. But is this present or is he remembering something that happened there? He’s with the wolf again–a pack of wolves now–and as he is about to basically be killed, Willa hits a wolf with a rock and saves him. Holden then does what’s shaping up to be his signature move: the punch the ground shock wave thing. I gotta admit, it is pretty cool. The wolves go flying (which, as a lover of animals, I felt conflicted about thinking was awesome). He and Willa escape into some sort of temple, where she washes his wounds for him. Apparently we are seeing a memory. This is how Willa and Holden first met. When Holden wakes up, he retains this memory, and runs away (to the confusion of Luke) to go “see about a girl” (Good Will Hunting reference?).
Willa in the mean time has been investigating those notebooks and tapes of Arthur’s. On the tapes she sees some interviews with some of the possible “others” the man in the Yellow Jacket mentioned to her last week. One is labeled “Celeste, 1991” other middle-aged people who had been in comas also comment on their experiences. Arthur, to camera as though it were an instructional video, talks about how the comatose mind is sent off to another realm of existence, where subjects describe eerily similar experiences; particularly a set of concentric circles. Where have we seen those before? More on this in a bit.
One of the Arthur’s monologues to camera is interrupted when a patient goes into cardiac arrest right there. Whoever is behind the camera continues to record for whatever reason; that’s dedication to the craft. But the tape ends with Arthur turning to rush off and lamenting aloud, “We need to recalibrate our approach, Dr. Frost.” FROST. Sound familiar? This is Yellow Jacket Man’s and CFO of mysterious tax-exempt religious organization Hollow Sky Tess Shoemacher’s boss. So he and Arthur used to be partners? The plot thickens, kids.
When Holden arrives at Willa’s apartment he immediately walks in and kisses her. She is swept off her feet and on Cloud 9 that he finally remembers her and the love that they shared, though it is still spotty. When Holden spots Arthur on a paused tape, he recognizes him as the old man haunting him in his visions. Willa tells him that Arthur trained him. Holden asks to go see him. When they arrive, Willa tells him that Holden can help Arthur. He’s been out of contact since a little after Holden woke up. Arthur spent years traveling back and forth from the real world and the Realm, but he’s now stuck. Willa takes him to the large machine (strangely reminiscent of the concentric circles drawing from earlier!) that can take him to the Realm. It begins to power itself up as Holden approaches it–something Willa attests has never happened before, at least not in her presence. Is she going to ask Holden to use the machine to go into the Realm and save her grandfather?
We’ll never know. Just as the machine is powering up, Holden gets another flashback from the Realm. This time of he and Willa on a ledge of ice that breaks, sending Willa dangling on its edge. Holden is unable to hold onto her and she falls. In the real world, Holden begins to BASH THE HECK out of the machine. Seems a little brash, but I don’t believe Holden’s the brightest tool in the shed. Willa is devastated and demands to know why he would do such a thing. He says he remembers that he had her, and he lost her, and he won’t ever risk that again. Come on, dude. When it comes to interdimensional travel that could save the girl you claim to love’s ailing missing grandfather, who also happens to hold the entire key to every mystery in your life, maybe use a little more prudence. Couldn’t hurt.
In a C story line, we meet new character Charlie, first at a casino in Monte Carlo, where she convinces a man playing blackjack to hit on a 17 because she promises him it’s certainty he’ll win. How could she know this? “I was in a coma for four years,” she tells him. The casino eventually kicks her out for “card counting” but not before she shows off a little more. She calls a guy who is pointing a gun at her out for the gun not even being loaded–she can tell because the weight of one bullet would lower the angle of his wrist. Charlie explains she’s not card counting–she just sees equations broken down, turning odds into certainties. It’s not Holden’s ground-punch, but it’ll do. She soon is contacted by good ol’ Tess of Hollow Sky, who tells Charlie her services are needed. They want her to get to Holden. “He can relate to you,” Tess tells her. “I can’t relate to me,” Charlie answers in the most blatantly hot-mess way I can imagine. She only agrees after Tess tells her that Arthur got to Holden before Frost. This makes Charlie stop in her tracks–does she have some vendetta against Arthur? She asks for Holden’s name.
I’m interested to see how Charlie plays into all this, and of course wanting to see how they plan to save Arthur and get Holden to remember everything from the Realm. We’re officially halfway through the first season and we haven’t hit a true slump yet. While some of it is cheesy and a little on the nose, it remains entertaining enough to keep me wanting the next episode ASAP.
Season 1, Episode 5 (S01E05)
Beyond airs Monday at 9PM on Freeform
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Paul Gulyas | Contributor