BEYOND Review: “Out of Darkness”

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In the second to last episode of ’s first season, we get some huge and long awaited meetings of characters, as well as plenty of insight into the backstory of Hollow Sky, Frost, and Arthur. Throw in a killer Breaking Bad reference and this might just be my favorite episode of the series yet.

We last left off with Holden being shot with a tranquilizer by Yellow Jacket. This episode we open on Frost waking up in his home and preparing a delectable breakfast, then delivering it to a sleeping Holden. “Sleep well,” Frost says to the comatose Holden creepily. “We have a big day ahead of us.”

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Luke meets with Willa and shows her the Hollow Sky pin that was given to him by Abbey while working at Helping Hands, gig courtesy of Pastor Ian. He asks what Hollow Sky has to to with Holden. Willa tells him nothing, but that he should stay away. Luke is also concerned that nobody knows where his brother has been. As if on cue, Willa’s phone rings. An incoming call from Holden. She answers and it’s actually Jeff. He tells her that Holden was taken and that if anything happened she said he could call her.

This sets up our rescue team: Willa, Jeff, and Luke. They figure Hollow Sky must have a headquarters, and Willa knows who can help. Willa asks Arthur, but he won’t give her anything, saying he won’t risk her life, too, after her lost his daughter’s. She confronts him and calls him on his BS, though. It’s not about keeping her safe, it’s about his rivalry with Frost, and their race to reach the afterlife first. They leave on bad terms, and Daniel, the assistant, ends up giving Willa the coordinates of the Hollow Sky HQ.

Meanwhile, Holden finally wakes up in Frost’s home. He gets dressed, explores the house. Everything is oddly peaceful. There are children playing outside. When he meets with Frost, he informs Holden he’s a guest in his home. Obviously he asks about Charlie, and Frost tells him she’s fine, and they never had any intention of hurting her or Holden. Frost tells Holden about Hollow Sky. To some it’s a church, he says. “For me it’s a reminder that miracles don’t simply happen, they are a product of a limitless imagination and little bit of moxie,” he goes on to say. He convinces Holden to stay for an hour, and if at the end of the hour he still wants to leave, Frost will have a car take him home.

Speaking of Charlie, we haven’t seen her in a couple weeks. She actually goes to visit the “sister” we heard Tess threaten a few episodes ago; the one who Charlie is paying for a fancy art school for. Anabel is deaf and communicates in sign language, though not politely. “I don’t need you anyway,” she signs to Charlie as she paints a picture. It also turns out that she and Charlie “survived the same thing” so I am assuming she was in a coma and also has some sort of power, though what that may be we do not know. Perhaps we’ll get to see it in the season finale, though, as we also learn that Tess sends Yellow Jacket after Charlie to take care of her.

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Frost takes Holden on a short tour of the grounds, musing about how the afterlife has always been a question of faith, and now it is a question of science. What if we could give people the chance to see their loved ones who have passed on again? “You’re talking like it’s a destination,” Holden points out. “Exactly,” Frost says. “And the world is looking for someone to show them the way.” He makes it clear that he thinks Holden is that someone. He takes him into a barn where he shows him a familiar looking machine. For years he’s sent people into the machine and they come back talking about an ocean of light, an archway, and a grand entrance leading to the great beyond. They come back damaged, but Holden has a unique ability to avoid this. Frost wants Holden to take him there.

They discuss it further over some bowls of tomato soup. Holden warns him that he has the wrong idea. The Realm is dangerous, he’s seen it first hand. It is violent, unrelenting, and doesn’t want people there. Holden spent twelve years surviving it, and he’s not going back. This, of course, upsets Frost and we realize he never had any intention of letting Holden go. The soup contained a neuro-inhibiter that stops him from being able to use his powers. He’s taken and locked in a bedroom, now clearly a prisoner.

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Willa, Luke, and Jeff pull up outside the Hollow Sky compound. There is a private security company there guarding the place. Jeff tells them to wait in the car while he goes and stakes it out, looks for their best option to get in. However, soon after he leaves, Willa and Luke are apprehended and brought inside the compound. For some reason they put Luke and Holden in the same room together, where they are finally reunited after almost half the season away from each other. After some talk about how brothers are supposed to share this kind of stuff with each other, they quickly get to work figuring out an escape. Holden decides he’s going to use an electrical charge to short circuit the door lock. “Yeah, bitch,” Luke says to a very perplexed Holden. “‘Cause you’re like Walter White and I’m like Jesse,” he explains, realizing with the whole waking up from a twelve year coma with special powers and being hunted by strange hostile entities thing has kept Holden from binge watching Breaking Bad like the rest of us. “You’re in for such a treat.” I mean, I laughed out loud. Well done, writers.

We finally get the big confrontation between Willa and her father, Frost. When Frost sees her, he has tears in his eyes. “You are just like her,” he says. He goes on to explain how what he did was the best thing for the both of them. She got to live her life. Willa tells him she’ll leave, and he’ll never hear or see her again, but she’s leaving with Holden. Frost is confused. She tells him that she’s the one who taught Holden everything he knows about the Realm. She tells him she and Arthur got to Holden first. If he wants to get to the ocean of light, she’s the only chance he has. So she makes a deal with him. She’ll go in the machine in place of Holden.

And if you guessed Frost doesn’t keep up his end of the bargain, you’re right. Holden is taken from his room before he can short circuit the lock. Frost takes him down to the barn and shows him Willa in the machine. She volunteered to take her place. They wheel another bed in, making it clear he intends to go in with Holden as well. “Twenty-six years ago I lost the only woman I ever loved, and she gave me a message. She’s in there waiting for me on the other side of the bridge.” And the episode ends with the three of them presumably going into the Realm together, a great set-up for the season finale next week.

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Season 1, Episode 9 (S01E09)
Beyond airs Monday at 9PM on Freeform

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Paul just awoke from a twelve-year coma to discover he possesses the mystical ability to watch an insane amount of TV and write incredible reviews for all.
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