Alright, I’ll admit: I’m loving this show. Maybe it was my low expectations going into it (my preconceived notion of what a Freeform, previously ABC Family, show would be fed into this), but with each new episode I am growing fonder and fonder of Freeform’s BEYOND. And its seventh episode of its first season is its best yet. By a lot.
We pick up in a diner in Colorado. Holden and his new friend Charlie have stopped on their road trip for a meal. Holden laments how he wishes he was normal (aka didn’t wake up from a twelve year coma with strange powers and people after him) but Charlie sees things differently. What would a “normal” 25 year-old Holden Matthews be doing right now? He says designing telescopes. Indeed, that’s where they are on their way to: a large telescope Holden had always wanted to see as a kid. Charlie coaxes Holden into attempting to change the awful music on the jukebox with his mind, which results in him blowing a fuse and shutting the place’s power down. They run out excitedly.
Charlie and Holden, clearly growing deeply affectionate for one another, check into a cabin as newlyweds, to Holden’s surprise. Holden asks if there are two beds in the room, almost giving up their ruse. While checking in, Tess Shoemacher, CFO of Hollow Sky calls Charlie’s cell phone. Tess originally sent Charlie after Holden to bring him in to meet with Isaac Frost, leader of Hollow Sky. Charlie however has changed her mind. “I’m not gonna do that to Holden,” she tells Tess. The deal was that if Charlie brings Holden to them, they can get Charlie to Arthur (what she wants with him we have no idea, but it sounds like some sort of revenge). When Charlie tells her the deal is off in not so polite terms, Tess threatens somebody Charlie loves–a fifteen year old girl named Anabel she lived with in foster care. Charlie is currently paying for her school with the money she’s won gambling. Charlie is livid. “I will kill you, I will destroy Hollow Sky and everyone in it,” she threatens. But this does not improve matters.
However, Charlie seems to cheer up quite quickly. That night she and Holden are at the telescopes Holden was so interested in at a kid looking up into the Colorado sky. However, the BIG ONE Holden dreamed of visiting had been put out of public use three years prior. So what do they do? Break in, duh. When an employee comes in on suspicion someone’s entered without permission, Charlie and Holden hide, close to one another. A tiny romantic moment with a hint of sexual tension… Hmmm, where will this lead? (Getting there, don’t worry).
We haven’t seen the last of Tess Shoemacher in this episode. We finally catch back up with Yellow Jacket, who has moved from Fort Reed after Holden viciously beat him, putting him in the hospital. While looking at a new house with his wife and dog Spartacus (cute dog, btw) he spots Tess casually strolling outside. Yeah, not a coincidence. He goes out to meet her and subsequent to her conversation with Charlie, he is now re-hired on the Holden Matthews’ case. He is tasked with finding him and capturing him to bring him in for Isaac Frost. His only demand is men and resources. She tells him he’ll have “carte blanche.” Not good for Holden.
Back at the cabin, Charlie and Holden, the “married” couple, make friends with an actual real life married couple from Canada. The Canadians offer to take the two fly fishing. Charlie clearly doesn’t want to go so Holden tells them they’re looking to chart their own course for the day. After they leave, Charlie calls him on it, saying he clearly wanted to go. “Most guys woulda done what they wanted to do,” she says. “I’m not most guys,” Holden says in the most cliche line of the episode (come on, writers, an otherwise flawless episode!). Later that night they catch up with the Canadian couple and share drinks outdoors at a picnic table. Holden and Charlie, a little buzzed, accidentally reveal themselves as not actually married–they’re just friends. Canadian Guy jokes “So you came all the way out to the boonies to stargaze and not have sex?” Holden and Charlie stare at each other AAAANDDD–
They do it you guys. Totally do it. It’s Holden’s first time. And as things, uh, intensify, the cabin’s TV explodes. That’s some intense love making. But I’m happy for them. Not gonna be so happy when Willa finds out.
Back home, Holden’s dad Tom is concerned about Holden’s whereabouts, getting on his wife Diane’s case. This probably has something to do with Jeff having come to Tom last episode to warn him about Hollow Sky being after Holden. Though Tom thinks he’s crazy, he’s a rational man who wants to cover all his bases and keep his kid safe. To this end, Tom takes another meeting with Jeff. Jeff brings Tom more info about Hollow Sky, the tax exempt religious association supposedly after Holden (we know they are, Jeff and Tom aren’t 100% certain). He says that they are also into charity, setting up youth centers. Yet there is nothing to promote them at all; no publicity, social media, or anything. He stumbled upon the name Isaac Frost on the “dark net” and that one of the youth centers operated by Hollow Sky is Fort Reed’s own “Helping Hands,” run by the infamous Pastor Ian. “Son of a bitch is dating my wife,” Tom growls. Yuh-oh.
Meanwhile, Luke, having been expelled from college, searches around Holden’s bedroom while he’s away to find strange drawings. One is of the concentric circles, resembling the machine that Holden destroyed. Another is of the thick brambles we saw Holden running frantically through while in the Realm. Obviously this doesn’t sit well with Luke and he eventually brings them to Willa. He clearly sees through her lies when she says they are just friends and then that she is a physical trainer. Willa has to admit that the drawings are mostly of where Holden was when he was in his coma. That’s all she gives him. He calls her crazy (can you blame him?) and leaves. But not Tom AND Luke are suspecting something is up. The only one still oblivious to things is Holden’s mother Diane, and she may soon have a terrible wake up call.
Back home, Pastor Ian is coming off a little more nefarious than usual, asking about Holden, and asking Luke to come help out at the Youth Center. Luke seems to distrust him, just slightly, and I think in due time we’ll find out that his instincts are correct. It’s no coincidence the connection of Hollow Sky and Helping Hands, and Ian ending up dating Diane. When Tom actually comes clean about having spoken with Jeff and tries to warn her about Pastor Ian, Diane obviously thinks he’s just trying to ruin this relationship for her. After a brief skirmish, the two back off and apologize. Tom tells her to forget everything he just said and leaves, but as soon as he’s out the door, he dials Jeff: “I need a favor,” he says. What will it be?
Well, it turns out Yellow Jacket has acted quickly. He knows that Holden is at the cabin in Colorado with Charlie, and he’s already enlisted a team of mercenary-like men to help extract him. These people have proven that they can do what needs to be done and not ask questions. As they line up before him he tells them that their defining moment is near. Their target: Holden Matthews, who is dangerous. But failing to bring him in puts their entire cause at risk. At daybreak they storm the cabins, shoot him with tranquilizers, and take him. “The girl is expendable,” Tess adds. The vans move out.
Holden is having trouble sleeping in the early hours of the morning. He starts to text Willa “just checking in” but he erases it. Then “Hey Willa, I’m sorry,” but erases that, too. As he’s doing this we see Yellow Jacket and his men moving in, guns at the ready. Holden seems to sense something is amiss. But as Yellow Jacket turns the handle on the cabin door, a shot is fired! Turns out Tom’s favor he was asking of Jeff was to go to Colorado and stake out Holden! He’s seen the Hollow Sky people coming and is armed and ready for them!
A shoot-out ensues and of course Holden peaks his head out to see what’s happening. When he steps out what happens next is the best moment in the series to date. His Canadian Guy friend has also stepped out and into the line of fire. Holden triumphantly punches the ground lined with loose gravel, sending it FLYING up into the air, knocking the tranquilizers and bullets headed straight for him and Canadian Guy. What’s even better is this all happens in slow motion to “Where Is My Mind” by the Pixies (worked in Fight Club, works here). However, in the ruckus, Holden does get shot (like, with an actual bullet) in the chest. When Charlie comes running out to help, Jeff doesn’t recognize her as an ally and backs her up with his gun aimed. He puts Holden in his car and speeds off. Yellow Jacket spots Charlie and fires at her, but she runs away!
We end the episode with Holden bleeding profusely in the back of Jeff’s car. And in his bed, we see Arthur open his eyes, and sit up!
Now THAT’S a cliffhanger. I love this episode because while a lot of BIG developments happened plot-wise, it simultaneously was able to make things feel slowed down and really give us great character moments, exploring relationships, forming new ones, and making all our good guys a LITTLE more keen to what is happening. I can’t wait to see where all this leads in the remaining three episodes of the season.
Season 1, Episode 7 (S01E07)
Beyond airs Mondays at 9PM on Freeform
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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Paul Gulyas | Contributor