BEYOND Review: “The Man In the Yellow Jacket”

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The fourth episode of Freeform’s freshman series pulled me in a little bit more than the last. We didn’t really get answers that don’t just lead to more questions, but I’m not a viewer who usually takes issue with that as long as they get me excited to keep watching (I was and remain to this day a ginormous ‘Lost’ fan–I liked the ending, fight me). It’s not a perfect show by any means, and there are plenty of moments I groan at the plot convenience or cheesiness. BUT, that said, the fourth episode may be my favorite to thus far, which is a promising sign for the rest of the season.

Last week we left on a cliffhanger: Holden was abducted at gun point by his best friend’s older brother Jeff–the very guy who was kinda sorta directly responsible for Holden’s coma in the first place. When we pick back up this week, we see Jeff in army fatigues talking with his commanding officer discussing where he will be placed. His commanding officer tells him none other than Fort Reed, his hometown. But Jeff isn’t having it. He says he needs to go where the universe directs him, and that is not where the universe wants him to go. Don’t speak so soon, Jeff! Turn around and catch the tail end of that conveniently timed newscast about Holden, the boy you put in a coma twelve years ago, finally waking up! Maybe the universe is telling you something after all?

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And we’re back in present day. Jeff has just taken Holden to some sort of cabin. It appears that Kevin, his brother and Holden’s former best friend, is missing. We know that Mustard Jacket (okay I guess it’s Yellow Jacket, per the title of this episode, but I maintain my nickname paints a better picture) murdered Kevin last week and left him in the woods after he witnessed something he shouldn’t have (Holden’s miraculous powers). Apparently before he was offed, Kevin left a distressed voicemail for his brother Jeff and for his wife–all they could both make out was the name Holden. But Holden doesn’t know anything. Jeff then shows him a picture of the last known whereabout of his brother–in a drive thru. And who is in the car behind him? YELLOW JACKET. I don’t know why this incriminates him at all and this is a bit of a weak plot point. He’s in a drive thru. If being the car behind somebody in a drive thru is a crime I would have been sentenced to life imprisonment long ago. Anyway.

Holden leaves, telling Jeff to let the sheriff do his and track down Kevin. He’s got other things to worry about. Mainly the visions of that weird old guy, fire, crows attacking him, and creepy faceless men that keep interrupting his every day life. When he experiences this again, almost causing what seems like a panic attack, he of course retreats to Willa for answers. She claims it’s a form of PTSD, which he doesn’t really buy. And it certainly doesn’t help him at all. He storms out, angrily after she tells him to use a breathing technique she learned from yoga classes.

Willa gets a call from Daniel after he leaves (Daniel being the assistant to Arthur, the old man in the coma who Willa is able to communicate with via text while he’s unconscious somehow). Well, bad news. Arthur’s not responding to texts. There hasn’t been any contact. Daniel says he’s “drifting” but that’s only theoretical. Willa retorts “ALL of this is theoretical.” Yeah, no idea what’s going on here.

Holden gets a surprise call from girl Jamie, the girl he made out with in episode two and has a crush on. I know that Holden is supposed to be a little behind on things since he’s been out of commission for over a decade, but the writers have to be careful because he’s coming off borderline mentally handicapped when speaking to girls he likes. Just saying. Anyway, they set a date for dinner Friday night. Methinks he MIGHT have a conflict of interest…

Back at his house Jeff is waiting for Holden in his driveway, and tells him to get in or Kevin’s as good as dead. Turns out he’s tracked down Yellow Jacket to his home. They’re going to head in there and try and see what information they can get about Kevin’s whereabouts. Let me remind you they are breaking and entering into this man’s home to steal private information based on the fact that he was BEHIND KEVIN IN A DRIVE THRU. Okay.

They watch Yellow Jacket leave, and what do you know, the ONE TIME people break into his home to steal information, he leaves his cell phone behind! He realizes quickly and heads back. Before he arrives, Jeff and Holden are able to download the entire contents of Yellow Jacket’s phone wirelessly (does this technology exist?) and explore the wine cellar where Kevin was in fact being held. While down there, Holden catches another flash of a faceless guy stalking him that only he can see. He uses that trusty yoga technique and is able to compose himself.

However, he doesn’t get out quite in time when Yellow Jacket arrives home. He runs upstairs to hide, while Jeff is able to escape. Yellow Jacket’s Yorkshire terrier (I think?) starts barking, alerting him to the intruder. He heads upstairs, noticing lights flickering throughout the house. Holden is here! Yellow Jacket witnesses a strange light coming from under one of the bedroom doors. When he opens it, Holden’s gone. Not sure what happened here. Did he just teleport? I may have missed it but it is not explained.

Later, Yellow Jacket shows up at Holden’s home, pretending to return his mom’s wallet she left at the grocery store. Apparently his name (or at least an alias of his) is David Jones. He drops off all the bugging devices Holden and Jeff left in his home and tells Holden to leave their families out of this going forward. Holden of course feels threatened that Yellow Jacket could so easily get to him and his family. He demands Willa show him how to use the abilities he has against someone. She explains his abilities only work in The Realm. Here, they are just consequences. Holden leaves, frustrated again. I’m seeing a pattern here.

BEYOND - "The Man in the Yellow Jacket" - Holden tries to learn more about his new enemies in a new episode of Beyond, MONDAY, JANUARY 16 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST) on Freeform. (Katie Yu/Freeform via Getty Images) PETER KELAMIS

Unfortunately, it is confirmed. Kevin is dead. His body is in the morgue, and Jeff has to sign the affidavit of confirmation. The word soon gets out to the people of Fort Reed, and Holden’s mother tries to comfort her song. “At least they think they found the guy who did it,” she says. Little does she know that that guy who was taken is is the man who was in her kitchen hours ago.

Indeed Yellow Jacket is being interrogated by the police and he mentions it’s not a crime to follow somebody in a drive thru. FANTASTIC POINT, YELLOW JACKET SIR! He also tells the police that Holden and a buddy broke into his house, after Holden became fixated on him after waking up from his coma. We don’t know how that lands with the police, or if they will not be investigating Holden, but either way they let Yellow Jacket go.

The episode explodes with a bloody confrontation between Holden and Yellow Jacket. He tracks him down and comes at him. Yellow Jacket claims Kevin is in a much better place right now, “The people I work for have access…” and THAT’S when Holden decides to punch him in the face. Couldn’t let him finish that thought so we could get an answer? Ah, well. Holden proceeds to beat him mercilessly. So hard that Yellow Jacket’s huge eye glasses, knocked off and feet away on the ground, SHATTER when Holden hits Yellow Jacket’s face. Just completely pummeled, Yellow Jacket lay there. When Holden asks him why he isn’t fighting back, he gets out “You’re too important.” WOAH. That’s a kind of cool twist. Maybe Yellow Jacket and his constituents aren’t the bad guys after all?

Who are those constituents? Well, Jeff’s commanding officer looked into it. Yellow Jacket works for an organization called Hollow Sky, filed as a tax exempt religious organization, that preys on military veterans. Their CFO, Tess Schumaker, is the woman we saw berating Yellow Jacket in the pilot for his stunt with making Holden perform his abilities for camera at gunpoint. Well, that certainly seems like it will play into things!

And we finish up the episode with a much anticipated butting of heads: Willa and Yellow Jacket. She visits him in the hospital where he is recovering from the beating Holden gave him. And Yellow Jacket has some cryptic ominous words for her. “You can’t control him,” and “He’s a time bomb” to name a few. He also says something about the old man, presumably Arthur, not having the greatest track record. “Have you ever asked him what happened with the others?” he poses to Willa. Others? Were there Holdens before the Holden we know? Then he says Holden has to change the world.

That’s when Willa starts pumping away at the morphine button attached to Yellow Jacket. She escapes as hospital staff responds to his cries for help.

We end with Luke and his girlfriend (who might be addicted to prescription pills now?) stumble drunkenly back to Luke’s dorm to find Holden there, hands bloody from his fight with Yellow Jacket. How will Luke respond? We shall see next week.

TB-TV-Grade-A-

Season 1, Episode 4 (S01E04)
Beyond airs Mondays 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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