Saturday, January 14, 2017

Beyond, Season One, Episode Three: Ties That Bind

Holden is at Willa's, having no longer been able to deny that things are out of control, after he started the house fire.  Holden just wants it all to stop but we know that Willa has a different agenda.  When Willa pulls out a needle with medicine intended to free Holden's memory he balks and leaves.  I actually cannot blame him for a second. Yeah, things are weird but letting a stranger inject you with something isn't the brightest idea.  

Kevin is driving frantically and gets on the phone to call his wife to warn her that he believes that he is being followed.  Kevin begs her to pack a bag and leave but she is firm about staying exactly where she is.  Kevin's car is hit from behind.

It's pasta night for the Mathews family.  The restaurant brings back warm memories for everyone and the boys joke about how they taught their father a thing are two at the batting cage after every meal there.  For a moment, it's as though nothing has changed for Holden but it's short lived. Diane announces that it's time for Holden to take a highschool equivalency test which quickly sends Tom into a rage.  Tom feels that Diane never allows anyone else to make a decision and argues that she is pushing Holden to move too quickly.  As the argument gets louder and louder, the Holden and Luke become increasingly uncomfortable.  Luke, in frustration, orders his parents to shut up before revealing to Holden that their parents are actually separated.  Tom admits that he has his own apartment now and Diane explains that they thought a functioning family unit would make things easier for Holden, as he tries to adjust to the years he's lost. It turns out that this is too much for Holden and so he grabs his jacket and leaves.  Holden heads to the batting cage, clearly still chasing the positive memories of the past, only to find it locked.  Holden uses a bat to smash repeatedly at the fence which sets off his powers.  A cop stops to see what the disturbance is and Holden flees before he can be questioned. Holden heads back to Willa's and this time he is down with taking the shot. 

The man in the yellow jacket ( yeah they still haven't give this character a name) is having dinner around the television with his family. Things are clearly strained with his wife.  He heads down to the cellar to get another bottle of wine and that is when we see that he has a bloodied Kevin tied up. Things don't look good for Kevin.

Willa tells Holden to think about the last thing he remembered before the coma.  Holden pictures the forest and after a few anxious moments about the injection, he finds himself back in the woods.  In this forest, vines move and so do tree roots as Kevin races past them. Willa begins boiling kettles and filling the bathtub up with hot water.  Holden is shivering in his dream state so Willa drags him to the tub and then pours the hot water from the kettle over top of him. Kevin awakes from his dream to find himself in the tub. Look, I know he is super special now but are we really supposed to believe that he doesn't get burned by boiling water?

At Holden's home, Diane is being comforted by Pastor Ian.  Tom is not at all pleased to find the pastor in his home. Clearly Tom knows a rooster is in his hen house. When Holden returns he rushes upstairs to his room without speaking to anyone. 

Yellow jacket dude is back in his basement with Kevin.  Yellow jacket explains that he had to push Holden to find exactly what he is and that it was a mistake for Kevin to see the results.  The Yellow Jack man explains that Kevin is now a loose thread he needs to clean up. Kevin begins to plead for his life, promising not to say anything and pointing out that his wife is pregnant with his first child. Yellow Jacket acts relieved to not have to kill Kevin, claiming that he doesn't like to take life. 

Holden is at the store with a list of protective gear to pick up for his next visit with Willa.  Holden runs into Jamie, the girl he met at the party.  Jamie gives Holden her number and instructs him to call her sometime.

Willa has gone to see the man in the bed.  He texts to explain that he's not sure how much longer he can keep on running.  He texts to ask if Willa still has a thing for Holden and she promises that nothing will get in the way of what she has to do.

Now that the pretense about the family unit is over, Tom is packing up his shit.  Luke tells his father that he has decided to return to school which disappoints Tom, because he believes that Luke is the best person to help Holden adjust. This causes Luke to get his back up and all in his feelings. Clearly, more has been going on in the family than just the separation between Tom and Diane. It seems that for the last twelve years, Luke felt as though his parents forgot about him due to their grief.  Luke believes that his father went into the garage to tinker with things to escape and that he simply wasn't enough for his father.  Tom suggests that they try again but Luke is not interested and instead walks away.

Holden is ready for another visit to the realm.  When he gets the protective gear on, Willa injects him again.  This time, after exiting the forest he sees this high tech city.  Holden is clearly amazed but in short order, birds start flying at his face, causing his body to begin to shake.  Willa pours hot water over Holden again but once again, Holden awakes in the bathtub.  When Holden asks why he was attacked, Willa explains that the entire time that he was in the realm that he was on the run because no one is supposed to be there. At breakfast, Willa explains that the realm is a beautiful magical place but extremely dangerous.  As they talk more, Willa reveals that her mother died in childbirth and that her father abandoned her.  Willa was raised by her grandfather and so that's probably who coma dude is. While they're having their meal, what neither of them know is that Jeff is in the diner and he is listening to every word.

Back home, Holden says his goodbyes to Luke, who packed and ready to return to school.  After Luke leaves, Diane says how nice it was to have her two sons at home again.  Holden takes the opportunity to bring up the pastor but Diane brushes it off.

Yellow jacket takes Kevin home. With a smile on his face, Kevin explains that his wife is seven months pregnant.  When Kevin tries to open the car door however he finds it locked.  It seems that Yellow Jacket only intended to allow Kevin to see his family, not be with his family.  When next we see Yellow Jacket, he is returning to his now empty car and his glasses are stained with blood. Bye Kevin, we hardly knew you. 

Holden sits down to take his equivalency test.  Immediately things start to go berserk and he sees the old man, who tells him to get himself under control.  A frustrated Holden grabs his things and leaves, only to be confronted by Jeff, who wants to know what the hell Holden did to Kevin. When Holden doesn't answer, Jeff reveals that he is carrying a gun.  

We will probably be saying goodbye to Jeff next week because as the super special chosen one, there's no way Holden is going to die. We are on week three, and already, 1/3 of the cast of colour is dead.  Things are not looking good.  Of the two remaining cast members, even calling Kevin's wife a character is pushing it because she really has nothing to do with the story.  There may be characters of colour on the screen but they are tokens at best and clearly they are disposable. 

We still don't have an LGBT character and given the treatment of people of colour, I expect that this will continue to be the case.  It all makes Beyond so been there, done that.  How many times are we going to have to watch the narrative of the super special chosen cis het white guy?  No matter how it's framed at this point, it's old an unimaginative.

As far as this episode goes, I kind of like the fact that the family is in turmoil. It makes sense that things haven't been all wonderful while Holden has been in his coma.  I think everyone is right to be suspicious about the Pastor. Yes, Diane turned to religion after her son entered the coma for comfort but I think that there's something going on between her and the pastor. 

We still need to learn a lot more about the realm.  All we know is that people like Holden and the old man aren't meant to be there but we don't know why or what the purpose of that world is.  We don't know why Holden came back with super special powers.  We don't even know why he was chosen to go to that place given that there are so many people who are in comas.  I think that Beyond has taken this memory loss as far as it can and really needs to start building its narrative at this point.