Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Beyond, Season One, Episode Six: Celeste

In last week's episode, Holden at last recovered his memories from the Realm. This led to a reconciliation of sorts between Holden and Willa. When Willa took him to see Arthur, who still wasn't communicating, Holden began to piece together even more. Willa took Holden to see the machine and after a vision of an ice bridge cracking beneath Willa's feet causing her to fall into a deep cannon, Holden decided to destroy the machine.

This week's episode begins with Holden explaining to Willa the reason he destroyed the machine. After the vision, Holden now believes that the Realm is too dangerous and that they don't belong there. Unfortunately, Willa won't get on side because she wants to see Arthur wake up from his coma and this is enough for Holden to consider that perhaps Willa has actually been using him all along and isn't really invested in a relationship with him. 

Holden heads home and decides to work out his frustration by mowing the lawn.  While doing so, he has a vision of him and Willa holding hands.  Holden dials Willa's number but hangs up before she answers.  When Holden heads in, Holden finds Diane getting ready to go out.  Diane explains that now that he is out of a coma that she wants to get back to work. Ian (yep, the pastor that Diane is  supposedly not sleeping with) has offered her a part time position at the church. 

Holden isn't the only one who's upset about the argument. Willa sits at Arthur's bedside and puts the stolen recording on his chest saying that he could have told her about Frost. 

It's flashback time. Frost and Arthur are taking care of a patient who is in a coma. Arthur suggests a treatment but Frost is quick to say no believing that the patient won't survive.  Frost counters by suggesting that they use the machine but Arthur isn't convinced that it's ready for a test run. 

Probably to take his mind of Willa, Holden heads to a cabin to meet with Jeff, who has gone all conspiracy theory which flies right over Holden's head. Jeff cleans his rifle and talks about Tess Shoemaker and how she is the one who signed Yellow Jacket out of the hospital. Jeff adds that when he went to Yellow Jacket's house to follow up, he found it empty. At this point Jeff is determined to get vengeance for Kevin's death and is now certain that the best way to do so is to trace Hollow Sky's tax records. Since Jeff has become so unhinged, Holden decides that perhaps the next course of action is to simply back down. Jeff absolutely refuses to stop saying that he doesn't have a choice and that finding Kevin's killer is what the universe wants him to do. 

In a bid to gain some independence, Holden heads to the DMV to take his written drivers test.  A message appears on the computer screen asking Holden for help but it isn't visible for long. Charlie is sitting at another table and she starts whispering answers to Holden.  He accepts two answers and then tells Charlie that he wants to do this alone and doesn't have time to talk right now. Charlie responds by leaving and pulling the fire alarm. 

At the university, things aren't going great for Luke, who's called into the Deans office. It seems that someone on campus got sick from  drugs and so they have decided to question him given his past. The Dean however does offer some understanding given the family issues Luke is dealing with. Luke is quick to deny that it's him and so the Dean asks him to give up the source or to face expulsion. Luke tries to snark it off but the Dean is not having it.
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After meeting with Charlie outside of the DMV, the Holden and Charlie take a walk around the city.  Charlie talks about her experience as someone who spent years in a coma. Charlie explains that she can see the world in algorithms and equations. To prove her powers, Charlie causes a car accident by encouraging a little girl to let go of her balloon. 

Charlie and Holden then head to a junkyard where Holden tries to display his ability by punching the ground. Holden tries several times and only manages to hurt his fist.  As they talk it through, Holden reveals that the only other times he's been able to access his power he was enraged.  Charlie starts punching Holden in the face ( admit it, this is something you want to do as well) and when he finally responds by grabbing her fist, the car windows around them explode and the alarms start sounding.  

Tom helps Luke pack up his shit to leave campus.  I guess Luke made a decision. 
Luke asserts that for the record, he wasn't the one selling the drugs and that he and Riley will be taking a break.  Luke then asks his father to tell his mother because he doesn't want to deal with Diane's reaction.  Tom agrees to do so but warns Luke that he will get a job and pay him back the tuition he wasted.

Holden brings Charlie home and finding no one at home, they head upstairs to clean the cut Charlie received from Holden's display of power.  Holden is very awkward having not spent a lot of time around women due to his coma. Charlie however is in full on flirt mode.  Charlie's phone rings and it's Tess but she doesn't take the call.  Holden then invites Charlie to stay for dinner. 

It's flashback time once again and this time, Frost is putting something in Celeste's IV. Just as Frost turns on the machine, Arthur bursts in and tries to stop Frost. Celeste wakes suddenly and tells the men to stop fighting. 

Willa is frustrated with her lack of answers and takes to the punching bag to work off some stress. Daniel tries to cheer her up and reveals that he spent time in prison and that Arthur saw something good in him. It's Daniel's belief that Willa is a lot like Arthur because she sees the good in Holden. 

It's dinner time in the Mathews household and Diane serves up a lasagna. When did that woman find the time to cook a lasagna given that she was supposedly working? Dinner comes with stories from Holden's childhood and pictures from when he was a little boy. Could Beyond be anymore damn cliche?

In contrast to Diane's supper, Tom is at a bar and orders the nastiest nachos I've ever seen.  When Jeff shows up, Tom isn't happy to see him but still manages to offer his condolences over the loss of Jeff's brother. Jeff pulls out a portfolio with everything he has managed to learn about Tess, Yellow Jacket and Hollow Sky. Jeff explains to Tom that he believes that the same people who killed Kevin, are now after Holden. Tom listens intently but it's easy to tell from Tom's face that he isn't necessarily buying what Jeff is selling. 

Holden manages to pass his drivers test and his parents reward him by giving a hooptie masquerading as a truck. Tom offers the truck as a chance for them to spend time together because it's going to need some work to be a solid vehicle. Holden doesn't even care what's wrong with the truck at this point and is just so happy to have a little freedom. Holden decides to take the truck for a spin. 

Holden picks up Charlie and decides that they should go fishing.  Charlie confesses that she ended up in a coma after attempting suicide. They seem to keep easy company together. When Charlie catches a fish, they cheer and then  Holden releases it which confuses Charlie.  Holden explains that fishing isn't so much about catching something, as it is about spending time with someone.  Holden needs to speak for himself.  If I catch a fish, it's ending up in the damn frying pan. 
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Holden's explanation of why he took Charlie fishing is enough for her to admit that she was sent there to meet with him. Holden starts to pack up his shit, not wanting to be used again. Charlie manages to convince Holden to stay by saying that they are the ones who have been to the Realm, and that they're the ones dealing with the consequences. Charlie then claims that all she wants is to be with the only person who can truly understand where she is coming from. 

Willa goes to meet with a man who participated in Frost and Arthur's experiments.  The man recognizes her immediately as Arthur's granddaughter and Celeste's daughter. The man explains that Frost wanted to use the experiments to get into contact with the after life, thus taking Arthur's experiments to a new level. Willa is shocked because she realises that not only is Frost her father but that the experiments were all his idea in the first place. The man goes on to say that Celeste was the love of Frost's life. 

It's flashback time once again. Frost is packing up his shit as he argues with Arthur about using the machine to visit Celeste on the other side.  Arthur however is far more grounded and points out that Frost has an infant daughter who needs him. Frost however has no time to pour his energy into a child and leaves. 

Willa heads to Holden's place and Luke answers the door. Luke recognises Willa and heads upstairs to find Holden. When Luke comes downstairs he tells Willa that Holden isn't home. Willa leaves her number for Holden to contact her.  

In the final scene, we see Holden and Charlie together beginning an impromptu road trip. Oh Holden, your father told you that the hopptie needs work but do you listen? Naw. You take the thing on a damn road trip. You deserve to break down on the side of the road. 

Okay, clearly we're going to get the love triangle thing between Charlie, Willa and Holden.  It reads as cheap angst to me because Beyond has given us no real reason to invest in any of the characters. Holden reads as exciting as damp toast, so why would I care who the hell he ends up with? 

As I suspected, Charlie does add a little something to the show. She's far more interesting and complex than Holden and would have made a far better protagonist. She's clear proof that stories are better when we step outside of the het, cis, male must be the center of the universe mold.

All of the flashback nonsense got on my last nerve thus making the big reveal at the end about Willa's parentage feel underwhelming.  All it did was suck up unnecessary time which would have been better spent given to Jeff.  By the time Willa puts the clues together, the audience already knows what she is going to discover. It's really a case of some horrible story telling.

As far as Jeff goes, he comes off as unhinged, even if everything he's saying about Hollow Sky is in fact true.  Holden is happy to just trip along and randomly trust people but Jeff has actually lived and seen the worst in people.  In some way, though Holden is technically 26, mentally he's still a tween. He easily forgives Charlie for her deception and heads off on a road trip with her.  What does Holden even know about Charlie? You know damn well that Jeff would have handled that situation differently.  I'm interested to see what Jeff's move is next and if he can get Tom on side.