Beyond is ABC Freeform’s newest show premiering tonight. With the exit of Pretty Little Liars, Freeform is looking for a strong show or two to fill the void. I think Beyond is a step in the right direction. It shows the more mature audience Freeform is targeting coming in with a TV-14 rating and is really geared towards teenagers and above.
“Beyond” stars Burkely Duffield (“House of Anubis”) as Holden Matthews, Romy Rosemont (“Glee”) as Diane Matthews, Michael McGrady (“American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson”) as Tom Matthews, Jonathan Whitesell (“Once Upon a Time”) as Luke Matthews, Dilan Gwyn (“Da Vinci’s Demons”) as Willa and Jeff Pierre (“Shameless”) as Jeff McArdle. All episodes can be seen on the Freeform app now! Below is a recap of the pilot episode.
Beyond Episode 1 : Pilot
We start with a boy on a water tower talking on a walkie talkie. He says his name is Kevin (Falcon is the call sign) and he is trying to reach a Holden (Deathstalker). The shot pans out and we see the location is Fort Reed,Kansas. On the other end of the walkie is a table in a very noisy house. Luke, who appears to be Holden’s younger brother is trying to eat cereal when he is stopped by his mother and asked to take to walkie talkie to his brother. On the way to his brother’s room, his father grabs him up and shows him a news story of a meteor shower happening that night. Poor Falcon is still trying to contact Deathstalker while being carted around from room to room. Finally, Luke arrives at his destination and enters the room of his brother Holden and his dog Max. He hands Holden the walkie and Holden tells Kevin he will be there soon, Luke inquires about what Holden is working on. Door shut, lights off Holden shows Luke a space mobile that consists of the planets in our solar system. Luke wants to go with Holden, but being the teenage boy that he is Holden says not today but next time. To help his brother feel better he asks him to take care of Max while he is gone and makes him swear on the holy sacred covenant of brotherhood. Luke is not convinced such a thing exists but promises anyway to appease his brother.
Holden runs out the house, jumps on his dirt bike and heads to the water tower. Trespassing and drinking beer (Do not do this at home kids there are consequences) the two boys speculate about high school and high school girls. Holden looking up in the sky talks about how many stars there are and how they are so small compared to the universe (I smell foreboding). Suddenly, the screeching tires of a truck can be heard and we see a truck driving towards the water tower. The boys climb down the water tower and jump back over the fence coming face to face with Jeff, Kevin’s older brother. Jeff is angry because Kevin stole his father’s beer before he could. There is a scuffle and sticking up for his friend, Holden smacks Jeff across the face with his motorcycle helmet. Of course, Jeff was super pleased by this turn of events; so much so he showed his appreciation by chasing Holden down with his truck. Holden is racing through the woods on his dirt bike trying to get away from Jeff when he gets clotheslined by a tree branch. He gets up gingerly and hears interference on his walkie talkie. His dirt bike suddenly turns on shining its headlights right in Holden’s face. Just then the ground, rocks, dirt all start to drift upwards in slow motion then suddenly fall to the grown. There is a blinding white light that appears to overtake Holden and we jump into the opening title page. I must say I am intrigued.
The next scene we see a grown man in a hospital bed with Holden Matthews written on his wristband. The man stirs and opens his eyes. He starts to pull out his monitor wires and breathing tubes when the patient in the next bed over sits up and looks at him. This alerts the nurse attending to that other patient and she turns around and screams. What a welcome!
An older Mrs. Matthews is seen answering the phone at the Matthews household, and by the look on her face, she is told that Holden is finally awake. We next see Mr. and Mrs. Matthews barreling down the hospital hallway being chased by a doctor that is trying to set realistic expectations for the two parents. She reminds them that he has been in a coma for 12 years. 12 years?!! The average cost to have a baby with no complications and maybe 48 hours stay in a hospital is 6k (and this is probably with insurance) can you imagine the medical debt that 12 years would rack up?! I’m guessing they all have 3 jobs a piece including the dog Max if he is still alive. A tearful Mrs. Matthews looks up at her son Holden and runs to hug him. She repeats “you’re ok” several times. He questions her change in hair, then asks “where is he?” Mr. Matthews tells him that he is in a hospital. His mother tells him that he has been asleep for quite some time, to which he naturally asks “how long?” When Mrs. Matthews does not answer right away Holden gets up and looks for the first reflective surface that he can find and takes a look at himself. Through tears, Holden says “What happened to me?!” Well, let’s all be honest Holden reacted the only way one could in that situation. According to the doctor, Holden had a panic attack. The doctor tells Mrs. and Mr. Matthews that Holden has no muscle atrophy (I was wondering about this so I am glad they addressed it) and that this is so highly abnormal yet remarkable she would like to have him transferred to a bigger hospital. Mrs. Matthews wants Holden home she does not want him transferred. There is a montage of the doctor’s voice explaining how Holden’s body is operating at incredible levels even if outside the current circumstance (Is this a clue that Holden is harboring some abilities) while showing Holden excelling at therapy and medical tests. I have to admit this did give me some Flight of the Navigator feels (and for those of you that don’t know what that is go watch it right now). The montage continues with the doctor’s voice stating they need to continue tests over the next few weeks to try and understand what happened to Holden, while we see scenes of Holden returning home to news cameras.
We see a newly moved-in house with a TV that is showing a news report on Holden waking up. A man in his early to mid-20s is watching the report with a look of shock. He is so shocked he doesn’t even realize he is burning what he was cooking until a woman in the background calls out his name… Kevin!
Holden enters 13-year-old self’s room. He looks at an old picture of him in his baseball uniform when he hears a voice call his name. It’s grown up Luke, now 17! He hugs Holden welcoming him home. But what of Max!? It’s dinner time at the Matthews house and Holden gets all of his favorite foods for dinner. What I would not give for a dinner consisting of bread, mac n cheese, spaghetti, and mash potatoes. Wait, I am an adult so I will be having that on Thursday.
Mrs. Matthews grabs Holden’s hand and Luke’s to say grace. Holden seems taken aback by this so I am guessing that the introduction of the church came post-coma. Life and death affect people in different ways so this makes sense. Luke notices Holden’s confusion and smirks at him. After a quick joke about how corrupt Luke is now thanks to college the phone rings. Mr. Matthews doesn’t want to answer it. Mrs. Matthews explains to Holden that a lot of people want to interview him now including Oprah. Personally, I think he should do it to help pay off that medical debt. Luke gets up to answer the next call in the other room and Holden’s mother explains the changes that have happened in the neighborhood since he has been asleep. Poor Holden didn’t even know what an Apple store was.
The next scene is a curious one. Holden is having a dream/nightmare in which he sees an old man and a girl surrounded by fire. He wakes up in the woods near his house. He steps on his 12-year-old walkie talkie that went untouched all those years. Poor Holden has to walk back to the house barefoot, where he is met with a hysterical mother and questioning father. Not wanting to alarm his parents he says that he just needed some air.
The doctor that is overseeing Holden comes back to a vandalized office. She immediately calls security.
Luke brings Holden an old computer and tells him about Wikipedia. I am glad someone did, but they should also tell him it’s not always accurate. Luke reminds Holden that he can always talk to him if he needs to. Holden says he just needed air this morning and that he is fine. Luke is a bit suspicious about this so he makes Holden swear on the holy sacred covenant of brotherhood. After that conversation, Luke tells Holden he is taking him to get some new clothes. Holden tries driving but doesn’t make it out of the driveway before the two both decide that maybe it’s just too soon for that. Goodbye, side door mirror.
Back at the hospital, the sheriff is questioning the doctor about her break-in. He says that the perpetrator was probably after something specific. The doctor speculated that it was Holden’s file that she happened to have taken home with her.
Holden is trying on collared work shirts looking like a 40-year-old when Luke notices a girl looking at Holden. He tells Holden, gives him some advice, a different shirt, and then pushes him to go talk to her. Holden tries, so help him he really tries, but he is about as smooth as sandpaper. It is like watching a train wreck you just can’t look away even though you want to. Still, the way this girl looks at Holden is curious. Almost like she knows him. He apologizes for being a bumbling fool and turns to leave. She grabs him by the arm and writes on it, she says “See you soon” and leaves. These are the same words the girl in his dream said the night prior. THE PLOT THICKENS! He looks down at his arm and his face falls, it says “You’re in danger, trust no one”.
Holden has another dream/nightmare only this time the girl in his dream is clear, it’s the girl from the store. The old man is telling Holden “Do it now, don’t hold back, don’t be afraid”. The girl says “they are coming for you”. While Holden is tossing and turning he manages to effect the electronics and lights in his room. He wakes up in the woods again. He is going to go through Tide like its no tomorrow, dirt everywhere.
We next see Holden sitting in an office at a school. He looks up to see a young couple’s PDA and you can tell he feels both uncomfortable and a sense of wonder. He has definitely missed out on a lot. Enter Kevin, who works as a counselor/teacher at the school. Holden compliments Kevin’s office and tentatively holds out his hand. Kevin hugs him instead as he tries not to cry, he fails. Kevin apologizes to Holden and we see that he is harboring guilt about what happened all those years ago, We find out that Kevin is married with a baby on the way. Kevin tries to get Holden to confide in him. “You know you can trust me,” he says. (First sign on a show that you can’t trust someone ). Holden says he knows he can even after he remembers the warning written in permanent marker on his forearm.
Holden is back at the hospital for those tests the doctor mentioned previously. Apparently, the new Holden does not like tight spaces because he sees old man fire as he drifts to sleep in the MRI machine. Holden breaks the machine and starts a fire due to the dream he was having. It has become clear that his powers are triggered by an emotional response such as anxiety or fear. This episode at the hospital leads Holden to the realization that something is not right with him. We see him later that night on Wikipedia looking up coma, night terrors, sleepwalking and supernatural.
Kevin meanwhile, has locked himself in a room in his house in which he answers a phone call from a very shady voice that sounds digitally modified to mask the caller’s identity. The caller inquires about Holden and what he knows. Kevin tries to convince the person that Holden is not the man they are looking for. Kevin is clearly afraid of the person on the other end of the phone.
A man in a horrific yellow jacket has broken into Kevin’s office and found pictures of his wife. He gets a call from the same suspicious person Kevin was talking to and is told Kevin is no longer useful. The voice also tells the man to make sure Holden is the one they are looking for.
Kevin, who is clearly shaken meets Holden at a bar. He has a gun with him, so at this point, I am almost certain this is going to end badly. Kevin tries to tell Holden about the people that are after him. Holden freaks out and immediately feels sick. He says he needs to get some air and heads outside, with Kevin right on his heels. They are attacked as soon as they get out to the parking lot by the man in the horrific yellow jacket (no I will not let that go) and a couple of goons. The man tells Holden that he knows who he is, and he knows what Holden can do. He wants Holden to show him. The other man takes Kevin’s gun away from him and points it at his head. Holden is told to stop the bullet. Completely distressed and afraid Holden sends the men flying through the air, confirming what we all thought, his powers are emotional responses. Out of the blue, a dark SUV speeds into the frame being driven by the girl from the store. The man with the horrific yellow jacket starts shooting at the car as the girl yells for Holden to get into the car. They speed off.
Holden is now having a mini breakdown and with good reason. He is worried about Kevin, but the girl of Holden’s dreams (literally) tells him that Kevin will be fine because he’s not the one those people are after. She tells him that they needed validation that he was who they thought. Holden says he isn’t but she assures him that he is indeed that person. Coming to his senses he demands to know who the girl is. We find out that her name is Willa and she acts as though she has known Holden for a while. Holden states he has never seen her before in his life and you can see the hurt in Willa’s face. Uh oh Holden, I think you had a girlfriend. Willa says she is taking Holden some place safe but Holden just wants to go home. When Willa speeds up ignoring Holden’s objections and his concern for his family Holden loses control of his anger blowing out the engine of the car and the windows. I would have made him write me a check for 35k right then and there because that car is totaled. Willa tries to explain to Holden that while he was in a coma his consciousness traveled. It was with her, she watched him grow up, she watched him learn how to do these extraordinary things. She adds however if he does not learn to control it he could be something very dangerous. Willa begs Holden to come with her, to let her help him, but Holden wants to pick up his marbles and leave. He tells Willa to stay away from him and he goes home.
The next scene shows old man fire (from Holden’s dreams) laying in a hospital bed. Willa goes to talk to him, and he appears to be in a coma. As she talks to him he communicates back to her via text message. He tells her to protect Holden.
The last scene of the pilot is of Holden having another nightmare while making all the lights in his room go haywire and melting some wax figures.
I must say I did enjoy the pilot episode. It is a very intriguing concept. I really want to know why this man from Holden’s dream is in a coma and how he can communicate via text message. I am assuming that Holden was never responsive while he in a coma. I look forward to seeing the place that Holden spent the last 12 years. What did you guys think of the pilot? Let us know in the comments.