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Beyond - Stir - Review: "Say Hello To Diego"

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After a 2 weeks break Beyond returned this week with ‘Stir’. As the show enters the second half of the season the pace has indeed picked up, which I am extremely thankful for. At times reviewing the show this season has been a bit like a chore. It doesn’t have that same addictive rush to it that its debut season has, occasionally episodes have felt fillerish not to mention just plain boring.

Freeform switching Beyond from its successful season 1 binge model to weekly viewing can be understood in one sense, since according to them last year it was one of their most watched shows. I get the writers obviously wanted to expand the show to be about more than just Holden, and the additions we’ve had this year when they’ve been given a chance to shine have been interesting. However there has been a notable dip in quality and one can only hope if the show is renewed for a 3rd season, the writers plot out a story that doesn’t take as long to get going.

Given how ‘Bedposts’ ended, I was extremely worried that ‘Stir’ wouldn’t pick up with Holden & Diego’s fight. For once I was pleasantly surprised as the two were still going at it, and only the arrival of the Sheriff brought Diego to a halt.

He was taken to the police station and put in a cell. The sheriff attempted to quiz Holden on what exactly had happened, and most importantly why. Unfortunately, Holden genuinely had no answers and talking to Diego in his cell wasn’t helpful either. Playing a villain, especially one that is so mysterious isn’t an easy feat, but Oscar Camacho is playing Diego wonderfully.

After being massively freaked out by a vision that Diego makes him see of his family burning, Holden leaves the station to find Charlie waiting outside for him. She explains she saw the sirens, questions Holden on what exactly happened and doesn’t much like the answer he comes back with. Whilst he wants to further investigate to find out what is coming and fix the issue he made, Charlie just rants Holden to run away from Fort Read, and Diego with her. He refuses to and points out that when things get tough, Charlie’s solution is always to run away, and you can’t do that forever.

With both of them refusing to back down, Holden leaves Charlie to meet up with Jeff and sneak into the facility where Edgar is at, in the hope that he’ll have more answers. Charlie meanwhile sneaks into the holding cell to pay her own visit to Diego. It may go against her natural instincts, but Charlie has a vested interest in Holden. She wants to know what it is that’s got him so shook up. Obliging Diego brings Charlie’s worst fear to life, which is her sister being killed.

I’ve said it many times but I’ll say it again; Eden Brolin is a great actress. She may just be one of the best actors per say on this show. She can do comedy, the one-liners, and the more serious, emotional moments so well. Her silent screams as she could only look on whilst her sister died, and the terror in her eyes as she came out of the vision. It was heart-breaking, and I completely felt Charlie’s terror.

Jeff & Holden trick their way into the facility were Edgar is, and once Holden reveals his true identity to Edgar he is extremely talkative. He knows a lot more about the realm than Holden can even comprehend. He explains Hollow Sky have been trying to break him and make Edgar reveal where his fridge is, because it’s a gateway to the realm. The dreams Holden has been having are ones that Edgar has been putting into his head, in order to guide Holden to the fridge and basically get it before Hollow Sky do. There’s a lot of exposition in this scene as the show explains where the powers Holden & Charlie have come from, and how exactly they work. In another pleasant surprise, this exposition doesn’t at all feel forced or as though the show is flinging information at us. Edgar just breezes through the conversation whilst Holden & Jeff are us the audience, trying to seep it all in and connect all the dots.

Their conversation is of course cut short by Hollow Sky’s people coming to visit Edgar. It’s a trope shows have been using probably since the dawn of TV, and I always appreciate when shows have enough awareness to point this out.

To help them get out without being caught, Edgar sets the TV on fire. Holden & Jeff make a quick getaway, but Holden knows they can’t just leave Edgar at Hollow Sky’s mercy and tells Jeff they have to come back for him at some point.

Elsewhere Tom is feeling extremely guilty after beating up Pastor Ian. He wants to turn himself into the police, so that when they tell them about the hidden cameras, the police don’t think they’re making it up. When Tom gets to the station however, he’s asked to sign in and told that the Sheriff is busy. He loses his temper and the Sheriff does indeed come out, but thinks Tom is there because of what happened to Holden. Despite the Sheriff asking him to tell his folks about the fight, Holden’s obviously not gotten round to doing that yet. Tom wants to speak to Diego and find out why exactly he attacked Holden, which the Sheriff doesn’t think is a good idea. They’re then interrupted by Pastor Ian’s receptionist walking in and telling them Tom attacked Pastor Ian, even pointing to his bruised knuckles. The officer wants to take Tom to booking, but he refuses still very much wanting to see Diego, and ends up having to be restrained.

The scene was quite honestly ridiculous, and I really hate how this Pastor Ian plot is dragging out. His receptionist had left by the time Tom attacked him, and considering how cagey he was with the man in the yellow jacket, I seriously doubt Ian is going to press charges against him. I also don’t get how a police officer insists that a person fill out a form, when they say they’re trying to turn themselves in for a crime committed.

Diane tore the house apart trying to find the cameras which again didn’t make sense to me. Tom was supposed to have gotten rid of the cameras and concocted a story about how exactly he came across them, or maybe I just badly misheard. Either way Diane couldn’t find one trace of the cameras in the house, and was confronted by an extremely bemused Luke wondering what on earth she was doing. Diane then sat her youngest son down, and explained their theory that Pastor Ian was working for a cult which had a mysterious interest in Holden. Being the voice of reason, Luke suggested that instead of sneaking around trying to find answers, they simply ask Holden. That was met by a big fat no, and with recent events on his mind, Luke raged about how Holden is basically treated with kid gloves and goes round hurting people whilst feeling no consequences.

Something that Marko brought up in his preview for this episode is that Luke obviously feels overlooked and neglected, and I completely agree with this. He’s also an after thought to his parents, barely a thought to Holden, and Willa was completely clueless to his feelings for her.

It’s been obvious since the season started that the show was building something up between Luke and Willa. This week that hypothetical something very much become an actual thing, as Luke confessed to Willa that he liked her. It was an extremely mature conversation, with Luke laying it all on the line and explaining that whilst Holden might be acting like a tool, he still wasn’t going to betray his brother.

If other shows followed this same line in dealing with unrequited feelings, we wouldn’t have so many pointless love triangles on TV.

Nonetheless Willa is taken aback by his confession and hurt that Luke doesn’t want to see her anymore. Whether that hurt is because she’s going to miss a confidant to confide in, or because she may have some underlining feelings for Luke herself is something undeclared for now.

Willa did though piece together that Charlie was connected to her grandfather in some form, and the one that broke into his house, and she decided to confront Charlie by breaking into her motel room.

The scene was absolute gold. Eden Brolin and Dilan Gwyn played off each other excellently, with both Charlie and Willa snapping back and forth at each other. I’ve been wondering for quite a while now why exactly Charlie hates Arthur so much. The show’s given us the odd crumb of information here and there, but in this scene Charlie finally revealed the whole truth and it was quite heart-breaking. When Charlie later went on to mention someone from the realm attacking Holden, it stopped Willa in her tracks and Charlie realized she hadn’t been clued in on the situation. Thankfully that’s not a conversation we were forced to go over again as the show cut to the next scene, but at the episode’s end Charlie had indeed decided to stay in Fort Read and paid another visit to Holden.

The episode ended with Diego in his cell seemingly communicating with the people currently unconscious in Hollow Sky’s facility, as the poor Doctor unfortunately discovered. The man in the yellow jacket didn’t feature much this episode, apart from a visit to Pastor Ian regarding the situation with Holden and his end conversation at the ballet.

For a man that appears so menacing, I find it extremely hard to believe he didn’t realize Pastor Ian was lying about the cameras. And considering how afraid he appeared to be over the threats of disappearing, Pastor Ian must have a death wish to open the camera feed again. It was an extremely weird, not to mention creepy scene and it’s hard to tell what exactly Ian’s motive is.

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