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Beyond - There's No Home For You Here - Review: "A Decent Enough But Not Entirely Satisfying Conclusion"

Finally, we have reached the finale. Season 2 of Beyond has very much been a mixed bag. There’s unfortunately been more bad episodes than good, but somewhere along the way the show found its feet and delivered a pretty satisfying finale ending aside.

The episode begins with a flashback to Diane and Tom bringing baby Luke home from the hospital. The whole point of this is to lay on thick that Holden is the protector, and it’s his job to look after everyone.

We’re then back in the present where Holden & Charlie arrive home to be greeted by his parents. Holden knows Diego will soon be there and wants his parents to hide, but they refuse. Holden then sees Pastor Ian’s DVD playing and realize his parents know something about what’s really going on with him. What follows is endless dialogue back and forth between the characters as Holden insists his parents hide, they insist on being told the truth, they all start boarding up the house, his parents continue to ask what’s going on and Holden & Charlie give cryptic answers.

Considering his parents were watching a DVD of him doing unexplained things, it really would’ve just been better for Holden to come out with the whole truth. The back and forth dialogue strangely felt like filler, immersed in the action. Parents being out of the loop on what’s going on in the lives of their children was strange abilities is a trope that has been done to death. Way back when Freeform was ABC Family, Kyle XY was a show in a similar nature to Beyond and had a similar storyline running throughout, but when Nicole accidentally stumbled across Kyle’s powers there was a simple acknowledgement between the two of them & moving on with things. Keeping parents in the dark is a fun way to draw out a storyline & build the tension for when it is eventually revealed, but here in the finale the cryptic stuff just wasn’t needed.

Diane quizzes Charlie on what exactly is going on with Holden and what the people outside want. Charlie simply tells Diane her son is very special, and the people outside aren’t actually people. Whilst boarding up the front door, Holden again just wants his parents to leave but Tom insists they’re staying to protect him.

That’s something they do come to regret a short time later, when Diego and his crew attack the house. The Sheriff is wiped out, Tom is stabbed, Diane is almost strangled, and Holden has to use his abilities to stop Diego shooting his father. His parents are understandably still extremely confused, but Holden and Charlie finally convince them to just go to the basement. It’s Holden’s fight, he’s the only one who can defeat Diego and send him back to the realm.

In the basement Charlie tells Tom of how she’s never had a father figure, or really any parental figures in her life, but she can tell Holden is loved and that’s what will help him defeat Diego. Tom and Diane meanwhile profess their love for each other.

Upstairs Holden & Diego are having a heck of a brutal fight. Holden is determined to send Diego back to the realm, but Diego tells him that won’t really accomplish anything, explaining this fight has been going on for a long time and it always goes the same way; they fight, one side surrenders and goes, then eventually grows strong enough to come back and it’s rinse repeat.

This was probably one of the most interesting conversations in the finale. The realm being opened before, and more importantly these demons being set free before, isn’t something the show has really dug into. Constant battle between good and evil obviously isn’t unheard, and is again something that shows have explored before, but the inclination that being sent back to the realm and haven’t it closed doesn’t mean it’s truly the end? That’s something I would’ve potentially been interested in the show exploring.

During their fight it’s a constant tug. One minute Holden is on top, the next Diego is and then Diego somehow climbs into Holden. Charlie comes across him, and is very much echoing my own thoughts when she says she doesn’t understand what’s going on. Holden explains he can feel Diego inside him, and orders Charlie to take him to the freezer before Diego overcomes him.

Since the freezer is one of the things that connects the realm and the real world, it’s not a surprise that Holden has to go back there in order to send Diego back. But this thing of demons being able to enter people’s bodies? That’s not really something the show has explained before. I can only guess we were supposed to make that connection from the people being put on ice, and then waking up with a demon inside them but that’s something the show could’ve done with expanding on.
When they reach the freezer, Diego has indeed taken over Holden and attacks Charlie. She pleads for Holden to fight, Diego informs her Holden isn’t there anymore, makes some derogatory remarks, tries to attack Charlie and she responds by throwing him in the freezer.

Diego and Holden fight under the water in the realm, with Diego determined to take Holden down with him. Holden fights, the realm takes Diego back, Charlie’s hand guides Holden out of the water and he’s soon back in the real world all safe and sound.

They make their way back to the Matthew’s house, where Tom is being taken away by an ambulance, Diane decides to ride with him, instructs Holden to stay at home wince Luke is on his way back, and Holden & Charlie share a moment interrupted by a phone call from Willa.

She is also an extremely busy girl this episode. She and Luke are still at Hollow Sky, talking with the man in the yellow jacket and trying to find the machine before fake Borden does. The man in the yellow jacket leaves them to go and fight fake Borden and her crew, and Willa decides to take the opportunity to set the place on fire.

Luke isn’t exactly thrilled with this idea, pointing out it’ll mean killing her father. Willa doesn’t care, stating her father is already dead and Luke reluctantly agrees to help her pour gasoline all over the place. Once they’ve done the hard part, it’s then a question of how they light the place up and it’s hilarious.
Luke can’t understand how Willa can carry a gun not a lighter. Willa thinks Luke asking if she has matches means he has matches, and they’re both at a disbelief as to how they can pour gasoline everywhere but not have anyway to light it up.

It’s an extremely comical scene and a nice short break from all the drama. Eventually Luke decides to put his years of gaming to the test by splitting gun residue & then shooting it, which does indeed set a fire that burns the whole place up.

Whilst this is going on Shoemacher and fake Borden are having a confrontation. Shoemacher knows fake Borden isn’t FBI since she’s been to Quantico, and knows the procedures. Fake Borden admits she’s not FBI, reveals her real name is Eleanor Kurst and that she wants the machine because the world is over populated, with too many mouths to feed, not enough supplies and the machine offers a new world which isn’t overly populated and won’t lead to the destruction of mankind.

For a reveal, it’s not too shabby. The earth being overly populated is a storyline that many a show has pursued and Eleanor’s logic does to an extent make sense. It just would’ve been nice if the show had revealed even a crumb of this information beforehand. Considering she has been in close contact with the Matthew’s family, and knows all about Holden, I would’ve expected Eleanor to know this ‘new world’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Shoemacher tries to tell her the machine is broken and the only one who can fix it is Frost, but Eleanor reveals she has Arthur. Showmacher has no choice but to take Eleanor and her crew to the farmhouse, where the man in the yellow jacket awaits.

There is a small fight, interrupted by the place going up in flames. Showmacher, Eleanor and the man in the yellow jacket escape. It’s later revealed that somehow, the man in the yellow jacket managed to make his way through the flames to free Frost who is now awake. How exactly that’s possible I don’t know.

There is a minute plotline involving Jeff and his brother’s girlfriend, but the emphasis is very much on minute. Jeff is barely around in the finale and the plotline is completely irrelevant.

Back at her apartment, Willa and Luke have a heart to heart. They both admit they don’t want to stay away from each other. Luke is still being a good loyal brother and insisting nothing can happen because of Holden. Willa says that what her and Holden had in the realm was special, but not real. She may have been criminally underused this season, but Willa has come a long way from where the season and indeed the show started.

She now knows she can have a life outside of Holden. The realm was never truly her issue, but now she has in her mind destroyed Hollow Sky, she’s moving onto a new chapter in her life. Willa and Holden only ever had their time in the realm in common. They somewhat clung to each other in parts of season 1 because they were both extremely confused, and overwhelmed by the situations they found themselves in. Considering Holden was in a coma for such a long time, thinking that the first woman you’ve gotten close to is the love of your life isn’t unreasonable. But it was evident in parts of the first season, and only echoed during this season that their relationship just doesn’t work. Willa & Luke go together far more naturally, as do Charlie & Holden. They’re cut from the same types of cloth as each other, have the same type of life experiences as each other, and watching them together is far more enjoyable than Willa & Holden’s struggles.

Just to rub this point in even further, Willa & Holden talk for the first time in 4 episodes. It’s not a face to face talk, but over the phone as Willa feels too awkward to see him. They both finally acknowledge and talk through what happened at the bowling alley all those episodes ago. Willa admits Holden was the thing keeping her from sinking, and basically her whole world, and Holden realizes her emphasis is on the past tense.

Their conversation is unfortunately interrupted by Willa visiting Arthur’s house. At first everything seems perfectly ok, and then she discovers his nurses body. Willa is alarmed and searches through the house for Arthur, with Holden on the phone questioning what’s going on. Fake Borden then comes out of nowhere, muffles Willa and drags her away. Holden is still screaming down the phone, drawing the attention of Luke and Charlie, as Holden realizes something extremely bad has happened to Willa.

I have two big problems with this ending. First being I don’t understand why Willa is so shocked to be greeted by a scene of devastation at Arthur’s house. She knew from the previous episode fake Borden was a fake, and even warned Arthur’s nurse she may be coming for him. Granted she got caught up with what was happening at Hollow Sky, but it seems a little ridiculous she wouldn’t have had someone check in on Arthur, or even have Luke go with her back to the house. Willa’s also a far more observant character than this ending gives her credit for, and I find it highly unbelievable she would be caught so off guard by fake Borden. There is then of course the question as to why exactly fake Borden kidnapped her. After all she has Arthur and the machine that was at his house, so why the sudden interest in Willa?

Which brings me to my second issue; I absolutely detest shows on the bubble ending on a cliffhanger. Sure, this season was written up and filmed long before it made its way to airing so obviously, writers can’t be psychic to know that a show moving from a binge model to weekly airings is going to falter ratings wise. But it’s just a really cheap move. In this day and age of so many options for viewing being made available, shows are cancelled at the drop of a hat. Finishing a season on a cliffhanger in the hope the Network or streaming service will take mercy on you, and deliver another season so you can wrap the stories up and then rise + repeat stopped working a long time ago. The first season at least had the decency to more or less wrap everything up, and not leave any massive cliffhangers that leave you desperately hoping Freeform will renew a show you were perfectly fine with ending. It again reminds me of Kyle XY, and how despite knowing the ratings weren’t fantastic, the showrunners still left the 3rd season on a cliffhanger. To no-one’s surprise (though to my heartbreak) ABC family did indeed pull the plug & refused to allow them to go back & film a different ending.

If Beyond does by some miracle get a third season, I will not be reviewing. I absolutely loved the first season. It was one heck of a ride and I was excited about reviewing this second season. But switching from the binge model that made the first season so successful was a terrible idea. This second season started off extremely show, got better as time went on, but was a massive drag to watch weekly. Plotlines got dropped, others took prominence, things have been left unexplained. It just hasn’t been as fun & that’s a massive pity considering how good the first season was.

If the show does get renewed, I can only hope the showrunners plan things out better and Freeform takes it back to the binge model. If it then wants to have the show on weekly fine, but please just give us all the episodes in one go. I’d also hope Willa is better utilised and Charlie continues to get those zingers I have very much grown to love. If the show is cancelled, I can only hope the cast move on to better things that I’d actually watch. It’s no fun finding an actor/actress who is great, and them landing a role in a show you couldn’t care less about if you tried.

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