Beyond returns to Freeform for its second season and star Burkely Duffield unpacks what’s changed and where the show is headed this year.
Beyond is a curious show. While supernatural occurrences seemingly dictate the action of the series, it’s not quite clear who or what is behind the forces at play. There are alternate dimensions, landscapes that can only be accessed by tapping into technological advances that are not common to our world.
With powerful technology, you can bet dangerous enemies are not far behind. Beyond tackles the inhuman with the very human reality of a family torn apart by a son’s mysterious awakening from a coma.
And that is how Beyond begins. Season one saw the introduction of a family trying to put on a show for the community as their son tries to catch up on missing the last 10 years of his life.
Underneath the truck flipping, fight scenes, secret organizations, and journey that led to the destruction of The Bridge, the series’ unpacked a family grappling to keep their lives from falling apart.
Hypable caught up with Burkely Duffield to discuss the premiere and what’s in store for the series’ second season.
A change of pace in ‘Beyond’ season 2
As you may have noticed, the series seems to tap the breaks a bit as it eases into season 2. The scenes are slower, more deliberate. The details of the family dynamic come into focus.
“It is definitely that calm before the season 2 storm,” says Duffield. “In episode 10 [of season 1] the bridge is finally destroyed. And everyone seems to finally be on the same page. In season one he was having to navigate all of these relationships as well as keeping this big lie from his family.”
But season 2 starts out a bit differently, people are finally on the same page. Life appears to be a bit more, dare we say, normal? “At the moment, Holden thinks that, hopefully, his life is getting easier. He will be able to put the extracurricular activities, for lack of a better word, behind him.”
So instead of flipping trucks, we see another side of Holden. He’s letting his brother beat him at a game of HORSE. And he’s playing pool with his girlfriend. “He’s trying to be a young adult living a normal life,” adds Duffield. “Holden gets a job with his dad, he’s trying to deny that powers aspect of his life. And he’s moving on with Willa and trying to hang out with his brother, hang out with Jeff.”
Exploring relationships in a new light
And there’s quite a few touching, more grounded moments in the premiere that showcase this new life. Holden shops with Jeff for organic baby supplies. Willa and Holden grab a cup of coffee. Duffield comments, “It’s nice to be able to revisit the characters in more of a smoother setting. To see how they are getting along a couple months later with their lives.”
A balance, so to speak, is struck between Holden experiencing life and still walking around knowing he has the power to do so much more. “[The powers are] little additives to his life now as opposed to bringing all of this peril. They’re just something he lives with that he can pull out of the hat every once in a while.”
One particular scene, the first scene of the episode to be exact, brings something very integral and symbolic into season 2 – a bed. Yes, a bed. The opening of “Two Zero One,” features Holden and his parents buying a larger bed for their now grown son to sleep on. But more over it shows how Holden’s mother Diane (Romy Rosemont) and his father Tom (Michael McGrady) are coping with missing their son’s adolescent years.
Focusing on the Matthews family
Once inside the home, the bed shows the growing bond between the brothers as they assemble the bed. They talk openly about Holden’s next chapter in life.
And later on, when it is time to actually use the bed, it shows Holden’s own distrust of himself. That there is still a part of him that is terrified and uncontrollable.
Which brings us inside the shifting mood of the Matthews household. Duffield notes, “It’s a very interesting dynamic inside the Matthews family now. You’ve got Holden and Luke who know about Holden’s real identity. They’re trying to protect the parents. But the parents are trying to do their own investigation now to find out what has happened and what is happening moving forward.”
And while no one is actively working against the other, there is this division in the house. “There’s definitely a lot of secrets within the family this year, which you can kind of see the boys and the parents on teams trying to navigate those waters together. [They’re] trying to press each other for answers while trying to elusively get away from other questions.”
“As our writer and Adam [Nussdorf, creator of Beyond] and Romy [Rosemont] are saying, the parents aren’t dumb. They’re smart human beings, they see something going on in the family. While they’re not quite sure what is going on with their son, they’re not sitting back and relaxing. They are trying to figure this out and make sure that their sons are safe.”
Where will season 2 take viewers?
Now that an investigation is underway, and elements from the past are lurking in wait, the tone of the show shifts back to the looming dread and mystery that drove season 1. Pastor Ian, the Man in the Yellow Jacket, and Charlie are all going to be key players as a new threat unfolds.
Duffield comments on his co-star, Chad Willett who plays Pastor Ian, “Whenever he comes on screen, he always delivers such a chilling performance. He’s definitely coming back and bringing an interesting dynamic with the Matthews family.”
As for the other big bag, with a Freddie Mercury flair, expect to see his storyline work its way back to Holden. “There’s definitely a big collide that’s going to happen. And the king of chilling performances, Yellow Jacket, is of course coming back this year.”
The timelines will merge, but first we are getting a taste of what happened in the aftermath of season 1. “You see these fragmented images in the beginning of these season. The different timelines of these characters who were brought together in season 1. But life has sent them in different directions.”
But, Duffield teases, stay tuned. “You can definitely look forward to a reuniting of the characters from season 1,” says Duffield. And we will be looking forward to that!
Beyond airs Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. on Freeform.