Burkely Duffield Previews ‘Beyond’ Season 2 Return—and Beyond!

Burkely Duffield in Beyond
Freeform/Ed Araquel
Burkely Duffield in Freeform's Beyond

Freeform’s sci-fi hit Beyond is back Thursday with a two-hour Season 2 premiere, and and it is…well, beyond.

With Burkely Duffield’s Holden Matthews having destroyed the supernatural Realm where he was trapped during his 12-year-coma, things should be back to normal for the young man and his squad of unlikely heroes. But from the looks of the opening episodes, Holden’s powers and problems are about to get a lot bigger. And scarier.

Here, Duffield gives us some scoop on what is heading his way and why Holden’s actions against Hollow Sky, the secret group attempting to make contact with the afterlife, could be the death of him.

It’s been a while since we saw each other at the show’s panel during New York Comic Con, but you and the cast spilled a lot of juicy stuff about Season 2. What can you tell us now?
Burkely Duffield:
Yes, so at the end of Season 1, you saw what you think is a lot of these ties sort of coming together. Holden destroyed the Bridge, you saw him finally on the same page with his brother Luke [Jonathan Whitesell], with girlfriend Willa [Dilan Gwyn], with best friend Jeff [Jeff Pierre]. They were all in that same car, all having—at least from their perspective—saved the world from Hollow Sky. They get dropped off at Holden’s house, he walks in, and you see a few threads as the season ends.

When Season 2 opens, it’s been a couple of months since the big incident, and you see Holden trying to put a lot of what Season 1 was—the Realm investigation and all of the abilities he has—behind him. He wants to live that normal life he’s wanted from Season 1. He’s got a job with his dad. He’s got a relationship with Willa, and he’s really just trying to move forward and trying to just be a young adult living in the world, which unfortunately isn’t the case for too long.

Yeah, that doesn’t last even as long as the season premiere!
No, definitely does not. [Laughs] You can see in a couple scenes that he’s almost having fun honing the little abilities that he has. He kind of amuses himself with them. You also see that there is the potential of those abilities growing and the potential of the danger…really, the extent of his powers is still untapped and undiscovered. So, yes, I’d also say that those abilities are definitely getting stronger in him. The ability for him to control those and sort of push them down is getting harder and harder.

During Comic-Con, you teased that after Holden destroyed the access the Realm, he may have brought some stuff back with him, or that there are some people who are now coming for him?
Yeah, absolutely. As we’ve sort of seen, it’s an entire world, that Realm. It’s a whole other dimension and another world. So, he goes in as this intruder to this new place and disrupts the entire world process. You now see in Season 2 intruders from the Realm coming into the real world to put a stop to this person that came into their world to destroy everything. You’ll see some very dangerous forces come out of the Realm, and they’ve definitely got their sights set on Holden.

And what are are the residents of the Realm like? What is their makeup?
They’re mean! [Laughs] They are definitely not something Holden wants to mess with, but unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to have a choice this season. A little bit that you saw last year…some bled into being sort of the wolves. There were all of those sort of faceless, weird things on the bridge that he was trying to stop from coming over. I would say that the Realm has a way of embodying a lot of scary and not very nice, dangerous things.  And you can only imagine what they would pick to send over here to go after Holden.

You mentioned that Holden is also trying to have a normal relationship with Willa. But these are not two normal people.
Yes, exactly. He wants to move forward and just be girlfriend and boyfriend. They thought, “Hey, when we don’t have to go into the Realm anymore, maybe this will just be easy.” But minus the danger, they realize now it leaves just them. There are no distractions, and they find it’s actually a little harder than they expected just being themselves around each other.

It was touched on during the panel that maybe Luke and Willa share a little bit more in common?
Luke and Willa really didn’t get to spend almost any time together last season—definitely not outside of ‘We’re almost about to die!” situations. [Laughs] So, when life has calmed down a little bit and Willa is starting to integrate herself more into Holden’s life, it’s interesting to see that as Holden and Willa are having a hard time connecting, without trying at all, she and Luke have all of these similarities and [are] sort of seeing the world very similarly. They have similar points of view are and so, perhaps, if there was a spark there, we may see where it will take them.

Dilan Gwyn as Willa and Jonathan Whitesell as Luke in Beyond (Freeform)

What about Charlie [Eden Brolin]? We do know she’s now working for The Man in the Yellow Jacket (Peter Kalamis).
With Charlie’s past, you don’t really know if she’s good or bad, because she’s very capable of doing both. You saw how she was such a sweetheart when Holden was finally able to break down those walls, but in her past, she has definitely seemed to sort of bend the laws, for lack of a better term. [Laughs] When we pick up, you don’t know if she is now willingly working for Yellow Jacket or whether this is something he is sort of blackmailing her into doing or even what her plans are for this season. I can say she does meet up with Holden, and eventually they will have a bit of a reunion this season, but she is a bit of a question mark when you see her at the beginning of the season.

And do we find anything else about Hollow Sky and how far this reaches, and what they ultimately want?
Definitely. Now that Frost is gone and everything [else] that happened at the end of Season 1, you see the ramifications of that in what is left of Hollow Sky. I mean, they blew up the Death Star, you know what I mean? Now they have the remnants of what is left of Hollow Sky. Will it be expanded? Will they try to keep it together? With the head gone, who is going to run it? So, we definitely will touch on what Hollow Sky is, and we learn a lot more about Yellow Jacket and Shoemacher [Erika Alexander], and what they decide to do with that fragmented organization.

What would you say is the biggest difference between this season and the first season?
Ooooh, good question. Let me think. Well, danger-wise, as I sort of touched on, last year was more investigatory for Holden. He was figuring out who he was and what it was to be in the Realm and all of that.

This year, I would say that the danger is seeking out Holden. He is in one place trying to basically keep his life together as all of these dangers are coming to attack him this season. I would also say that now that you have gotten to meet these characters—Holden, the Mathews family, Willa, Jeff, Yellow Jacket, all of this world that we created in Season 1—you get to see a lot more of the intertwined relationships and connections. One of our writers even has said, “This season we get to play in this universe that we created.”

So, I found that in every script, there’s a lot of fun to having these characters who may have not talked too much or may not have seen a lot of each other finally come together and create this really interesting melting pot of emotional differences. It’ss a very cool, character-driven season this year.

Beyond, Season 2 Premiere, Thursday, Jan. 18, 8/7c, Freeform