Beacon 23 season 1, episode 3 recap: “Why Can’t We Go on as Three?”

Beacon 23. Image courtesy MGM+
Beacon 23. Image courtesy MGM+ /

On MGM Plus Beacon 23 season 1 episode 3, Aster and Halan are still recovering from their encounter with the Wreckers, when they get another mysterious visitor, who arguably turns the place more topsy turvy than the marauders did.

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While Halan is bagging the bodies of the dead Wrecker gang, Aster and Harmony are wondering about what it was that made Halan pass out unexpectedly from last time. They find security footage of him coming up the stairs and suddenly feeling woozy as he approaches the samples of the rocks that Solomon had been collecting.

They surmise it’s the blue rocks but have no idea what’s in them that makes him react the way he does.

Beacon 23
Beacon 23. Image courtesy MGM+ /

Beacon 23 season 1, episode 3 — Gravity’s rainbow

Aster and Halan bond strangely in the next few days, mostly by hanging out on the Gravity Wave Broadcaster level of the place. Basically, this projects the “light” of the beacon to passing ships via magnetic wavesforms, but it’s also kind of a hallucinogen for human brains.

Halan and Aster are like old, drunk lighthouse keepers, being all hare-brained, giggly, and trippy, as they just sit beside the GWA machine and shoot the breeze about everything and nothing. At least they’re bonding.

Aster reveals a cautionary tale her mother told her, while Halan confesses a fact about the old lighthouse photo he’s got framed on the corner. Over the next few hours this new dynamic allows them the silent levity to go about finishing the disposal of the Wrecker bodies.

In spacesuits they crack open one of the floors and toss the bodies, letting them float into space with the rest of the debris around the beacon. And right into this fresh friendship enters Coley.

Turns out she’s another ISA agent and one who’s got a silver combat jumpsuit with a weaponized helmet that can turn out spikes when switched on. Very cool!

Beacon 23 season 1, episode 3 — Triple threat Coley

Played by Mr. Robot’s Sandrine Holt, Coley is the wrench in this episode aptly titled, “Why Can’t We Go on as Three?” Coley isn’t just an ISA agent though but also Aster’s business partner.

Also her boss (technically) and a former lover. Yikes.

Beacon 23
Beacon 23. Image courtesy MGM+ /

The rest of the episode is really all about the three navigating the new context of these old slash new friendships, that have budding affections and old baggage with them. For example, it’s clear that Aster is reluctant to return even minor displays of sexual affection for Coley in front of Halan, even as they share the trippy side effects of the GWB.

And yet the history between Coley and Aster seems to have been formed with much toxicity as well as love. Coley shows she’s jealous of Aster’s attention, even if Halan keeps away from them for the most part.

Maybe it was Halan putting Coley in an armbar during their first encounter, even if she had her fancy spiky suit on.

Beacon 23 season 1, episode 3 — And what’s up with BART?

I forgot to mention that BART, the crazy and unstable AI of the beacon, is still recovering from the hacking that the Wreckers did. While he’s mostly incapacitated, there’s protocols and functions of the beacon they can’t access.

There’s a fun and interesting side tale about Harmony (Aster’s assistant AI) and BART getting along and not getting along. Mostly their logic driven dynamic contrastingly mirrors the mess of emotions and interests that the humans have on their side.

To think BART’s former beacon keeper Solomon programmed him with Shakespeare in his speech to make him sound less machine-like. In any case, the tensions between the three, mostly between Halan and Coley, eventually come to a head.

Coley’s intentions upon discovering the blue rocks were just to grab them and go with Aster, checking both beacon and cash in their pocket for this run. Halan’s inclusion complicated things but she was willing to concede a ride to somewhere, as the price to pay for what she suspects was an already nice payday.

They’d have done and gone just like that, if not for the unfolding of a gravitational space anomaly. Just like the equivalent of a sea squall, everyone’s just got to sit tight and wait it out.

Nobody’s going anywhere. Thing is, the heat comes up at dinner between the three.

Coley flies off the rails and seems to just say eff it all. She starts to hurl invectives and old barbs at Aster.

Then she turns her bile on Halan, disparaging him as a deserter.

Beacon 23
Beacon 23. Image courtesy MGM+ /

Beacon 23 season 1, episode 3 — The problem with exes and space

Next thing you know, Aster’s already uncovered that the ISA set her up to strand her on Beacon 23. That her ship exploding all the way at the edge of the galaxy was a planned event.

Why? Coley says she doesn’t know when Aster confronts her.

She’s Aster’s boss after all, and should know more. But did Coley have an inkling at least?

She’s vague about that. Whatever the reason, Aster doesn’t believe her now.

Coley decides to take matters into her own hands and sedates Aster, planning to kill Halan while her ex is knocked out. As Halan goes to get the rocks and get out, the trap that Coley set for him goes off as he tries to open the door.

It knocks him dizzy. “I’ve been making excuses for her for the last 10 years,” Coley says as she stands over Halan with a blaster.

“But you are a traitor.” Before Coley can pull the trigger though, Aster arrives just in time.

She shanks Coley from behind, right in the liver. Then Aster tearfully chokes her out, even as she exclaims, “I’m sorry” in Coley’s ear as she fades.

It’s the way an ex should go if it needed to be by your hand, I think.

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Beacon 23 is now streaming on MGM Plus.