Just Beyond season 1, episode 2 recap – “Parents Are From Mars, Kids Are From Venus” tentacular

October 13, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Disney+, TV Recaps
3.5

Summary

“Parents Are From Mars, Kids Are From Venus” is a funny and ultimately quite clever little take on coming of age and the relationships between parents and their children.

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3.5

Summary

“Parents Are From Mars, Kids Are From Venus” is a funny and ultimately quite clever little take on coming of age and the relationships between parents and their children.

This recap of Just Beyond season 1, episode 2, “Parents Are From Mars, Kids Are From Venus”, contains spoilers.


The point of parenting is to teach your kids not to need you anymore, which is a noble, logical goal. But there’s a particularly awkward period when your kids hit a certain age when they think they don’t need you anymore but they really do; when you know they need you but can’t quite figure out how to communicate with them. You’re too old, your frames of reference are too distinct, you don’t understand the lingo. This is the basic setup for Just Beyond episode 2, “Parents Are From Mars, Kids Are From Venus”, which takes the idea to an extreme by imagining that the reason Jack (Gabriel Bateman) and Ronald (Arjun Athalye) think their parents are weird is that they’re aliens.

Just Beyond season 1, episode 2 recap

After accidentally discovering their parents are using “game night” to don robes, chant, and make objects levitate, Jack and Ronald turn to the eccentric conspiracy theorist owner of the local curiosities shop, Crazy Chris (Henry Thomas), who lays out the whole alien thing and gives them some cautionary advice about how to avoid detection. It isn’t particularly subtle, but such things never are. “Parents Are From Mars, Kids Are From Venus” is pretty obviously making fun of this guy, and it’s in service of some ambiguity around whether he’s right or the parents are, as Jack suggests, “Just weird”.

The next game night, though, reveals tentacles and seemingly confirms that the parents really are aliens, which makes the next day’s trip to the lake even more awkward — and that’s without Jack and Ronald’s parents singing “Old Town Road” in the van. Thanks to Crazy Chris’s advice, the kids think they’re being deliberately isolated so the aliens can pick them off. Jack’s mother doesn’t want them to use screens or wear their special protective hats at the lake, and also invites the pair of them to game night, since they’re now “mature specimens”. The kids are convinced that their parents know what they know, and it makes for a pretty funny sequence in which everyone sits around to play cards and the kids interpret every action — such as fetching a knife to slice the cheese — as their impending demise. Eventually, it all gets too much and they try to escape, reversing the camper van straight into the lakehouse.

When the kids confront their parents, the “twist” is revealed. Yes, they’re aliens — and so are the kids. The rashes on their arms were a sign that they were ready to learn who they really are. The metaphor remains the same — it’s about parents and children thinking each other are weird but ultimately being the same, deep down, united by the same sense of love and connection, despite their differences (and it’s about puberty, obviously). “Parents Are From Mars, Kids Are From Venus” ends with the camper being revealed as a secret spaceship, and together, everyone drives — or flies, I suppose — home. Crazy Chris watches the craft take off from below, and gives them a wave with his own tentacle arm.

You can stream Just Beyond season 1, episode 2, “Parents Are From Mars, Kids Are From Venus”, exclusively on Disney+.

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