Just Beyond season 1, episode 5 recap – “Unfiltered” glow up

October 13, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Disney+, TV Recaps
2.5

Summary

“Unfiltered” plays on the perils of beauty expectations in an overly familiar story.

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2.5

Summary

“Unfiltered” plays on the perils of beauty expectations in an overly familiar story.

This recap of Just Beyond season 1, episode 5, “Unfiltered”, contains spoilers.


You can tell just from the title what Just Beyond episode 5 is going to be about, and lo and behold, it’s about exactly that. Of course, played-out or otherwise, the pervasiveness of social media and celebrity culture in teen life is an important topic; the value of “traditional” exterior beauty versus internal uniqueness. This important theme manifests, predictably, through the power of an app, since these days there’s an app for everything — including morphing your face into one you think is more ideal.

Just Beyond season 1, episode 5 recap

Lily (Izabela Vidovic) is smart. But she’s not smart enough to realize that the beauty app recommended to her by her beautiful substitute art teacher, Ms. Fausse, comes with some unforeseen costs. The invite-only app doesn’t just allow you to pick a new nose and apply your makeup perfectly, but it also, according to the EULA, might cause memory lapses and personality changes. Overnight, Lily becomes as beautiful as she always wanted to be. She also becomes someone else entirely. 

Suddenly shallow and obnoxious, Lily gets in with the popular crowd, but still doesn’t find herself totally accepted, especially not when she sets her sights on the boyfriend of one of her contemporaries. She has to set her expectations somewhat lower, apparently, so she immediately returns to the app and takes things a step further, emerging the next morning with thicker makeup and plumper lips, and more of an attitude. She woefully underperforms in the Quiz Bowl, gets kicked off the team, and loses her best friend, but Ms. Fausse is in her ear telling her to take what’s hers.

Of course, it still isn’t enough. All the tight dresses and big lips and acronyms aren’t enough; her new suitor, it turns out, thought she was smart, and now she isn’t anymore. Her next attempt to “glow up” results in further disaster, profound embarrassment, and a trip to Ms. Fausse’s home to try and get to the bottom of what’s happening to her. Every reflective surface in the house contains a soul, the essence of someone who hated their imperfections and tried to change them. Lily herself is in one of them. The trade was beauty in exchange for someone’s entire essence. People always choose outer beauty over inner, which has allowed Ms. Fausse to preserve herself for several lifetimes, at least until Lily smashes all the mirrors, releasing the trapped souls and reducing her to a withered, hideous ghoul.

Lily returns to her old self, knowing now that being traditionally pretty is no substitute for being who she really is inside.

You can stream Just Beyond season 1, episode 5, “Unfiltered”, exclusively on Disney+.

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