Just Beyond season 1, episode 6 recap – “We’ve Got Spirits, Yes We Do” encore

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

Summary

“We’ve Got Spirits, Yes We Do” explores the importance of making peace and letting go through the framework of acting and performance.

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2.5

Summary

“We’ve Got Spirits, Yes We Do” explores the importance of making peace and letting go through the framework of acting and performance.

This recap of Just Beyond season 1, episode 6, “We’ve Got Spirits, Yes We Do”, contains spoilers.


There are many tropes of teen-focused media, and after the homecoming dance — which we’ve already covered here in Just Beyond — the field trip is one of the more popular ones. That’s the setup of “We’ve Got Spirits, Yes We Do”: A 14-year-old, Ella (Lexi Underwood), heads to a legendary theatre with her class, but is more concerned about the presence of her ex-best friend than she is the ghosts that may or may not be haunting the place.

Just Beyond season 1, episode 6 recap

An old theatre is a pretty fertile environment for spooky goings-on, though the episode goes for the most obvious representations of ghosts — translucent, blue-tinted apparitions of former thespians who all died in a fire. They’re not hostile, so once Ella discovers them, “We’ve Got Spirits, Yes We Do” abandons any ideas of being scary, instead leaning into being funny, mostly at the expense of actors and acting. The ghosts want to make Ella “one of them”, but not in the way she thinks — they want to make her an actor.

The “scary” aspect is a screaming, spectral skull that the other actors call “The Critic” since only a critic could be so mean (oh, ha ha ha.) In the absence of a relatable theme relevant to young people, which all of the previous episodes have been built around, this cheeky self-referential motif feels ill-fitting, unlikely to satisfy the same target audience that the other installments have been pitched at. It’s a shame, really, since Lexi Underwood is a compelling screen presence, and when the haunting aspects are turned up, there are some decent visual beats too.

It does all loop back around to Ella’s relationship with Zoe (Claire Andres), though, her former best friend with whom she used to sing and write songs, which she explains to one of the ghosts in the theatre. Ella recorded a song saying how much she missed her, and the exposure of that song led to her present state of isolation and, in the ghost’s words, “limbo”. Beyond the obvious commentary on old-timey acting and singing, that’s the secondary metaphor, the idea of someone in the midst of a significant change, not knowing where or how to proceed in the wake of it. But this more interesting theme is lost in the set dressing.

There’s also another element, that of “The Critic” being Dolores, one of the other actors who was mistreated by the others and has been lingering, alone, after also dying in the fire. In revealing this to the others and forcing them to confront how they contributed, she’s able to repair the relationship and thus reframe her own rivalry with Zoe, understanding that you have to make peace with people and the past lest you remain stuck in the same place forever.

You can stream Just Beyond season 1, episode 6, “We’ve Got Spirits, Yes We Do”, exclusively on Disney+.

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