Adapted from Hugh Howey’s short story, MGM+ has brought the sci-fi thriller Beacon 23 to our screens. Beacon 23 has just released its first two episodes, introducing the characters and the central narrative of the thriller. In these first two episodes, we are introduced to Halan and Aster, who are stranded on a space station, looking for a rock-like element stored in the spacecraft. But enemies from other planets have attacked their space station, leaving Halan and Aster to deal with the threat and prevent the element from falling into the wrong hands.
Episode 1 Recap: What Was Halan’s Real Identity?
Beacon 23 episode 1 opened with a space station called Beacon 23 facing some technical glitches. The Beacon operator, Halan, faced some trouble reporting the glitch in the space station as someone had hacked their system. Meanwhile, a spacecraft faced a massive accident after hitting a dark matter on its way. Following the accident, almost everyone on board lost their lives, while Halan managed to save Aster and bring her to his beacon. The spacecraft which was destroyed due to the accident was coming from a space authority called ISA. The previous Beacon keeper, Smythe Solomon, reported some glitch to ISA causing Aster and seven other members of ISA to travel to the Beacon to check on it, but the massive accident claimed all of their lives, leaving only Aster to deal with the situation. Aster woke up from a long nap and found herself in a painful situation. Halan asked her to use a derma patch as an analgesic treatment to reduce pain. After recovering from the pain, Aster asked Halan about the previous reports sent by Solomon. But Halan, who seemed to be the Beacon’s operator, felt hesitant to talk about the problems the Beacon was facing at the time. He shouted at Aster, asking her to stay away from the control room, which further raised her suspicion.
Halan had been able to manipulate an AI called Bart, aka Bartholomew, who was forced to follow Halan’s commands. But Halan’s manipulation of Bart didn’t work for long, as Aster managed to make it reveal the truth about Halan. She soon found out that Halan was not a beacon operator but a soldier and an AWOL pilot who killed the previous beacon operator, Solomon. But exactly what the reason behind this murder was is still a mystery. After a while, Aster’s personal AI, Harmony, arrived at the Beacon to back Aster. Together, they imprisoned Halan in an airlock and tried to find some precious space minerals with the power to control human minds. Not only that, but the element also possessed the ability to create visions in human minds, as we saw how Halan’s mind was affected by those minerals the moment he looked at them. He was hearing voices and having unwanted visions that were threatening his sanity. Aster and Harmony realized he was suffering from PTSD.
Aster realized that she could seek Halan’s help to find the minerals stored in the Beacon. She made a deal with Halan and set him free from the airlock. Halan agreed to help her find those elements, while Aster would help him get away from the space station before space authorities could arrest him. However, even though Aster was able to find those space minerals and secure them in a cupboard, she put Halan in the airlock again, betraying his trust. As she was aware of Halan’s capability of murdering the previous beacon keeper, she couldn’t trust him and believed imprisoning him would be a good idea. However, another spacecraft was seen approaching the Beacon. The people boarded the spacecraft and barged into the Beacon in no time. However, they couldn’t find Aster, Harmony, and Halan, as while Halan was kept in an airlock, Aster and Harmony were already hiding from them.
Episode 2 Recap: Who Killed Kaneddy?
In the concluding moments of Beacon 23 episode 1, we saw a group of bandits in search of space currency Qubits entering the Beacon. This group was called the Wreckers, led by Battle, aka Timur Ondi, a former soldier who was expelled from the army. Co-leading this group was Rojan Kaneddy, Minister of Elau Colony in Equity. Several years ago, Elau Colony faced starvation and death due to a malfunction in their beacon. Kaneddy escaped her planet, leaving her husband and daughters, only taking her son Chick along and joining Battle’s group of bandits. But it didn’t seem like Kaneddy was subservient to Battle, as she was not a violent person; rather, she wanted to collect Qubits to return to Elau and to be able to bring food supplies to the settlement. In the group of bandits, there were two other members. One of them was a masc woman and bounty hunter named Madanchi Tritujuma, aka Bigface, and the other was a hacker who was responsible for hacking the system of Beacon 23, which caused some previous technical glitches.
As the group started to look for Qubits as well as Aster and Harmony to finish them off, Chick found Halan in the airlock. Halan tried to negotiate with them, but Battle captured him. However, Halan manages to escape his grasp and meet Aster to save himself and her from the intruders. Harmony managed to turn off all the cameras in the room where they were hiding. So the bandits, who were unable to see them, started looking for them. In the meantime, Aster thought to talk it out with Kaneddy, who seemed out of place in the group of bandits. As Harmony collected news about Kaneddy and informed Aster about the situation she had faced in Elau, Aster thought she could convince Kaneddy to stop their hunt.
Aster confronted Kaneddy, and that’s where she revealed the truth regarding her origin. We came to know that, just like Halan, Aster was also lying about herself. She was not from any space authority called ISA but from an independent scientific experimental group called QTA. QTA was the same group that had sent Kaneddy and the other bandits to the space station; however, they had not been asked to enter Beacon, but Battle and Kaneddy, who were after the Qubits, sneaked into the space station regardless. Nevertheless, after Aster confronted Kaneddy, she realized that QTA was actually after the space minerals, which were even more precious than Qubits. But as Aster was from QTA, Kaneddy didn’t want to get into a fight with her. Therefore, she tried to escape the space station, taking her son along with her. Meanwhile, we saw Halan, who was hiding from battle, trying to connect a weapon with his body. He had several implants placed inside his body, which gave him super strength. With the help of his super strength, he had already managed to kill Bigface and the hacker guy. As Kaneddy confronted Halan, she asked him to come with them to escape the space station, but Halan, who had probably developed some feelings for Aster, didn’t want to leave her alone.
Meanwhile, Battle was looking for Halan and wanted Chick to help him out by handing him a gun, but Chick was torn between following Battle’s commands and escaping the Beacon with his mother. But suddenly, Chick decided to stick with the group of bandits. As he previously saw his mother leaving her entire colony in the middle of destruction to save herself, he decided not to repeat the mistake with the Wreckers. Kaneddy tried to convince her son, but Chick was stubborn and hotheaded. All he wanted to do was prove himself as a worthy bandit and a brave soldier of his group. Therefore, he shoots his mother to death and rushes towards Battle to back him up, but before his arrival, Aster, with the help of her AI Harmony, manages to kill Battle by stabbing him with a weapon. Halan came to help Aster, but once again he fell unconscious after looking at the space minerals. After a while, Halan woke up and regained his senses. There were only two of them left on the entire space station, along with their AI droids.
Beacon 23 is a complicated space sci-fi drama that has just introduced the audience to its world and its characters, who were in the middle of a crisis for which they all needed those space minerals to change their destiny. The origin and purpose of this particular space mineral remained shrouded in mystery, which would probably be unraveled in the upcoming episodes of Beacon 23.