The Outpost returns in “For the Sins of Your Ancestors” with a new status quo, a slightly darker tone, and a fourth season already waiting in the wings.
This recap of The Outpost season 3, episode 1, “For the Sins of Your Ancestors”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous season by clicking these words.
Anyone who has been here a while knows I have a rather complicated relationship with The Outpost. Like most people, I thought the first season was laughable claptrap, but, being on the CW, it nonetheless amassed a coterie or slightly deranged but nonetheless ardent fans, thus ensuring its renewal. That second season surprised everyone — but nobody more than me — by being a genuine improvement in literally every aspect, and now the third season has arrived with the fourth already confirmed. Since it looks like I’m going to be covering this show for at least the next couple of years, let’s hope that this latest outing, beginning here with “For the Sins of Your Ancestors”, continues that upward trajectory in quality.
After a quick recap of Zed’s last-minute cliffhanger betrayal, we find the human population of The Outpost slaves of Blackblood overseers. Garrett and Tobin cause a bit of a ruckus while Talon watches from afar, astride a horse, and Zed uses the matter as a teaching moment, showing himself not to be quite as callous and sadistic as his underlings.
Then again it might just be pragmatism. He takes the matter to the leader of the Blackfist and complains that the humans should be fit to work, but there’s clearly dissent among the Blackblood ranks. The Blackfist are clamoring for the queen’s death and at present, it’s only Talon’s advice that’s keeping them back. She’s quite clearly working among the Blackblood for the benefit of her friends, but she has to make this explicit a couple of times in “For the Sins of Your Ancestors” before anyone actually believes her.
The humans aren’t taking their captivity lying down at least — they’re digging a secret tunnel out of their sleeping quarters. Demons patrol the Outpost’s walls and Zed has his hands full trying to stop his own men from butchering the Queen. Zed refuses to torture Talon’s friends, even if his “cousin” would like him to, and his “infatuation” with her is mentioned, so I guess we’re still running with this angle. This show does love a love triangle.
The Blackbloods are eagerly anticipating the arrival of their last remaining prophetess Yavalla, who they obviously defer to, but Talon is reluctant to bring her through a portal given what happened the last time she did that. Not that this is doing her any favors with her friends — Gwynn is still a bit understandably irked that Talon is working with their captors, but she visits the Queen to explain she’s working from the inside.
Meanwhile, Janzo’s brewery is requisitioned by a Blackblood, Wren, Yavalla’s daughter, who wants to use the space to fiddle with an alchemist’s lockbox that’ll only open when the correct combination of substances is poured in, so Janzo moves in with Talon — he’s so annoyed that he doesn’t even raise an eyebrow at her sexy training routine! In fact, he barely wants to engage with Talon at all given her perceived side-switching, but needs must.
It’s time for our first fight scene in “For the Sins of Your Ancestors”, since the Blackfist commander tries to usurp Zed, obviously forgetting he has that cheat code mind-control chip and the show’s heavily plot-armored heroine at his side. The choreography is… not bad, in all honesty. It’s perhaps slightly over-edited but not to an incomprehensible extent. Zed and Talon manage to quell the uprising for now, but these things don’t just go away, as we know.
There’s some sexual tension brewing in the brewery subplot, as well as some comic relief, as Janzo’s new Blackblood chemist is having a disastrous time rifling through his illogically-organized concoctions. I’m of a mind that this could become quite insufferable if not handled delicately, but we’ll see. Wren is at least pleased when the mining operation turns up a nice glimmering trinket for her, and her personality fits right in with the sillier side of the show’s mythology. The Outpost season 3, episode 1 makes a bit of a fuss of her, so she’s obviously going to be important, and we’ll discover why as things go on.
Sammy, after spending the day listening to the guards, informs Garrett and Tobin that tonight is their opportunity to rescue the queen given that the gate will be open for a shipment of food and the Lu’quiri will be out of the way of the livestock. Oh, he has also finished the tunnel. How he found time to do that while also listening to the guards all day goes unaddressed, but let’s not quibble over details. Garrett and Tobin stealthily make their way to the queen’s chambers and just about find time to spring her from captivity in amongst lots of smooching. They’re able to narrowly roll under the gate as the sheep march in, but a Lu’quiri is waiting for them. It pimp-slaps Tobin and holds Garrett underfoot, their escape attempt thoroughly thwarted.
Garrett, Tobin, and Gwynn are brought before Zed and Talon; the former opts for a trial over immediate execution as suggested by the Blackfist leader (look, forgive me, but I genuinely didn’t catch this guy’s name. Help me commenters, you’re my only hope.) Garrett takes responsibility and Zed agreeably suggests that the two men are executed and Gwynn is left alive, so to save them, Talon offers to bring Yavalla through. A demon clomps in, following promptly by the prophetess.
Yavalla seems reasonable enough. She claims to Gwynn that her goal is simply peace between Blackbloods and humans. She immediately releases the humans from their work at the mine, and frees them within the walls of the Outpost, though prohibits them from leaving for safety reasons. She and Gwynn are to be firm friends, apparently. Everything is fine!
Back at the brewery, Wren asks Janzo the question I’ve been pondering since this show began: “Do you ever shut up?”. But already, I much prefer this dynamic to all of Janzo’s previous dalliances throughout the first two seasons. There’s some genuine chemistry here, and I don’t just mean the experiments. It probably helps that both have the same interests and the same function, more or less, in the narrative. The Outpost has repeatedly tried to pair Janzo up with very different characters and it has never worked. This is a nice change.
Speaking of romance, Talon cleans Garrett up after his encounter with the Lu’quiri, and she once again has to go over her whole double-agent thing, but she explains it really well this time so afterward they kiss. Garrett simply cannot be without a love interest, it seems. But to what extent his affections for Gwynn have lessened remains to be seen. This actually works as kind of a cliffhanger for The Outpost Season 3 premiere. See, Yavalla wants to be all pally with Gwynn, claiming that she’s simply searching the Outpost for a way to open a portal to a paradise beyond the Plane of Ashes, which is fair enough, but Garrett can’t get past the idea that the Blackfist might try and off Gwynn in the meantime. When Gwynn’s handmaiden informs him that her previous would-be assassin has been forbidden from going near her, Garrett finds him in the night and murders him: “For the queen,” he snarls, which suggests to me that maybe he isn’t as over his former lover as he likes to pretend. Oh, and it’s obviously a colossally stupid move for human/Blackblood relations, but we’ll go over that next week.
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