Outer Range Season 1, Episode 1 Explained – The Opening Chapter Breakdown

By Adam Lock
Published: April 15, 2022 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
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Outer Range season 1, episode 1 recap – the premiere explained
Outer Range Season 1 Promotional Image (Credit - Prime Video)

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS

4.5

Summary

Josh Brolin leads this fantastic western thriller as a cattle rancher caught in the midst of some very strange goings-on. Expect twists and tension as the mystery unfolds.

The opening moments of the premiere instantly hook the audience in with a spellbinding mystery. Josh Brolin’s beefy ranch owner Royal Abbott is topless in the pitch black of night, out in the fields, in the middle of a thunderstorm. The eccentric cowboy then proceeds to hurl a dead body into a peculiar dark hole. Season 1, Episode 1, “The Void”, immediately grabs your attention.

The narrative jumps back three days and quickly introduces the Abbott family. They’re religious cattle ranchers of Wyoming, marred by bad luck and family tragedy. Royal’s son Perry (played by Ozark’s Tom Pelphrey) is a shadow of the man he once was due to the unsolved disappearance of his wife.

Furthermore, the family is locked in a bitter dispute with their ranch neighbors the Tillersons, who claim ownership of a large expanse of the Abbott’s land. It would seem these kind folk just can’t catch a break.

On top of this cursed misfortune, two cows have gone missing and a new acquaintance on the ranch highlights the family-run business’s money woes. Royal goes hunting for the missing cattle, bringing an end to this leisurely segment of the show.

Creator Brian Watkins delivers his first twist of the series, Royal discovers a mysterious hole. This perfectly round, large hole lies on an insignificant portion of the rancher’s land. Emitting a strange sound, with a fine layer of dust fragments floating on the surface, this alien crater seems never-ending.

Royal throws a rock into the vastness, although it never finds the bottom. It is, like the title suggests, a void. So, as you do, Royal sticks his hand into the abyss. The magical hole provides Royal with visions, allowing him to see minutes into the future.

Thrown into the mayhem is a secretive guest lodger called Autumn, played by Imogen Poots, and the ramblings of an old, senile man, who talks to taxidermy bison, warning the Abbotts of impending doom.

It all starts to feel a bit like a cowboy version of Twin Peaks set on a ranch. Famously the David Lynch cult classic started with a corpse and Outer Range ends with one. The Abbott brothers decide to drown their sorrows at the local drinking hole, but are inadvertently involved in a brawl with Trevor Tillerson. This ranch rivalry clearly goes much deeper than a little land dispute. As you can imagine, it all culminates in a dead body being launched into the abyss.

The premiere is a prime example of the ideal opener. There’s intrigue and mystery a plenty. You are quickly familiarised with the players of the series and the many issues they encounter, which delivers depth and further tension.

The underdog ranchers are worthy (anti) heroes, with the Tillerson family framed as the villains of the piece. Add in a magical black hole and you have yourself an addictive new series to binge.

What did you think of Outer Range Season 1, Episode 1? Comment below.

Read More: Outer Range Season 1, Episode 2 Recap

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