The intriguing family drama is overshadowed by trippy fantasy elements, which are on the verge of the downright ridiculous.
This recap of Outer Range season 1, episode 3, contains spoilers. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
How handy to have a black hole to chuck all of your darkest secrets into. Royal Abbott uses the hole as his very own dumping ground, hiding all his incriminating evidence in this endless abyss. Having survived the journey through said hole himself, episode two ended with Royal diving back into the alien well to avoid capture in a troubling future. The man is well aware that whatever goes into the hole can come right back out of it, so why does he keep using it is an evidence bin? “The Time” continues this bizarre saga, exploring the Tillerson brother’s private investigation into Trevor’s disappearance, whilst Royal attempts to cover his tracks and protect his family.
Outer Range season 1, episode 3 recap
Episode three opens with a grand fast-forward through time, judging by this and the title, time is the word of the day. The extravagant opening and a riotous ending, which I’ll get onto, all point towards the absurd. The first two episodes walked a very fine line between serious bona fide drama and this leaning towards the fantastical. It managed to keep a plausibility in the face of eccentric characters and that looming black hole, but this time around, the show is stepping ever closer to the ridiculous.
Deputy Sheriff Joy plays a more prominent role, arresting a lunatic thief who talks about people disappearing and later she questions Rhett Abbott (Lewis Pullman) about the night Trevor went missing. Rhett is the younger, more self-conscious son, known for his bull riding and alcoholic tendencies. At the rodeo, Deputy Sheriff Joy informs him that they found his blood on Trevor’s belt buckle. He denies any wrong doing, but later when drunk, admits to fighting with the now missing Tillerson. Pullman brings a naivety to Rhett as he struggles to learn from his lessons, nearly getting into a second fight when inebriated and ending up in prison again, although in hilarious fashion this time.
Royal comes to bail his son out of jail and pilfers some evidence in the process. As with all good evidence, the bloodied belt buckle is hurled into the black abyss by our mischievous ranch owner. Father like son, he too doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes, foolishly hiding incriminating evidence in a mystical hole he knows nothing about.
The rancher meets with Autumn once more and they bargain a deal. Royal wants her to keep his secrets, whilst Autumn wants to learn more of Royal’s. They agree a trade-off and he discloses the truth behind his black hole excursion. Time is of the essence and Autumn is shocked to find out he actually time travelled, visiting their joint future. When the two shake hands, the outright ridiculous occurs. I’m all for shows with a sci-fi edge, most times preferring them, but this part was really trying my patience. They shake hands and the mountain behind them disappears. We know this isn’t all in Royal’s head either as the Sheriff and many locals witness the disappearance too. When they let go of each other, the mountain returns. Crazy happenings indeed!
Further madness transpires in a rapid-fire final scene. Luke demands the Sheriff arrests Rhett. The Sheriff discovers that the evidence she frantically needs is now missing and poor Amy finds the elusive missing Tillerson. As I’ve stated before, whatever goes into the hole has a habit of coming right back out of the hole. Hopefully the sillier aspects of the show are now out of its system and we can return to the gripping drama that proceeded it. The comparisons to Lost keep growing, but that series managed to justify ‘most’ of its mysteries and to a lesser extent also its flaws too. Fingers crossed Outer Range can explain disappearing mountains and reappearing corpses. Good luck writers!