It’s time to embrace the bizarre and enjoy this show for what it really is. Outer Range mixes thrilling drama with the supernatural and surreal in an entertaining original.
This recap of Outer Range season 1, episode 4, contains spoilers. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
Amazon seem happy to keep the fantasy elements of Outer Range under wraps in their advertising, although it is a large part of the show. This isn’t just your typical western drama, there are secrets to behold. The mystical aspects have definitely broadened as the series has unravelled, with the sillier revelations and some outrageous sequences taking centre stage. As “The Loss” unfolds, this whimsy and eccentricity only increases further. We are dealing with a rather odd show here, but one that you might as well go ahead and fully embrace. It’s time to either accept this oddity for what it is and dive in headfirst or disengage from the production entirely. The choice is yours. If you’ve come this far, hopefully you’ll see it through to its chaotic end.
Outer Range season 1, episode 4 recap
The fourth chapter kicks off with a flashback to nine months earlier. Wayne Tillerson looks in better shape, free of his respirator. A worker passes him a strange rock that is textured with black residue connected to that found in the hole. Wayne is ecstatic at this discovery and does a little dance. Outer Range isn’t just out there, it is bloody crackers. The Abbott’s rival has a link with the hole and tells the worker that he saw it once as a child. Wayne is desperate to claim this land his own so he can unearth the hole’s many secrets.
In the present, the Deputy Sheriff drives to the site of the dead body and enquires with the Abbott family about this suspicious discovery. Innocent Amy answers the Sheriff’s questions with her family nervously sat either side of her. They’re eager to alter the narrative to suit their own fictitious story, but Deputy Sheriff Joy allows Amy to tell the truth independently. She believes Royal was fast asleep on the night of Trevor’s disappearance, but cannot account for Rhett’s whereabouts. The bull rider himself is missing from the questioning and another tense scene follows this one as the Abbott’s try to warn him. Outer Range works best when it focuses on the family drama, reaping real suspense from the murderous cover-up.
Rhett is questioned by another officer, yet Perry manages to warn him just in time. The cowboy lies, saying he was with Maria the night of the bar brawl. Deputy Sheriff Joy quickly deduces foul play and questions all the culprits alone. She pits Rhett, Perry and Maria against one another in a tremendous scene. Joy twists the suspect’s words, highlighting how their three separate stories just don’t line up. She is close to a confession when the family lawyer sweeps in. Meanwhile, Trevor’s mother arrives in time for the coroner’s report and an elaborate funeral service (Please someone stop Billy from singing!). She does her own sleuthing and swiftly solves the case without any of that meaningless police investigating malarkey.
The final third steps up the pressure delivering a taut and thrilling end. Autumn and Royal engage in a fevered card game that showcases Outer Range’s brilliance, even though it can’t help but throw in more absurdity (What is going on with the bison?). Overall though it’s an entertaining if puzzling affair. The vastly contradictory tones can be frustrating at times, with the family drama running parallel to abnormal, Lynchian sensibilities, but it still shines bright.