Outer Range season 1, episode 5 recap – “The Soil”

By Adam Lock
Published: April 29, 2022 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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Outer Range season 1, episode 5 recap – “The Soil”


Not the show’s best, but “The Soil” allows for some much-needed character development as we explore more of Cecilia’s worries and secrets from Perry’s past.

This recap of Outer Range season 1, episode 5, contains spoilers. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.

Royal Abbott was the first to interact with the hole, or so we thought, and the first to visibly lose his grip on reality too. In “The Soil” other family members and those closely linked to the magic portal start to show signs they might also be falling apart. This deterioration is encapsulated in the opening minutes with a deranged Wayne Tillerson howling in celebration as he rushes home after walloping Royal over the side of the head with his special rock. Wayne makes it to the doorway of his house and screams, ‘I’ve found it’, before collapsing. Doesn’t that just sum up this show perfectly?

Outer Range season 1, episode 5 recap

This oddity is accompanied by an equally unusual score. The haunting music has been murmuring under the surface throughout the first half of the season, yet it gets distractingly obvious in this fifth instalment. There’s some strange musical choices that wouldn’t feel out of place in a horror movie and even weirder instrumentals to supplement this tone. “The Soil” isn’t the most horrifying offering yet, but it has its moments.

The mother, Cecilia (The Conjuring’s Lili Taylor), is given more screen time as she struggles to cope with the murder and her husband’s evident decline. Early in the episode she catches Autumn inside her family home. The hippy nomad is hunting for her necklace. Royal won this item in a rigged poker match the night before and she’s desperate to retrieve it. Cecilia draws a gun on her and asks her to leave. Autumn speaks in riddles and appears a little unhinged herself. She implies that Royal has changed and Cecilia can’t help noticing this difference too. At her bible group she says that she’s lost and the congregation pray for her.

The Sheriff starts to suspect Perry as Trevor’s killer, something Patricia (Trevor’s mother) figured out instantaneously at the funeral service. Deputy Sheriff Joy questions a witness who points out Perry’s face from a family photograph and then she confides in her assistant later. We are finally closing in on some form of resolution here as Joy continues her quest for justice.

Meanwhile Royal starts to investigate this precious stone at the Rare Earth Department of the local University. The stone is apparently encased in amber, but more importantly it catches the doctor’s eye. She seems drawn to it, eager to investigate further, almost hypnotised by its power. Royal spots the company logo for BY9 mining in the background of a photograph, which prompts a flashback to his first journey through the hole. The BY9 logo appearing in the future timeline also. All these pieces are starting to form a clearer picture now. Autumn, the University and the Tillersons are all involved somehow in this conspiracy theory.

Royal cracks open the interior of the stone via a vice, digging out the black remnants into his hand. The crumbs of stone melt into his palm providing the ranch owner with another vision, this time he witnesses his own death and the mysterious Autumn running to his side. She’s dressed in symbolic yellow again and appears to speak past the dead body over to Royal in her past. More trippy ambiguity from the oddest show around.

Chapter five may be the quietest outing from the series yet. The filmmakers give characters room to grow, especially with Cecilia and Perry. This slower style is still intriguing and entertaining enough, although it wasn’t nearly as tense as earlier episodes. The final scene provides the first fantasy elements of this particular episode, just in time to tease the viewer into further bingeing. Not a top quality instalment, but it delivers just enough to keep the audience hooked.

You can stream Outer Range season 1, episode 5, “The Soil”, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon Prime Video, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps
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