Outer Range season 1, episode 8 recap – the finale and ending explained

By Adam Lock
Published: May 6, 2022
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Outer Range season 1, episode 8 recap – the finale and ending explained


One magnificent twist and a biblically epic finale are entwined into an hour’s worth of rip-roaring drama. The series definitely saved its best for last.

This recap of Outer Range season 1, episode 8, contains spoilers, including for the ending of Outer Range.

‘Isn’t this world a crazy place?’ sings Billy Tillerson after another unnecessarily vile kiss with his latest fling, the equally manic Autumn Rivers. Outer Range’s world is the definition of crazy. This is of course from the song ‘Save The Best For Last’ by Vanessa Williams and this series has most definitely saved their best episode for last, with “The West” uncovering just a few of its profound mysteries in an explosive and revealing finale.

Outer Range season 1, episode 8 recap

The narrative has split the Abbott family into their own distinct pathways, with each subplot having its own fascinating ebbs and flows. This reflects a family that’s falling apart both physically and figuratively. Cecilia takes on the burden of Perry’s disappearance as the rest of the family go their separate ways. She prepares a family meal fully aware it won’t be enjoyed and heads to the rodeo to support her son Rhett’s final bull riding heat. Her fragile state of mind is encapsulated in the burial of the bears she fought alone, with a stunning performance from Lili Taylor, carrying the weight of this shared anxiety, again on her own.

Husband Royal is caught up in his own journey, having witnessed Perry leap into the abyss thanks to the manipulation of Autumn, he hunts her down like prey. The season finale is a cat and mouse chase between these two faltering personalities. Autumn is deranged as she paces the bank with a gun in her shaking grip and Royal is out for blood. The two ready themselves for an ultimate showdown that doesn’t disappoint.

The Tillerson family aren’t really coping any better themselves. Luke tried to kill his father and Billy fed Wayne some magical black dust. Billy strikes a deal with his brother, giving him full ownership of the ranch on the promise he doesn’t try to kill Wayne again. Luke accepts, spending the majority of the episode digging for Wayne’s treasure. Both Tillersons are blinded by their obsessions, Billy wants to uncover the secrets of the hole, whilst Luke just wants wealth above all else. He digs through the night until he finds what he was after.

Outer Range ending explained

In a tense conclusion, the many storylines come to their end in dramatic form, all against the backdrop of the rodeo and Rhett’s final ride. There’s some exceptional editing as the multiple strands are fast cut together for the ultimate suspense. A stuttering Royal, executed in fine form by Josh Brolin, ditches the rodeo for a final shoot out with Autumn. Cecilia loses her grip on reality as granddaughter Amy goes missing. Rhett breaks his shoulder but soldiers on with his final ride and Luke unearths an unfathomable reckoning. It’s a breath-taking finale that really makes all that build up worth it. This is gripping TV with one of those all-time great twists and of course a biblical plague to end on. It reminded me of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, just replacing the frogs with a stampede of bison, astonishing stuff!

This final episode won’t answer all your burning questions, but it definitely feels like a deserved resolution of some important plot points. In that final scene Royal confesses to his wife why he ran away all those year ago, pleading that he just wants his family back. Cecilia responds by kicking the dining table over and stating that the family is gone. She’s quite right, Perry’s missing, Amy’s disappeared and Rhett’s left the family for good. Although Cecilia hasn’t been brought up to speed on the show’s crowning revelation, which I’m sure will be explored further in a second season. Outer Range was always about family and with the finale, both the Abbott’s and Tillerson families are left in ruin. The tense drama continues to amaze, but finally the madness comes into its own in true stunning fashion. This is a show you’ll want to watch until the very end.

You can stream Outer Range season 1, episode 8 exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. Do you have any thoughts on the Outer Range ending? Let us know in the comments.

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5 thoughts on “Outer Range season 1, episode 8 recap – the finale and ending explained

  • May 13, 2022 at 12:36 am

    Something in the timeline changed. During Royal’s monologue about God in the beginning, he says he saw buckshot go through his father’s chest. During the (mostly) same monologue at the end, he says it was a bullet.

  • May 18, 2022 at 2:07 am

    The last episode was probably the worst of the entire season it was not true to pace of the 1st 7 episodes.

  • June 10, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    What is the significance of the boiling pot at the end

  • November 11, 2022 at 12:19 pm

    The last episode, unless I missed something, jumped around way to much.. the wrecked truck into the sign… the “ black gold” … the wanting his family back… the killing of his dad with, at first buckshot, now a bullet…I really enjoyed the first 7 episodes but #8 looked like it was just put there to end it

  • May 1, 2023 at 4:05 am

    There needs to be more episodes.

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