This article, “who is Perry Abbott?” contains spoilers regarding the Amazon Prime Video series Outer Range season 1.
The Abbott family are framed as a cursed collective, highly religious yet also plagued by misfortune. This makes for a fascinating combination that the filmmakers address in depth. Possibly one of the most heart-wrenching aspects of their curse is the disappearance of Perry’s wife Rebecca. Perry’s personality is shaped by this tragedy, which helps to sculpt an intriguing, extremely flawed character.
Who is Perry Abbott in Outer Range season 1?
The son of ranch owners Royal and Cecilia, Perry is the eldest of the Abbott brothers and father to Amy. In the story’s present, Rebecca has been missing for nine months now and the FBI have stopped actively searching for the beloved mother and wife. Perry is an emotional wreck at the best of times, but this tragic setback is just another piece of bad news to endure. Angry and lost, Perry decides to get drunk with brother Rhett. Unfortunately, an altercation at the bar with their rivals the Tillersons ends in murder. An intoxicated Perry punches Trevor in the throat, delivering a deadly blow.
Played by Ozark breakout star Tom Pelphrey, Perry battles much emotional turmoil, including the guilt of murder and the shame of losing his wife, blaming himself for her disappearance. This unstable mental state leads to Perry confessing to Trevor’s murder and breaking up the whole equilibrium of his family in the process. Daughter Amy struggles with the news and brother Rhett is furious he showed such weakness. The confession destroys the family and in his suicidal state, Perry dives into the magical hole.
A flashback highlights Perry’s anger issues from a young age as he fights with the Tillerson boys. This aggression is poorly handled by his parents as it clearly seeps into his adult life. Perry wears his emotions on his sleeve and is fiercely loyal. He admits his wife didn’t want to live on the ranch and how that may have pushed her away. Perry seemed incapable of seeing any other way of life, raising Amy in this same vein.
Once you have acknowledged the ramifications of the show’s final reveal, Amy is Autumn, Autumn is Amy, it gives the hippy’s interactions with Perry an extra poignant quality. Autumn tries to comfort Perry, justifying his actions and almost subtly forgiving the man in their frequent conversations. She presses him for information about her mother, even asking for a photograph of Rebecca. Their time together is wholesome, Autumn cherishing each precious second with her father.
Perry is a troubled man, beset with tragedy and guilt. His weak emotional state ends in further disaster and the falling apart of the one thing he holds dearest, his family. Perry’s arc is painfully sad and his suicidal leap into the unknown may be his only solace. If Perry knew who Autumn truly was it may have changed his whole outlook on life, but she kept this a secret. What will happened to Perry when he time travels? Will he return for season two? Whatever the case, I welcome the return of one of the show’s more complex and damaged characters, who is worthy of redemption.