Outer Range (Season 1) Episodes 3, 4 Recap And Ending Explained: In the first two episodes of Outer Range (2022-ongoing), we were introduced to the drama between the Abbotts and the Tillersons, over the extent of the land between their ranches. Then a camper named Autumn Rivers appeared out of nowhere to, well, camp on the Abbott ranch. And then a great hole appeared, you guessed it, out of nowhere. And while Royal Abbott (Josh Brolin) tried to figure the logistics of it out, his sons Perry (Tom Pelphrey) and Rhett (Lewis Pullman) went ahead and killed one of the Tillersons, Trevor (Matt Lauria), in a drunken brawl. Royal tried to solve it by throwing Trevor into the hole, hoping that he’ll never be discovered. But he was caught doing so by Autumn, who proceeded to throw him into the hole, which in turn revealed the fact that it’s not just some deep hole. It’s a two-way street to different timelines or realities.
Outer Range Episodes 3 And 4 Recap:
Episode 3 begins with Royal narrating the genesis of life on Earth, and the storms and floods that shaped it, and how humanity continues to shed blood on it but the sky and the land doesn’t give two shits about it. While Royal is having some ice cream, Amy (Olive Abercrombie) joins him and inquires about the cut on his leg. Royal lies to her that he cut it on the fence, because we all know he was shot by a version of Luke Tillerson (Shaun Sipos). Amy says that she doesn’t believe him.
Deputy Sheriff Joy (Tamara Podemski) drives up to a shop to put up a poster for her election as the Sheriff and unknowingly walks into a robbery. She bravely nabs the accused and feels confident that it’s going to help her in the votes. The robber narrates a little story about his cousin disappearing and Joy doesn’t pay too much attention as she thinks it’s a result of his meth addiction. Meanwhile, in the Tillerson household, Wayne (Will Patton) decides to offer Royal $1 million for his west pasture. Luke reminds him that their hearing is next month and they are going to get that land anyway, so, why make Royal an offer? Wayne sticks to his decision to make an offer, which upsets Luke as he thinks Wayne is prioritizing the acquisition of a piece of land over finding Trevor.
During one of her walks, Autumn comes across the bison with the two arrows in it and she casually takes one out. Then she goes to a pharmacy store to pick up her order of Lamotrigine (which is apparently a medicine used alone or with other medications to prevent and control seizures). It’s a very odd detail to put in there. Anyway, she randomly goes to meet Perry at a bar and have a weird conversation about Rebecca’s disappearance. Elsewhere, Amy is given a drive home by Billy Tillerson (Noah Reid). At the market, Lili thinks she sees Rebecca. While fixing the fence, Rhett and Royal have an argument over all the random things they’ve done like moving the cattle, Royal’s disappearance, and Perry. Back at home, Cecilia expresses her crisis of faith to Royal and Royal reacts to it in his usual stoic fashion.
As Rhett prepares for his bull-riding competition, Joy reveals that the blood on Trevor’s belt buckle has matched with his. Rhett says that all he can say is that he was there that night but he doesn’t know anything about the blood. Joy doesn’t poke him any further. Rhett informs Royal about the belt buckle. And although it seems the pressure of this revelation is going to get to him, Rhett manages to score high points in the competition and goes on a romantic date with Maria (Isabel Arraiza). On his way out, Rhett manages to get himself arrested for pissing on a cop car, thereby allowing Joy to corner and question him about Trevor. Rhett admits that he got into a scuffle with Trevor and that there isn’t anyone that can corroborate that altercation or confirm that he has anything to do with Trevor’s disappearance. Royal arrives to bail him out. While waiting, he steals the belt buckle and throws it into the hole.
In order to secure her votes, Joy meets a member of the commerce and has an absurd conversation about the alleged existence of mastodons in Wyoming. Royal pays Autumn a visit to understand why she pushed him into the hole. Autumn gives a vague answer about doing so instinctively but that she’s thankful he came back. Royal says that she’s not going to talk about it to anyone because they don’t know what that hole is. Autumn pushes him to say more and that’s when Royal says that he traveled somewhere that looks like Wyoming but isn’t. When Autumn asks more questions, Royal asks her to shake on the agreement that she is going to stay quiet if she wants to stay on his land. When they lock hands, Royal sees that the necklace Autumn is wearing has the same moving black spots that appeared on his body when he went through the hole. Royal looks back up and the mountain behind Autumn disappears!
No, it’s not a figment of Royal’s imagination because Joy sees it too. But before they can address it, the mountain reappears. When Joy returns to the station, Deputy Matt (Matthew Maher) informs Joy that many people have been calling to report the disappearance of the mountain. Joy, still in shock over what she just saw, is bombarded with questions from Luke about Trevor’s disappearance. Simultaneously, Amy finds Trevor’s dead body on one of the mountains near the Abbott ranch. She runs back home and informs the family. Royal, shockingly enough, calls Joy to inform her about this turn of events.
Episode 4 takes us back nine months before the events of Outer Range to show one of Wayne’s workers giving him the spherical rock with a broken edge that he keeps on his table. And, surprise, surprise, that rock also has the same moving black spots that appeared on Royal’s body when he went through the hole and is in Autumn’s necklace pendant. In the current timeline, Matt and Joy are seen driving to the Abbott ranch. They know that Trevor’s belt buckle is missing and they suspect that Royal is behind it because he was left unsupervised at the station for some time. When they get to the body, it seems like Trevor hasn’t been dead for over a week, but only a few hours, which is further hint towards the time travel aspect. Royal asks Joy what she thinks of this and she takes things back to the Abbott household to question Amy since she’s the one who found the body.
During the questioning, Amy manages to place Royal, Perry, Cecilia at home but says that Rhett wasn’t home on the night Trevor disappeared. Fearing that it’s going to put Rhett in hot water, Perry tells Joy that the reason Rhett wasn’t home that night was because he was with a girl, a piece of information that hasn’t been revealed to Amy because she’s a child. On her way out, Joy asks Royal point-blank about the missing buckle and of course Royal says he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Royal rushes back to the house because he knows that the police are going to corner Rhett who is out running an errand. And if he doesn’t say that he was out with the girl on the night of Trevor’s disappearance, then their alibi is going to fall apart.
Thus begins the race between Matt and Perry to contact Rhett, with Perry trying to get Rhett on the phone to update his alibi and Matt preventing Rhett from getting on the phone so that he slips up and gives a false alibi. Rhett reaches the phone but cuts Perry’s call as he decides to meet Maria. Matt zeroes in on Rhett just when Maria comes out to meet Rhett. Matt starts questioning Rhett as his phone starts ringing and Matt prevents him from picking up the phone. After a tense back-and-forth, Rhett picks up the phone and Perry relays the lie he has to say. Rhett does so. But when Matt asks who was the girl he was out with, Rhett momentarily freezes. Thankfully, Maria comes through in the clutch and says that she was the girl Rhett was out with.
At the Tillerson household, Joy tells Luke and Billy that Trevor’s dead body has been found and a naked Wayne reacts to it by screaming at the bison head on his wall. Meanwhile, Perry finds Autumn in the woods. They’ve another odd conversation about Trevor’s death. Eventually, Autumn requests for a photo of Rebecca. Perry expresses minor shock but after hearing that Autumn wants the photo to identify Rebecca if she ever comes across her, he gives her a photo. Back home, Cecilia and Perry have a little chat about the land and the body. Since Perry is completely in the dark about it, Cecilia confronts Royal one more time and reprimands him for his ambiguity.
Royal goes to the place Trevor’s body was found and takes a black piece of rock that was probably buried underneath Trevor. He breaks it down and I guess it turns out to be coal. Joy reaches the bank that Maria works at and grills Maria to know the truth about Rhett. Based on that conversation, Joy brings in Rhett and Perry and grills them separately. She intentionally gives both of them false information to draw out the truth and plant the seed of doubt against each other. Before Rhett or Perry says anything they shouldn’t, Royal barges in with their family lawyer and takes them out of the station. But going by Rhett’s little outburst, it’s clear that Joy has managed to fester suspicion among the Abbotts.
Patricia Tillerson (Deirdre O’Connell) arrives to attend Trevor’s funeral and it’s quickly established that she wanted the boys to stay with her, but Wayne resisted because Wyoming is their home, not Aspen. Patricia and Wayne have an argument over Wayne prioritizing the land over the mystery behind Trevor’s death. Finally, Patricia says that she’s going to plan the funeral, she’s going to find out who killed Trevor, and then she is going to make sure that Luke takes care of the ranch as Wayne slowly loses his mind.
Royal pays the county assessor Carl (Kevin Chamberlin) a visit to defer the date of the hearing over the land acquisition between the Abbotts and the Tillersons. Royal, seemingly aggravated by the fact that Carl isn’t listening to him and is instead chomping on a pack of chips, practically threatens him. Royal actually reveals the truth about the hole and says he’s going to throw Carl into it if he doesn’t defer the hearing date, indefinitely. That doesn’t go the way Royal wants it to because later Carl informs Cecilia that he has moved the hearing date up because he doesn’t succumb to threats.
At the coroner’s office, Joy finds Patricia standing over Trevor’s dead body to a) coax Joy into finding the killer and b) get the intimate details about Trevor’s death. Eventually, Patricia leaves because of the protocol. The doctor goes over his observations with Joy and the one thing that sticks out is that the tests show that Trevor has been dead for 10 hours, not eight days.
The focus shifts to the funeral where Billy is seen singing a song in Trevor’s memory. When the priest starts to read the final prayers, Patricia aggressively walks up to the coffin and opens the lid so that everyone can see Trevor. But that’s not exactly why she does it. She does it because she wants to observe the Abbotts’ reaction to the sight of Trevor’s body. And as she goes down the line from Rhett to Perry, he notices Perry looking away and makes the assessment that it’s Perry who killed Trevor.
Post funeral, Rhett meets up with Maria and apologizes to her for getting her embroiled in all this. Maria says she likes Rhett but that’s not worth getting involved in issues related to a crime. The focus then shifts to a conversation between Royal and Joy. Royal asks Joy if she found what she was looking for. When Joy says no, Royal tells him to retrace her steps. Joy says that that’s the problem, there aren’t any steps to retrace. It’s as if things are vanishing. Royal says that it’s a crazy world and things like that happen. Joy says she’s going to counter said craziness by being patient and by doing her job. She thinks the world isn’t that crazy. Royal smirks and goes into a rant about the perception of reality, the lack of law and order, and the abundance of chaos, and how weird it is that people are drinking themselves silly right after they put a man into the ground.
Outer Range Episodes 3 And 4 Review:
Jennifer Getzinger’s direction and the writing by Zev Borow, Lucy Thurber, and Brian Watkins in the third and fourth episodes of Outer Range almost does away with the slow-burn, drama vibes established in the first two episodes. They lean more towards humor and odd behavior. That is undoubtedly the sensible way to go because the end of the second episode subverted everything that anyone was expecting from this neo-Western. Yes, there are traces of underlying interpersonal drama. But there is something inexplicably off about it. The best example is Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning” playing over the revelation of Trevor’s death. It is a bold choice. Why is that happening? We don’t know. Does it work? Yes, but in a way that can probably be defined as schadenfreude.
The cinematography by Drew Daniels and the editing by Trevor Baker, Blake Gingerich, Connor Davis, and Alex Minnick is so fantastic. To keep up with the slight change in tone in the show, they employ techniques like match-cuts, zoom-ins and zoom-outs with long lenses, and swift panning shots. But none of these techniques overpower the story and only amplify what the characters are feeling. As per the police, the mystery behind Trevor’s killer is making no headway. And while all the Tillersons are hell-bent on incriminating one of the Abbotts, everyone except Patricia are too dumb or distracted to do so. So, to establish that Patricia is ahead of the curve during the burial scene, they use a lot of wide shots to paint a picture of her chaotic presence. Then they use one POV shot to show how minutely she observes her surroundings. That’s good filmmaking.
Whatever Will Patton is doing in these episodes is, for the lack of a better word, cooky. Most of what he’s saying and doing doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, largely because Wayne Tillerson is off his rocker. But his performance is so hypnotic that you can’t help but keep your eyes glued to the screen. Josh Brolin does some uncharacteristic things in this episode and he is clearly enjoying exposing that dark undercurrent in the otherwise stoic Royal.
You get to see Lili Taylor showcase Cecilia’s unraveling so expertly. Imogen Poots continues to be beautifully creepy. Everything that happens in the interrogation scene between Tom Pelphrey, Lewis Pullman, and Tamara Podemski is electric. So many micro-expressions executed with such finesse that it’s fascinating to watch. Shaun Sipos and Noah Reid’s brotherly bond is adorably good. Isabel Arraiza’s chemistry with Pullman is palpable. Deirdre O’Connell is instantly amazing. Matthew Maher and Kevin Chamberlin leave quite a mark despite being on-screen for a few minutes.
Outer Range Episode 4 Ending Explained:
After getting out of the restroom, for some inexplicable reason, Royal heads to a gambler’s room inside the funeral house. There he sees Autumn scrapping a lot of money off of the table, evidently from the poker game she has been playing with the guests. The first thing that Royal asks is if Autumn has been cheating. Autumn responds to it with a little greet. Royal’s focus briefly shifts to Autumn’s pendant and he asks if he can get a seat on the table. When Autumn agrees, Royal says if she’s up for a five card draw and says he’ll deal. Royal asks how much she wants to put in the pot (I don’t know if that’s a term used in poker, I don’t play cards) and decides it himself anyway. And then Royal says that they can’t begin the game until Autumn shows her feet.
Autumn is understandably taken aback by Royal’s demand. So, Royal starts telling the story of a time when, on a dark night, some men were playing cards, a pale man in a long coat barged in saying that he wanted to play. They obliged and while playing, one of the men dropped a card. He went to pick it, using the light of a lantern to guide his eye, and he saw that the pale man’s feet weren’t feet. They were hooves. That’s when they knew they were playing cards with the devil. By the time the man got up, the devil was gone. Autumn responds to this by literally putting her foot on the table and yes, she doesn’t have hooves for feet. Then she asks Royal to do the same but he refuses because, well, he isn’t literally the devil in this scenario. His devil-ery is metaphorical.
As Royal shuffles the cards, Autumn starts to tease him by talking about drinks and then “jokingly” says to the crowd around them that Royal is still angry because she threw him into a hole. Autumn probably realizes she has said too much and she apologizes. Royal tells her to get on with the game. After checking their cards, Royal asks what they are playing for. Autumn says that if she wins, Royal’s going to let him stay on the west pasture forever. Royal agrees and says if Autumn loses, he gets the “whole story” regarding the rock around her neck. As the game goes on, Autumn asks if they can up the ante. Royal agrees again and says that if he wins, he gets to keep the rock around her neck. Autumn asks why he is so interested in it. Royal cryptically says that it has something to do with the inexplicable things happening in Wyoming.
The play is briefly interrupted by a knocking at the door behind Royal. One of the men in the room opens its top half and a bison (whether or not it is the bison, it ain’t clear, but it is probably the bison that keeps appearing here and there) peers through. What’s not clear is if this bit is actually happening or if Royal is imagining it. The thing that makes it particularly unclear is that the light emanating from the (white) void in which the bison is standing is interacting with everything in the room even though nobody addresses it. Royal looks at the bison and turns back to Autumn and says that if she wagers the rock around her neck, he’s going to put the entire west pasture on the table. Autumn agrees and well, she loses. Royal exits with the rock and he reveals that he cheated by sneaking a card into his sleeve (completing the devil reference from earlier).
Later that night, we briefly see Royal laying awake on his bed and then going somewhere with the rock he has obtained from Autumn. Then it cuts to Wayne Tillerson watching some Western and as he tries to get his drink, he tips it over the table and the drink spills around the rock. Upon closer inspection, he sees that the liquid has started bubbling. Something about that prompts him to get off of his bed and drive into the night, screaming at the top of his voice, looking for a sign to reveal something. After driving a long way into the west pasture, he sees a light and he goes towards it. Yes, he finds the hole in the ground. He gets out of his car to admire it. But Royal attacks him from behind and they get into a scuffle. Royal manages to subdue Wayne. Or so he thinks. Because when he turns his back to stare into the hole, Wayne knocks out Royal and leaves him unconscious on the ground, shouting triumphantly.