Outer Range (Season 1) Episodes 5, 6: Recap & Ending Explained
Outer Range (Season 1) Episodes 5, 6 Recap And Ending Explained: Outer Range (2022-ongoing) started on a somber (borderline grim) note, slowly unraveling the rivalry between Royal Abbott (Josh Brolin) and Wayne Tillerson (Will Patton), and the history of the land they’re fighting for. And creator Brian Watkins and his crew dropped a time-and-space bending hole in the middle of it all without much explanation, thereby leaving everyone to scratch their heads. Episodes 3 and 4 took the level of weirdness, comedy, and fear up by a few notches by not only exploring the darkness underneath the Abbotts, Tillersons, and Autumn, but also by disappearing a whole mountain and conjuring Trevor’s (Matt Lauria) corpse out of thin air. The fourth episode ended with Wayne finding about the void, then getting nearly killed by Royal, and rushing back to his family after knocking out Royal with his precious rock. This week’s episodes answer what lies ahead for the citizens of Wyoming.
Before we deep dive into Episodes 5 and 6, do give a read to earlier episodes
Outer Range Episodes 5, 6 Review (Spoiler-Free):
Episodes 5 and 6 definitely focus on the question: are the Abbotts and the Tillersons doing the things they are doing to protect their family or for self-preservation? And it’s the right question to ask at this point in the show because the father figures, Royal and Wayne, justify their actions by claiming it’s for the family. But going by Royal’s vision of himself dying and Wayne’s adamancy about acquiring the land, it seems like they’re considering everything but their respective families. That in turn explains what Royal saw when he traveled through time and space. It’s quite possible that in their (Royal and Wayne’s) stubbornness to deny determinism, they are going to end up playing into the Time’s (let’s consider it as an actual entity with sentience) elaborate game.
Outer Range’s exploration of religion is also fascinating; almost making it a great companion piece to Dark (2017-2020) even though that Netflix show focused more on the misuse of religion. In this case, Royal and Cecilia (Lili Taylor) portray various points in the spectrum of religious belief. Over the course of the past few episodes, Royal has become completely disillusioned and it seems like he doesn’t believe in God at all. How would he? The concept of reality, space, and time has crumbled before his very eyes. Cecilia on the other hand is on the brink of disillusionment but for a very different reason. She is starting to understand that her (and her family’s) adherence to the word of Christ isn’t absolving them of the sin Perry (Tom Pelphrey) has committed that has then been covered by her family. A tangential but necessary aspect of religion is highlighted by Joy (Tamara Podemski) and her partner Martha’s (Morningstar Angeline) as their relationship is rejected by the spokesperson of Christ.
The cinematography by Jay Keitel, editing by Sheri Bylander, Jon Otazua, John Peter Bernardo, and, Alex Minnick, and production design by Tommaso Ortino continues to be consistently good. There’s not a shot, not a cut, not a piece of furniture out of place in Outer Range. They always manage to keep things a little off-key so that you question the legitimacy of what’s happening because that puts you in the shoes of these characters. The two curve-balls that they throw at the audience are Autumn’s (Imogen Poots) meet-and-greet with a grizzly bear and her little stroll with Billy (Noah Reid). Did that actually happen? If not, why does it seem like those events are influencing their actions? We don’t know and the answers are right beyond the constantly shifting horizon. Also, that’s a very good-looking CGI bear. Top marks for giving it the appropriate sense of weight and texture.
The other unquestionably good thing about the show is the performances from the cast. Noah Reid has been a delightful presence in the past few episodes. But in episodes 5 and 6, he gets to dig deeper into Billy. His innocence and love for his father feels all the more palpable. However, he creates an unnerving atmosphere by hinting at the kind of breakdown he’s going to have once he starts knowing the truth about the world. Imogen Poots is absolutely electric, again. She has such a dominating screen presence that even eclipses Josh Brolin’s stoic, dad energy at times. Lili Taylor’s expression of Cecilia’s crisis of faith is heart-wrenching. Even if you’re an atheist, you probably won’t have the heart to think that her character deserves the dilemma she’s going through just because she believed too much in God. The supporting cast, everyone from Tamara Podemski to Olive Abercrombie, is excellent.
Spoiler warning: From this point onward, this article contains major spoilers for Outer Range episodes 5 and 6.
Outer Range Episodes 5 and 6 Recap:
After knocking out Royal, Wayne rushes home, over the moon that he has found the mysterious hole in/on the west pasture. Soon after, he suffers a stroke and falls down. But before having that attack, he sees snippets of a kid standing near the hole looking at another kid (covered in some kind of a black goo) reaching out to catch his leg. It seems like that the kid with the disappearing black goo on him is actually Royal and the other one is Wayne himself. If that’s the case, that vision insinuates that Royal is probably not from this dimension/time that the main plot of Outer Range is set in, but from the one that he briefly visited at the end of Episode 2.
An unconscious Royal hallucinates himself endlessly falling through the hole, almost enjoying the breeze and the infiniteness of it all. But that is disrupted by an undead Trevor who tells Royal that time is a motherf***er. This wakes up Royal and he starts trudging home. On the way he sees ambulances leaving the Tillerson ranch to take Wayne to the hospital. Royal does enter his home and instead takes the truck and drives away. Cecilia wakes up to the information that Wayne has suffered a stroke and the first thing she thinks about is the ownership of the west pasture (just assuming). She wonders if Patricia (Deirdre O’Connell) has the power of attorney. Before she gets a concrete answer, the sound of the dogs outside draws her out, leaving the house unlocked.
Perry and Rhett (Lewis Pullman) have a little discussion about the logistics of their alibis and Perry promises Rhett that he’s not going to let Rhett take the fall for him. Cecilia returns home to find that Autumn has broken into her house. Autumn says that she needs her necklace pendant. Cecilia says that Royal won it off her fair and square, so it’s his and she needs to leave. On her way out, Autumn asks if Royal has been acting weirdly, as if he has been keeping secrets, and says that it’s hard to know others and oneself (I have no clue what that means). In the meantime, Sheriff Joy confirms with the owner of the bar in front of which Trevor was killed if it was indeed Perry who did the deed. The owner confirms that it was Perry. While all this is going on, Royal pays a visit to the Rare Earth Department of the University of Wyoming to talk about the necklace pendant.
While talking to Dr. Nia Bintu (Yrsa Daley-Ward), Royal learns that apparently Wayne was in the talks with the Wyoming Uni for the acquiring of the west pasture. But that conversation didn’t go anywhere. So, Royal shows her the necklace and while Bintu talks about the composition of it and how she wants to run tests on it, Royal notices something. His eyes focus on the logo in one of Bintu’s photos which is the exact same one he saw in the alternate dimension/timeline. He becomes suspicious so he takes the necklace and bolts. He tracks down the contact number of the mining company in question, BY9, but gets no response. At Cecilia’s Bible-reading meet, her crisis-of-faith becomes more and more apparent and things tip over when they go to meet Patricia (the way the music abruptly cuts to Patricia waking up is hilarious). And Patricia calls out her hypocrisy, causing Cecilia to have a breakdown.
Back at the Abbott ranch, Cecilia finds a dead baby bear, which she tries to bury. But instead she takes it into a shack. Then we see Billy singing a song to Wayne, with Billy thinking about the time they had a conversation about life, death, and more. While remembering the time Joy was attacked by white people and how they can get away with assaulting an Indian, she makes a point about her gut feeling, which is now telling her that Perry is guilty of killing Trevor. In the town, Perry finds Autumn sitting by herself and takes her to a rock concert of sorts. Post that, they have a heart-to-heart (or maybe Autumn is manipulating Perry) about Rebecca’s disappearance. Rhett and Maria (Isabel Arraiza) get intimate in a hotel room. Royal comes home to crush the necklace. He extracts the black goo in it and rubs it on his hand and experiences the vision of him dying in Cecilia’s hands while Autumn looks over them.
Angered by Autumn’s involvement in his potential death, Royal tracks her down standing near the hole. He says that he’s going to take her back to the camp while keeps pleading for her necklace pendant. However, he speeds past her camp and continues driving recklessly until Autumn jumps off the quad bike, injuring herself. Autumn asks for her necklace pendant again and Royal lies that he crushed it and nothing happened. Autumn doesn’t believe him and starts rambling about time being a physical element and whatnot. Royal tells her that she shouldn’t have gotten his family involved and leaves her in the forest to die. He then goes to Autumn’s camp and burns it as well.
Joy pays her superior a visit to inform him about how she thinks Perry is Trevor’s killer and the information about Trevor’s body being dead for 8 hours even though he was missing for over a week. This prompts Joy’s superior to shut her down because he doesn’t want to get into all this. The following day, Joy and Martha prepare to go to church and so do the Abbotts. On their way, Amy asks Perry why they’re keeping secrets from her. The whole ceremony enters homophobic territories while talking about Martha and Joy’s relationship. During the “Body and blood of Christ” bit, Cecilia exits the premises. And Autumn has a transcendental experience as she comes across a grizzly bear that says “show him” to her.
Rhett and Maria have a falling out as she believes that if she gets into a relationship with him, she’s going to get stuck in Wyoming because Rhett is too entangled with his family to get out of there. Martha and Joy have a falling out because Martha isn’t impressed by Joy’s insistence on assimilating with the white, homophobic crowds. A metaphorical lightning bolt strikes Luke (Shaun Sipos) and Patricia as they learn that, according to Wayne’s will, Wayne has registered all of his properties in Billy’s name. Patricia orders Luke to look into it, while she leaves, because she thinks Billy isn’t capable of handling the Tillerson land. During his hunting trip, Billy comes across Autumn who takes him on a hallucinogenic trip to the hole. While driving, Karl (Kevin Chamberlin) encounters the omnipresent bison and apparently crashes his car while trying to avoid it.
Outer Range Episode 6 Ending Explained:
At the Abbott Ranch, Royal asks Amy if she has seen her grandmother around. Amy says that she hasn’t Cecilia after she left the church and she might’ve gone to the creek with the dogs. When Royal goes out to look for Cecilia, we see her in a shack with the corpse of the baby bear. Then she does this absurd thing (yes, it’s absurd even by the show’s standards) of inflicting bite marks on her hand from the dead bear’s mouth. And then she proceeds to sit beside it for some reason. Royal finds out she’s in there and asks if he can come in. Cecilia rejects the offer and says she wants to be alone. When Royal doesn’t get a response when he asks what she’s doing there, he starts reminiscing about the old days to make a point about how Cecilia is the Abbotts’ silent North Star. That doesn’t waver Cecilia’s decision to be alone. So, Royal departs from the scene.
Billy pays an unconscious Wayne a visit and tells him that he was right about the west pasture, even without initially knowing what was actually there. While leaving, Billy takes Wayne’s prized rock, probably with the intention to use it just like Royal did or to signify that (based on the will) he’s the man of the house now. Wayne, who’s otherwise immobile moves his fingers to indicate that he is registering everything that’s going on. On the west pasture, Autumn discovers that Royal has burnt down all her possessions and it sends her into a downward spiral. She doesn’t have any money, she doesn’t have her meds, and nowhere to stay. She manages to get a room and carves the Abbott family symbol on her chest.
Post that Autumn meets up with Perry in a diner, accusing Royal of attacking her and leaving her all by herself in the forest. She makes some vague insinuations about how everything is connected, including Rebecca’s disappearance. And finally, she says that the right thing for Perry to do is to go to the Sheriff and admit that Royal is the one who killed Trevor and then dispose of the body. She even says that if Perry doesn’t go to the police, she is going to. Perry tells her to keep the police out of this and assures that he is going to handle this situation himself. Autumn says something about new beginnings and leaves the diner. All that said, Perry does go to the police to admit that he’s the one who killed Trevor. Not Rhett. Not Royal. Him. Meanwhile, Autumn gets back to her motel room to see Billy in the bathtub contemplating about the hole and Autumn explains that it’s Time and how it’s guiding things towards her.
Perry returns to home to reveal that he has confessed to the police of killing Trevor. While Rhett goes into a fit of rage, Cecilia wonders why Perry did something like that when the whole family went to such lengths to protect him. Perry justifies his confession by saying that he confessed to protect the whole family. But Royal and Rhett, through gritted teeth, tell Perry that he has done more damage than he can imagine because now every single one of them is an accomplice and guilty of getting rid of Trevor’s body. While trying to fend off Rhett and Perry, Royal himself loses control when he hears that Perry has been in touch with Autumn who threatened to go to the police and accuse Royal of attempting to murder Autumn and killing Trevor. When Royal slams Perry into the wall, it cuts Amy’s forehead. Shocked and traumatized, she rushes out of the house and she sees in the distance the blue and red lights of the police.