‘Outer Range’ Episode 2 Recap: ‘The Land’ Paves the Way for a Wild Third Installment

by Lauren Boisvert
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The first episode of Prime Video’s newest psychological Western series “Outer Range” introduced us to the vast unknown of the world. A mysterious void appears in Royal Abbott’s west pasture, a strange woman named Autumn shows up looking to camp on his land, and his oldest son accidentally beats the son of his rival and neighbor to death outside a bar. Royal gets rid of the body in the void, before tumbling in himself with a little help from Autumn. That’s where the first episode left us (check out the “Outer Range” episode 1 recap here).

From here on, there are SIGNIFICANT SPOILERS FOR THE SECOND EPISODE, “THE LAND.”

‘Outer Range’s Second Episode ‘The Land’ Raises Yet More Questions

We open on Royal Abbott laying in the grass. It’s raining. Remember that black residue on his hand from the first episode? Now it’s slowly receding from his whole body. And now we’re wondering: how did he get out of there? What’s on the other side? Is this still the other side?

Royal is not still inside the void, it turns out; he rides home, and Cecilia, Perry, and Rhett are all sitting at the kitchen table. The family has a lively discussion about where the body is, and Royal just says “it’s gone,” and leaves it at that. He still hasn’t told anyone else about the void.

Meanwhile, the Tillersons call Sheriff Joy to look into Trevor’s disappearance, and Luke sends some threatening signals and vaguely extortionist vibes the Sheriff’s way. She’s running for office, and the Tillersons are very powerful. They could possibly tip the scales either way if they wanted. Or at least throw money at the campaign. The Sheriff looks thoughtful when she leaves, but she also doesn’t seem like the type to take bribes.

Later on “Outer Range,” Royal takes Perry with him to see their lawyer, at Cecilia’s behest. He’s not doing well, what with the whole manslaughter thing. First Rebecca, now this; I get the feeling Perry is going to fall into a dangerous trap somewhere down the line.

On their car ride, Perry brings up fate. This is something else to keep in your mind. There’s a lot of talk about fate, and whether things happen for a reason or not. No one knows, not even in reality do we know. Sometimes things have a feeling, and some people claim that there’s a higher power controlling us, but really we just don’t know why things happen sometimes. In terms of Royal Abbott, he seems to have a loose grasp on faith. He’ll attend church with his family, but he sits in the back and reads the newspaper. His wife, on the other hand, is devout, and claims that everything is part of God’s plan. They’re two sides of the same coin when it comes to faith and fate.

“Is that how you think the world works?” Perry asks his father, alluding to fate. Royal answers, “I don’t know how the world works.”

Royal Goes to See Wayne, While Autumn Sees Symbols

We get a moment where Royal goes to see Wayne Tillerson, after deciding they’re going to fight the Tillersons’ claim to their west pasture. Here’s where “Outer Range” gets very “Yellowstone,” dealing with land disputes. Apparently, it’s impossible to tell on the old land maps if the west pasture is Tillerson land or Abbott land. Now, Wayne wants it, just because. He’s a miserable, miserly tyrant, and he and Royal haven’t gotten along for nearly 50 years. Wayne may be basically bedridden after major surgery, but he’s going to cause some trouble for the modest Abbott family.

Meanwhile, Autumn wanders through the woods near the ranch. Up on a cliff, she sees a symbol carved into the rock, an arrow pointing right inside a circle. Perry’s daughter Amy stumbles upon Autumn as she’s going for a hike. This is the first time anyone has seen Autumn. Only Rhett and Royal know she’s out there, because Royal never told anyone else. Autumn shows Amy the symbol. She says, “I’ve been drawing it for years and years and now I see it all over the place here.” Amy replies, “Looks like my family brand.”

Write this down: so far we have black residue, two unusually chill bison sightings, talks about fate, allusions to the Greek god Chronos, and now weird symbols that look like the Abbott brand. Our list of clues grows.

‘There is a Great Void’: Royal Says a Weird Prayer

At dinner that night, Royal asks to pray for the meal. He asks for forgiveness and guidance. He prays for Trevor and his family, and for his own family as well. Then, things get a little spooky. They’re desperate, he says. “You made this crazy world, so maybe give is some sort of hint as to what you’re up to because I don’t have the first f—ing clue. Maybe you have nothing to do with this and maybe you’re not even there, who knows. There is a big distance between you and us, a gap, a void, there is a great void.”

Royal repeats this, “There is a great void, I’m asking you to fill that void.” Literally, there is a void in the pasture. But also, Royal is right, there seems to be a void between God and this world. Things keep happening to them, and why? For a reason? Is it all part of God’s plan? “I’m asking you to come down here and explain yourself,” says Royal.

The Ending of ‘Outer Range’s ‘The Land’ Simply Cannot Be Put Into Words

All I can say about the ending of this “Outer Range” episode is Royal and Autumn have a conversation in the barn, and we find out what he saw in the void. It needs to be seen, witnessed with your own two eyes. It’s a spectacular scene that raises so many questions and ramps us up for a wild story. Judging by the end of “The Land,” there’s so much more going on than just a strange void and some land disputes.

Things are getting psychological, supernatural, unexplainable, and philosophical. We’re being presented with the questions: what do we know of fate? What do we know of God? And what do we know about the unknown? How do we know what we don’t know? “Outer Range” is gearing up to tell us over the next six episodes, and I’m ready to get existential.

Outsider.com