‘Outer Range’ Season 2 Episodic Recap (1-7)

The flow of time is perceived as being progressive and linear in nature, which contributes to our understanding of concepts such as ‘Butterfly Effect,’ ‘Grandfather Paradox,’ ‘Bootstrap Paradox,’ etc., where temporal changes are theorized to have a significant impact. But what if time, as we know it, doesn’t remain bound by the constraints of a fixed direction and rather starts acting as a catalyst, connecting various points across the past, present, and future in a way that ensures the inevitability of the continuation of time? As the second season of Amazon Studios’ sci-fi western thriller Outer Range reveals itself with all its eccentric zaniness and complexities, this particular version of time gains narrative focus, often acting like a distinctive character in its own right. 

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If the first season of the series seemed confusing and bonkers to the viewers, the second season of Outer Range is definitely going to knock them senseless, as in an effort to expand upon the time-traveling shenanigans, the series has doubled down on its eerie, otherworldly essence in a massive way. The internal troubles of the Abbot family, conflict with the Tillersons, the impact of the sinkhole in the lives of every individual involved, and the overarching presence of Amy/Autumn—all the plot threads entangle with each other in a messy way, which culminates in the formulation of an unavoidable future.

Spoilers Ahead

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Episode 1: Nothing Really Changes

As the first episode of Outer Range reveals, death is not really as easy to come by as viewers might have initially thought. Both Tillerson boys, Luke and Billy, survive despite being trampled over by a herd of bison. Luke miraculously survives thanks to being exposed to the strange minerals of the sinkhole, and despite being fatally shot by Royal Abbot in the climactic moments of the first season, Billy has survived as well. The patriarch of the Abbot family, Wayne, has miraculously recovered from his comatose state (possibly due to Billy using the minerals on him as well) and is fiercely protective of his younger son, Billy. As Abbot reveals his suspicion to his wife Cecilia about Autumn being none other than their granddaughter Amy herself, Cecilia finds no basis for this assumption (she doesn’t know about Abbot’s truth yet) and instead implores her husband to take the grievously wounded girl to a hospital. 

Cecilia goes on her own way to search for Amy and gets surprised to learn that Rebecca, Amy’s mother and their long-missing daughter-in-law, has taken the kid away with her. As Royal takes Autumn to the same clinic where Billy is admitted, Wayne comes face-to-face with him and threatens him with consequences for messing with his family. Sheriff Joy, who had accidentally ventured into the past, is revealed to have reached the settlements of the native Shoshoni tribe in the late 19th century and finds herself caught in the conflict between two warring tribes. Eventually, she manages to save her life with the interference of another woman like her, who has settled in the tribe after similarly getting stranded during this time period. However, after finding no way back to return to her wife Martha and daughter Rose, Sheriff Joy gradually becomes depressed. Perry Abbot, who had jumped into the sinkhole in the first season finale, finds himself on the Abbot ranch in the past, even before the marriage of his parents. In the present timeline, Royal and Autumn somewhat reconcile, and as they touch hands, inexplicable cosmic phenomena start manifesting. By the end of the first episode, Royal confesses his true past to his wife, Cecilia, of being a time traveler from the late 18th century who came to Abbot Ranch in the 1960s as a young boy to avoid the consequences of his actions of unwittingly shooting his father to death and has settled with them ever since. 

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Episode 2: Secrets and Bitter Truths

Rhett seems to be settled in a life of his own with his loving Maria but gets drawn into a family mess as Royal informs him about the Amy/Autumn situation and Perry jumping into the hole. Perry catches up with a younger Royal, who understands his predicament after learning everything about him, as he himself made a similar decision of escaping his reality by jumping into the hole all those years ago in his childhood. However, Perry is taken aback to learn Wayne Tillerman was Cecilia’s boyfriend at the time, not his father, Royal. 

Geologist Nia Bintu, who had secretly taken a little sample mineral from the sinkhole at Royal’s ranch, shares her analysis with Royal, describing a flow of a tangible, liquefied time stream right under Royal’s ranch. However, as she presses about continuing her research on his land, Royal threatens her so as to avoid further suspicion regarding his past. On the other hand, Cecilia takes Autumn to church to seek help from the congregation to find Amy, and Autumn gets into an argument with gossiping members of the congregation. Later, Cecilia confesses to Royal that she is the reason Rebecca went missing for so long and has now taken Amy with her as well. Cecilia had discovered Rebecca’s affair and threatened to expose the truth to her husband, Perry, which resulted in a scared Rebecca fleeing from the house. At the hospital, a recovering Billy starts responding, and by showing the family insignia of the Abbots that Autumn had grafted on his body, he reveals Royal to be responsible for his current state. Wayne vows revenge on the Abbot family, and an opportunist Luke sides with his father, with the intention of retaking whatever valuables he had found in the west patch of Abbot’s ranch. Joy’s disappearance raises concerns in her family, and while settling in among the Shoshoni as a translator in the past, Joy laments over her inability to find a way to return to her time. 

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Episode 3: Cosmic High and Family Drama

In the third episode, Wayne brings down the axe in the court hearing of their land dispute by fixing the judge, who issues a $5,000 penalty on the Abbots. Missing the due date for penalty fees will result in the Abbot Ranch going up for auction. Cecilia and Royal try to gather the amount by appealing to the goodwill of their known lender, to no avail, as Perry’s actions in the first season have left a permanent dent in the reputation of the family. 

Autumn’s newfound devotion to church allows her to share her eccentric ideology with the pastor, and as Billy is taken to the Tillerson household for home nursing, she accompanies the congregation to meet him. Luke starts falling for her and tries to learn more about her connection with the sinkhole and the mineral. Rebecca is revealed to be living with Amy in a women’s wellness center. On the other hand, in his bedridden state, Billy tries to gain access to the sinkhole mineral he had stashed away, and as he fails to do so, Wayne helps his son to intake it alongside him. The father-son duo transcends their psychic shackles in an inexplicable high induced by the mineral. In the past, Perry got into a scuffle with Wayne after calling him out for cheating on Cecilia. 

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Back in the present, Wayne and Luke get into a heated argument about Wayne’s favoritism regarding Billy, and both of them express their disregard for each other. Later, a desperate Cecilia goes to Wayne to borrow the penalty money, who agrees to strike a deal with her in exchange for the west patch of Abbot Ranch, where the sinkhole was located (which vanished with Perry). After learning about this, a furious Royal storms off from his house and drives to the sinkhole, where he gets shocked after seeing Joy emerge out of it. 


Episode 4: Ode to Joy

The fourth episode of the second season of Outer Range chronicles Sheriff Joy’s trip back to the present timeline. In the span of a few days passing in the present, Joy has lived four years in the past among the Shoshonis and has learned their ways of life. As her best friend from 1972, Falling Star, who acts as the chief translator among the tribesmen, falls sick of a chronic illness, she requests that Joy take her place in her absence. After one of the young Shoshoni hunters gets captured by homesteaders while mistakenly trespassing in their area, Joy takes it upon herself to rescue her in the absence of the warriors of the group. As Joy manages to kill most of the captors and free the native hunter girl, she sustains a bullet injury to her leg. In fear of slowing down, Joy sends the hunter girl back to the Shoshonis, warning Falling Star about an impending attack on the tribe by homesteaders and settlers. 

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A bounty hunter, Levy Somner, is sent by the settlers to kill Joy, and it is revealed that he is none other than Royal’s violent, oppressive father. A young Royal follows his father and manages to corner Joy, but in the final moment, he undergoes a sudden change of heart as he shoots his father to death instead. A terrified Royal runs through the wilderness, and to comfort the kid, Joy follows suit. As Royal comes across the sinkhole in that time period and jumps through it, Joy follows suit, but fails to reach Royal and sends him off course instead. Joy reaches the present time period while Royal emerges from the hole in the late 1960s and gets taken under the guardianship of the Abbots. In the present timeline, Royal sees Joy emerge from the hole, and Joy recognizes Royal as the same kid who saved her life all those years ago. 


Episode 5: Much-Needed Company

In the relatively slow fifth episode, Royal takes Joy to a hospital and, on the way, evades questioning by the deputy sheriff with the help of Joy’s cousins. Joy confronts Royal about his time-traveling past, and his silence confirms her suspicion. Having lived through vastly different times, Royal is the only companion with whom Joy can share the mixed emotions she is feeling after returning from the late 18th century. 

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On the other hand, Autumn forms a strong bond with Cecilia by aiding her during a time when she was having a mental breakdown over her concerns for the ranch. Autumn takes her to the church and gets into a heated argument with the pastor about helping the Abbots with financial aid. Cecilia appreciates Autumn’s kind gesture and goes to Louis (with whom Rebecca had cheated Perry) to learn Amy’s whereabouts. However, she learns that Rebecca has turned her granddaughter against the Abbots. Luke steals Billy’s stash of minerals and, after using some of it on himself, gives rest to Autumn as a gesture of showing his resourcefulness to impress her. Autumn gets intoxicated by the mineral and, in a deranged state, connects with Amy, confirming Royal’s earlier speculation that both of them are indeed the same person. Autumn also remembers her past and identity after waking up from her trance state.


Episode 6: A Death in the Family

Cecilia and Royal remain concerned about Autumn, who leaves the ranch the next day. Autumn continues to hallucinate her younger self, loses her grasp of reality, and meets up with Luke to entrap him in a promise of fulfilling his cosmic destiny. Royal calls Rhett to come home and shows him the west pasture sinkhole, which is the center of conflict between their family and the Tillersons. Later, the Abbots finally receive good news as the pastor arrives at their household to tell them the congregation has arranged the penalty fees for them, all thanks to Autumn’s strong appeal to him the previous day. Geologist Nia Bintu tries to acquire the Abbot ranch once again, this time by proposing the offer to Rhett. 

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The clash between Wayne and Luke gradually reaches an ugly state, and as Billy fully recovers, he too gets on a conflicting course with his brother. Before Luke, it was Billy who got himself entrapped by Autumn’s promise of cosmic destiny, and now, feeling challenged by his brother, Billy turns on Luke. In the ensuing conflict, Luke unwittingly kills Billy by hitting him with a fire poker in the head and flees the scene to reunite later with Autumn. Autumn plans to take Amy out of Rebecca’s grasp, as she considers her younger self to be the most pivotal missing piece in her scheme for the future. In the past, Perry got involved in a brutal brawl with Wayne and his lackeys and eventually got rescued by Royal. In the present timeline, Wayne gets addicted to the mineral and remembers seeing Perry Abbot in the past.


Episode 7: Death and Rebirth

Cecilia and Royal force Louis to reveal the location of Rebecca’s wellness center in order to bring Amy back to their family. In the past, Royal sends Perry back to the present by pushing him into the sinkhole, and Perry arrives the same night he had unwittingly murdered Trevor. As Perry manages to avert a sordid future by stopping his past version from murdering Trevor, Perry of the past timeline gets killed by Trevor instead. To avoid severe confusion, Perry takes the corpse of his past self and throws him through the sinkhole. The present version of Perry reunites with the past version of his family.

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Rhett manages to twist Nia’s deal in his favor by coercing her into a monetary deal. After learning about Billy’s death, a devastated Wayne sets his house aflame and, in a troubled mental state, jumps through the sinkhole. Autumn and Billy take Amy after Autumn coerces Rebecca by intimidating her, and upon learning this, Cecilia and Royal desperately try to stop them by asking for help from Sheriff Joy. As Luke and Autumn head towards the sinkhole to push Amy inside it, Joy stops the duo, knocks Luke out, and holds Autumn at gunpoint. However, taking Amy hostage, Autumn moves towards the sinkhole, and out of options, Joy shoots her. Autumn collapses right there, while Amy falls through the sinkhole, and at the same time, Royal starts experiencing strong seizures. 

Royal is taken to the hospital, where Autumn is admitted as well, and despite being pronounced dead, Autumn wakes up right at the same time Amy does the same on the other side. In an unspecified timeline, Amy wakes up in a confused state in a barren land and meets two travelers, to whom she introduces herself as Autumn. Royal sees an ominous vision of a future that has been set in motion by Autumn’s actions, and after recuperating, he shares his concerns with Joy. As he assures Cecilia of a better future, which he himself doesn’t believe in, Royal sees an ominous vision involving Autumn. 

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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