What’s with all the bison? Where are they coming from?
Episode 8 of Outer Range starts with Deputy Joy walking through the woods following her encounter last episode. Ominous rumbling sounds in the distance, as she steps out to the pasture and looks in shock at a stampede happening right before her eyes.
As we find out later on in the episode, it appears these are a result of that strange black goo from before, which Luke finds while digging down into the land. Collecting it up in his hands, that same rumbling results in the ground turning into another portal. Out of that, numerous American bison plough out and rush through the wilderness.
Now it’s worth noting that American bison were down to just 541 animals by 1889. The portal Royal appears to open occured several years prior to that. It’s not outside the realm of possibility to believe this hole has consumed thousands of bison, and they’ve all come pouring out the hole in the present day, hence why there are so many of them. The arrow sticking out the side of one at the end of the episode could be further evidence of this, pointing to how these animals were hunted.
Does Luke get the ranch?
Meanwhile, Billy sits with Wayne in bed, singing to him (oh god, more singing.) He places dirt on Wayne’s lips and his forehead before heading off to greet his brother. As the boys talk, Billy admits to Luke that the hole has disappeared. If he can hold off from killing their father, Billy promises to hand over the reigns of the ranch to him.
Royal heads off to the motel and finds Autumn. With a gun in hand, he busts in but it’s too late. Autumn has already left with Billy, who rocks up to take her out, pledging his life to her and explaining why he has given up the ranch in the process.
What does Royal tell Rhett?
Backdropping all the drama here is Rhett Abbott, who happens to be bull-riding that night. It’s a big event and despite everything that’s going on, Royal shows up to speak to Rhett. With security standing by, urging Royal to stop, Royal tells Rhett that he “may not see him again.”
He tells Rhett to try and find whatever is on the land but chokes up getting the words out. He briefly takes his seat but Autumn phones, encouraging him to show up and meet her.
Autumn promises to let him find her, “You can’t beat fate, Royal.” She taunts. After hanging up, Royal is motivated to find her no matter what.
Is Rebecca alive?
In the commotion of Rhett ending up bottom on the scoreboard, Amy wanders off. She finds Rebecca, who just happens to be wandering about. Apparently she had to go and hide for a while but quite why or how is a mystery. She promises to explain everything but for now, Amy needs to go with her.
That leaves Cecilia alone, struggling to find the girl. Eventually she breaks down, repeating that God has left them.
While this is going on, Rhett heads out bull-riding one more time. His shoulder is completely shot up but despite that, he nails his final ride and wins the competition, coming from behind to secure it. The thing is, it comes at the cost of his family not being there to see it.
This makes his mind up, as Rhett – sporting a sling over his arm – approaches Maria after and tells her he loves her. He’s also ready to leave all of this behind. He’s done with his family and the ranch; he’s going to start anew.
Who is Autumn? Is she actually Amy?
In town, Royal meets Autumn, who immediately starts firing on him. The thing is, he’s not alone, given Billy is there too. A car chase ensues, heading out into the wilderness where that big stampede of bison interrupts proceedings. In the chaos, it also knocks Rhett and Maria’s car off-road, while Autumn is wiped out on the ground.
When the bison leave, Royal heads over to Autumn and notices she sports a scar on the side of her head – just like Amy. As Royal checks her over, he realizes she’s actually Amy. Or at least a version of Amy from the future.
How does Outer Range Season 1 end?
Royal takes Autumn upstairs to rest, Royal speaks to Cecilia and apologizes for what’s transpired. Silently, Cecilia tips the table over. “Our family is gone, it’s all gone… Amy’s gone.” She says, tears stinging her eyes. “No, she’s not.” Royal ominously replies.
The Episode Review
The final episode of Outer Range bows things out with a tantalizing cliffhanger and a fair few answers to our questions as well. While there’s no definite answer to what this strange black mineral stuff is, there is enough knowledge to work out it’s linked to the hole, which in itself is serving as some sort of portal.
There’s no mention of exactly how the hole works or why some people can jump backwards and others forward, but it would appear that Amy and Rebecca are integral to this. The mountain peak disappearing could be signifying time changing, and Autumn coming to the realization that she needs to keep time as it once was. Perhaps she was sent back specifically to stop Royal from taking this path but realized at some point that she needed to keep time as it is.
The reveal that Royal is actually from the 1880’s is pretty shocking and definitely unexpected too, while the bombshell about Autumn actually being Amy is something that many astute fans will have probably picked up and worked out halfway through the show’s run-time.
Despite that though, this was a really solid ending, despite the cliffhanger. Hopefully Amazon renew this for a second season. There’s definitely a lot to like with this and the eerie atmosphere and mystery is enough to make for a solid and worthwhile show to watch.