The final flashback is for the central cog in The Outlaws’ Season 1 plot: Christian. We see him as a bodyguard in a nightclub. He removes Spider from the premises for distributing drugs. Christian is later seen being beaten up by Malacki’s gang. They offer him a job with the gang and he is forced into taking it.
In the present, the opening montage is made up of individual interviews with each member of the group. The Sargents investigate the identity of the real Christian Taylor, a.k.a. Malacki. Diane takes an active interest in solving the mystery, even though there are no takers for her enthusiasm. The group plans to meet at the Placement to forge a plan to find Christian, while Diane takes the minibus against Mr. Wild’s instructions to look for Christian.
Sargent Hayes interrogates Malacki and warns him of further action for his association with the Brook Hill gang. Each of the characters returns to their personal lives to confront their lies. Frank’s daughter finally forgives him for abandoning his family, not knowing the truth. Greg’s horrors come to life when he learns Spencer knows about Howard Cherry. John’s father lambasts him for taking “dirty money” at the first sign of trouble.
Rani shares an emotional moment with her mother who tells Rani of her own adventures as a youth. She reminds Rani of her obligation to the family. Rani is placed under house arrest but calls for help. Myrna ensures she is able to sneak out and resume their search for Christian. The Sargents finally make the connection between the masked man (Christian) and the van on the night at Lawrence Hill.
Christian’s flashback shows how the desperation for money pushed him to join the BH gang. Malacki humiliates him but Christian bears it for the sake of his sister. The group goes to Malacki to enquire about Christian’s whereabouts. There, they learn his real name: Ben. They split up to look for him but are unaware that one of his men is following them. They figure out the place where Ben grew up – Lambs Bottom Street – and proceed to go there.
Ben continues his investigation into the Lawrence Hill incident. He learns of the Dean and his association with the BH gang. The police show up at Rani’s house but do not find her there. Arjazy uses the “Find a friend” feature to locate Rani’s whereabouts. Meanwhile, the group successfully locates Ben’s safehouse: Cumberland Basin. They reach the spot where Ben and Esme are hiding. After a long conversation and Myrna revealing the mysterious tombstone of the police officer, Christian decides to listen to them.
Worried about his own firm, John phones Diane. She reaches the spot in her minibus, and so does Malacki and his gang. Rani and Ben go the other way and the rest of the group manages to escape on the bus. The biggest confrontation happens at the center itself, where the BH gang corner the group. But, to everyone’s surprise, the outlaws stand firm to protect Ben. The police arrive shortly, thanks to Frank’s anklet turning red, and Ben is taken into custody.
Another montage of interviews follows. The group’s dynamics are completely changed after the events of the day. They stand together, united in their quest to help Ben and prove his innocence by not speaking the truth. The police have no option but to leave Ben due to lack of evidence and testimonies. Instead, the group gets a further sanction of 100 hours of community payback – this time, they take it with immense happiness.
The Episode Review
The Outlaws concludes with the last episode in the first season and I must say, this was underwhelming. Despite running almost an hour long, it always seemed that Merchant just didn’t have enough time to touch every sub plot point. What happens to Greg and Spencer’s threats? A complete ignorance of that thread was really disappointing and so was the finale where they all stand-up to the BH gang.
The Dean, about whose expected entry I talked some episodes ago, never came around. His threat melted like ice cream in hot sun. The “wrapping up”, so to speak, did not do justice to the great work done in the previous episodes.
The momentum from episode four just vanished completely. Merchant and the writing team went for a more moral approach and chose to unnecessarily, in my opinion, pander around the streets of Lambs Bottom to no great impact on the storyline.
As the season finale, not a lot was left for season two either. Merchant and co somehow felt that it was enough to show the group together as a victorious triumph, not caring to give proper closure with respect to the characters. Maybe it will pick up in the next season – which has already been commissioned! But one thing is for sure, this finale confirms the trend in writing – inconsistency. That was a big mood dampener through the series.