Two episodes into its second season and it feels as though “The Outpost” has really found a formula that works nicely – without being formulaic. If you know what I mean. New faces show up with interesting propositions, potential allies may be stirring, and the sadness of Garret’s apparent death permeate throughout the episode. Still, there’s work to be done by Queen Gwynn, Talon, Janzo and the rest of the crew, though how it plays out is still something of a mystery.
However, if you hasn’t seen Episode 2 of “The Outpost” yet, be forewarned, there be SPOILERS a’coming. If you’ve seen it or you don’t give a flying Munt spit about SPOILERS, let’s talk Episode 202, “This is One Strange Town.”
First, let’s start at the last, shall we? Marshal Withers finally makes it the abandoned fort where we witnessed the impaling of Captain Garret Spears. It was terrible, it was ugly, it was Essa Khan-like in how our beloved hero met his end. But was it his end? (pressing forefinger to nose). As we saw, Marshal found Garret’s sword, but no body. And in that moment, he asked the question we all are asking…is Garret alive? My guess is we’ll find out before too long, but a nice little addendum at the end of an episode that meandered along in a relaxed, thoughtful manner.
And I’m okay with that. Oh, I love the action-packed stuff, swords flashing, howls of battle in the air, but also appreciate a slower pace that helps set up what’s to come. Episode 202 had that feel to it. That’s just fine.
So, while we ponder whether Garret is holed up somewhere, wedged between moldy sacks of grain and a dreary cold stone wall, let us ponder some other elements of Episode 202 that were noteworthy – namely several interesting things swirling around the lovely and edgy Talon. Let’s see, she gets in a little dust-up with the blackblood she brought through the dimensional rift, was the cause of a makeover for Janzo, had girl talk with the queen, then threw down with a handsome newcomer to The Outpost.
Yes, all in all a very productive episode for Talon. I enjoyed it. She’s a gal on the move, an Outpost “mover and shaker,” if you will. Such a fun character and Jessica Green gives her this wonderful tough, edgy vulnerability. So let’s see how her day went, shall we?
First off, this new blackblood is getting on my nerves. Rebb (played coolly and delightfully by Lilli Hollunder) wants Talon’s gift and we find out a little more about why. Rebb’s blackblood brood went into the other dimension (Plain of Ashes? Sounds like a garden spot) as a way to get behind the lines of their human foes many years ago during a war. But, the fly in the buttermilk here is they were betrayed by another clan of Blackbloods – Talon’s clan. And have remained in limbo ever since. Talon’s gift can open the portal and let those trapped back into this world and, likely, unleash a little Blackblood hell on the humans.
All of that goes against Talon’s instincts and she and her new friend cross swords and staffs in a little courtyard donnybrook before Talon is given the ultimatum. On many levels this is a tough one for our blackblood heroine. Her mother gave her that gift and the prophesy seemed to indicate she was to use it and summon a demon army to help Gwynn against the Prime Order. Now, it looks as though her clan betrayed her people.Troubling, that!
As the episode ends, we see her confess to Janzo that she’s made a decision, she’ll give up the gift. Mmm, I’m not a fan of that decision as I think it’s borne more out of guilt, her own struggles to control the gift, and perhaps just a feeling that she’s tired of being lonely — the only Blackblood in this realm. Should be interesting to see how that plays out.
What else? Oh yes, Talon engaged in some girl time with Gwynn where our lovely queen spills the beans about Garret being in love with Talon. A little honesty about who loves whom and who is jealous of whom. It’s a fun little arc as we again learn a little about Talon and her relationship record (Not so good). As she notes, men either leave her or die. She’s not in the mood for that game, though the queen tosses out a potential name for a little kiss-and-snuggle action — Janzo! Can the friend zone be broken down? Can Janzo get that which he so desires? Can the trumpets of joy sound in the sky? I doubt it, but it leads to a fun little tangent that was delightful.
The Queen orders Naya to give Janzo a “makeover” so as to woo the lovely Talon. And thus begins a fun little trip down redefining Janzo lane – and it’s beautiful. Naya fixes the hair, the clothing and posture of our brewer boy wonder and, let’s be honest, he looked gooooood. Just saying, the scientist got his sexy on and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And it was working fairly well as he exuded more confidence, stood up straight, and even caught Talon’s eye – though her reaction was one of confused befuddlement. Something was different, she just couldn’t figure out what.
All was going well until Janzo took a flagon across the face from The Outpost’s newest arrival – Tobin. And here we find Talon enjoying another foray into an interesting little story arc. Tobin shows up at The Outpost at the head of his army, looking to make a deal with Queen Gwynn – and what a deal. He’s proposing pledging his army to her in exchange for a small favor – that she marry him.
Not for love or power or conquest, but for children. Tobin wants a son and a legacy that is royal in nature. Played with wonderful boorishness by Aaron Fontaine, Tobin is loud, obnoxious, overconfident by half, and something of lecherous dude with full acceptance of mutual daliances on the part of himself and Gwynn when wed. He just wants a son, baby, and he’s fine with extracurriculars along the way.
Well, he’s in the bar, he’s deep in his cups when he grabs some Naya fanny and Janzo gives him a good cuffing from behind. I was fairly impressed with the Janzo smack and with the new and improved Janzo we were seeing until Tobin comes back with the ale mug to the side of Janzo’s head. And from there, Talon (who’d already been on the receiving end of Tobin’s ’70s pick-up lines) intervenes. Long story short, fight ensues, Talon kicks his butt, and Tobin decides to lie on the ground in pain and drunken amusement.
I find the Talon-Janzo relationship fun and illuminating. She seems more open with him, more willing to confide, which would seem to indicate perpetual “friend zone” status for our delightful scientific brewer of all things ale. Should be interesting to see where these two kind of go – particularly if the missing Garret should return to the fold (forefinger to side of nose again). And how will the new arrival change the dynamics?
Let’s be honest, Tobin is a human swizzle stick set down in the Long Island iced tea that is The Outpost. There will certainly be a good amount of drink stirring by this guy, that much is certain. Will he, when the hands are played, be a good addition or a bad one? Can he earn the queen’s heart or is there some other future that awaits him – as well as maturing along the way? I like the addition of Tobin because he seems like a bit of a dynamic changer within The Outpost. That should be fun moving forward.
One other thing. This whole sister act between The Mistress and Tobin’s counselor should be fun. Munt and Janzo seemed to have affection for this woman, but the sisters would appear to have a strained relationship. I do worry about The Mistress and her obsession with showing off her prosperity to her sister, however. And I don’t like this whole Colipsum selling spree she wants the boys to undertake within The Outpost.
It feels like Plagueling season is about to come into bloom within the walls. And that, along with the Prime Order on its ways, would seem to spell all kinds of issues for Queen Gwynn, Talon and the rest of our crew. No sir, I don’t like this one darn bit. Sibling rivalries – nothing good ever comes from them, right?
So, here we are with a new stallion in the paddock (Tobin), sisters squabbling, Janzo knocked off the runway, Talon about to give away her gift, Garret presumed dead, but the body is missing, and looming over it all is the Prime Order coming to regulate the situation. By the pencil of Shakespeare, sounds like fun.
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