There was plenty of anticipation about a second season of The CW’s “The Outpost” after a surprisingly strong first season and the very real recognition (at least through social media) that this show had struck a wondrous nerve amongst a host of rabid fans – me included. So be aware, if you haven’t seen this episode, SPOILERS ahead.
Gifted with a second season, “The Outpost” didn’t disappoint in its season 2 opener, “We Only Kill To Survive,” even with what I would consider a bit of shocker nearly right out of the gate. We’ll get to that in a moment, but first a hearty “welcome back” to Jessica Green, Jake Stromoen, Anand Desai-Barociah, Imogene Waterhouse, Andrew Howard, Robyn Malcolm and a host of others that make “The Outpost” such a fun and enchanting period piece. I knew I’d love this show when I saw the first teaser for it way back when, and I still love it. Thanks to the season 2 opener, I’ve got my Outpost motor running nicely.
So, here’s a few thoughts about the Season 2 opener.
I’ve thought from the outset that Jake Stormoen’s Garret was more than he appeared and as the first season went along, I was proven right – even as he wades through an uneasy semi-love triangle with Talon and Queen Gwynn. But the events of the first minutes of the opener really caught me off-guard. Yes, he and the troops finally track down Dred after a two-week manhunt, but what ensues was the good Captain defeating Dred in sword-to-sword combat, then making the fateful mistake of a quick monologue before running Dred through. Come on, Garret!
Sadly, that would prove to be a fatal (but was it fatal?) mistake as the one and only Essa Khan (Always a delight via the work of Sonalii Castillo) ends up running him through. Arghhh, bad Essa Khan, bad!. Though I have to admit I did enjoy her attack of one guard that offered the fun rhythm of “stab, stab, stab, stab, bite on the neck.” I mean, there is a certain fun to that, right? But back to Garret. I knew when he started talking instead of stabbing Dred there was trouble brewing and sure enough, that’s what happened.
So, Dred and Essa are into the wind, no doubt to warn the Prime Order of rebellion and bring the war to The Outpost. But is Garret dead? Really dead or mostly dead? Note that the lone soldier that came back from the ambush told everyone that Garret had been stabbed “through the heart.” But as we watched, we noted that wasn’t the case. It was a lower wound in the abdomen, something that, with a little luck and a slow blood flow, perhaps our dashing Captain could possibly survive.
Let’s face it, I’d be heartbroken (along with legions of fans) if we lost Garret Spears just 5 minutes into the return episode. I mean, he’s dashing, he’s dauntless, he’s downright fun to watch week-in and week-out. So, my money is on him getting out of this with his life and making a triumphant return just when we need him most. As the show ended, his father, Marshal Withers had ridden out of The Outpost to pick up his son’s body. As an aside, I enjoyed seeing Withers come a little unglued at the news his son was lost.
As we know, the two don’t see eye-to-eye on much, nor have much of a relationship, so I enjoyed Andrew Howard’s work as Withers in that moment. It was nicely emotional. (As an aside, I enjoy Howard’s work as Marshal all the time. One of my fav characters.).
So, we’ve got that going on. while Garret’s talking when he should be gutting, Talon is back at The Outpost with the Dragman working to open the portal to the other dimension so she can get some demons on her side for what we all know is the coming battle. She’s a little perturbed in that the Dragman keeps giving her one name after several days’ work. Perturbed and confused, she eventually decides to open the gate and see what comes through.
A demon, yes! But another pair of feet come through and Talon is face-to-face with another blackblood, who hints there are many more and she’d like to save them. An interesting moment for Talon, who had for so long assumed she was the last of her kind, to stand toe-to-toe with another of her people – and hear that there were others. Unfortunately, this potential homecoming was not a pleasant one as the demon delivered a back-hand that sent Talon flying and our new blackblood friend then tried to extract that entity within Talon. Failing that, she snags the Dragman and heads to parts unknown with her demon associate.
It’s got to be a bit of a quandary for Talon to discover she isn’t alone. And thanks to a bit of backstory that showed us another encounter with a blackblood carrying the same tattoo by the eye, a blackblood that Talon gutted when she was younger, we see why there is some tension between her and this new visitor – the sister of the man she killed years before.
It’s obvious our new blackblood, and her kin, have no qualms about killing humans, something Talon is vehemently opposed to, hence the title of the episode, ” We Only Kill To Survive.” The blackblood’s clear disregard for human life doesn’t appeal to Talon. Still, there are answers to be gleaned there and another meeting in a snowy forest does little to clear that mystery.
Still, we’ve got some new players in the game with a demon and angry blackblood running around in the forests near The Outpost. How, why and when they will play into this saga and the coming war should be interesting to see. And will the allure of her own kind start to wear down Talon as she looks back on a lifetime of loneliness as the “last of her kind.” Interesting to ponder, isn’t it?
Jessica Green has done a delightful job of giving life to Talon and this is a character I have grown to like more and more as the show has progressed. I thought she was dynamite in the season 2 opener, though Talon must figure out a way to stop from being back-handed into the dirt (or snow) by the demon. Come on, girl, not the frontal assault again!!
Fortunately, we got some time with all of our favorites in the season 2 opener – Munt, Queen Gwynn, The Mistress, and of course, Janzo.
Over social media I’ve made light of that moment last year when Talon kind of put Janzo in the “friend zone.” Given that, it was good fun to see Janzo (Anand Desai-Barochia, you are scrumtrulescent) have a fun moment in his laboratory pining away for Talon’s affections. I mean, I thought that was a great moment, perhaps because I’ve been on about the whole “friend zone” thing since last season, but it was nice to see our resident genius/brewer working out just how he can win the hand (and the rest) of our fair Talon.
Janzo is also a favorite character of mine and I admit to rooting for him in the romance department, though I shudder to think how that would actually play out for him. But, let’s cross that kiss-and-tell bridge when and if he ever gets to it – with whoever he gets to it with. Until then, we have the Garret-Talon-Gwynn uncomfy love triangle to keep an eye on (should Garret survive). I suppose it’s a quadrangle with Janzo flitting about in hopeful pursuit.
Given all that, at last season 2 of “The Outpost” has arrived and with it another chance to see just what’s cooking at “The Outpost,” and who can be trusted and who will be killed – or turned into a plagueling (or worse). I thought it was a good opener for the new season with some twists and turns, as well as setting the foundation for what’s to come later one. And I say this with all due respect and intensity…would someone kill Dred in a horrible fashion? Please?
Check out “The Outpost” Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on The CW.
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