The Outpost: New Faces, New Places & A Hidden Kinge – Review, Ep. 301

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At long last – at long, long last, the season 3 premiere has arrived and let me just say that I thought it was a seamless transition from the end of season 2 into the newest episode of The Outpost. I have to hand it to The CW, you are allowing something special to be created in the fantasy-adventure realm with The Outpost and it is much appreciated. Shout out to Dean Devlin and his team for a good start to season 3.

Unfortunately, all is not well in with the human population within the Outpost itself. Zed is now the facility’s overlord, helped along by the Blackfist and their grumpy, gravel-voiced leader Yobahn (Played with cynical disdain by Predrag Bejalac), and they have enslaved the humans to do their bidding, primarily work a rock pit in search of an elusive crystal of some kind. Now, in the realm of strange twists that make you go “mmmm,” Talon appears to be in league with the other Blackbloods, while Munt and Janzo appear to be free to run the NIght Shade – after all, the Blackfist gets thirsty oppressing their human chattel.

What we do know is that the episode opens 39 days after the victory over the Prime Order – and Zed’s betrayal in its aftermath. Thanks for the time frame, Garret. Appreciate it.

The Outpost — “For the Sins of Your Ancestors” Pictured (L-R): Aaron Fontaine as Tobin, Patrick Lyster as Captain Calkussar and Jake Stormoen as Garrett — Photo: Aleksander Letic/NBCU International — 2020 Outpost TV LLC. Courtesy of Electric Entertainment.

We’ve also got a trio of new characters that promise to make things very interesting in the early going of the season, and perhaps longer. But let’s focus on the short-term first. Yobahn is obviously a grizzled veteran of many a tussle on the Plain of Ashes, and he’s not entirely delighted that Zed has been given overall lordship at the Outpost by Yavalla, the last Blackblood priestess/prophetess who offers a very interesting dynamic when she arrives. She’s one to keep an eye on as she immediately seems to be a big picture type of priestess. We’ll get to her more in a bit. But first, the power struggle between Zed, Yobahn and Talon, who as we could have guessed, is playing the willing accomplice to find a way to help her friends.

Zed grasps that Talon is valuable because she understands the humans better than any of the others, and Yobahn is fairly disgusted with both of them and wonders why Queen Gwynn, who is under house arrest, hasn’t been dispatched yet. This is what’s interesting to me about the dynamic between the three – Talon has been conflicted about who and what she is from nearly the first of the show, but is trying to keep things tethered together until she can find an escape for her friends.

Zed, though in power, instinctively doesn’t want to devolve into a violent outburst against the humans and, probably thanks to Talon’s influences (Yobahn accuses him of having “affection” for Talon), sees some value and, perhaps, some respect for, the humans under his care. Yobahn is more the blunt instrument, interested only in finding the crystal, snarling with disgust and wondering why he must put up with these dolts. I feel Yobahn’s Blackfist pain, man, I think he kind of senses he’s being led around a bit. Also, it appears Zed and Yobahn are related. Imagine those family dinners.

Fortunately, he’s a man of action and we eventually get a swords-drawn face-off between he and Zed in the square. Yobahn, of course, displays a nice bit of treachery as he calls in some help, but Talon arrives and she and Zed take care of business and send a nice physical message to Yobahn and the other Blackfist. However, don’t count Yobahn out as he seems to be a guy who simply doesn’t yield too easily when he’s convinced he’s right. For episode 1, at least, the pecking order has been established. Now, on to other stuff.

The Outpost — “For the Sins of Your Ancestors” PIcctured: Jessica Green as Talon — Photo: Aleksander Letic/NBCU International — 2020 Outpost TV LLC. Courtesy of Electric Entertainment.

The Kiss
Yes, yes, yes, the “Garron” moment has finally arrived and thanks to the teaser trailer, the social media ranks were tingling with excitement. Honestly, I’m not that thrilled about it. As I said on my radio show, The Outpost Calling, I’ve always kind of thought it would be fun to have Garret and Talon’s obvious attraction and chemistry stand unrequited. And in the end, much like Jack Burton in “Big Trouble in Little China,” Garret leaves Talon with one last kiss and saunters out the door, intent on the walk-about he’d talked of, content to know that they will one day find each other again.

But that’s the romantic in me. These two have been on a collision course with their lips for two seasons, so it was inevitable that the snogging was due anytime. It will be interesting to see how this relationship progresses now that they’ve made an unspoken, yet passionate, statement about how they feel for each other. Both are strong personalities, particularly Talon. But first, they need to get out of their current situation, so we’ll see how that progresses as Talon continues to play along with Zed and keep Yobahn in his place. As for Garret? He’s a handsome rogue, isn’t he?

Wren and Janzo
Oh, hell yes. It looks as though Janzo, in the post “Naya is my sister” days, may have someone to whom he can cast his affections on amongst the Blackfist. Wren (played with delightful energy by Izuka Hoyle), is the daughter of the Priestess/Prophetess Yavalla and happens to have a passion for the scientific arts. She initially kicks Janzo out of his lab as she works to find the secrets to opening a mysterious box she brought with her. The interplay between Janzo and Wren is delightfully pointed, yet fun, and you can tell already that despite their initial disdain for each other, there’s a little bit of hyper magic there. Anand Desai-Barochia continues to be a cornucopia of delight at Janzo. That’s right, I said cornucopia.

The Outpost — “For the Sins of Your Ancestors” Pictured (L-R): Jake Stormoen as Garrett and Aaron Fontaine as Tobin — Photo: Aleksander Letic/NBCU International — 2020 Outpost TV LLC. Courtesy of Electric Entertainment.

I know you were probably like me after season 2’s reveal that Naya was actually Janzo’s long-lost sister, thereby nullifying the zesty attraction they were feeling for each other. Uncomfortable much? But of course, that’s what made it great. But like you, I wondered whether Janzo will always be unlucky at love, so the arrival of Wren really set my romance radar off as she seems like a perfect, energetic and intellectual match for Janzo. At one point, she is able to create a compound that Janzo thought impossible to replicate. It was an “ah ha” moment for him even if he was irritated by her success. He feigned disgust, but inside I bet he was a tad tingly..

Also, on the energy front, did you notice the two moments where Wren changed position around a table and instead of simply scooting around the corner, she did a 360-degree twirl to get to the other side. She did this twice and I thought it wonderfully playful and kind of a bit of physical insight into her spirit. Again, Janzo has found his soulmate – I hope. Looking forward to what Hoyle brings to The Outpost in the form of this new character Wren, who appears to be Yavalla’s daughter. Another little wrinkle in the fabric of The Outpost.

Meanwhile, in the slave dorms, Tobin, Garret and the crew are plotting and planning an escape and a rescue. They feel the queen’s life is in danger (and it is) and want to break out, rescue her and spirit her away from The Outpost. Turns out, that’s a good plan as at least one Black Fist decides the human queen needs to go and as he stands over her with his sword, repeats the words that are the title of Episode 3.1, “For the sins of your ancestors.” I’m curious about what exactly does that mean – centuries of oppression and marginalization of the Blackbloods, or culpability in the banishing of the Blackbloods to that garden spot, the Plain of Ashes? Perhaps later.

The Outpost — “For the Sins of Your Ancestors” Pictured: Jessica Green as Talon — Photo: Aleksander Letic/NBCU International — 2020 Outpost TV LLC. Courtesy of Electric Entertainment.

But for now, the assassination attempt is foiled by Zed, who sees the Blackfist issue getting worse. However, when he tells Gwynn that he’s only interested in her staying alive to keep the human inhabitants of The Outpost servile and compliant, I’m not sure I buy it. Zed’s a cad, a bounder, a tricky kind of sort who doesn’t mind a little manipulation, particularly with his newfound Kinge, but there is a part of me that senses he’s more about the mission rather then the hatred. Oh, I know, he was continually trying to manipulate Talon into bringing the Blackbloods back through the portal most of season 2 – he even offered her the sweet fruits of his passion – but there’s a part of me that wonders if, when things get to push and shove, if he might not be an ally down the road. We shall see.

Anyway, Garret and Tobin are able to make their escape through a hole they made in the wall, scale the bricks of the castle, snag Gwynn and attempt to make their escape. Sadly, the attempted “sheep as shield” gambit failed and a Lu-Qiri pounces on our fleeing trio. They are taken before King Zed – look at him on the throne, all regal and that cool cape draped rogue-like. Yobahn wants some death, Gwynn does some pleading and Talon finally agrees to what Zed has wanted for 39 days – for Talon to call Yavalla through the portal. It’s a big moment and one that demonstrates just how impressive the influence of this priestess is. She reminds me of T’Pau from TOS. Did you notice how docile and compliant and deferential the blackbloods became when she walked into the room? Now that’s power, folks.

And her arrival signals a shift in the Blackblood attitudes toward the humans. While Tobin and Garret have been spared thanks to Talon’s capitulation, it appears the Yavalla wants to talk truce and terms with Gwynn. She frees the humans to come and go as they please within the Outpost, which  was an interesting little twist, I thought. There’s something else coming, something that is a threat of old. We don’t get a lot more information on that, but it’s compelling. Yavalla is a big picture kind of priestess, which I like.

She talks to Talon and then to Gwynn about the importance of The Outpost, of an evil yet to reveal itself, and a Kinge that can transport her people to the very opposite of the Plain of Ashes – a paradise where Blackbloods can live in peace, and leave the humans to their own pursuits. Wren’s mystery box will play a part, as will the crystal that was dug up, and Yavalla will no doubt play a part. After all, the last Blackblood prophetess/priestess didn’t step through the portal without a plan.

The Outpost — “For the Sins of Your Ancestors”Pictured: Patrick Lyster as Captain Calkussar — Photo: Aleksander Letic/NBCU International — 2020 Outpost TV LLC. Courtesy of Electric Entertainment.

And so, it would appear that somewhere in The Outpost, a Kinge is hiding, just waiting for the right mix of guile, stealth, creativity and all-around mystery solving to help it reveal itself and usher the Blackbloods to a paradise where they can rebuild and renew themselves – I picture a kind of Valhalla//Stovokor kind of place. It all seems like something everyone can work toward – and then Garret gets the revenge bug. You see, he’s still seething over the attempt on Gwynn’s life and seeks out the Blackfist responsible for the attempt – at the same time that Gwynn is promising Yavella that she’ll get no trouble from the humans within the walls. Oh, that timing thing again, right. I mean, Garret, Garret, Garret, what are you doing?

Kind of interesting to see Garret with a little of that “edge” he had during his time under Sana’s thrall. I admit, I was surprised at his lust for revenge. But given the Blackfist’s dislike of humans, and Gwynn’s word practically broken as she was giving it, it would seem that Garret has put the proverbial wrench in the works. Now, with a Lu-Qiri presumably on the way, and more than a little anger percolating on both sides after taking a Blackblood life, you wonder what’s in store for Mr. Spears. Been an interesting year for our erstwhile hero, hasn’t it?

Again, an episode that I thought was a very nice continuation of the season 2 finale. It provided some answers, offered up new questions and quite nimbly put our fandom feet onto some new paths that will be interesting to walk with our Outpost characters. I was delighted with this episode, seeing those awesome familiar faces and getting a glimpse of some new characters. And with that, we are rolling. Also, don’t forget my live radio show, The Outpost Calling” every Friday night at 7 p.m. (PT). We’ll talk the previous night’s episode, take phone calls and generally engage in our love of The Outpost.

Follow me on Twitter: @jbakeR2D2 and @threeifbyspace.

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Radio show The Outpost Calling every Friday night at 7 p.m. (PT) right here: https://www.threeifbyspace.net/three-if-by-space-live-radio/

John Baker