The Outpost: Tough Times For Garret, ‘Wrenzo’ Makes Some Magic – Review, Ep. 302

Needless to say, the last 14 episodes of The Outpost have been quite the emotional and physical rollercoaster ride for one Garret Spears. He’s been seduced and manipulated via drugs by Sana and The Three, which sent him on a semi-murderous rampage wherein he killed his own father, stabbed Talon, and eventually stood over Queen Gwynn with deadly intentions before catching himself and starting the detoxification process. But that wasn’t the end of it, was it?

No, there was the self-loathing that followed as the fog lifted and he saw what he had become. And while he admitted he wasn’t quite right at the end of Season 2, we see that very clearly in his poor decision-making at the start of season 3. He guts Kezzem for his attempt on the queen’s life at the very moment that Yavalla and Gwynn are negotiating their peace pact. And then the hits just keep coming as he’s beaten up by the Blackfist, condemned to death by Yavalla herself (Hey, you’ve got to set an example, right), and finally getting the ultimate waterboarding experience that drowns him.

The Outpost — “The Peace You Promised” — Image Number: OUT302_8623.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Anand Desai-Barochia as Janzo, Adam Johnson as Munt and Reece Ritchie as Zed — Photo: Aleksander Letic/NBCU International — © 2020 Outpost TV LLC. Courtesy of Electric Entertainment.

And that’s where Episode 302, “The Peace You Promised” kickstarts this continuing disaster of a journey for our handsome captain of the guard. Wow, has Garret Spears really been through the ringer. Fortunately, before he gets submerged for the final bath, Talon and Janzo come to the rescue. A bit of drug created by Janzo, a serious lip-lock from Talon before the dunking, and our hero is flushed and goodbye. I think Yobhan was giggling like an embarassed school girl at the prospect of finally killing a human. Giddy with bloodlust anticipation. And I’m skipping the whole running battle and impromptu hanging attempt.

But Garret Spears is nothing if not a cat-like. Doesn’t it seem like every culture has a concoction that can slow down the heart rate (sleeping death elixir, anyone?), thereby making the body seem dead. Well, that’s how Spears will live to fight another day. The kiss from Talon delivered the drugs and it seemed that Garret was, indeed, dead. Later, in a dank and dark room, Garret revives with a quart of water spurting out of his mouth, eyes wide open, and the very shocking realization that he will, indeed, live to fight another day.

But first, my favorite part of this whole arc – Talon and Janzo laying into Garret about this newfound edginess and foolish bravado. The PTSD from Sana is still at play here as Talon and Janzo wonder aloud if Garret is trying to kill himself with this recklessness and thoughtless actions. I thought this was a wonderful little run as it’s something the fandom has been discussing since last season. Talon and Janzo verbalized what many of us have been talking about and speculating on and it was fun to see it portrayed honestly within the show.

And when Garret admits that Talon shouldn’t miss the “old Garret” because he’s gone, we all gave a knowing nod of the head and a “That’s what we’ve been saying” in our minds. I’m glad they called him out, glad they put his behavior in sharp relief, but also appreciated his honesty about where he’s at mentally. Good stuff.

The Outpost — “The Peace You Promised” — Image Number: OUT302_0789.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Reece Ritchie as Zed, Jaye Griffiths as Yavalla and Imogen Waterhouse as Gwynn — Photo: Aleksander Letic/NBCU International — © 2020 Outpost TV LLC. Courtesy of Electric Entertainment.

Oh, and of course it didn’t end too badly for him as, despite his broken body, Talon’s blackblood lust and desire spurred him on to a sexual adventure or two beneath the fur blankets. Yes, yes, Garret has suffered a lot physically, but he’s survived and gave the “Garron” fans plenty to see and enjoy. For the pleasure of Talon, he’ll tough out the pain. Let’s just hope that edginess doesn’t cause more problems.

And of course, karma is such a wonderful thing within the entertainment realm as later in the show, Yobhan gets his own dose of dunking. He accosted the queen, then stabbed Calkussar to death, causing no small amount of consternation from Yavalla. When the humans demand equal justice for Garret, Yavalla really has no choice but to capitulate so her charade (we’ll get to that in a moment) can continue with relatively calm waters. And with that, Yobahn is sentenced to drowning. I’ll miss his snarling, gruff snottiness and complete disdain for humans – but I enjoyed him getting his well-earned demise.

Another aspect I enjoyed was the running battle that Garret had after gutting Kezzem. Garret, Blackfist soldiers and  Lu-Qiri ran through the Outpost cutting, hacking and slashing in the best tradition of Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power. And kudos to Zed for being Johnny-on-the-spot to stop the hanging. Jake Stormoen and Reece Ritchie continue to deliver virtuoso performances that give us nice little telltale nuances about who they are – or who they may become. Well done, both of you.

For the record, I’m not giving up on Zed. His reaction to some of this stuff has been interesting. I think he sees the ultimate goal (Let’s go to paradise), but has a different vision of how humans and Blackbloods can interact. Just a gut feeling I’m getting from him.

The Outpost — “The Peace You Promised” — Image Number: OUT302_0528.jpg — Pictured: Jaye Griffiths as Yavalla, Izuka Hoyle as Wren and Anand Desai-Barochia as Janzo — Photo: Aleksander Letic/NBCU International — © 2020 Outpost TV LLC. Courtesy of Electric Entertainment.

But there was plenty of other fun things going on.

The burgeoning relationship between Janzo and Wren took a big step forward in this episode as they continued to bicker like teenagers late for the prom. It’s fun, it quick-witted and though it’s biting at times, the growing mutual respect one for the other is plain to see. These two are kindred spirits on many levels and that’s one reason they rub up against each other sometimes, but also why they have those “ah ha” moments about the other. It’s fun to watch two characters start the process of learning about the other – and liking what they are learning despite themselves.

“You’ve been floundering around with that box for a few days now, maybe I could help. What are you scared of, I’m smarter than you?” Janzo jibes Wren. Which begins a fun little examination of the box and some wonderfully intricate interplay as they speculate about the box and what it might really mean.

It’s also interesting to note that Wren and Janzo are both products of demanding and often unappreciative mothers (or mother figures0, who heap incredible expectations upon them, as well as the pressure that sometimes brings. Another interesting starting point for a relationship that has so much fun potential. And in this episode, these two were a bundle of energetic fun. In short order, they solve the puzzle of the box, discover a map of an old Outpost, and eventually suss out the meaning and destination the map has in mind. Did anyone else notice Wren call Talon “cousin?” Was that just general term or did she let slip something about Yavalla, herself and Talon?

The Outpost — “The Peace You Promised” — Image Number: OUT302_0567.jpg — Pictured: Anand Desai-Barochia as Janzo — Photo: Aleksander Letic/NBCU International — © 2020 Outpost TV LLC. Courtesy of Electric Entertainment.

“Wrenzo” end up in the old blacksmith’s house (That was a very nice touch), where Talon is now residing. Clear some sand from the floor, open a hatchway, and voila….a tunnel leading down, down, down. There’s something really enjoyable about watching two smart, nerdy science lovers do their smart, nerdy stuff. Izuka Hoyle and Anand Desai-Barochia have a wonderfully energetic and warm relationship building. They play off each other so well and I love the rapid-fire dialogue they do battle with at times. These two are a delightful pairing and I certainly anticipate them taking it up a few more notches before this all comes to an end.

The question of Yavalla has been a fun one to talk about over social media in the last week. The people I’m talking to seem to be of the opinion that she’s not someone to be trusted. I tend to agree as I suspect she has far more secrets tucked in those flowing robes of hers. While she is kind and accommodating to Gwynn to a large extent, when Wren and Janzo offer the prize of the opened box and map, she is cold with her daughter, even questioning her intelligence after enlisting Janzo’s help. She is particularly dismissive towards the human in their midst, which makes me wonder.

There’s also a moment when she’s talking to Zed and tells him to continue to keep the peach…”For now.” I found that statement, and her look towards Zed, as somewhat ominous. Like keeping the peace with the humans is not a real long-term concern – just keep them at bay and out of the way for a while until her goals are met. Then, perhaps they will be dealt with in an unpleasant fashion. There’s more to Yavalla than meets the eye and certainly more than she is sharing.

The Outpost — “The Peace You Promised” — Image Number: OUT302_0898.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Imogen Waterhouse as Gwynn and Aaron Fontaine as Tobin — Photo: Aleksander Letic/NBCU International — © 2020 Outpost TV LLC. Courtesy of Electric Entertainment.

The revelation that she knew Talon’s father was an interesting little tidbit and I wonder if it was a bit of carrot to get Talon off the scent. Still, the revelation that she knew the father within the Plain of Ashes is an enticing little tidbit, particularly why her mom opened the portal for him to go through. I’m sure some of that backstory is relevant, but I can feel the convenient truths she’s leaving out just hanging in the air. Now that the doorway down to wherever it goes has been discovered, that should start to open things up a bit. But the central question of whether Yavalla is trustworthy? I’m not feeling it, to be honest. LOL.

Another development I wanted to note was the odd pairing of Munt and Tobin, who make their escape from the Outpost via the old smuggler tunnels. For me, getting a little more of Munt and Tobin was a really nice treasured moment. Tobin and Gwynn had a moment to enjoy each other in the Talon-Garret on-the-furs style, before he gathered up Munt to make their escape. I like the Tobin character and hope he gets a little more to do on-screen moving forward. Many have been clamoring for Munt and we got it in this one.

We got to see his childlike innocence when Talon kissed him in gratitude, and then again as he and Tobin made their escape. There’s a great moment, in my opinion, between Munt and Tobin in the forest. Tobin questions Munt’s directional skills and we find out that Munt is a man who dislike war and death. Perhaps by going the wrong way, he can keep war from coming. It’s an innocent moment, but one that has a bigger-picture kind of message, I think. Munt was tasked with disposing of the bodies following the ruckus with the Prime Order and you can see that dealing with that many bodies, that much death, impacted him greatly. He doesn’t want war and death.

The Outpost — “The Peace You Promised” — Image Number: OUT302_0547.jpg — Pictured: Jaye Griffiths as Yavalla — Photo: Aleksander Letic/NBCU International — © 2020 Outpost TV LLC. Courtesy of Electric Entertainment.

I thought Tobin was patient with Munt’s emotional struggle. Tobin understands that this situation will likely not be resolved without bloodshed, but he tries to assuage Munt’s concerns. It would have been easy for Tobin to demean and be condescending toward Munt’s emotional struggles, but he finds another way to try and reach Munt. I thought this whole arc was really nuanced and considerate of each other’s goals. Munt’s take on war and death may have come from a childlike mindset, but it’s a message that is worth hearing.

Adam Johnson (Munt) and Aaron Fontaine (Tobin) did a superb job of forging an unlikely tandem with their characters. Now they head off to find some allies and raise an army. I look forward to seeing these two more and more. Yeah, that scene in the forest has really stayed with me. Well done, lads.

So we’ve got Garret in hiding, but still alive, Tobin and Munt off to find help, the cavern to a possible hidden Kinge discovered, and Talon, Yavalla and Zed all seemingly on a collision course to either paradise or facing something very evil. Does that cover it? Well, you’ve probably seen it, so you’ll fill in the blanks. Oh, one other thing that was brought up on social media that I thought was interesting. When Garret gutted Kezzem, the blade that came out the other side had red blood on it. I don’t know if that was a continuity error or yet another mystery that will need solving. Still, it was mentioned to me and we had a fun discussion about what it might mean.

I thought this was a tremendous episode with plenty going on and plenty still to be deciphered. This show has come so far in two-plus seasons. It’s a joy to see the character development that has taken place and the plot points that continue to be developed by Executive Producer Dean Devlin and his group. There’s a fire under this show and a great reminder that fantasy/adventure has a nice it can fill on the TV landscape. I’m thankful for that. What also makes this show so delightful is that most of the cast is active on social media, answering questions, making comments and interacting with the fandom. I can’t overemphasize how valuable that is to creating fan loyalty. Well done, all.

Follow me on Twitter: @jbakeR2D2 and @threeifbyspace.

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