The Outpost returned to our television screens Thursday, 11 July 2019 with the premiere of its second season. To recap, during the first season, Talon (Jessica Green), Janzo (Anand Desai-Barochia) and Captain Garret Spears (Jake Stormoen) discovered a connection between the plagueling epidemic and the illegal drug Colipsum.
In the first season finale, the Kynan Griffin directed ‘The Dragman Is Coming,’ Talon happens upon Garret and Lady Gwynn Calkussar / Princess Rosmund (Imogen Waterhouse), half-naked, in a compromising position. Consequently, not surprisingly, the blackblood is angry at what she discovered. In her time of need, because of the anger, she feels towards both Garret and Gwynn, Talon turns to Janzo. Janzo has been yearning over Talon since the moment he first laid eyes on her.
After Janzo suffers an injury caused by Everit Dred (Philip Brodie), despite Talon probably knowing it would crush his heart, she tells him that the love she feels is that of a sister for her brother. Because something is always better than nothing, Janzo is willing to accept a sibling relationship.
The first season ended with Dred having escaped, the identity of the Dragman being revealed to the television viewing audience, Talon defeating Dred’s army and control of The Outpost restored. Because Dred remains at large, and the Prime Order is still a huge threat to The Outpost, war is unavoidable.
Episode Synopsis: Second Season Premiere…
In We Only Kill to Survive, directed by Marc Roskin, we find Talon summoning a new demonic threat, Captain Garret Spears hunting for Dred, Gwynn making preparations for war and The Mistress Elinor (Robyn Malcolm) increasing her ability to produce an illegal drug.
SPOILER ALERT: If you have yet to see the second season premiere of The Outpost, stop reading NOW. There are spoilers ahead.
We last saw Garret setting out with a team to hunt down Dred. The second season premiere picks up the story with the captain’s team hot on Dred’s trail. Garret tells Merrick (Nikola Surbanovic) of what happens when one defies the Prime Order. Crossing the Prime Order comes with a heavy price. If Dred reaches the capital, the same thing will happen to The Outpost that happened with Lord Ebden and his castle.
Even though this is a television series, from the way these opening scenes are choreographed, there is a hint of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit.’ A lot of work goes into creating the costumes these actors are wearing. The work costumers do add a degree of realism to every scene.
Garret Enters Ebden Castle…
After two weeks of chasing Dred, Garret is not prepared to turn and run at the first sign of danger. As Garret and his men enter the ruins of Ebden Castle, one cannot help but think of Khazad-dûm and the Mine of Moria. At least Dred did not possess a cave troll.
As if, from out of nowhere, an arrow suddenly takes down one of Garret’s men. Dred steps forth from the shadows and simultaneously draws two swords. To skilfully handle two swords at the same time, one is probably ambidextrous. Ambidexterity, not a common trait, is the ability to use both hands with equal effectiveness.
In the scenes where Dred is seen wielding his swords, even though Garret disarms him, his ability to effectively take down his opponents is apparent. In a cowardly act, as the captain prepares to finish Dred in Talon’s name, Garret’s defeat comes when Essa Khan (Sonalii Castillo) stabs him in the back with a sword. Cue opening credits…
Meanwhile, at The Outpost…
Talon is trying to get the Dragman to give her names of demons so that she can summon them into the world from the other side of portals she creates. The Dragman is anything but talkative. She literally says nothing. While there is nothing to suggest the girl has lost the ability of speech, the only thing the Dragman does is a series of nods. The Dragman is only willing to give Talon one demon name at a time. Talon wants the Dragman to explain herself, but she is not willing to utter a single syllable.
With her sword and dagger in hand, Talon opens a portal so that the demon she calls can enter the world. To Talon’s surprise, accompanying the demon is a blackblood named Rebb (Lilli Hollunder).
The appearance of the blackblood causes Talon to remember an incident from her childhood. While the young Talon (Bella Padden) objects to killing any creature, her adoptive father tells her that “we only kill to survive.” This is the scene where the season premiere gets its title. Talon remembers Varlek (Milos Timotijevic) killed the humans she was living with. In self-defence, she kills Varlek and reiterates what her adoptive father told her: “we only kill to survive.”
At the Tavern…
Janzo, even though he knows Talon thinks of him as a brother, is still hoping for a romantic relationship. Because of Colipsum, the plagueling epidemic remains widespread. Does Janzo not yet know The Mistress Elinor is responsible for the distribution of Colipsum within the walls of The Outpost? There is no way the brewer would not know Elinor has her fingers in many pies.
Nearby, Queen Gwynn speaks with Marshal Withers (Andrew Howard). Gwynn made a law proclaiming Colipsum illegal. This law has not stopped the distribution of the drug throughout the Outpost. An unforeseen consequence of making Colipsum illegal has somehow had the reverse effect. “Nothing is more enticing than forbidden pleasures,” the marshal correctly observes. Naturally, the queen is not as much interested in why her laws are disobeyed as she is with why the marshal is not enforcing them.
Later, Janzo finds Talon unconscious. When he manages to awaken her, Talon tells the brewer that the blackblood must have tried to cut the creature out of her head, but it would not let her. This creature Talon has inside her allows her to open portals. If the blackblood had gained access to the creature, the Outpost would now be swarming with demons.
Talon believes Rebb must have forcefully taken the Dragman. When Janzo explains to Talon the situation, she cannot fault his logic. The brewer does not think they can trust the Dragman. What do you think? The argument Janzo laid out is flawless. If Rebb had forced the Dragman to leave with her, the likelihood of the little girl not causing a scene is slim.
Because Munt (Adam Johnson) is unaware Brogan (Nikola Rakocevic) is joining Elinor’s operation to smuggle Colipsum out of The Outpost, he almost becomes a plagueling himself. “The more plagueling bodies we have,” Elinor said, “the more Colipsum we can grow inside them.”
Even though Elinor knows there is a connection between the plagueling epidemic and Colipsum, it is not stopping her from mass producing the drug for distribution. Brogan does not have the stomach for doing the work Elinor requires of him.
In the Woodlands…
Talon and Janzo track Rebb, the Dragman and the demon to the woodlands. When Talon attacks the blackblood, the demon stands in her way. The only reason it does not kill Talon is that the blackblood needs Talon alive so that she can open a portal. Opening a portal will allow her people to re-enter the world. A second attempt yields no better results than the first attack.
No matter what the pressure they are under, Janzo is always able to think logically. This is something Talon seems incapable of doing. Do Talon’s emotions blind her to the obvious? If one takes the time to review previous episodes, the answer is apparent. Talon is a fighter. She would rather swing her sword and thrust her dagger at her enemies than give the situation reasoned thought. While some situations require a physical response, on this occasion, Janzo is correct.
When Talon and Janzo return to the Outpost, she is immediately escorted to Gwynn. The queen has been concerned about Talon’s safety all day. When Talon meets with the queen, she tells her of what transpired when she summoned a demon. Talon promises to do whatever she can to get the Dragman back.
The Queen takes the Marshal’s Advice…
As the queen inspects her soldiers, she notes how fatigued one of the men appears. She, therefore, gives him a day of leisure to recuperate. As Gwynn continues to inspect her men, the gates to the Outpost open and Merrick rides into the courtyard. He reports to the marshal that Garret and the rest of the men are dead. Garret was the marshal’s son. According to the queen, Garret was a hero to all that knew him.
Later, regardless of the queen’s wishes, the marshal tells Gwynn that he is leaving the Outpost so that he can bring his son’s body home. The queen suggests sending a squad of soldiers, but Withers is adamant in his commitment to his son.
When Withers finds Talon saddling her horse, the marshal wants to know where she thinks she is going. Withers and Talon argue about her going with him to collect Garret’s body. Since it took Merrick five days to return to the Outpost, Dred is likely ten days out if not already in the capital. Unaccompanied, the marshal leaves the Outpost. From inside the Outpost, Elinor sees the marshal leave.
Is there a New Zealander that did not appear in the Peter Jackson directed trilogy ‘The Lord of the Rings’? With the country having a huge wealth of theatre, television and film talent, Jackson took advantage of this and it paid off perfectly. Robyn Malcolm, possibly better known for playing QIFM director Maxine Pavich in ‘Harrow,’ played Morwen in the 2002 film ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.’ In ‘The Outpost,’ Malcolm plays The Mistress Elinor.
With the New Zealander having worked on numerous productions in various genre, it’s clear Malcolm has many arrows in her quiver. Elinor is nothing like Maxine or Morwen. These characters have vastly different moralistic codes.