Outsiders: “What Must Be Done”

So, not long after we posted last week’s episode, the genuinely sad news broke that Outsiders has been cancelled by WGN in their bid to take the channel in a ‘new direction’. I don’t know or care to know what that means. Outsiders is being shopped to several different outlets and a third season is not entirely off the cards. But as it stands, this and the upcoming season finale may be all we get of the story of the Farrell of Shay Mountain.

Which sucks. It’s a great show and a popular one, too. Write and tweet about it as much as we can, folks. Save Outsiders. Save Shay Mountain.

Lil Foster is having a colour-dampened nightmare about the mountain. He sees Elon walking through a wasteland, ravaged and polluted. Oil cans litter the scorched earth, the trees are all gone. Lil Foster follows Elon through a a thick smog to the edge of a ravine. Elon hands Lil his sketch from the prison. Lil Foster realises that this whole time is drawing is the mountain after it was mined out, when it’s just a hole in the ground.

He wakes in the beautiful green forest with Big Foster hiding Lil’s bike as they head back up the mountain after their raid.

Down in town, the National Guard have been called in after the three armed robberies and that whole, ya know, thing. Wade is disturbed by the sight as he heads over to the coroner’s office. On the surface, Haylie’s death is still just a suicide. Her few injuries are all from her days up the mountain and she appears to have been strangled by hanging. Wade’s suspicious, naturally and at the hotel room it gets worse; her suicide note is a single typed word, ‘Sorry’, on her laptop, and there’s no sign of a struggled, forced entry or, by the way … the mason jars.

Wade retrieves her locked phone, but so far, the room hasn’t been thoroughly searched. Oooh, guys.

Eat him!

Matt meets a room full of shady political types who dress down his shockingly poor handling of just about everything. The Farrell have won a great deal of goodwill in recent weeks, and the coal company’s position is far less secure than it was once. People will be a lot less likely to support the armed National Guard dragging Farrell off the mountain when the Farrell just showed themselves to be utterly ordinary men, women and children.

Matt offers to resign at once, though if he’s allowed to stay on, thinks he can fix things so both the people and the Government will throw all their weight behind One Planet and dragging the Farrell off the mountain. One staffer asks how, and a more experienced fat cat warns him not to ask questions he doesn’t want an answer to.

Cut to Matt with the recently abducted Gordon. Gordon is one of many aliases, and this asshole is an ecoterrorist who has literally killed people in bombings. Matt will give Gordon to the Feds, unless of course Gordon wants to make a few new, Farrell shaped friends.

And then we cut again to Gordon heading up the mountain to meet the clan. He’s taken to Gwen and the Fosters, both Big and Lil. Everyone is openly suspicious of him as he launches his pitch; One Planet are preparing to dynamite their way up the mountain, and start moving their digging and mining equipment into place.

Big wants to fight, Gwen worries about their supplies, and the fact they have elderly folk and kids to care about.

Gordon is a pretty masterful manipulator and Lil Foster suggests just stealing the dynamite, without any conflict, to at least slow down progress.

Gwen is against the plan, but seems reluctant to wield The Oak to fully shut it down.

Gordon shows Big, Lil and Phil’Up -– who along with Gordon has taken on aspects of Asa’s role, I guess –- to the yard. They spot cameras, guard dogs and armed guards but they’re not worried about overcoming that. Gordon knows the codes to the crate the dynamite is hidden in and when the place will be closed, but for two guards. Big finally notices how suspicious it is that Gordon is this well-informed and immediately figures out his plan is designed to screw them in some way.

Lil Foster warns Gordon that Lil will die and take Gordon with him, before he goes back to Lostie prison.

At night, Hasil and Sally Anne are making love, though Hasil is distracted by the National Guard trucks — their presence, and the Farrell raid having shook him. His people have never needed to take so much before, so something must be wrong.

There’s also the small issue that the Guard’s presence has killed Fight Club, so they can’t make any money.

The next day Sally-Ann visits the fight fixer, walking through the National Guard. Blackburg has echoes of a war zone.

The fixer has already gotten an address for a major fight in Tennessee, and warns that Hasil will have really dangerous opponents. He’s actually already planned for their future before Sally Anne even asked. I like this guy.

Wade is questioning Matt and other people from One Planet, and asks for access to Haylie’s email and phone, just so he can do his due diligence. They stonewall him, what with there being no official crime and therefore, no reason to investigate. Wade asks Matt about the mason jars, reminding him and the room that they, Wade and Matt, discussed those same jars mere moments after Haylie left he sheriff’s station. Matt denies any knowledge of their existence.

This is a mistake.

Wade races back to the hotel room and searches carefully, but finds nothing. Then, in the bathroom, he finds spilled powder and realises it’s pepper. He searches for the jars, and finds Haylie’s hidden samples. OH GURL.

Wade goes to the evidence cage at the station and gets Haylie’s phone, which is locked. But he whips it over to Donnie, the computer repair guy from season 1 who helped hack Asa’s drone, and I think fenced Farrell wine for them for a while.

Donnie technobabbles at Wade, and the long and short is he unlocks the phone, and Wade sees Haylie’s pictures of the Farrell clan, the school and people at work. And then, of course, the poisoned water and soil.

Wade regards the samples, realising what they must be.

Gordon is being thrown off the mountain by the Fosters Big and Lil, who just don’t trust him. Good!

He claims he’s not just there to help. The Feds have falsely accused him of murder and now, they’re using him. This strikes a chord with Lil who lets him talk so Gordon shows them pictures on his laptop of other mines, great pits in the ground where mountains used to be.

He says transporting the mine equipment is incredibly costly for One Planet, so if the Farrell blow a shit load of it up, it could scare the coal folk into backing off. Again, not a bad plan provided no one dies. Asa and Big did a similar thing in season one by trashing loads of mine equipment to slow down the progress being made.

Problem this time is, it’s Gordon, with Big and Lil, who are far from their best and most rational.

Once again, as always, I miss Asa. I also feel like more and more of Gordon’s back story were originally going to be what Asa would have been doing in his ten years gone.

Gordon admits he was sent to spy on them by the coal folk, but he wants to save the mountain, if they can work together.

They go to Gwen, who is dead against it and thinks Gordon will just lead them to trouble. She points out their willingness to trust an actual outsider to help, but they’re dead set on their plan. Again, she won’t wield her Oak to shut it down. They leave to go and raise some hell.

A sincerely apologetic Butch has turned up at Hasil’s place, wanting to make things right. He offers to do anything to fix things, as he truly values Hasil as a friend. Sally-Ann asks if they can use his car to get to the fight and Butch goes one better, and offers to pick up his old job as corner man. Hasil accepts and friendship fixed, they hug. Yay!

Wade has had the water and soil samples tested, and learns they’re poisoned with a modified form of Agent Orange holy shit, Matt!

Like the shit used in Vietnam, it’s a defoliant  — it kills plants  — but the modifications mean it sinks into the root system and surrounding soil, and remains active for 10 years.

Wade reels, and makes sure all the results are properly logged and recorded, and rushes out to see the doctor.

Up the hill, Big approaches Gwen to ask for her blessing on the mission. She won’t give it. Because he’s Big and still totally fucking awful,  he goes back to insisting she owes him her love and trust because of how super-great he’s been these last few weeks.

She tells him exactly where to shove that line of thinking, but he keeps on. She reminds him she married him out of fear, and there is and will never be love between them. He rages, and she stares dead into his eyes and says she releases him from his oath. He balks and demands she stop; she holds out a hand in his face and invokes ‘I untie thee’.

Three times and it’s done and like that, he’s not her husband anymore.

He rages and shakes with anger while she fights tears, then he storms out, leaving her alone.

She did the right thing and I’m proud of her. But, we all know Big. He’ll use this an excuse for something terrible, you watch.

Wade is going over the post-mortem report for Haylie with a fine tooth comb. Cause of death is strangling, mode is hanging. Once again suicide appears to be the most obvious cause but he finds mention of a head injury she must have received mere moments before her death.  From the description of the injury, it likely would have impaired her somewhat. The doctor assures him it’s often seen in hangings where the person strangled, due to the length of time it takes to die and prolonged thrashing of the body. Wade isn’t convinced, and goes back to the hotel room again.

He finds a coffee table with a crack in one corner. In the broken glass there he finds trapped an single blonde hair. Now he has proof; Haylie was murdered.

Sheriff Wade Houghton. My man.

If ONLY he could communicate to the Farrell that he’s about to shut it all down.

Butch and Hasil train for his fight, and watch videos of his upcoming opponent. Hasil warns Butch to bet on the other guy.

Gordon, the Fosters both, and Phil’up approach the workyard. They throw dosed meat to the guard dogs and awesomely take out the CCTV with hand slingshots. Big and Lil Foster appear on great terms as they mutually take out the cameras.

Big is grinning, entirely in his element. The guards come out to check the cameras, and Big and Phil’up lead them on a chase through the woods. Lil and Gordon race for the dynamite storage shed and break inside, taking the dynamite and the other equipment they’d need to make it into bombs.

But, there’s an unknown third guard at the yard, and he corners the men inside the shed. Lil Foster prepares to shoot his way out, but Gordon edges outside, hands raised, acting innocent. He claims he was abducted by Farrell while camping and forced to come here. He sends the guard into the shed after Lil, and once his back is turned, clubs the dude unconscious and takes his rifle, saving the day.

Big and Phil’up return in time for Gordon to score some points with the Farrell, making up for his ‘not knowing’ there was a third guard. This fucking guy.

Oooooh dear.

Hasil and The Crew arrive at the Tennessee fight and meet his opponent, a Ghanaian kid named Francois, who goes by the nickname ‘The Hyena’. He has all of Hasils’s acrobatic athleticism, but he’s taller and bigger. The fight is brutal and at first fairly well matched, with Hasil and Francois exchanging blows, twisting in and out of chokeholds on each other. Then Francois lands a devastating blow to the back of Hasil’s skull that nearly knocks the boys soul out.

Hasil reels and while dazed, he stares into the crowd. He sees silent Farrell watching, staring. Amongst them is the lost Barnabas, who Hasil had to leave behind the last time he left the Mountain.

He blinks and they’re gone. He gets back into the fight, but The Hyena comes out of his corner like a goddamned hurricane, and Hasil is lucky to escape alive after Francois delivers two bone-rattling hits in succession that leave Hasil out for the count.

Except later, back home, Butch hands the kid eleven grand. When asked how, he shrugs that he took Hasil’s advice and bet on the other guy. So, it’s actually all good! He leaves them so Sally-Ann can get giddy over what they can do with the money. Hasil is distracted and talks about seeing his kin in the crowd. Sally-Ann realises he needs to go home and see what’s going on. She sadly tells him to go, but then come back to her. He agrees, though they look at each other like they both know there’s no guarantee he’ll return.

She watches him leave a little while later, dressed in his Farrell clothes, as he walks into the dark mountain forest.

Guys. My heart.

Gordon and the Farrell part ways for him to head back to town, while they go off and do The Terrorism. I mean ‘The Plan’. They’re suspicious of his leaving, but he again assures them he’s on their side.

And then, he at once goes to see Matt to explain that yes in fact, as he said to the Farrell, he deviated from his orders to spy on the clan. Now they have dynamite. Matt isn’t happy, but Gordon explains that now the Farrell will blow a bunch of shit up, and Matt and his cronies can drag them off the mountain and have their way. He doesn’t give a shit about the Farrells or any humans, who he calls poison. He just believes in saving this beautiful Earth.

Oh, this fucking guy.

Matt calmly throws back that when the mountain is a smoking hole in the ground, he’ll remember Gordon’s words.

Okay, Matt, you murderous piece of diseased animal intestinal lining, you get this one; Haaa! Shut up, Gordon.

We finish with Big Foster, who goes to see a distressed Gwen. He admits they stole the dynamite against her wishes, and that he utterly failed any change he had at earning real love or trust from her.

He reminds her he’s always loved her, and I’ll remind you he’s literally 30 years older than her and has known her since her birth, and the Farrell have a relatively communal way of life — which means he’s been a parental figure to her, and none of his obsession with her is okay, at all.

Anyway, Big Foster goes onto say that for all that … she’s not equal to the Oak she holds. She’s not right for these times, and she’s no Bren’in to him.

She fires back he’ll be the death of the mountain; he says he’ll always love her (eeeeeeeeeeeew), but he’ll win this war.

He walks off into the wind, looking like the old Big Foster, and honestl,y kind of badass.

And with that, we head into the season, and quite possibly series finale.

Ged Ged Yah.

Nadine Morgan

Nadine Morgan is really terrible at the ‘About You’ part of life. Nadine developed her reviewer skills writing epic facebook rants about the details script supervisors forget and trying to explain why Carol on The Walking Dead broke Lizzie by accident. Nadine loves TV, film and books but she wishes someone would pay her to be the continuity editor. She can be found on Facebook and in her forest garden and if she’s not yelling at her TV she’s trying to convince a cat to be an Instagram model and refusing to let 90's fashion die.

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