“One is the Loneliest Number” (Episode 101)
July 10, 2018
The Outpost is a new Summer drama on The CW. Interestingly, it will air on Syfy outside of the United States.
From the official press release, “The Outpost follows Talon (Jessica Green), the lone survivor of a race called “Blackbloods.” Years after her entire village is destroyed by a gang of brutal mercenaries, Talon travels to a lawless fortress on the edge of the civilized world, as she tracks the killers of her family. On her journey to this outpost, Talon discovers she possesses a mysterious supernatural power that she must learn to control in order to save herself, and defend the world against a fanatical religious dictator. Jake Stormoen, Anand Desai Barochia, Imogen Waterhouse, Michael Flynn, Robyn Malcolm, Andrew Howard and Philip Brodie also star.”
The Outpost airs on Tuesday nights at 9p (ET) and was created by Jason Faller (Mythica: The Godslayer) and Kynan Griffin (Mythica: The Godslayer). It includes Dean Devlin (The Librarians) and Jonathan Glassner (Stargate SG-1) among its executive producers.
Now, on to our recap and review of the pilot episode, “One Is the Loneliest Number” … after the jump (spoilers)!
The episode starts off at a pub where it appears that Talon works. A rowdy guest is looking for his drink and Talon goes to bring it to him. She is stopped by her friend who asks her if she really wants to go down that road.
“I’ve waited a long time to find the men that killed my family.”
Talon approaches the man with a drawing of a tattoo and asks if he’s the artist that did it. He says yes, but won’t give her the name of the man that has it. Covenant soldiers raid the pub because gambling is prohibited by “The Prime Order.” Fighting ensues.
The tattoo artist can’t run very fast because of a bum leg and tells Talon he will give her a name, if she gets him out of there. -Here we learn that our heroine is quite skilled at fighting and with a blade. – Talon keeps her end of the bargain and asks for a name.
The tattoo artist tells her that there were seven mercenaries that had the tattoo and gives her the name of Toru Magmoor who is headed for Gallwood Outpost. The mercenaries’ leader was Tiberion Shek. The tattoo artist is then shot by an arrow from the soldiers and Talon and her friend run across the border into “Greyskin territory.” The guards let them go suggesting that they won’t get very far. Talon and her friend immediately meet a Greyskin and Talon’s friend dies protecting her. She kills the monster and continues on her journey alone.
Flashback to 13 years earlier. A young Talon (Bella Padden) is with her family when mercenaries attack and kill the entire village. Their leader tells them not to leave any of the “Blackbloods” alive. Talon is with her mother (Claire Loy) when another villager asks the mother to “Call them.” Her mother begins a spell when she is shot with an arrow. She passes along some sort of power to Talon before she dies. Talon runs and hides in a well. One of the soldiers finds her and shoots an arrow, aiming to kill her. However, a monster appears out of a portal opening and blocks the arrow. The soldier shoots another arrow, but intentionally misses. He tells his leader that the girl is dead.
After the soldiers depart, Talon leave the well and takes her mother’s blade. Talon runs away and leaves the village. A family finds her and suggests that she stay with them. They know she is a Blackblood from the shape of her ears, which have two points at the top. Talon uses the blade she has to cut the tips off.
Return to present day and Talon hides the scars she has on her ears. She continues along her journey to the Outpost and finds a group of “Plaguelings” that attack her. These zombie-like creatures have needles that come from their mouths that pinch and infect their prey. A soldier, Garrett Spears (Jake Stormoen), saves her and takes her to the Outpost. The guards won’t open the gates if the Plaguelings are too close or when someone comes with a traveler — a soldier asks her what her business is at the Outpost.
Plaguelings follow them to the gate and they fight off most of them, not before one of the soldiers is bitten. Talon learns that Garrett is the captain. He takes responsibility for Talon and the gates open. He asks her what she is doing there and when she tells him that she is looking for work, he doesn’t believe her.
“Nobody comes to the Outpost simply to find work…people come here because they are running from something.”
Garrett takes Talon to Marshal Withers (Andrew Howard), the gate marshal. The Marshal doesn’t believe her story either, but lets her stay under Garrett’s custody.
As Garrett and Talon are going to the Nightshade Inn, the only place that Talon could work as a barmaid, Garrett tells her that Marshal Withers is his father. He changed his name when he enlisted. He also revealed that there are mines below them, rich with ore that they forge into weapons and armaments. They deliver these to the Prime Order.
Talon notices fires outside the walls which are Greyskin camps. There hasn’t been attack on the wall in 11 seasons so the eighth army left to strengthen the southern front. Garrett was stationed there and lost men protecting the realm from the “monsters.” Talon takes offense to him killing “monsters” and Garrett retorts with him killing Plaguelings to save her life. She thanks him and goes off to the Nightshade Inn alone.
She gets to the bar and meets Janzo (Anand Desai-Barochia), the brewer/barkeeper. While having a meal, Magmoor (Richard Ashton) walks in. Talon recognizes him immediately and asks Janzo to keep him drinking. Also at the pub is Gwynn (Imogen Waterhouse) who is playing cards and a man in a black robe who keeps staring at Talon.
Talon leaves the pub to go up to her room and Gwynn follows her, clearly rattled by Magmoor’s presence. Gwynn asks to hide out in Talon’s room, but Talon refuses and leaves to go after Magmoor. Gwynn follows her again and won’t leave Talon alone until she is returned to her father, the commander of the Outpost. Talon returns her to her father, where Garrett happens to be, and he is just as worried about the Covenant agent as Gwynn is.
Magmoor leaves the pub and Talon follows him drawing her sword. He hears the vengeance in her voice and she tells him that he wiped out her whole village except for her. He tells her that Wolf took care of the girl in the tomb, and that he is close by. They fight and stab each other. Both wounds should have killed them, but the mysterious man in black helps Talon. Magmoor dies in the alley, but writes “Tell Dred, one remains” in blood before his last breath.
Thoughts. As with most pilot episodes, this was packed with information to process. It goes through Talon’s backstory well, and sets her along a journey to seek justice and avenge her family’s death. There are still many questions that need to be answered.
For instance, who is the man in the black cloak? Is that Wolf that Magmoor was referring to? Why did Wolf let Talon live? Who or what was the creature that came out of the portal and saved Talon? What sort of powers does Talon have? Hopefully as the season progresses, we will find answers to these questions.
Overall, the show is a perfect fit for The CW. It reflects upon the same tones that Game of Thrones or Xena would have, but geared towards a younger audience. It doesn’t seem as though there is a huge budget and it shows. The set is minimal, and it doesn’t require too many special effects. The show does a great job using music and sound.
Any time the Plaguelings are on the screen, an ear-piercing sound plays as well and the audience can associate the two. For a period/fantasy-style show like this, wardrobe is always important and I think the show covers that pretty well.
I am interested in seeing what path the show will take. Talon has already killed one of the seven mercenaries. Will she continue after the other six? I am also interested in seeing if and when we will get answers to the questions this episode raises.
Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5 “Caseys”