TV Review: Outsiders S1 E04, “Rubberneck”

Published on March 3rd, 2016 in: Current Faves, Reviews, TV, TV Reviews |

By Laury Scarbro

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Where the third episode of Outsiders lagged, the fourth picks up speed, at least a little. There’s a bit of jumping back and forth between scenes this time, so for the sake of sanity, this is going to be condensed instead of sequential.

The coal company has begun using drones to spy on the Farrells. Haylie’s conversation with the sheriff results in forcing Wade to brave the mountain to investigate the theft. The sheriff, Wade, and another officer named Fults end up getting lost somewhere in the woods. Wade is in pretty bad shape, but has the wits about him to try to stop the sheriff from moving when he steps wrong and they hear the tell-tale metallic snap of a trap triggering. The two struggle, and the sheriff falls, causing the bear trap to snap shut. His head goes rolling down the hill in a virtually comical way–it’s almost surreal, I actually felt a little bad for laughing about it.

Lady Rae’s return puts Big Foster on high alert, and he puts off seeing her until he absolutely has to. It appears all is forgiven until she meets with him alone the next day. Whatever medicine Gwin gave her to bring her out of the coma has had some unexpected results, as she no longer needs the wheelchair she’s been stuck in. She reveals that she knows exactly what he did, and the only reason he’s alive is because he’s her son.

Here’s where we really get to see the fire in the old gal’s heart; if Big Foster steps out of line again, she swears she’ll take him out herself. She pretty much puts the nail in Asa’s coffin by telling her son there are others more worthy of being bren’in. This causes him to put the bug in Little Foster’s ear about Asa and Gwin’s carnal adventures, which results in Little Foster starting another fight with Asa. While Lady Rae didn’t say as much to Big Foster, she later meets with Asa and tells him she knows she doesn’t have much time left, and insinuates that he will be the one to take her place.

After Asa’s fight with Little Foster, Gwin goes to visit him, telling him she can’t see him anymore. The Queen of Mixed Signals proceeds to kiss him anyway, then later tells Little Foster that she’ll marry him. I don’t know, I can’t make heads or tails of what this girl’s thinking, assuming she’s thinking at all. With the back and forth, toying with whichever one she feels like toying with at any given time, these two guys are bound to have whiplash.

Breece catches a bit of a break when Haylie gives him a job as Community Liaison Officer. When he tells Ledda, she lobs a dozen questions at him, suspicious of the motives. He just wants her to be happy for him and his buttwarming seats. Can’t really blame the guy, he’s been out of steady work for years, but how stupid do you have to be to just take something like that at face value?

The drone from the beginning of the episode makes a reappearance at the end, on the doorstep of Ned Osborn–one of the coal company executives. He finds it with the words “Watch Me” written on it along with a video of him and his family doing things they probably ought not be doing. The message, though, is clear: If you can spy on us, we can spy on you.

I’m going to call this a fairly good episode. Storylines are progressing, but with the exception of the mention of Gwin and Little Foster losing a child together, and a deeper understanding of how bad Wade’s drug and alcohol dependency really is, I’m still not seeing the kind of character development I expected by now. The supposed villains are, by definition, unlikeable, and the ones you’re suppose to root for have surface personalities and back stories at best. I wonder what a person has to do to drag some character depth out of the writers. Or is it possible that I’m just not seeing it?

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