That was a ride guys, hoo boy.
We pick up the morning after the night (this matters in a bit) before with Morgan, indeed dead, surrounded by her grieving Kinnah. Enoch reports to Big Fos they’re no trouble at all now the head has been cut off the snake. So much for the much feared Kinnah, I guess? I mean, they bothered me and the intra-clan politics in general is a distraction, but I hope after all the build up they still have some fight left, or what was the point?
We learn that once Gwen wakes, she’ll decide their fate.
And then she wakes! Well timed, Gwen! She’s dazed and weak so Big Fos makes her the poultice she’s too exhausted to craft herself and because he is growing, he easily agrees to her order to let the Kinnah women go, and make sure they don’t double back. He hopes they walk off a cliff, and I high five him through my screen. Gwen is rambling and feverish, and Big Fos is devastated in general by her condition. Though the scene didn’t sell this idea very well, they talk out loud about how she could still die of her injuries, and Fos cries and begs her not to die, so I guess that’s something to be worried about. Wow, that didn’t translate to me at all until they literally said the words.
A week ago, Big Foster Rasputin shrugged off getting poisoned, fighting Asa, being shot in the heart and then … that basement. So no, Gwen’s wound doesn’t seem super fatal by Farrell standards.
Down the mountain Wade and Ledda have a half reconciliation when she asks if he was drunk the previous night, when he said he’d break laws to fix things. He swears no, but admits he may have said more than he meant to. He also says they can all live back in her place, and he’ll post a deputy for a few days to ward off anyone else messing with her.
Finally! Wade heads off to work and calls that deputy who works at the prison now. He learns the Lil Foster situation has gone from bad to shit — Lil Fos is being transferred to the bottomless pit that is the state penitentiary, within a few days. Wade takes off towards the mountain. In a nice touch, the guy he calls thinks it’s effed up too, but rules are rules.
Ledda is picking up a catering order and gets eyeballed by an angry looking man who needs an oxygen tank to breathe. He talks to her, and she braces for abuse as he talks about spending his entire working life in the mines. Juuuust as he seems like he’ll be awful to her, he tells her he’s dying, coal shredding his lungs. He’ll never see his grandkids grow up, and will only know the ones he already has … he begs her and the others to keep fighting the good fight.
Excuse me, my heart has broken. Ledda, who is still dying of cancer, is both elated and crushed. God, that was just such a solid scene.
Wade in his civvie clothes tries to get up the mountain, but he’s stopped by the guards, all townsfolk who have been out of work for so long, they won’t just let him by on goodwill, and risk their role.
Wade can’t find any way up. There’s an argument he could just tell Ledda that, let her spread it around town, and see how people feel about their mountain being made ‘private land’ they can’t even walk on. But … the coal people have their claws in deep.
Later, Gordon shows Ledda and the protestors a video of an violent demonstration at a dam in Seattle, that scored 9 million hits on the intertubes. It didn’t stop the dam being built, but that’s not the point! Gordon is, first of all, preparing them for potential resistance to their action, and also showing them they will be seen, that they are heroes. I want him to be legitimate because he’s actually a nice guy who wants to help. I am convinced he’s either a cop, or he’s a hardcore ecoterrorist who will go Full Asa and beyond, and cause them more harm than good. (And here is your once weekly reminder Asa put acid in a mans water pipes. I miss Asa).
Later, Ledda and Gordon talk about their shower, and she sort of wants to shut it down, but not a lot, so it’s left open if there is something really between them or not.
Hasil comes home with fast food, and Sally Anne seems stressed. He presses her and defends the fighting before she speaks, but she admits … she likes the fighting. The fact he’ll do it for her and the baby means so much, makes him a warrior in her eyes. And, it turns her on. She just worries, naturally.
The thing is, as I said before, two scenes have now made clear this takes place one day after last week, but the way Sally Anne speaks here is like Hasil has been fighting for days, even weeks. It’s just those little things I always catch and cannot ignore. Please, show. Please. My sanity.
Hasil comforts Sally Anne, and drops a foreshadow-heavy warning he’ll always come back for her and the baby. Uuum, people in fictional universes who say that to a loved one … don’t, Hasil. Sorry you have to learn this particular quirk of Lostie life, but…you just doomed yourself.
Wade lets himself into Matt’s office, and because Thomas M Wright just … is, you can see him internally remind himself it’s his station, damn it! He’s peeking at the map of the impossible wall, when Haylie materialises out of the fucking ether to ask what he’s doing.
Then, he externally reminds her it’s his station too, and guys, I laughed so hard. I love Wade, so much. Haylie is there to pester him about Ledda and the festival. He promises her it’s in hand, and then is conveniently called away, to his visible relief.
He’s called to … the fight club. He and the promoter are old friends, and had an arrangement where Wade ignored the club, so long as it didn’t raise attention — which it has. The promoter asks to finish the current fight, and then he’ll close up. Wow, what a nice, civil exchange. But, then he offers Wade a beer and this maybe stings our boy, because he decides he will in fact have a little look around while the fight ends.
And who does he see fighting, but Hasil Farrell. Hasil books at once — I don’t think they know each other, I think Farrells are just hard wired to run from the law — and Wade gives chase. The acrobatic mountain boy is damned near in the wind when Wade calls out Lil Fosters full name, and in a moment I adore, Hasil — who has left the mountain behind — pulls up like he’s on a chain, and demands answers.
Wade shows Hasil Lil Fos’s mug shot on his phone, spills the bad news, and asks to be taken up the mountain. He wants to help and he’s got a plan.
By the next morning they’re close to the camp, and Hasil orders Wade to wait behind while he goes and gets the lay of the land. Wade protests, but Hasil darkly warns that if he’s not back within a certain time, Wade needs to run down off the mountain, fast. Even Hasil thinks he won’t make it back. Daaaamn.
Enoch reports to Gwen and Big Fos, the Kinnah have gone. Then, Hasil arrives to talk about Wade and we see Big Foster has gone, a hopefully temporary regression to his old self. He’s angry and on edge, understandably paranoid, I’ll give him that. It’s unsettling, and gives light to some of Morgan’s claims about Big Fos new and old.
Wade is doodling in the dirt and in a very, very curious moment so brief you could nearly miss it (well played, show) he sees the black wolf from the mysterious pack. It observes him a second, always out of focus at the back of the frame, then slips off.
Wolf stares in total calm, and when the wolf leaves, he just … shrugs it off. He doesn’t notice as a pair of patrolling Farrell sneak up behind him.
Hasil is being grilled over bringing Wade up the mountain, the man they remember leading an army up to get them just a week … or so ago (two weeks?). Hasil doesn’t mention that Wade has a picture of Lil Foster, and I thought maybe it’s because it wouldn’t mean as much to them, as they don’t appear to have pictures of any kind, but later Big Fos is offended that Wade tries to explain what a bus is.
Some vague outline of what the Farrell do and don’t know about or understand would be useful.
Big Fos is going full old school, raging and demanding Hasil be thrown in the box, as the tension escalates. Gwen is weakened in bed, unable to stop it when Hasil is dragged outside. Then we see Wade has been brought up by the others and Big Foster, who he doesn’t know is Big Fos, is ready to kill him right there, holding a gun to his head, but Emily intervenes at the last minute. Big Foster’s fast track regression is terrifying. Another great scene.
Gwen is propped up in a chair, and comes to enough to hear Wade out. None of them give him their names. He explains why Lil Fos is in prison, but how it’s all screwed up and wrong. They can break out Lil Fos if they strike the bus on a specific stretch of road at the right time, but they can’t kill anybody, and Wade can’t help beyond this meeting. They’re obviously suspicious of him and ask why he wants to help, and he explains that he put Lil Foster in contact with people who wanted to destroy him. The way I remember it he held Lil Foster overnight as both a witness, and also to protect him from an angry mob. That split second, throwaway decision wound up being the biggest moment of the show. Nicely done, show. I still hated him being in prison, but I like how that played out.
He hands them a map of the right road, and if his name or writing are not on it, his fingerprints will be, I’m certain of it. Before he goes, he asks for Breece’s real killer and pointedly looks at the big, white haired Big Foster, clarifying the killer is known to be Lil Foster’s dad. Big Foster, knowing what Lil Foster has faced and done because of his crime … lies, saying that man is dead. And Gwen helps.
I know they ‘need’ Big Fos but … daaaamn. Wade accepts this on the surface, though I think it’s safe to say he’s playing it safe, deep in enemy territory as he is.
The next day, Lil Fos is being prepped for transfer, and trying to process the fact he killed a man. Dr. Awesome is seeing to him and is disappointed in him, and it hurts. He tells Lil Fos he has to sedate him, as a ‘violent prisoner’ and Lil Fos is visibly wounded by the description.
He doesn’t want drugs and when Dr. Awesome tries, Lil Foster breaks his bonds fast enough to make me think he’s only ever been letting the guards think they had control of him. He begs Dr. Awesome to let him stay awake on the journey, and see as much of the outside as he can before it’s gone forever. Dr. Awesome, in a profound coincidence, given neither of them know of The Plan, bleeds the dose into a tissue and tells Lil Foster to just act calm. He returns Lil Fosters gifted sketch, darkly warning him ‘you need it more’.
Outside in the fresh air, Big Foster has a Cameron Poe moment, and bathes in the rays of sunlight. We see elsewhere, the Farrells ride out on ATVs, smashing through that stupid fence.
Down in town, Wade oversees the festival, as nearby, Ledda and her protestors secretly prepare for their action.
Left alone, Ledda coughs up blood, but ignores it to launch their protest. She and the other women rush into the middle of the parade, at its height, as Haylie rides with the Coal Queen in an open top car. The women lay down on the ground in skeleton costumes, as Ledda makes a speech about the dangers of the mines. Gordon, pulling on a balaclava, sneaks up to throw what looks like pure coal dust over the coal queen and Haylie.
…. that stuff is carcinogenic as shit, bro. Is your plan to murder them by cancer, and then be like ‘SEE! DANGEROUS!’ Because … awful. Awful plan, Gordo.
In the bus, Lil Fos is pretending to be out, but as they reach the hairpin turn, his eyes snap open. A few seconds later, we hear the first ATV’s as the speeding quads surround the bus.
Lil Foster smiles, and my heart sings.
Hasil is knocked off his quad by the ballsy driver, but he leaps on the back of another and catches up to the bus as the a tire is finally shot out, and the whole thing flips.
HELL YEAH! I mean … no … how wrong and stuff. The family floods the bus and cuts Lil Foster free, the two other prisoners too. Which, I like the spirit of the thinking but they are also, you know, potentially dangerous criminals, guys. Guys?
Hey, also, just throwing this out there; this is Kentucky and Tim Gutterson is mere hours away. Just … just throwing it out there, guys. Anyone?
The crossover is writing itself, but fine.
As the heroic Farrell flee, naturally, of course, obviously … Big Foster drops Wade’s map.
Damn, damn double Damn! Either way, guys, they saved Lil Foster!
Wade, hearing word of the escape by radio, leaves his men at the festival to go and … do nothing, basically, stall for time. He misses Ledda’s display. Later he checks in with the Deputies responding to the crash, and learns one prisoner was caught, but it’s not Lil Foster. He shakes with something between panic and relief.
Up on the mountain, Lil Foster primal screams into the open air and smears his arms with the rich earth.
It’s heartrending. Big Foster takes his son in a bear hug, his relief a physical thing and for longer than I expected, Lil Foster lets him. Then he asks ‘why ain’t you dead like you ‘sposed to be?’ and shoves his devastated father away.
So, a lot to unfold. Gordon is definitely Asa-level dangerous, as that coal stunt had our boy’s name all over it. And, he definitely escalated Ledda’s impactful, but mostly harmless action into something potentially very dangerous. We didn’t see much of her reaction to it, and I would be very surprised if she actually allowed him to do something so extreme. I’ll be curious to see how she feels about it in next week’s episode.
I don’t think Gwen will die, at all. They wouldn’t kill two leads, and I’m pretty sure she’ll just be reduced to using Lady Ray’s old wheelchair for a while. If my timing is right, Gillian Alexy was pregnant during filming, and Gwen is not, so perhaps the show just needs to make her more comfortable ,and hide the tummy. On the other hand, she might. Asa may just have been a precursor. It would be a bold move, I must say. We’ll see.
As for our heroic Sheriff, there’s a lot of speculation about Wade in the Outsider universe; that he, or his wife, are of the mountain, that he or she could be Farrell, or even Kinnah. It’s why Wade and sometimes Caleb seem to have strange dreams or episodes with the mountain. It’s why she left, though the official story is she took her own life. She’s not been mentioned a much this season, and apart from his strange experience and nightmare of the mountain, Wade’s odd connection has mostly gone quiet. His visit from the wolf is Wade’s first real ‘weird’ moment of the season, and what a curious, fascinating one it is. In fact, this moment is the first in a while, and came right after Caleb having a dream the cat was hurt before it got killed. Was it Morgan? Was it Asa? Now that I think, Wade was somewhere between the mountain and town when he saw the wolf … where Asa is buried. Huh.
Curiouser and curiouser.