After the breakneck pace of last week, we slow down to Deal With Things in this weeks Outsiders.
We open on Lil Foster coming home, the clan out in droves to greet him. He washes or is baptised in a barrel of water before Emily marks his head with paint, with the double stripe that seems to be his thing. He’s given a gorgeous new coat, hugged and embraced by everyone present. Big Foster, who got no such welcome back, stands in back and looks sad. He rescues his sketch from the prison clothes they’re burning, the one that looks like a reservoir or even an open mine pit, or something.
It’s an amazing parallel to Big Foster’s return. The only ‘washing’ he got was scrubbing the blood of his victims off himself before he came back up the hill.
Wade and a deputy arrest the second guy who escaped during the break out, Wade even tussling with the man before he can take him down. His relief when the man isn’t Lil Foster is palpable, and it’s fun to think what he’d have had to improvise if it had been. Can you imagine? ‘Shit! Quick, hit me hard enough to be convincing but don’t go ham or they’ll never stop chasing you!’
Gwen is weak and tells Big Foster her wound is badly infected, with dark lines spreading from it.
Ooooh girl, you fucked.
She’s their healer and can’t make her own medicines and doesn’t seem to think anything they have would fix it anyway. Farrell wine cleaned up Hasil’s chopped off fingers, just sayin’.
Gwen weakly reminds Big Fos that if she dies, as he’s still her husband he’ll be Bren’in. She believes he’s changed, but worries he still won’t be suitable to take the Oak and lead them. He wholeheartedly agrees, and points out how she should really avoid dying in that instance.
OR, if she does die you immediately pass the Bren’in hood to Right And Proper Bren’in, Lil Foster? No? Guys?
Outside, Emily and others gather, creating an altar out of wood and precious things, praying a chant ‘Obaith wylarn myrr sa’norrwyn’
Despite my calling their language Pidgin Gaelic, turns out its more pidgin Everything than I thought, and ‘Obaith’ is a Welsh word for hope that crosses over into some Gaelic and Celtic dialects, and ‘norrwyn’ means northern friend, so the meaning of their chant is fairly obvious.
Big Fos initially ridicules them, says that praying won’t help Gwen, but they insist they’re giving her their strength, so the mountain can heal her. Penicillin will work faster, but you do you, I guess?
Big Foster gathers his men and decides they’re going down into town for medicine. The cousin I think is Enoch, who was so happy they saved Lil Fos last week, is not Enoch. He’s Phil’up, and he dangerously suggests Gwen is meant to die so Big Fos can be Bren’in. Big Fos slaps the Appalachian out of him, and challenges anyone else to say the same.
Hasil has been ordered to lead them down, and he rightly points out that they just broke a man out of prison. Kind of a huge deal and maybe being seen in town right now is not the smartest thing of all time?
Big Fos wont hear it, rages some more and off they go.
…. Okay, but, big man, Hasil has a really good point.
Wade returns to his station to a heroes welcome, which he shrugs off. Matt pops up like an unwanted verruca to talk up all the astonishing coincidences; Wade wanting Lil Foster to go free, Lil Fos being rescued at the exact right time, by Farrells who apparently learned the prison transport schedules.
Then it turns out Matt knows about the fight club Wade was called to, and that a Farrell fights there. Wade and I are like ‘whaaaaaaaaaaa?’ and Wade asks if he’s being spied on. Matt handwaves off, so Wade leans forward, lets that drawl really stretch and says it’s all Matt’s fault anyway, locking up an innocent man, putting up that stupid fence and provoking an otherwise peaceful people. What did Matt think would happen?
Matt leaves on the vague warning the coincidences are just … they exist. And, he’ll be handling things differently going forwards. Wade knows he’s in trouble.
Ledda is bringing more food and sundries to another Mountain Witness meeting, and is greeted by a crowded room of supportive new members. They cheer and applaud for her. Guess Gordon wasn’t wrong about the attention and support. She’s so happy! Look! Remember it; it’s the last time we’ll ever see it, I’m pretty sure.
She arrives home later to find a worrying Wade. He asks her to say he was at home all night before Coal Day and she will, but asks him to leave the group alone to do their protests, especially now they have momentum.
He tries to point out if he’s called to them, he has to do his job. He reminds her that she has no pets left and the kids could be hurt next, but she steels herself, that if he wants a favour from her, she wants one from him.
Gordon turns up in Haylie’s office and in a brief but hilarious scene, is utterly rebuffed when he tries to turn on the charm with her like he did Ledda. He says at all his protests there’s always a Haylie who is just as used by the company as the mountain will be. He invites her to join him in a hike to see what she’s killing.She asks how often his protests work and he says not often, but sometimes. It’s the war that matters, not the battles. Not to you, you narcissistic asshole. You can afford to bounce from protest to protest and feel good about yourself. For the Leddas in these things, all she has is the fucking battle.
Asa wouldn’t have been like this. Asa would have been genuine. Psychopathic and terrifying, but genuine.
Haylie says that whereever she does her job, she meets Gordons, who always think they can bully or harass or manipulate her into not doing her job — one she’s great at and paid fantastically for. He leaves to regroup.
Guys, I bash Haylie for being a terrifying corporate ghoul, but she is so great. She doesn’t give a shit. It’s amazing.
To my great shock, praying isn’t clearing up Gwen’s septicemia. Well, I never!
Lil Foster goes to see her, and wishes he’d been here to protect her. He understands that she only married Big Fos to survive. It’s a heartbreaking scene. The marriage was already so brutal on Lil Foster, and with what we learn later, it’s just crushing what he’s had to watch happen around him.
Outside, he joins the praying clan, cutting off one of his long braids to leave on the altar.
Hasil leads Big Fos and the crew through his secret route up and down the mountain, and is shocked to find it guarded. This is the ‘around’ way so if they can’t get down here, they’re not getting down at all. Big Foster reacts to this as well as you’d expect, and immediately reveals himself to the guards who give chase, firing guns at the fleeing Farrell.
Enoch is wounded and in the flurry, Hasil manages to break away and get down the hill, while the others drag Enoch back up the hill.
On the Farrell side of the secret route, Phil’up dies of his wounds.
Asa would have handled it better, just saying.
Butch is making a drug delivery to a ‘Steve’ but it’s Wade and the way he delivers ‘Hi, I’m Steeeeve’ is so marvelous, and I love him so much. Butch tells Wade where to find Hasil, is the point of the scene.
Speaking of … Hasil is home and Sally Anne is afraid and angry. He’s afraid to even tell her the nature of the problem, so she declares she’ll stay with Butch and Frida (finally!) for a night, and if Hasil is gone when she comes back, she’ll stay with a cousin in Cleveland. If he’s there, he’s there to stay.
Big Foster is washing himself of Phil’up’s blood, the horrified clan calling him out for his stupidity and general crappiness. UGH, he literally stares at his bloody hands, then his reflection in the bloody waters. We get iiiitttttt, shooowwww.
Sally Anne is with Frida, best-friending it up. She talks about leaving and Frida is fully supportive, but does point out true love is rare and special, and that even she wants to murder Butch sometimes. But, he sees her, he loves her, he accepts her so … that’s something. She’s saying, basically … you do you, but be certain, and know what you are doing — what it could mean.
How and when can I be Frida’s best friend, and why isn’t it right now??
If anything happens to Frida, I will rain down hell.
Big Foster is (creepily) laid on the bed with Gwen, worrying about what a fuck up of a Bren’in he will absolutely definitely be. He goes outside and very politely asks to speak with Lil Foster privately.
Alone, he explains how his father, Foster the 5th (reminder we still don’t know who the 7th was, to make Lil the 8th) was a kind and warm and loving man. He’s the one died the last time the coal folk came. To Big Foster, his dad was the sun, stars and moon. Then he died, and Lady Ray took the Oak. She was mean, and she shamed and Big Foster every day. She made him what he is.
It made him crazy for the Oak, so he’d have the power but he knows now … he’s the demon of the prophecy. Well duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh. He says he tainted the mountain and Lil Foster should kill him, sacrifice him to the mountain to save Gwen.
Lil Foster is literally like ‘Okay, but not here’.
Haylie is in her hotel bar when Gordon arrives to flirt, again, some more. He offers her a CD of local music he’s gathered (from …here? From who??), and she asks how they’re meant to listen to it. He suggests her room and she says ‘That’s gotta be the worst pickup line I’ve ever heard in my life. You want to go back to my room so we can listen to your CD of Appalachian hill people music?’
Gordon wants her to know what she’s killing, but she shoots him down. Until she doesn’t, and suggests he ask again. We cut to her room where they’re falling into bed while his CD plays on her laptop.
Ooooh is he hacking her computer? Oooh.
Wade arrives at Hasil’s house and checks everyone was okay during the breakout before he reveals the hard truth; Hasil has to get out of town. It’s getting too crazy, and Wade can’t protect him. Hasil’s too obvious, walking around town like he is.
Hasil says if he goes he won’t come back, and the unspoken is it means they’ll have no way to get things up and down the hill, or work together. Wade accepts this, compliments the home and then leaves.
Hasil has apparently decided to stay, because he does not ask Wade to get him some meds for Gwen.
Lil Foster leads Big Foster through the woods and talks about Big Foster’s story of how great his dad was. He says he felt that way once, for Big Foster. Until Big Foster revealed his awful abusive side, which included once tying a ten year old Lil Foster to a tree for ten days because the child spoiled a hunt. Lil Fos still has scars from where the ropes cut into his arms.
Big Foster, go down the mountain and like … I don’t know, die by cop. Or in a fire. You despicable shit.
Lil Foster has brought them to the same tree, though he wont kill Big Foster. Big Foster is the demon, but to spill his blood would only taint them more. Big Foster attacks, trying to provoke his son, but Lil Foster doesn’t fight back until Big mentions Gwen. Lil Foster easily takes his dad to the ground, and empties and dismantles his gun in front of him, refusing to shed more blood.
He leaves Big Fos with the weapon and bullets which Big Fos puts back together and is about to use to shoot himself. But, then he sees Elon. The ghost of his dead son watches as Big Foster weeps and apologises for letting him be shot to fucking death because Big Foster wanted to steal somebody’s guns. Elon whispers something in his fathers ear; we don’t hear.
Big Fos thanks him, emotionally, and Elon leaves. Big Foster sees flowers at his feet.
The next morning, the clan continues to pray and not administer any legitimate medical aid of any kind to Gwen. Big Foster joins them, laying his flowers on their altar and kneeling to pray. And they let him.
Haylie wakes up to a post-it note from Gordon, ‘Thanks’ and his number.
In his RV, Gordon has indeed hacked her computer with his CD, and he has access to all her emails from within One World.
Aand I still miss Asa. I miss him more, knowing he’s Big Foster’s kid. I want to know why that wasn’t widely known. Does Lil Foster know Asa was his brother? I need those scenes, guys. I need them.
Sally Anne comes home and finds Hasil. He emotionally explains he’s pretty sure his cousin got killed when he was coming back here. She assumes he wants to go to him, but he shrugs that off. He tells her he has to do something, for his family.
Which means: wear Butch’s clothes, and basically hide until the heat is off. He shows his new look to Frida and Sally Anne who only laugh for a second. To be fair, he looks … well, he looks like 99% of Kyle Gallner’s previous roles, which could almost all be described as ‘Emo skater type’ and it’s hilarious, but Nooooo! He hates it, though the girls reassure him he looks fine, and it’s only until they can get him some of his own things that he likes. Sally Anne promises him she still sees the real him and they start making out, and fall onto the couch. Frida has to hilariously roll out of their way, and just dips out like, ‘I’ll go then? Bye!’.
Oh my god, the love I have.
Ledda has been called to the kids’ school because her one daughter, Hilda got in a fight. Turns out some bratty girl talked smack about Ledda’s group, so Hilda whooped her ass. HELL YEAH, HILDA!
She’s facing suspension and Ledda demands to know what the other girl will face, or is the school okay with her acting like she did? She’s interrupted by a violent coughing fit.
It’s so bad that she’s in the hospital later with Wade. She still doesn’t want treatment, but has realised she has to use her time the right way as it’s very, very short.
My heart. My actual heart. Wade finally accepts this, and promises firmly to take care of the girls, of everything. She cries and he holds her hand, and you guys … My heart.
He tells her gently she must tell her daughters and she begs him to be there, so he brings them into the room. We’re spared the awfulness of watching these tiny, baby girls have their world destroyed all over again, mere weeks after their father’s murder.
The Farrell continue to pray and to their joy, Gwen emerges pale but alive from the house. She is okay and she will live.
So … they prayed her septicemia away?
Fuck it, I’m calling it; Asa’s alive. These people are walking off poisoning, bullets to the heart and fatal blood infections — that last one without even herbal medical intervention, mind.
Having an arm off doesn’t mean shit to them. Asa will return.