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The Outpost - The Book of Names - Review: Secrets Revealed

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Following a powerhouse start to the season, The Outpost is now in its final push to the end of the season. This episode marked the first of the back half of the season and a lot happened in a fast-paced action-packed hour. And after half a season of secrets being kept, Talon and Gwynn, or more accurately, Queen Rosalind, were finally put on the same page. The episode delved into the tension within the group as well as divided them out into their own separate adventures. It also gave the audience a whole new appreciation for the evil Prime Order. Everything is coming together for an epic showdown in the not so distant future.

Dred started off the hour proving just how diabolical and truly awful he is. He held a man and his family hostage over the whereabouts of a book, specifically the famed Book of Names that would seem to potentially hold the names of all the demons. With the aid of a creepy young girl, Dred knew exactly when this man was lying. Under duress, the man revealed the whereabouts of the book. However, Dred is about as horrible as they come, and honesty didn't lead to the man or his family being spared as he had them all killed. So, the question is, who is the girl now traveling with Dred and how does she know all that she knows? She seems like she could come into play big time later on.

Someone else about to come into play is Essa (Sonalii Castillo) who was introduced in the closing moments of the hour. Just in that brief moment, she was on screen, Castillo was able to convey just how fierce and unforgiving Essa is. She is tasked by Dred to get the Book of Names and she does not look like someone that anyone wants to mess with. It is almost a guarantee that Essa and Talon will meet in battle over the book at some point. It promises to be an epic battle. Talon needs a fierce opponent and Essa might just fit the bill to give Talon a worthy challenge. Castillo and Jessica Green will almost certainly be forces to be reckoned with when they finally share the screen.

Until then, Talon is being challenged in other ways. She finally faced down the demon only to realize that all this time this demon was the one that had saved her as a child. These two have a very contentious bond. The demon needs her but wants to kill her, and Talon wants to kill the demon but might also need it at some point. They despise each other but need one another. It is a complicated dynamic that may still come into play in a later episode. For now, Talon was able to banish the demon, but there is a strong likelihood that is not the last we've seen of it.

After accomplishing that, Talon ran off to get her revenge on the Wolf, aka her friendly mentor the Smith. She charged in ready to slay him, but the moment she saw the old man bleeding out, the softer big-hearted Talon came to the surface. She tries so very hard to not care about people or get attached yet that is exactly what has happened with this man since she arrived. She came to truly care about the Smith and even in the end, despite what he did to her people, she still couldn't bring herself to enact revenge on him. Jessica Green delivered a beautiful performance in this scene as she showed Talon’s many conflicting emotions. Throughout the scene, the boiling emotion within Talon was on display in Green's tear-filled eyes. It was clear the impact of losing this man was going to have on her. She wanted answers. There were tinges of anger in her voice at first, but ultimately, by the time he slipped away all the anger was gone. She shed tears at his loss and reluctantly promised to fulfill his final wish, she must find the Book of Names. That is a task that will put her on a collision course with Essa. Big things are coming in that regard.

First, Talon needs to figure out where to even begin looking for the Book of Names. The Smith told her a lot at the end, but there was still a lot that he wasn't able to tell her. She must now fill in the missing pieces on her own. Thankfully, she has Janzo on her side and he offered to read the Smith's books to find the answers she seeks. He is the son of the Mistress, so of course, his offer came with a tiny fee. Janzo offered to help Talon if she would accompany him to meet the colipsum dealer. Given how hard Janzo fought against running this errand for his mom, it's clear that where they have to go is not the safest place. Talon reluctantly agreed. Janzo and his sweet charming ways have this almost hypnotic ability to charm Talon, he can get things out of her that almost no one else would be able to. It is so lovely to watch Jessica Green and Anand Desai-Barochia share the screen. They have this pure honest chemistry. Janzo is one of the few characters with whom Talon can be herself and that means a lot of her protective defenses are down with him. He can actually make her smile and laugh and that is beautiful for a character who has been through so much. In him, Talon has someone who brings her peace. It is so easy to see why the fierce Talon is so vulnerable to his charms. Janzo means more to Talon than she'd like to admit, so she was always doomed to have to go with him on this dangerous adventure. It will be interesting to see if their time away together will draw them closer to becoming something more than friends, or if it will just simply solidify their friendship.

Before they could leave Talon slipped away to respectfully bury the Smith and pay her final respects. It was a lovely scene to see Talon put such care into making sure that he was properly cared for in the end. One of her first peaceful moments since arriving at the outpost is interrupted by Wythers. Gwynn has requested an audience with her. Given what happened in the prior episode, Talon was understandably hesitant but went anyway.

What Talon didn't know was that Gwynn and Garret had spoken about her earlier in the day. Gwynn was relieved that Talon had managed to survive Wythers and Garret struggled with the secret that Talon had trusted him with. Gwynn is his one weakness and it certainly showed in this episode. As the two of them stood not looking at one another they spoke over each other revealing what was on their minds, much to the surprise of everyone. They were definitely not on the same page. Gwynn believed Garret was about to tell her that he was in love with Talon. While she may not be entirely wrong, that wasn’t the secret he shared. For whatever reason, Garret felt it was his place to share some of Talon's secret with Gwynn. After putting so much effort into completely protecting Gwynn's secret from Talon he was open with Gwynn about Talon's. It wasn't really his place to do that, but it did set up an interesting situation between the two women that forced Gwynn to finally come clean with Talon.

After everything, Talon was understandably not the least bit interested in being in Gwynn's company any longer than necessary. She went because she was asked to, and probably only because Wythers escorted her. Gwynn revealed that Garret told her about Talon's ability to call upon demons. It's clear why Gwynn is so interested in that ability. She is already contemplating the implications they could have in a war against the Prime Order. Talon could care less and is about to walk out forcing Gwynn to reveal the truth about herself, that she is Rosalind, the last of the royal bloodline, and is prepared to retake her throne. To do that she needs help and Talon's ability could prove useful. As expected, Talon reluctantly agrees, after all destroying the Prime Order is her ultimate goal as well. That was a theme of this episode, Talon kept getting talked into these crazy plans of which she wanted no part. Like it or not, these people have gotten to Talon and she cares about them even while she's angry at them. At least the agreement to help Gwynn did come with the promise of her remaining at the outpost. This means that Wythers once again missed an opportunity to get rid of Talon because of Gwynn. The future Queen certainly has a soft spot for the Blackblood warrior.

Now that the secret is out these two women are finally on more level ground. But, they are far from being back to the friends that they were becoming. Something big is going to have to happen to force them back onto friendly terms. Hopefully, that'll happen soon because Jessica Green and Imogen Waterhouse are phenomenal scene partners and it would be a shame to not see them in more scenes together. They handled this tricky scene with expert precision hitting all the right tones and emotional notes it required. Waterhouse showed how heavily everything is weighing on Gwynn. While Green showed how frustrated Talon is that she keeps getting pulled into all this chaos. One can't blame Talon for being annoyed about everything. She has no problem finding trouble all on her own, yet here she is having to manage her own issues while keeping everyone else out of trouble.

Once she finished with Gwynn, Talon next had to deal with Janzo and the crazy adventure she had to escort him on. It took him no time at all to find himself in peril. After not listening to Talon, Janzo found himself charmed by Pock (Lindsey Stirling) and her brother. It ultimately led him to almost being robbed. Talon, unimpressed, took the brother to the ground while Pock made her escape. Stirling was brilliant playing Pock. She and Anand Desai-Barochia bring the same quirky energy to their characters, so it was fun to watch them interact even in a hostile situation. Stirling is scheduled for several more episodes, so it'll be interesting to see how Pock is incorporated into the story. Will she prove an ally to Janzo and Talon or will she seek retribution? Traditionally in shows like this, a character like Pock starts of adversarial before befriending the hero. Pock seems like an intriguing character, so hopefully, she'll follow that pattern and end up joining up with Janzo and Talon.

This little side adventure for Talon was something that the show needed. They needed to get Talon outside of the safety of the gates of the outpost. She needs some new challenges besides Wythers constantly being on her case. With Dred on her trail and Essa on the loose, it would seem that those challenges will find their way to Talon sooner than later. Everyone is counting on Talon, so it'll be interesting to see on whom she will be able to count on as danger zeroes in on her. These aren't mediocre foes. These two will not make things easy on Talon and that's such a great thing for the show. If Talon can overcome these foes, and survive the battles ahead, then she will prove to the world she's the hero we already see that she is.

While Janzo and Talon were off on their adventure, Gwynn and Garret embarked on an adventure of their own. It was time to reveal Gwynn’s true identity to Garret's rogue army. First, they had to make it there and that was no easy task. They encountered a unit of Prime Order soldiers. Garret tried to talk their way out of the situation, but it led to an intense fight sequence. Jake Stormoen was phenomenal here, not only did he have to pull off this complex fight choreography in his armor, but he also had to ride a horse as Garret raced to save Gwynn. It was one of the most outstanding fight sequences yet. Garret is a fierce character with a heart of gold that honors his position serving Gwynn and General Calkussar. He is committed to the cause and in every scene, Stormoen finds new ways to express Garret's commitment. In this case, it was by risking it all for the cause. Perhaps even more importantly, he risked everything to save Gwynn, ultimately saving her with the help of the still fierce General Calkussar. After her rescue, he and Gwynn shared a beautiful kiss that clearly declared how much they still love one another. Garret would do anything and go up against anyone to protect her and not just because she is royalty, but because he loves her.

When they finally made it to the encampment the group was met with uncertainty. General Calkussar gave a moving speech, but it wasn't enough. He had to try to answer to his traitorous actions that led to the demise of the royal family. Turns out that he was acting on the orders of the King by whisking the princess away to safety in a desperate final attempt to save the royal bloodline. As expected, people were hesitant to believe him. That's when Gwynn stepped up and revealed her true identity to the gathered army. She had to do some convincing and after taking a big risk, she was finally accepted as the rightful Queen. Imogen Waterhouse dominated this scene. She was powerful in her portrayal of Gwynn in this moment. Her performance was heartfelt and raw which made it clear why the army was so easily convinced of her identity. Waterhouse has been phenomenal all season, but this was her most impactful scene yet. Her words were so moving it was impossible to not feel pride for Gwynn watching her deliver this moving speech. She nailed every single aspect of it. This scene changed everything.

In fact, this entire episode changed everything. With old and new enemies closing in things are getting more intense for our heroes. The story is clearly working towards an epic war between the army loyal to Gwynn and the Prime Order. All they need now is for Talon to find the Book of Names, so she can better control the demons. If she can do that and can master her summoning ability, they may have a fighting chance against the Prime Order and Dred. Things are about to get extremely interesting and these next few episodes have the potential to be some of the best yet.

Don't miss the next episode when it airs Tuesday, August 28th at 9/8c on the CW.

Hit the comments with your thoughts about the episode. Do you like where the story is going? Will Janzo and Talon end up together? Will Garret and Gwynn be able to stay together amongst all the chaos? How will Essa and Talon's first encounter go down? Will the Queen's army be able to defeat the Prime Order?

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