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The Outpost - Strange Bedfellows - Review: Matters Of The Heart

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The Outpost delivered another strong episode that added new layers to the overall mythology of the series. It also served to start getting into the complexities of the various relationships that are forming around these characters. Whether romantic or friendly the relationships forming could either be the saving grace of the outpost or its ultimate destruction. The town was far from peaceful before Talon arrived, but now that she is there things have become even more complicated. She acts as a bit of a magnet attracting not only new companions but also fierce enemies. Where she falls in with the others could play a critical role in the outcome of things to come. Who she falls in love with and who she stands side-by-side with as friends could make all the difference.

For the past three episodes, the writers have been building up these new bonds in Talon’s life. She went from a loner content to be on her own with no responsibility to anyone else to suddenly being connected to a group of people who she could bring harm to if she makes a poor choice. That is a situation Talon found herself in once before when she was a child. Her decision to stop the human boy hunting the peaceful beast seemingly played a part in the massacre of her people. This isn’t likely a position Talon is comfortable finding herself in once again. Yet, that is exactly what has happened. By entering the outpost and forming these new friendships she has once again put herself in a position to be responsible for others. Her every action brings a consequence that could impact the fragile balance of the outpost and all those who inhabit it.

Talon is seemingly becoming well aware of the responsibility now placed on her. Making matters more complicated is the fact that she is becoming attached to some of the citizens of the outpost. The bonds she has made are mostly friendly, but there is some promise of more. Garret and Janzo both clearly have an interest in her. Though for Garret a lot of his interest in her seems to be fueled by curiosity. She is an enigma that he desires to know more about. Romantic feelings could be seeping in, but despite the flirting neither of them is in a place to make more of it.

Garret is busy still trying to protect Gwynn and is tied up with the whole overthrowing the Prime Order plan. Not to mention dealing with putting his friend Kell to rest and stopping the plagueling outbreak. He has his hands full, but perhaps the most interesting thing keeping them apart is the fact that Garret doesn’t seem to be Talon’s type. She is sort of standoffish with Garret, but can easily relax when she is around Janzo. This might be one of those rare instances where the obvious choice in a love triangle isn’t the one who will ultimately prevail. Janzo is definitely on the right track with Talon.

While Janzo is a strong contender for Talon he has to deal with some of his own family issues before he can actively pursue something more with her. He is the adopted son of the Mistress and extremely loyal to her. She may not treat him great, but he wants to please her and make her happy. With any luck, the writers will one day dive into his backstory and why he cares so much, but for now, he’s just a son trying to do right by his family. After the Mistress got her lover, Wythers, to bring in Worm the race was on to determine his colipsum dealer. Unfortunately for Worm, Janzo figured out how to communicate with Worm’s dealer and that was the end of Worm. Sadly, the outcome wasn’t what Janzo was aiming for. He has a tender heart whereas his mom has an often cold heart. She had Wythers execute Worm without a second thought or care. It shattered Janzo to be a part of that. The acting done by Anand Desai-Barochia was brilliant. This was a great episode for Janzo and Desai-Barochia was incredible in taking Janzo through it all. The character can be tough around Garret and vulnerable around his mom and it is that contrast that Desai-Barochia captured so beautifully. So, while Janzo would be a strong fit for Talon, there is a lot of personal emotional baggage of his own he first needs to deal with.

Janzo ending up with Talon might be the best option for several reasons, the primary being that Gwynn and Garret are already in an established relationship. It would feel dishonest to who Talon and Garret both are as people if they betray Gwynn like that. Even though there are things keeping Gwynn and Garret apart their hearts are still drawn to one another. So, while the flirting is fun to watch, it is also nice that for the moment Talon and Garret are on opposite trajectories. That is also good because it is allowing Talon and Gwynn’s friendship to flourish without the added drama of jealousy.

That’s not to say there isn’t a bit of jealousy at play. Gwynn clearly feels protective over Garret and she saw the flirting going on during the sparring match she interrupted. Yet, despite that, Gwynn is still actively pursuing a friendship with Talon. There is an argument to be made that perhaps she is just trying to keep an eye on her perceived competition, but that doesn’t really seem to be the case. Gwynn wants this friendship with Talon. She has seemingly wanted it from the moment she and Talon first met. Perhaps for the first time in her life, there is a person who treats her like any other person. Talon is respectful of Gwynn’s status, but she doesn’t let it dictate how she reacts around Gwynn. It is refreshing to see the writers allowing these two women to form a genuine friendship without the guy between them being the primary objective of their combined storyline. Sure, Garret plays a part, but he isn’t the defining factor and he isn’t the only thing they discuss. In fact, in this episode, they only discussed him for a brief flash of a moment and that was it.

Gwynn is a sheltered woman. There is a big secret surrounding her which has led to her being constantly protected. This week it was revealed that Gwynn’s father was the one who let the Prime Order in to overthrow the royal family. He was supposedly spared and given the lucrative job of outpost commander for his support of the Prime Order. Odds are increasingly looking like Gwynn herself is royal and there is a reasonable argument to be made that her father is not her biological father but instead an appointed guardian. Wythers is on the trail and he’ll surely track down the secret being hidden. As he noted, Gwynn is far more educated and powerful than a normal daughter of a commander should be. Gwynn is special and likely the last hope to overthrow the Prime Order. That then aligns her desires with that of Talon’s. Now, the two women just have to open up to each other so they can realize they are opposing the same enemy. Of course, for now, this is all theory and speculation, but it is increasingly looking like Wythers might be coming to a similar theory of his own. If this is her secret it is certainly one that people will be killed to protect.

For now, all this secrecy means that Gwynn has very few, if any, true friends. She constantly has to be wary of what she says and to whom for fear of her secret being used against her. With Talon she can just be a normal woman out having fun. Talon has her secrets and therefore she doesn’t press Gwynn to reveal hers. However, the time is rapidly approaching where they will have to choose between their friendship or preserving their secrets. Until that time comes, they provide each other with a much-needed respite of normality where they can come together and enjoy a night out. Gwynn wasn’t even in any danger ever because Talon can best just about any soldier at the outpost in a fair fight. Gwynn was likely safer with an inebriated Talon than a fully sober soldier.

This was a really fun scene as well. It let the audience see a less serious side of Talon as she and Gwynn enjoyed just having fun. Jessica Green and Imogen Waterhouse clearly have a great chemistry and it showed in this scene. They made this look like a really fun scene to film and that jovial energy definitely came through in their characters. Green and Waterhouse are terrific scene partners, so it’ll be fun to watch the friendship between Talon and Gwynn further develop so these two can have more fun scenes like this. It is also amusing to note that out of everyone it was Gwynn who was the first to share a bed with Talon. Even though this was a fun scene there were consequences to their actions. By Gwynn dismissing her guards she set everyone on high alert putting Talon once again in Wythers crosshairs.

It also landed Talon facing Garret’s wrath as well. It didn’t help that Gwynn challenged his ability to protect her by her choosing to take on Talon as her guard for the night. Gwynn is a fierce woman yet she reluctantly gave into Garret’s anger and went with him. It was the first time Gwynn has really given in to anyone. That is a clear sign of how much she cares for him, but it also didn’t seem to sit entirely well with her or Talon. In fact, Talon likely would have challenged Garret had Wythers not been standing there as well. Gwynn might have been safe with Talon, but others in the outpost are considerably less safe because of the demon Talon let loose. And while she was out having fun it struck again.

Having the demon loose is clearly weighing on Talon. She’s responsible for each life taken and she doesn’t take that lightly. There was no way Wythers was getting her to leave town until the demon was dealt with. Even then it isn’t going to be that easy for Wythers to get rid of Talon. She is still protected by Gwynn for the moment and the other woman will likely fight to protect her friend as long as she can. Unfortunately, Talon is her own worst enemy. Instead of listening and taking the advice of the Smith she ran off after the demon. Talon was neither mentally nor physically prepared for such an opponent. As Talon revealed early in the hour, she is a self-taught warrior picking up things along her travels. That makes her all the more amazing as a character for people to look up to. What it doesn’t make her is disciplined. She has never had a teacher that could tame her and get her to focus all of her immense potential. Talon is reckless by nature and acts before thinking. That reactive response to a threat led her into a situation where she was never going to prevail.

There is no question that Talon will one day learn how to harness the full potential of her Blackblood heritage, but that day has yet to come. She was not of clear mind meaning she was unable to banish the demon. And, just as the Smith warned, the demon sensed she was not going to aid him in bringing his people back to this realm and he retaliated. The Blackblood people banished the demon race and only a Blackblood can return them. That explains why that one demon shielded her during the massacre. She was the last one left to restore demons back to the world. At the time they needed her, but the moment she stopped being useful she was expendable.

By the end of the hour, Talon was left in a pool of her own black blood after the demon skewered her through the abdomen. The episode cut to black with Talon isolated and gasping for breath. Unlike after the fight with Toru, no one was coming to her rescue. This whole sequence presented Jessica Green with a challenging situation as she had to face off against a void of nothingness and act as if she was being towered over by a demon. There was this glint of fear and respect in her eyes that really translated powerfully into Talon. When Talon went down to her knees and looked up at the demon the look in her eyes conveyed so much. Talon knew she was critically injured, but she also knew that this was not her end. The look in her eyes said “until next time” and even as she fell forward, succumbing to the effects of her injury, that look of defiance remained firmly locked in her eyes. This was a stunning display of acting by Jessica Green.

Talon has definitely gotten herself into a serious predicament. She is the lead character, so she will somehow survive. Maybe one of her friends discreetly followed her or she’ll find the strength to crawl out to a place where she can be found and helped. Talon will survive, but her confidence took a serious blow. As serious as the situation is this was perhaps the wake-up call she needed to accept that she needs training in order to defeat the demon. The Smith is the teacher she needs even though signs are beginning to point towards him as the elusive Wolf she has been seeking. If she can learn to trust him, at least for the moment, then perhaps she will be able to defeat the demon when they next meet.

Before she can learn to defeat the demon, there are other things she must first deal with. First being getting herself much needed medical attention. She is a fast healer and a battle-hardened survivor but even she can only handle so much blood loss. At this point, she has lost enough blood to create a whole other Blackblood. Second, she must deal with Wythers on the war path. If the episode description and promo for the next episode are any indication, Gwynn’s ability to protect her friend may be coming to an end. Talon will have to face down Wythers once again in a weakened state. She prevailed once and surely will again, but it will be fun watching how she overcomes the incredible odds stacked against her. Will she negotiate her way out of the situation on her own this time or will her friends once again come to her aid? Even if Gwynn’s hands end up tied there is still Garret who she may be able to convince to try to help Talon. And there is Janzo whose mom has Wythers wrapped around her little finger. If push comes to shove he might be able to convince her to ask Wythers to spare Talon.

One thing is for sure, with the Prime Order mercenaries set to arrive next week and Talon’s life hanging in the balance, things are about to get wild. What price will Gwynn pay to keep her secret private? Will she allow Talon to pay the price for Wythers silence? Will she find a way to covertly save Talon? Will someone else come to her aid this time? Or will Talon save herself? Honestly, the latter option would be preferable. She is a strong warrior, so it’s about time she save herself instead of having to be saved. This will also, hopefully, prompt Talon and Gwynn to finally share their powerful secrets with each other. They will be a stronger united front if all of them can work together instead of this constant push and pull going on when someone gets too close to the truth. The thing is, despite all their differences, Talon, Gwynn, Garret, and Janzo do all care about each other. Talon brought them together and when chaos breaks loose their ability to put differences aside and work together might be the saving grace for all of them.

Don’t miss the next episode when it airs on Tuesday, August 7th on CW at 9/8c.

Hit the comments with your thoughts. Will Talon save herself or be saved? Will Gwynn find a way to help Talon without her secret being revealed? Will Garret find a way to get his father to back down from Talon?

If you want to know more about what is coming on The Outpost and about the filming of the series check out SpoilerTV's exclusive interview with series-lead Jessica Green.

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