Warning: This post contains spoilers from the final episode of Season 1 of outer range.
Having a time travel character in a western drama would be shocking enough, but three who are they? We were at a loss.
In the last two episodes of Prime Video outer range (streaming now), Royal reveals to his eldest son Perry that he knows very well what a metaphysical void is on their land. That’s because he actually traveled through it as a kid. In the year 1886! – After his father was accidentally killed in a hunting accident. When he crawled to the other side, it was 1968, and the Abbott family took him in and let him work the land. After revealing this Huoji Family secret, Perry went and did the unthinkable: he jumped inside the hole, as it seemed to be closed around him.
But in the second hit of the Supernatural Western punch, Autumn is revealed to be Royal Emmy’s granddaughter from the future. Trampled by a herd of mysterious buffaloes, Royal proceeded to finish her work, until his eye caught a familiar scar on the forehead—the same scar that Amy got on the night of the Abbott’s big family squabble when smashed glass rained all over their kitchen.
Below, Imogen Potts talks to TVLine about Autumn’s relationship with Royal, her “awful friendship” with Billy Tillerson and the beauty of the show’s baffling symbolism.
TVLINE | The relationship between Billy and Foam in these last two episodes is definitely something special! How would you describe their relationship, and does Autumn really care about him or is she just toying with him?
IMOGEN points | I think what started out in the beginning is kind of pupil gain when it comes to Billy. [But] I feel in my heart that she is beginning to fall in love with him. It’s a game and she respects that. I think she’s probably a very lonely person and would probably have a good time hanging out with him. It’s kind of – and I have to be careful how I say this [Laughs] – But it reminds me of my best friends. We haven’t really gotten into anything they’re up to, but I do enjoy that kind of awful underground friendship where you two are both exploring weird imp caves and getting into weird scenarios, you know? I really love that friendship and that energy, and it was something I knew really well, so I really loved it.
TVLINE | Their kissing scenes are so embarrassing, you and Noah [Reid] Both adhere to 100 percent. How were those scenes written in the scripts?
I think it was like, “A long string of saliva connecting their mouths,” something very funny and extreme. And it was cool because they elevated it during filming. We’ve tried different types of substances and liquids to get that kind of texture, and at one point, we’ve had KY gel on our tongues…in the deep New Mexico heat, noon, in a parking lot trying to stay conscious while your electrolytes are just running out of your bloodstream. Trying to get that right was fun and memorable.
TVLINE | The scene from Episode 7 where Autumn shoved herself in the mirror was a powerful thing. She looks completely disjointed at that moment. What does that say about her, and what did I do to prepare to get into this mindset?
We did it crazy early in the morning. I felt it was really necessary for a character to have something like this. Something deeper inside her doesn’t respond to something outside. I think this reflects a lot of what fall is. It was a blank canvas for other people’s opinions and ideas. I think this is a very dangerous place to work from. So the fact that she chose that as her motto… it felt like it came out of her as if she was skipping over and repeating it over and over again. It’s something she probably says to herself a lot. It felt right to approach the rhythm of poetry of rhythm, that kind of unrelenting dialogue drive, where it just comes from you. It really speeds me up. I felt raw nerves while doing this.
TVLINE | Autumn becomes a fierce opponent of Royal and looks like a puppet master. How do you explain her behavior shift throughout the season?
At first, I think there’s a reason the writers didn’t make the decision to have her say, “It’s good to meet you.” So from that moment on, I enjoyed the fact that it was kind of all about Royal. It was his decision. And I think you see an opportunist, and she’s definitely there for her own reasoning. I don’t think she knows the whole truth, but I do think she has a good sense that this is where she belongs, and that, in a deep psychosis, she believes that there is something she has a right to have or to have access to. I think this transformation can definitely be too extreme for viewers, but I also imagine that once she realizes the power she has over family, it will probably boost her confidence tremendously, which is why she realizes it’s time to act. Once you acquire Bailey as some kind of disciple, they’re off to the races.
TVLINE | In the end, Royal and Autumn find themselves in a true Western showdown. Why do they both feel the need to take each other out?
I think I have a question: can autumn really die? Could you anyone actually die? There is something about penalties that feels like a video game. It’s just for laughs and giggles because what about the future, the past, and all that? That’s why there was a feeling of “woo-hoo!” for everything. Risk felt kind of resilient. You want to take him out because he gets in the way of what you want. Of course, Autumn and Royal compliment each other throughout the series. There are plenty of Royal in Autumn, and Autumn in Royal, untapped. You can get into a deep metaphor about all of that, but she’ll try to remove it, at least for that moment in time.
TVLINE | I would be remiss if I didn’t ask about your experience working with Josh Brolin. You two have some incredibly powerful scenes together at the end and throughout the season.
I love Josh. It was wonderful to work with him. He really wanted everyone on the staff to feel good, and he did their best to do so. I remember early on we were all making costume fittings, Louis [Pullman]Noah [Reid]Isabelle [Arraiza] And I was having lunch in this little room, and Josh came in and sat down. Everyone calmed down because he felt like, “Stop! Josh is here!” But he didn’t want to at all. He wants everyone to have fun and he’s already broken some boundaries there. He’s a great footballer, but he takes it very seriously, and he really believes in this project and this cast. I loved working with him. That’s what makes it so cool and makes the hours worthwhile because you spend time with people who are really happy to be there. He still loves what he does. I’ve worked with actors I know who definitely don’t feel this way. He is very grateful. Yes, I am a big fan of it. He’s strong, but in those scenes, you want him to act. You want that tennis match. It must be severe.
TVLINE | How far in advance did you know the big development – that your character was actually the mature version of the Amy?
I didn’t know when I logged in. I fell for example, in August before we started shooting in January, but then [producer] falsity [Borow] And [creator] Brian [Watkins] He told me a few days before the shooting started. It was kinda weird because I was hanging out with Tom [Pelphrey, who plays Perry Abbott]he’s a little bit older but we’re the same generation or whatever, and then it’s like, “Oh, Tom my dad?” [Laughs] It was funny having that weird sign in the works. But yeah, I didn’t know this little info until before we started shooting.
TVLINE | In terms of the symbolism of the show and the Easter eggs—from the buffalo with arrows at its side, to the bears, the token and the disappearing mountain—did Brian ever teach you any sense of it, or are you as in the dark as we are?
I have some of my own making of what these things are. Especially in terms of animals and similar myths of the American West, and the myth of America in general. But as for Brian’s revelations, no. It is almost disrespectful to ask. I know this sounds stupid. It would almost be a lazy question if you wanted to understand every passing Easter beat, egg, and symbol. I feel too, and that might frustrate people, but when a musician comes out with an album, people say “Oh, is this about this?” The musician has the luxury of being able to say, “I don’t know. What you I think it concerns? So maybe the show does something in that vein as well.
TVLINE | yes! I love that. Now, regarding a possible second season, have there been any talks about what could happen if the story continues?
I know for sure what’s going to happen because it’s clear that things in the first season were set to move forward in the later season. But I guess with a show like this, because it felt so original, you kind of don’t imagine… there’s a world in it outer range It spans five seasons and a world in which it lasts no more than one, because it’s a beast of its own that way. I can see that it works this way, just as kind of done and done. But the impression I have is that people are really hopeful that it will come back again, and there have certainly been some whispers about that, just in terms of its potential and how it seems to have hit and jittered some audiences.