Movie Reviews

Outer Ranges Time Travel Rules Just Got Way More Confusing After Season 2

Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Outer Range season 2.


Summary

  • Time travel in Outer Range season 2 is now more mysterious than ever between paradoxes and changes to the timeline.
  • The finale indicates the possibility of a rewritten timeline or branching into alternate realities.
  • Perry preventing himself from killing Trevor could change everything in Outer Range.


Outer Range season 2 makes the show’s time travel rules way more confusing but also sets up some interesting possibilities for season 3. After introducing a lot of mystery boxes in season 1, Outer Range dove into the show’s sci-fi elements and visited at least five different periods in season 2. Between changes made to the past and Amy becoming Autumn in the future, Josh Brolin’s new Western proves how tricky time travel stories can be to follow.

During most of season 1, Royal was the only confirmed Outer Rage character to have used the Hole to travel through time, excluding Trevor’s body. By the end of Outer Range season 2’s finale, however, several characters had traveled through time with the help of the Hole. This includes Perry, Joy, and Amy, the last of whom was kidnapped by Autumn and pushed into the future.



Outer Range Season 2 Makes The Show’s Time Travel More Confusing

Joy’s trip to 1882 and Perry saving Trevor change everything

Outer Range season 2 included multiple instances of time travel, all of which made the show’s rules even trickier to follow. Firstly, as soon as Perry revealed the truth about his origins to young Royal, Outer Range created a paradox in which Royal Abbott already knew the name of his children with Cecile before they were even a couple. This would indicate that time is a closed loop, and the inception of the Abbott family as viewers have known it is a paradox. Royal would only have considered naming his children Perry and Rhett because he encountered a time-traveling Perry.


To make things even more complicated, Perry drastically changes the past in the finale.

However, Outer Range season 2 has also teased the existence of alternate universes, or that at the very least the timeline can be changed. In season 1, Royal revealed that he accidentally shot his father while they were hunting, which led him to run away from his family and fall down the Hole. However, in Outer Range season 2, episode 4, a young Royal in 1886 shot his father to stop him from killing Joy, who was only there because she traveled to the past. To make things even more complicated, Perry drastically changes the past in the finale.


Outer Range Season 2’s Ending Means Its Timeline Can Be Rewritten

Either that or Outer Range will follow different universes

Either Perry rewrote the timeline at the end of Outer Range season 2, or the Prime Video time travel show will now follow more than just one reality. Either way, Perry drastically changed the past by preventing his younger self from killing Trevor during the bar fight. Instead, “season 1 Perry” died in the fight, and Trevor ran away. “Season 2 Perry” had to throw his younger self’s body down the Hole and take his place, which should completely change the events of the show. With Trevor alive, Outer Range’s seasons 1 and 2 don’t happen.

Related

Outer Range Season 2 Reveals What Happened To Rebecca (& It’s Not What I Was Expecting)

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If what Perry did in the past has a butterfly effect in the show’s only timeline, this means Outer Range’s characters could now have memories of a past that viewers never watched on the show. This would explain why Josh Brolin’s character passed out in the Outer Range season 2 finale – Royal’s mind could be trying to make sense of the changes made to the timeline. This would also explain why Joy’s daughter found a black-and-white picture of her mother taken in 1886, although it’s unclear whether Joy was always in the picture or not.

How Does Time Travel Actually Work In The Outer Range Universe?

Can the Hole be explained by science?

Perry and Royal in Outer Range season 2
Custom image by Yailin Chacon


The rules of Outer Range’s time travel have not been fully revealed yet, let alone how or why the Hole does what it does. Dr. Nia Bintu referred to the Hole as time itself, as if the actual flow of time could be accessed through Royal’s property. It’s also unclear what the black mineral, which presumably comes from the Hole, does in Outer Range. Another important question is whether the Hole’s properties and powers can be explained by science, or if it is all part of a supernatural storyline.

Royal’s backstory changing suggests everything could be different in
Outer Range
season 3 after what Perry did.


Even if Outer Range’s time travel has supernatural origins, it is important that the show properly establishes the rules of how it works. Naturally, there has to be a level of mystery, meaning not everything should be revealed all at once. If Outer Range season 3 happens, it will likely at least settle whether changes made to the past create a new universe, or if they rewrite the same timeline. In both cases, Outer Range is shaping up to be a very different show now that time has been messed with so much.

Stream on Prime Video

outer range poster

Outer Range

Created for Amazon Prime Video, Outer Range is a Sci-Fi and Western television series that began in 2022. The series was created by Brian Watkins and stars both Imogen Poots and Josh Brolin. The premise sees a Wyoming rancher trying to care for his farm and keep his land safe when a strange void shows up in one of his pastures.

Cast
Shaun Sipos , Lewis Pullman , Isabel Arraiza , Imogen Poots , Tom Pelphrey , Noah Reid , Lili Taylor , Tamara Podemski , Olive Abercrombie , Josh Brolin

Release Date
April 15, 2022

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