Modern cowboys meet nonlinear time in “Outer Range” season 2 — watch the trailer

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"It's an uncovering of the messy part of our society,” showrunner Charles Murray teases about the portal in Josh Brolin's backyard.

On season 1 of the Amazon Prime Video series Outer Range, Josh Brolin’s Royal Abbott discovered a portal on his ranch capable of transporting people through space and time. In the new season, he and the rest of the cast are going to explore what that really means. It's all teased in the season 2 trailer, which EW can exclusively debut below.

At first glance, American cowboys and science-fiction seem like a strange mix. But as Brolin’s voiceover in the trailer makes clear, they’re actually more amenable than they seem. After all, the Book of Genesis says that God created the Earth in six days. But what is a “day” to God?

“I was raised in a Baptist household, and there was constant conversation about the creation of the world,” Outer Range showrunner Charles Murray, who takes over from season 1 helmer Brian Watkins, tells Entertainment Weekly. “In conversations with my mother, I would be like, ‘wait is that ‘six days’ in the way that we understand six days?’ And she would say, ‘God is bigger than our understanding.’ So that always stuck with me when we talk about creation. And after I watched season 1 of this show, which Brian and Zev [Borrow] did such a great job with, I was like, ‘okay, so this whole thing is about time.’ In what ways can we show how differently time can be conceived from one person to another?”

<p>Prime Studios</p> Lili Taylor as Cecilia Abbott, Josh Brolin as Royal Abbott

Prime Studios

Lili Taylor as Cecilia Abbott, Josh Brolin as Royal Abbott

Outer Range is very much a show about family, and not just Royal’s. Season 1 situated him in opposition to rival rancher Wayne Tillerson (Will Patton) and his own offspring. As the trailer makes clear, that rivalry will continue to simmer in the new season — but there are also internal divides that need to be handled.

“Coming into season 2, the main thing that stood out for me is, this man is at odds with the one person he trusts with everything, and that's his wife,” Murray says of Royal. “What happens when the rest of the family has been discombobulated to a place where he has to try to pull them back together? On the other side, with the Tillersons, what happens when everything that they thought was firm foundation has been pulled apart? Those were my driving narratives as I was putting together season 2 with the room.”

Although Autumn (Imogen Poots) presented herself as a drifter who needed to crash on the Abbott land, the final episodes of season 1 revealed that she may actually have a deeper connection. In the new trailer, she can be seen ingesting material from the portal like a drug.

“That's another conversation that people in my family have had, about medicines,” Murray says. “The once-evil weed has now become medicinal. And more generally, if you take a medicine one way, say orally versus rubbing it on your body, it does the same thing but differently. So we just followed that theory. When you look at season 1 and the mineral gets on Royal, he has a flashback. So if that’s what it does when you touch it, then somebody's going to be bold enough to go, ‘well, what if I just take it?’ And so, it does the same thing, but differently.”

<p>Prime Studios</p> Imogen Poots as Autumn

Prime Studios

Imogen Poots as Autumn

The ability to travel through time and space — either physically or mentally — is a complicated concept in and of itself. But applying that concept to the American West makes it even more powerful. We understand the settlement of the West as a settled, linear narrative: Once these lands were inhabited by Native Americans and buffalo, who were then massacred en masse by white Anglo settlers to create the country we now know. So what might happen when bison (or angry Natives, for that matter) emerge from the portal into the modern day?

“It's an uncovering of the messy part of our society,” Murray teases. “If you look at going through the portal as a thing that can harm or heal, that’s the same way we deal with memories. Some memories you have to reckon with so you can move past that point. And if the things that are part of your memory become real when you go through the portal, it's either going to do psychological harm or you are going to have to find strength that you didn't know you had.”

<p>Prime Studios</p> 'Outer Range' season 2 key art

Prime Studios

'Outer Range' season 2 key art

Outer Range season 2 premieres May 16 on Prime Video.

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Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.