Stan’s Wolf Creek
Season 2, Episode 2: “Outback”
Directed by Greg McLean
Written by Shanti Gudgeon
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 premiere, “Journey” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Chase” – click here
What’ll become of the tourists now in the grip of supposed tour guide Mick Taylor (John Jarratt)? He’s got the whole group believing Davo (Ben Oxenbould) had a family emergency to tend to, explaining his presence. Nobody’s the wiser. Danny (Charlie Clausen) and Becca (Tess Haubrich) go for a walk. Wade (Elijah Williams), Kelly (Laura Wheelwright), Michelle (Elsa Cocquerel) they pass the whole situation off as no big thing, laughing at his “cool sideburns.”
Ole Mick is dropping something in the group’s water, setting up outside the bus. That’s when a woman from the National Park Ranger shows up. Davo called her the night before to meet up. Uh oh. You know Mick, though. He reels a good yarn. Claims Davo’s just up hiking on the hill with the tourists, so on they go together to find him.
Up on the hill a ways, he overpowers the Ranger, killing her and tossing her body from the cliffs to the rocks below. Nasty piece of work. Gets back just in time for Richie (Stephen Hunter) to wake up and chat about mechanic shit. Talks quite a bit, even more than Mick himself. They have a laugh together as the group gets back, too. To drink the tainted water. Brian (Matt Day) takes a bit of convincing, some of Mick’s Outback… charm.
We see a glimpse of the serial killer’s conflict from Season 1 with Eve Thorogood (Lucy Fry), the scar at his chest he blames on a “dirty big pig.” He likens the sows to most women, calling them dangerous. Some of Mick and his typical misogyny; at the same time, the other men all laugh, not challenging the faux masculinity.
Then as Mick pulls the tour bus out, another good tune playing – “Because I Love You” by The Masters Apprentices – everybody starts feeling the effects of whatever drug he’s used on them. A super eerie sequence.
Everybody wakes up in the middle of nowhere on the bus. So far from civilisation it’s stunning. Power in the trailer is off, so the food could go bad relatively fast out there. Mick’s nowhere to be found. And the battery, the satellite phone from the bus, they’re gone. They’re all getting suspicious now, however, still willing to pass it off with excuses instead of falling into believing something bad is going on.
Some of the tourists wonder if Mick is in trouble in the bush. Johnny (Adam Fiorentino) agrees to go with Danny to look around. Steve (Jason Chong) worries for his man, they’re in love, as does Becca worry for her man. She laments on why Danny always has “to play the hero.”
Guess everyone forgot about sadly forgettable Richie, a “Kiwie” that Mick really can’t stand, not after all that talk. I suppose he annoyed the killer. Richie gets a terribly pitiful death, stripped to his underwear and whacked in the head with a shovel, out in the bush someplace.
Back at the bus, the tourists find they’ve been drugged, it’s not Saturday like they thought, its Sunday, and they’re out in West Australia as opposed to South. A rough mindfuck. They’re coming to terms with the extreme danger they’ve been put in, “a thousand fucking miles away from anything.” First, they assume it’s a robbery. But they soon discover that isn’t right, either. That’s when they realise Richie is gone.
The poor guy has his tongue cut out. He’s buried to his neck in dirt. And Mick’s watching a bunch of nasty termites headed towards Richie’s bleeding head. That is before he plants the rest of the termite mound on top of him. That is a hideous death. Utter cruelty. Not long later, Danny and Johnny come across a few termite mounds. Yeah, the same spot.
“How did people used to get rescued?”
“The original emojis”
Danny and Johnny have to make a fire after it’s getting late. They talk about marital woes, each of them with their own issues. They enjoy the landscape around them, unsure of the terror that’s so near. None of them are fully aware. Night falls, they haven’t seen Mick, the rest at the bus are wishing the other two were back already. The food is going bad and some tensions are getting a little high. Afterwards, Becca winds up finding Davo’s strangled corpse out in the trailer. Everybody argues over what to do next. I’d trust Bruce (Christopher Kirby) and his army experience in Afghanistan. But nevertheless, everyone’s at odds, arguing, incapable of agreeing on one course of action. Meanwhile, in the dark out in the bush, Mick comes across Danny and Johnny. And for now, they’re really glad to see him.
Kelly and Michelle are not happy with one another, the stress of the situation revealing more about them as time wears on. Simultaneously, Becca is slightly traumatised by what she’s seen. We learn more of Bruce, that he’s likely dealt with “survivor‘s guilt” after his time in the war.
Nobody’s too thrilled when they hear noises in the distance. It initially sounds of animals. Then, it sounds more like someone screaming. Becca thinks it’s Danny. Bruce and a couple others decide to go with her out to check. They scan everywhere with their flashlights. The sounds get farther away as they go. Bruce quiets everybody down, they listen trying to determine from where the sound’s coming. They find a dingo, eating scraps of another animal’s carcass. Right as a shot is fired through the darkness at them.
At the bus, another fire is shot. The gas tank begins leaking. Mick lights the whole place up, the bus explodes with Wade and Emma still inside. Bruce is impaled with a flying piece of debris. Chaos, blood, fire everywhere.
This episode truly stepped up the game. Mick is going full force now, using Wolf Creek and the surrounding area of Western Australia, the deep Outback, to play his vicious games. So much more in store.
“Chase” is our next episode, surely full of horror.