OUTCAST

TV Reviews: OUTCAST, SSN01 -Episode 3: “ALL ALONE NOW” & Episode 4: “A WRATH UNSEEN”

outcast-cover2EPISODE 3: “ALL ALONE NOW

Episode 2 of OUTCAST was full of flashbacks that were difficult to differentiate from each other, causing it to be a bit repetitive. We get it already: Kyle’s mom beat the shit out of him as a kid and it was no surprise revelation that she was possessed. The surprise however was in the fact that Kyle wasn’t able to completely save her and it is unclear if she is still possessed. The episode ended with a man in black (HALLOWEEN 5, anyone?) paying her a visit who clearly has a sinister agenda and might be the root for all the demons that haunt Kyle. Fortunately, episode 3 does away with the flashbacks and aims for that more sinister material the pilot drew audiences in with.

We open a double date gone sour where we introduced to Blake, a cop who isn’t easily flattered when “the fat lonely” girl tries to cheer him up. His friends take him home where he brutally rapes and murders his buddy’s wife. The scene was filmed from an hour where blurred shadows were all we see and allowed viewers’ imaginations fill in the blanks of whatever awful thing he was doing. Here’s the thing: is Blake some psychopath who suddenly snapped or is he a victim of demonic possession?

The question lingers as Kyle and Reverend Anderson are asked to pay Blake a visit to see if they can free him. Anderson has his doubts, stating beautifully “Some souls are capable of creating evil without the devil’s help.” Kyle wants to believe though that this is more a supernatural experience. He yearns to be some kind of Holy superhero, God’s healer that can somehow fix his own family as his whole life has been truly fucked over. His intuition proves to right Kyle lays his hand on Blake causing an extreme reaction and Blake refers to Kyle as Outcast. Yes, in the pronoun sense. Blake apparently might have some answers for Kyle, but this is a TV show so he isn’t going to spill in the third episode of the first season (especially since it already has been renewed for a second).

Meanwhile, Kyle’s sister Megan and her husband, Mark, prove to be quite the investigators in their separate storylines. Mark (remember he’s a cop) is still investigating the slaughtered animals in the woods and the mysterious camper he finds. He discovers jewelry and a rather large removed fingernail (or toenail) and collects evidence. The Chief passively collects the evidence and goes on his way. Possibly a set up for Mark to go beyond his line of duty and check into things further?

Megan is driving to her guidance counselor job when she spots a car and a male she recognizes exiting it at a motel parking lot. This startles her and leaves her with unease for the rest of the day. She manages to find out his room number, sneaks in to find that his most recent web page is her Facebook profile. His name is Donnie Hamill and fans of the show don’t know him yet, but the comic book fans will recognize where this is going even if it’s being told from a different perspective.

The episode ended on a real upsetting tone when Kyle pays a visit to his elderly and sweet neighbor only to find him dead, with evidence pointing to a potential suicide. This hit a nerve as he resembled a bit of a father figure to Kyle, always inviting him over even if Kyle never comes. The ramifications of this will hopefully be explored in the next episode and maybe some answers as well. OUTCAST lives off creating more questions and, while I’m still intrigued, casual viewers might be turned off by the constant vagueness of the show.


EPISODE 4: “A WRATH UNSEEN

I very recently started watching TWIN PEAKS for the first time, using the the complete mystery Bluray release that came out in the last couple of years. I’ve watched the first season so far as I’m trying to pace myself in anticipation of the new season due next year. I bring this up as one of the many unique characters on the show is Sarah Palmer, mother of the murdered Laura who is central to the main mystery of the show. Sarah is played beautifully by Grace Zabriskie as a grieving mother who seems to have some kind of psychic sense in correlation to her daughter’s murder. Thanks to Cinemax, Zabriskie gets to shine again in a dark turn on OUTCAST as Mildred, a seemingly healed woman who Reverend Anderson believes he exorcised successfully in the past.

Kyle assists Reverend Anderson on a visit to Mildred when Mildred begins to ask some seriously uncomfortable questions to Kyle about his past. If her tone wasn’t a clear indicator that she might still be possessed, then her reaction to Kyle’s touch will do the trick. Watching Zabriskie transition from sweet lady in the Reverend’s presence to the smirk that belongs in hell when looking at Kyle makes her the most fascinating character of the episode. There’s brief glimpses to her failed exorcism in the past via a series of some seriously scary jump scares and luckily she isn’t a simple monster of the week storyline. We saw her momentarily in the third episode and her mysterious connection to the Reverend leaves much to explore. This storyline offers a bit of dark humor that helps lighten the tone a bit in an otherwise grim TV show. After they are turned away from a possible second attempt to free her, Kyle realizes his wife might have never been freed herself. Initially, Reverend Anderson is hesitant to help due to the order of protection against Kyle, but, in an overly dramatic moment, makes a drastic u-turn and head to her house in the middle of the night. That’s where their story ends in this episode and leaves a feeling of anxiety as to what her reaction might be when Kyle shows up in the next episode and if she is or was ever possessed.

Megan and Mark go on a rare date night that is interrupted by Donnie, our mysterious visitor who Megan was spying on in the last episode. Her discomfort is apparent and her mood takes a downward turn for the next few days. As it turns out, Donnie was a foster child Megan’s family took in and used to rape Megan on a regular basis when they were kids. She confronts him at his hotel room in the present day where she denies him holding any kind of power over her from what he has done in the past. He claims to be in town for work as a tires salesman, but feels the need to show how he emotionally gets off on being a demon from her past. Her role in the episode ends with her getting up in the middle of the night and taking her frustration out on several glass items she purchased at the thrift store. Her story has the biggest emotional punch on OUTCAST and she makes it riveting television to watch her journey. Little does she know that Kyle told Mark who Donnie is, resulting in on an impulsive Mark beating the shit out of Donnie while being recorded on his cop car dash cam.

A couple of episodes ago, Mark collected evidence involving tortured animals and an abandoned trailer in the middle of the woods. In this episode, we follow up with Chief Giles having what appeared to be a casual cook out, but subtle tactics lead him to suspect who might be involved. This same suspect is later seen burning the trailer to the ground. Chief Giles at first appeared to be another dick cop who is going to dismiss Mark on any theories until it’s too late, but luckily the show stays away from the routine providing another fresh story and interesting character to follow.

“A Wrath Unseen” is written by series creator Robert Kirkman and that fatherly touch shines in the episode. The character studies that were merely pinched at in previous episodes are the main focus here, leaving an eager taste for more. Kirkman knows these characters and wants to the audience to love them as much as he does. It’s working as these attachments I find to them create higher stakes and makes OUTCAST that much more engrossing.