TV Review: OUTCAST – Episode 7: “The Damage Done”

outcast-cover2Reverend Anderson has officially lost his shit. After being branded by Sidney in a pretty brutal manner in episode 6, his mark is difficult to hide, but his fire burning within spreads. His ego grows and the undeniable suspicion that Sidney is Satan himself is hard to avoid. Anderson blatantly believes Sidney is terrified of him and poses as some kind of threat, despite avoiding the chance to kill him at his most vulnerable. I’m not going to lie: Anderson is getting extremely annoying and is causing OUTCAST to drag a bit as his vanity driven outbursts prove to be cringe worthy moments. I look at him the same way everyone in town does when he begins to shout and scream during a memorial for an incident that was supposed to claim Kyle’s life as well. Anderson’s own stubbornness is what ultimately prevents anyone from believing him or taking him serious for that matter. His story is a tragedy, one that probably needs to come to an end sooner than later or at least head in a different direction.

Kyle, on the other hand, maintains his cool and accidentally stumbles onto another possessed victim, but is smart enough to not make scene in front of everyone. Patrick Fugit has really proven himself to be capable of being the face of TV series, one that doesn’t easily sit nicely in the ever growing circle of genre programming. His every man demeanor helps differentiate himself from your average hero, one with many flaws whose motives are questionable yet human.

Kyle and Allison share some rare screen time together after Allison finds her guilt deteriorating her soul, remembering how she tried to kill her daughter while possessed and knows that Kyle doesn’t deserve the ostracizing he gets. Their daughter draws family portraits with Allison’s face missing and hides in the closet if it means keeping away from her mother. This mother daughter relationship is clearly damaged and they find themselves at Kyle’s doorstep. We get to experience a beautiful yet sad moment between Kyle and his daughter as she tells him she doesn’t want Allison to stay. She also shares that she witnessed the darkness inside her mother and watched it leave. After she’s fallen asleep, Allison and Kyle make love. In the morning, she’s gone, leaving Kyle alone to care for their daughter. It was unclear to me if this was an act of guilt, giving up, or if she felt she might hurt her again if she stayed around. This twist will be interesting to watch as Kyle’s priorities will be different from now on and can’t easily just wander around town with Anderson performing exorcisms.

The best story in this episode belongs to Mark and Megan, both good people burdened with anger and secrets. Megan fails to bribe Donnie from pressing charges after Mark beat the shit out of him while being filmed on a police dash cam. This results in Mark being suspended from his job and finally confessing to Megan of what he had done. Her reaction is priceless as Donnie has not only taken all her family’s money, but as continued to emotionally rape her to the ground and doesn’t care who else goes down. What he wants out of these charges is unclear so far, but this arc is one of the most riveting of the series. At the risk of sounding pretentious, it really does explore human dynamics and what drives people to do the crazy things they do for people they love.

OUTCAST feels like it’s slowing down a bit, almost as if it feels the need to throw in demonic possession in order to remind audiences that this is indeed horror. It’s strongest attributes though lie in the relationships these characters share. More emphasis needs to be placed on the drama. Too many strangers are discovered to be possessed and it’s becoming a bit repetitive as we simply don’t care as they start blend without any sort of backstory. There’s three episodes left of the season and I’m curious to see how the show will keep viewers hooked enough to wait for the next season.

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