I have never been a fan of THE EXORCIST. My Catholic parents always warned me about it and that it was the scariest movie ever. Probably at some inappropriately young age, I finally saw it and didn’t think much of it. To this day, I still find the demonic dubbing extremely distracting and takes me way out of the movie. Plus, I don’t understand how a little girl who refuses to leave her room can make for a terrifying feature. A couple years ago, I even attended a late night screening hosted by Linda Blair herself and ended up falling asleep. I did read the novel recently and found it absolutely scary and, while the movie sticks pretty close to the source material, the atmosphere just doesn’t translate well for me. I’ve seen plenty of movies since exploring various exorcism scenarios, but never found them to be scary. Not until the season one finale of OUTCAST have I felt a sense of dread watching the possessed in action and this is just from the opening scene.
We last left off with Megan brutally killing Mark with a shard of glass and the girls calling Kyle for help. In a very unsettling introduction, viewers get the uncomfortable gesture of watching possessed Megan get used to her new host body and repeatedly poke Mark’s eyeballs for her bloodied fingers. She peels off what appears to be a layer of skin from her palm and scares the shit out of her and Kyle’s daughters who run and hide in the closet. By the time Kyle and Reverend Anderson show up, the girls are safe but Megan is gone.
Megan roams the town in the middle of the night with her senses on overload as she screams with even a mere glimpse at light or caught in the middle of a field as sprinklers turn on. She shares another creepy moment when she’s caught eating leftovers off the ground and begins sniffing the restaurant employee who spots her. Her hands start going down his chest and who knows elsewhere right before a car drives up and scares her off. Seriously, Wrenn Schmidt as Megan is a revelation to watch. Throughout the season, she is the ride or die sister and wife and now she’s become a slave to the devil who is host something supernatural. She’s the breakout star of the show and is clearly going to have an amazing arc for season two guessing from our this ends.
Kyle’s daughter, Amber, gets taken as bait and he falls right into it as Sidney locks them inside a room for when the possessed needs him for their agenda. Reverend Anderson finally makes himself useful and breaks them out, leaving Megan attacking Kyle pinning him down so he can’t use his powers. In a shocking twist (not to fans of the comics though), Amber jumps on Megan in a bid to protect her father. What looks at first to be an innocent attempt, things get crazy when Amber places her hands on Megan’s face and turns out she has the same gift as her father! Not only that, she appears to know what she’s doing as she keeps her hands firm until the demon pours itself from Megan’s body back to where it came from.
Speaking of where they come from, Sidney gave a not so subtle hint that part of the reason why these things keep happening to Kyle is that whatever is inside him is from the same place as Kyle. What does this mean exactly? Is Kyle possessed too? Is Kyle human? Does Kyle have some kind of superhero origins he is unaware of? In the end, he plans to leave town with Megan to begin a new start but, in a scary as shit scene, they are surrounded by strangers at a gas station who clearly recognize what’s inside them before the screen transitions to black.
Of course, Cinemax is going to leave us hanging with a cliffhanger, but other arcs are set up for the next season. Reverend Anderson sets fire thinking Sidney is inside until he sees him driving past the next day and wonders if the punk ginger son of his love interest might have actually been the occupant. Chief Giles agrees to cover up Mark’s murder to protect Megan, but I’m sure that won’t be as easy as it sounds. Also, Megan is now fully aware of what’s been going on and how this will affect her relationship with Kyle is yet to be seen. I hope to see Anderson get something else to do besides act like a raving Dr. Loomis in every episode. Overall, this episode was one of the best so far and really excites me to see what’s to come next year in season two.