Outcast wasted no time in its second episode to disturb us to the core. The combination of beautiful cinematography and the disgusting/disturbing continued this week. It’s one of the things that this series seems to do better than anyone else. The shots were, again, wonderfully blocked with movement that was both subtle yet affecting.
After episode one I was frankly worried that the series would suffer from a classic issue where the pilot’s quality would outshine the rest of the season. Fortunately that wasn’t the case at all. Patrick Fugit continues to be amazing and runs the gamut from seething rage to heartbroken and everywhere in between. It’s easy to see that family connections will be very important to the series going forward. Fugit’s Kyle is driven as a boy who lost his mother, and a man who has lost his daughter. The pain comes through with every twitch of an eye or gnashing of teeth. There were moments where even though Fugit wasn’t doing much on the surface you still understood his inner turmoil one hundred percent. I’m not sure where he was hiding these acting chops all these years. I’ve never thought he was a bad actor mind you, but he also never struck me as anything but competent. I just continue to be blown away by his acting choices.
Reverend Anderson’s story appears to be building to something but I can’t quite get a handle on what. Preaching his sermon of demons and exorcisms, it appears his congregation is on board. Two members though give me the feeling they will be more than they appear. An old cranky crone would seem to be a catalyst for trouble towards Kyle. Something about the way she looks at him and his lack of connection to her makes me think this is a misdirect and she won’t actually be an antagonist but perhaps someone who knows more than she lets on. The young woman who is intent on serving the reverend dinner is portrayed as a bit flirtatious and maybe harboring a crush for the reverend. The fact that she’s a redhead who Anderson coyly calls a temptress makes me think she will actually be the wolf in sheep’s clothing for the series.
Another mysterious character introduced this week is a strange man in black, played by Brent Spiner. Seemingly an agent of darkness, Spiner’s character keeps things vague but is definitely the man with insider knowledge of what Kyle is and his purpose. I love the way the show is weaving these mysteries in. Even while answering questions the last episode raised, you’re never completely on solid ground, the rug is always just about to be pulled out from under you. We get the sense that there is a larger world underneath the surface and we are just starting to get a peek.
The atmosphere is almost as much a character as the rest of the cast and I was happy to see we wouldn’t get the brutality we saw in the pilot in every exorcism attempt. It looks like they will allow each demonic encounter to have its own flavor. Where last week was disturbing in a stomach churning horror way, this time I got chills and felt the pangs of the loneliness and loss.
Kyle’s brother-in-law Mark seems to be drawing into the fray as well, as his chief and he found the site of some satanic ritual. Mark is the glaring weak link so far on this show. His anger towards Kyle and skepticism feel forced and two dimensional. As much as I realize they need a skeptic on the series I hope they shift the job to someone else and let him become converted into believing, or just lose his character all together.
Aside from that small gripe I think this was an excellent continuation and it stoked my fires of interest while dousing any doubts I was having. Outcast continues to be the best new series I have seen in a great while and next week can’t get here soon enough!
What did you think of this week’s episode? Tell us in the comments section below!