Well damn, that was depressing. Outcast seemed to have a specific mission this week. To tell us that sometimes no matter how hard you fight or what you do, evil wins sometimes.
Starting off by setting up how this week’s possessed got that way, we see a double date between two cops, partners, and the horrific aftermath of a possession. Featuring Oz’s Lee Tergesen as Blake Morrow, this week was much less The Exorcist and more Silence of the Lambs. Morrow’s attack on his partner’s wife is an incredibly brutal piece of television. Smashing her into cabinets and through drywall, the kind of stunt work that is so believable you become concerned for the actors. Such a visceral fight with the worst of it being off camera and the resulting carnage not being revealed till later keeps you in suspense, and then confirming all your worst fears when it was finally shown.
Aside from our core story of Kyle and the Reverend’s quest, we seem to be branching off into two distinct subplots and two other trails which may be connected or even more side stories altogether. The main two being Kyle’s sister and brother-in-law each on their own little investigations this week. Kyle’s sister Megan, after spotting a man from her past, becomes obsessed with confirming if it is this mysterious person and what his goals are back in town. Her husband Mark is intent on finding out more about the bloody trailer he and the chief stumbled across last week.
This gave us a fantastically edited sequence, juxtaposing Megan’s investigation of a motel room against her husband’s search of the trailer. While one location is decidedly cleaner than the other, the sense of dread was very similar. The feeling I got was that Megan was raped by this man and that he may still be obsessed with her. This makes both places scenes of violation, especially when Megan finds the man has been looking at her Facebook profile. They develop a great symmetry of shots back and forth culminating in Mark confronted by a vicious wolf while Megan’s mystery man approaches the motel room, both escaping by quick thinking. The editing and soundtrack really tied this sequence together making what in reality were not terribly exciting searches and turned them into a nail biting experience.
Then there was the weird back and forth between Mark and the Chief. Why was he so keen on keeping the investigation away from that trailer? I originally assumed he was on the Reverend’s side but I can’t see how this benefits him. That’s where I can’t tell if the Chief has his own motivations or whether he’s covering up for Anderson.
Now we finally get to the real meat of this week’s episode. Kyle and Blake’s confrontation. This is where the Silence of the Lambs comparison really comes into play. The confrontation and back and forth between the two is very much in line with Clarice and Hannibal. The uninitiated versus the soulless monster. Anderson told us each possession was different and you really see it here. Less a raging monster and more a grinning psychopath. Blake teases and taunts the men and doesn’t care how injured he gets, even pulling his wrist through cuffs flaying his own skin in the process. I guess in addition to the Silence comparison a “Dark Knight” parallel could be brought up as Blake is very Joker-esque in his madness, even when Kyle pummels him. The most disconcerting result is after Kyle’s touch burns him and his blood causes him to regurgitate some of that black demon bile he is still owned through the demon.
Kyle and Anderson leave the prison having failed their mission. More important Kyle realizes that some possessed will be too far gone to save, nothing left in them except the demon. If that wasn’t a kick in the pants enough, the mystery man in black has seemingly murdered Kyle’s neighbor, which will almost assuredly be blamed on him.
So far three in a row fantastic entries for the series. While I enjoy the mystery I hope they continue to pull back the curtain each week and don’t drag out Brent Spiner’s character reveal too long. Lee Tergesen should be nominated for his work as Blake and Fugit played off him beautifully. I even started coming around on the brother-in-law’s storyline. Not a weak link in the bunch!
What did you think of this week’s episode? Tell us in the comments section below!