Questions answered and questions raised. This week’s episode of Outcast, “A Wrath Unseen,” took a decidedly less action-packed turn but moved the plot forward all the same. Evil took center stage and our main lesson was that evil is not scared of good.
Our main plotline concerned the grouchy old parishioner who looked so suspicious in the pilot. Mildred, as we find out, is a former exorcisee of the reverend, one of his success stories which he documents with small tokens. Played amazingly by Grace Zabriskie, we learn that for over two years she has fooled the Reverend while being possessed the entire time. For a second week the possessed on this show have some amazing lines and delivers some skin crawling scenes. I love the face offs between Kyle and these demons, and Reverend Anderson gets in on the action too. After being asked why they don’t play Scrabble or anything anymore, the turn in demeanor Mildred gives while saying, “I’m tired of playing games with you,” was chilling to the bone.
Finding out that such a cruel creature was able to sit across from him for months has simply crushed the Reverend’s will. Not only that but as Kyle brings up, it puts each and every successful exorcism into question. There could be tens if not hundreds who the good Reverend has laid hands on and proclaimed “clean” only to turn a demon loose who is merely playing possum. The way Mildred not only taunts Anderson but has the forethought to call her daughter and make sure she’s protected from another exorcism attempt shows how intelligent and manipulative these demons can be. Also the brief snippets we glimpse of her exorcism along with a jump scare from Mildred present day were absolutely terrifying.
The running theme this week, as the title suggests, is dangers we are unaware of. Mildred obviously was evil in plain sight, attending church every week. Another form of unseen danger seems to be one of Chief Giles’ friends. While having a couple over for dinner, a classic horror cliché is used: the “old dog senses evil” bit. A bit on the nose but we get it, something ain’t right with these people. Giles goes on a little hunting expedition and we get a little more insight into what happened at the trailer Mark investigated. More and more I get the feeling that this demonic cabal is going to end up being much larger than we might ever have expected. Also it looks like the Chief might be on the side of the angels after all, though that still makes his sweeping things under the rug not make sense. Even if you turn these matters over to Rev. Anderson wouldn’t you want some evidence to narrow down who the evil ones are? Plot hole or something else, that will be determined as the weeks tick by.
Another evil face that isn’t afraid to make itself known is Donny, Megan’s focus from last week. We find out pretty much what we had guessed is true — Donny molested Megan when they were both at the same foster home. Just how slimy and creepy he is made things even worse. Interrupting dinner with her husband, even having the guts to introduce himself to Mark. Then taunting Kyle, Donny is low even on a scale of sex offenders. Kyle and Mark almost bond over their disgust of him … almost. Mark takes idiotic action though, beating Donny senseless in full view of his cruiser’s dash cam. Has he not been paying attention to the news? There were about a hundred better ways to go after the scumbag without ruining his career.
Bad decisions just ran rampant across the board. Megan going alone to meet Donny with a gun, the Reverend trusting a demon, and Kyle, now concerned his wife is still possessed, speeds off with Anderson in tow to an inevitable terrible confrontation.
The big unanswered question is the identity and motivations of Sidney, Brent Spiner’s character. Again, a supposed force of evil comes face to face with our do-gooders with no concern. Is Sidney the guy or just the go between for darkness? From everything we’re seeing, Rome looks like it’s a town overrun by dark and hellish forces that our heroes have no clue about.
My only criticism would be while the cinematography was still great, I found many scenes to be so dark and murky it was hard to distinguish things. I’m going to chalk that up to a tablet viewing experience and hope the fault lies there. Otherwise, Outcast continues to be fantastic television.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Tell us in the comments section below!