After a one week hiatus, Outcast returned this week picking up right where it left off. After discovering Mildred was still possessed and lurking under Reverend Anderson’s nose, Kyle is terrified at the thought that his wife may still be possessed and living with their young daughter.
This episode gave the cast some fantastic moments for subtle acting. As big and dramatic as this show can get, and does even this episode, the slow burn and ambiguous acting had a way of just giving us so many breadcrumbs yet leaving us mostly still questioning things.
Kyle’s wife and daughter are a prime example of this, as we see his wife Allison in several scenes with a glazed look in her eyes and a quick temperament. Is this the look of a battered woman? Is this a demon? Or as Kyle’s sister suggests could she be self-medicating herself into a stupor? Now we find out by episode’s end that she is not possessed since Kyle touches her with no reaction, but as someone who prides himself on seeing the direction a script is taking ahead of time, I had absolutely zero clue as to how things would shake out. First I thought she had to be a demon, then totally not, then unsure, and I briefly even thought Kyle’s daughter would end up being the possessed one.
The scene where Allison follows a trail of what appears to be blood up to their daughter’s room had me riveted. The long build with more and more red coating the stairs and path, only to reveal it is only paint. That sort of fake out would normally infuriate me but it was so well executed and built dread so well I could only feel relief.
Another area that used the slow build well was Chief Giles investigation into his good buddy. The way Reg E. Cathey dangled hints at his buddy letting on that he knew something without saying anything, the tension just hung in the air. Though confronting a suspected criminal and confirmed arsonist alone was a grade A bonehead move, the scenes between them had that chess match feel, who is playing who here? I’m sure this storyline will intersect with Kyle’s at some point and I can’t wait to learn more.
Like Sydney’s conversation with Mildred. We learned a little, peeled the skin back just a bit, but overall we still know almost nothing. We know that the crazy sucking thing the demons do is supposed to somehow extend their lives and apparently it doesn’t work on each other. We also know something called “The Merge” is coming and it doesn’t sound like anything good for mankind.
Plus we finally saw the aftermath of Kyle beating the demon from his wife. As an audience, our realization that he didn’t just slap or hit her once, which on its own is still horrible, no he beat her until her face was swollen and she was unconscious. Kyle even got confirmation that deep down she knows something else happened that day, that she knows he wouldn’t do that to her. But of course Kyle doesn’t tell her the truth. Again, normally I would hate this kind of writing on a series. Where a simple explanation would clear up giant plot issues. Here Kyle holding back makes perfect sense. What is he going to do? Tell her she was possessed by a demon? Yeah, that would go over well. I’m sure we’ll eventually have her see an exorcism first-hand or her memories of her time possessed will come flooding back but keeping her in the dark for now not only makes sense. It feels true to the character.
The only element to this week that frustrated me was and is Reverend Anderson. Though he eventually comes to terms with his failures, the stubborn attitude he shows when challenged on the success of his exorcisms is absurd. He has seen that he has failed once without realizing it. He knows Kyle is gifted in this area. Yet he still feels so proud that there is no way he could be wrong? And he hasn’t been keeping tabs on formerly possessed people at all? A doctor asks for follow-up visits on minor surgery, why wouldn’t you follow up removing a minion of Satan from someone’s soul?
Thankfully by episode’s end Anderson comes to grips with his failures and seems determined to right them. This leads us to a confrontation with Sherry, a teen runaway and failure of the Reverend’s. We get a full-on floating demon and Kyle manages to drive the creature out without beating her to a pulp. We know now that the violence wasn’t what drove the demons out, it was just Kyle. Unfortunately though the young girl ends up a vegetable, like Kyle’s mom. My guess is this is a result of those who have been possessed too long. The demonic presence feeds off the host until there is nothing left but a demon and a husk of a body. If this turns out to be true it puts a timetable on saving people and would mean everyone Anderson unknowingly failed to save is already lost to the world. Not much of a win for our “heroes” here.
A still satisfying episode while taking a different angle on things. I feel like every week has been building to show how utterly powerless Kyle and the Reverend really are in the face of such a vast force. Hopefully this is building to some kind of significant win down the line. Otherwise the experience watching will become a bit masochistic. Still a well made, intense episode. Outcast continues to be an amazing viewing experience.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Tell us in the comments section below!