Season one of Outcast is done and gone now and how did it end? Would you call that a whimper? Maybe a thud? Sort of a cliffhanger but not quite, the season finale from minute one had a disjointed feel to it. The pacing seemed to ramp up and slow down at odd times, and nothing was really fully satisfying about it.
As usual the cinematography was top notch though. In fact the scene of Sidney in Kyle’s doorway was so eerie and beautiful I had to pause the episode to just take it in. Also the scene of Megan feeling Mark’s dead eye brought me back to the first episode and the little boy who was possessed in the opening scene of the series. With new context we now can see that some of the creepier elements of the possessions are born out of sort of a demonic PTSD and childlike wonder about their new surroundings. But damn did that eye scene bore into my soul with how disturbing it was. Both visually and aurally I was both riveted and disgusted. The craft going into the shooting and sound design for this series has just been stellar.
Then there was Kyle and Anderson finding the girls. Both his daughter and niece, having seen Megan’s disturbed state and Mark’s corpse, these girls have been through the ringer. I don’t know if it’s my own impending fatherhood or just the quality of the acting, but I felt Kyle’s pain seeing his little girl, for the second time, being traumatized by a family member she loved and trusted. How can any child live through what she has and not come out changed? Combine that with what we learned later on, that Amber shares her father’s ability to drive out evil from the possessed, where this leads in season two could make for some incredible television.
In fact the most interesting thing I got from the finale is how little I know of where things stand moving forward. Chief Giles seems exasperated by the whole thing. The town is utterly lost at this point. With Kyle and Amber poised to hit the road does that mean we are abandoning this setting and will get to see another swath of Americana infected by this evil? I think that would be a brave and fantastic direction to take things. If next season starts with Kyle returning to town again I would be severely disappointed.
A few things did get cleared up. The fire chief and his wife’s purpose was exactly what it seemed, a demonic halfway house. The girl who scratched her own eyes out was a disturbingly nice touch. Sidney told Kyle that they both come from the same place and that all these “demons” are basically refugees to this world. From exactly where or why was left infuriatingly vague. Still though they try to ride that ambiguous line with the newly possessed lashing out not out of anger but fear. Then they undercut any sympathy by having that little shit Aaron kidnap Amber. I was surprised they didn’t kill off Giles wife but it would have been too much for even that kid to do so I’m glad the writers showed restraint.
Where they should have shown less restraint was the slow, plodding pace large chunks of this finale had. With so much still unsaid did we need long shots that went nowhere, or misdirects that are immediately revealed to be so? While I appreciate the tension they are trying to build, this is the finale. Give us some closure or at least a few more clues to tide us over through to next year.
Going back to Aaron, I think we all are assuming it was him in that house that Anderson burned to the ground since Sidney obviously is shown to be just fine and Aaron’s mom is looking for him the next day. While I see Anderson looking concerned, I couldn’t help but be glad. This kid treated everyone like garbage, knowingly tried to work with someone he believed to be the devil or an agent of, all of his own free will! Hell, he took Amber with no idea of whether the little girl would live or die as a result. Sometimes people get just what is coming to them.
Anderson seems to have finally come around as well. That scene of him coming to Kyle’s rescue and looking in his trunk, he has to decide what to bring: the bag of religious trinkets, or the tire iron? By picking up the tire iron Anderson is finally accepting that his way doesn’t work. Finally some real growth for his character that will hopefully carry forward. Also, will Megan recall her possession and join Kyle’s crusade too?
With such a big WTF ending, showing the utter futility Kyle faces, I have no clue where things will go from here. I wish we had gotten a bit more, maybe not answers, but something more satisfying as an ending to the season. Overall I still really enjoyed this series and I look forward to season two. A great and different series to add to the landscape of television’s new golden age.
What did you think of the season finale and the season in general? Tell us in the comments section below!