This Outcast review contains spoilers.
Outcast Episode 3
When Reverend Anderson states that “Some souls are capable of creating evil without the devil’s help,” the fundamental conflict of Outcast’s third episode “All Alone Now” moves to the forefront and underscores the fact that what we think we know, may in fact be wrong. And while the narrative continues to follow Kyle’s quest for answers, it gets dangerously close to juggling too many story lines simultaneously. Still, there’s plenty to like about this episode.
As the two demon hunters take on their latest case, we get our first indications that hairline cracks may be forming in their relationship. Unlike the reverend, Kyle’s not on a crusade to root out evil and eliminate it. He simply wants to sever the connection that has been made against his will. When Kyle gets the chance to ask Blake Morrow, a former policeman who brutally murdered his partner’s wife, how to stop the evil that seems to gravitate towards him, it’s clear that he and Anderson are no longer on the same page.
The confrontational conversation between Kyle and Morrow takes a sharp turn, and viewers and participants alike don’t know what to make of this evil man played brilliantly by Lee Tergesen (Castle “3XK”). Is he possessed by the demon we’ve been following or simply a self-absorbed psychopath? Watching Kyle and Anderson vacillate in their attitudes toward Morrow confirms our greatest fear that the devil may wear many faces.
But then Kyle takes a shot and asks the man “Do you know me?” When Kyle takes the man’s head in his hand, it’s obvious there’s some kind of connection until finally the Morrow utters perhaps the single most important word of the series thus far, “Outcast.” Should we look at the word from another angle? Has Kyle been cast out from somewhere, or is he, as the word indicates, an outcast? But from what?
It’s been extremely painful watching Kyle cope with this emotional baggage he can’t shed, and we eventually realize in the jailhouse scene that his will is fading. “That’s a man’s soul we’re talking about,” Anderson tells him as Kyle walks away, no longer willing to continue to help. Kyle’s more worried about his own soul, and this episode highlights the conflict that’s bubbling to the surface between the two men. Just when Morrow has us convinced that he’s having fun at their expense, he tells Anderson that he, along with others, are aware of Kyle’s power. This pushes Kyle to the edge, and he beats the crap out of him which at first seems to have an effect, but eventually causes Morrow to cough up the black ooze?
We learn a lot from this jailhouse encounter, but nothing more important than the fact that there are a number of possessed individuals out there, so perhaps it’s not a case of one demon hopping from body to body. Kyle tells Anderson that “he can’t be saved. Whatever’s in him is there to stay,” and whether or not we’re done with Blake Morrow remains unclear. Regardless, the evil is spreading.
Understandably, for the most part, we’ve been caught up in Kyle’s personal hell, but now we learn that his foster sister may be harboring her own demons as well. Driving past a local motel, Megan’s startled when she sees a man getting into a red Impala. She talks her way into his unoccupied motel room, and then goes through it at the same time her husband processes the crime scene at the abandoned camper. She finds a laptop with her Facebook page open, but again we’re given no answers and really no context.
Later that night at home, while having sex with her husband, Megan suddenly sees Mark’s face morph into that of this mystery man, and she freaks out. It’s bad enough that we’ve watched Kyle haunted by his past, but now, to watch his sister as well, may be too much. Since Blake Morrow earlier proselytizes about being sickened by forgiveness, it may be that Megan had been having an affair with this man, Donnie Hamel. Is this her guilt rising to the surface? Is she fighting temptation?
And what of the good reverend? Having lost the photo of his son earlier in the day, Anderson’s crisis of faith reaches such a low point that he stops his car at night in the driving rain to try to find the picture along the side of the road. “Come on. Where’s my son?” he cries out, parallelling the search both he and Kyle have embarked on. Ironically, it was right there and he missed it.
Outcast is rife with mysteries, but one that’s impossible to now ignore concerns Chief Giles’ reluctance to let Megan’s husband Mark do his job and investigate the camper they found in the woods. When he returns with the collected evidence, the chief tells him he’ll take it from there, verifying that he’s up to something. Is he one of THEM? It’s been easy to dislike Mark since he’s been so openly hostile towards Kyle, but we have to admire his tenacity and trust that he’s going to keep an eye on the chief.
Brent Spiner appears in a slightly more extended role as Sidney, the Man in Black who appears to have a room at the same motel Megan surveilled earlier. He too coughs up some black ooze. Comic readers likely already have a read on his role in the story, but for those of us engaged for the first time, he presents yet another enigmatic character.
By the time we reach the epilogue, any of a number of characters cause viewers to question the veracity of their behaviors. To this point it’s been relatively easy for Reverend Anderson to do his thing because the evil has been so visible, almost begging to be attacked. But now, with Kyle’s supposition that even a little evil can be dangerous, we have to wonder whether or not a demonic army is forming and if so, how on earth will Kyle and Anderson fight it. That is if Kyle even wants anything to do with the reverend’s crusade. That said, it’s difficult to believe Kyle will walk away from a fight of this magnitude, and like all heroes, will put the needs of the many before the needs of the few, of the one.
“All Alone Now” slows the pace, gives viewers a chance to regroup and assess the situation in Rome, West Virginia, and reminds us to question everything we see and hear. That we don’t know who to trust at this point in the town can be somewhat unsettling, but that’s what makes Outcast so great.