This review contains spoilers.
And so, here we are. On Sunday nights, in Outcasts’ new slot, out of the limelight of prime BBC scheduling time. Thus, it’s not unwise an assumption that the people who have followed the show to the end of Sundays are friendly towards it, and have invested the necessary time to get to where we are now. Which, as it turns out, is a good thing.
The reason? Well, episode six counted on you being up to speed with a lot of what had happened so far, which might account for the particularly dense recap we got at the start of the episode. What followed wasn’t the fireworks that we might be expecting for the end of the series’ run, but the crossing of a few swords, and the making of a few critical decisions, with ramifications, no doubt, to follow.
And I liked the episode, personally. It reflected the confidence of the show and the belief in its narrative. While there are one or two bits that didn’t quite work for me, I’m increasingly frustrated that Outcasts was written off quite so soon. Not least because there’s a lot of tying up work to do, the bulk of which, presumably, won’t get done.
Back to the episode, though. The core narrative followed the tale of three missing expeditionaries, whose disappearance has been handled in a bit of a cloak and dagger manner by President Tate. One of the missing in particular, Josie Hunter, is a single mother of three, and there’s a collective sigh of relief and some enthusiastic applause, when she appears back at the gates of Forthaven. For Josie was attacked by ACs, she reports, and had to fight back and escape. Bravo, Josie.
Only, as we discover later on, that’s not actually true.
This is where Outcasts worked a treat this week, for me. The show could have simply turned the character into a liar, and left it at that, and still allowed consequences to occur. Instead, what we ended up with was two different Josies, in a move that seemingly ties into the fact that Tate is seeing people he shouldn’t, too. As well as exposing a few other conflicts along the way.
So, what’s going on? Again, there are more questions than answers here, but it’s not hard to see that Tate suddenly doesn’t look like quite the nutter that Stella may have been assuming, especially given that lots of people saw the two Josies together.
I was a bit puzzled as to why the assorted people with guns didn’t pay the second Josie more shrift, and from what we saw, it appeared that she was allowed to sidle away. Given that a group of people with lots of hardware had turned up to shoot the other one, the least you’d expect is a few questions being asked? Or maybe I missed something?
Back at Forthaven, Stella has a massive decision to make, meanwhile. And it’s one that decides the fate of an unborn baby. Given that newborns and Carpathia don’t seem to go hand in hand, it didn’t really seem in a great deal of doubt as to what choice Stella would make. But I’m not sure that was the point. Here, we see a massively torn apart Stella, breaking down the veneer of the cold, hardass that she’s been portraying. And where that leaves her in the storm to come remains to be seen.
For that storm clearly involves the differing ideologies of Julius and Tate, with the latter making the decision not to follow the former’s way of doing things. Again, that’s not a surprise, but it is important. The tensions between the two couldn’t be less hidden, and with reinforcements arriving, the back end of the series promises to be explosive. After all, we’ve also got to throw into the mix the small matter of Jack’s secret mission to assassinate Rudy of the ACs. Only thing is, said mission isn’t very secret any more.
Going back to Stella a minute, too: presumably, she’s going to have to choose sides at some point, as are many others. That should be interesting.
There was still room for one tease, too, one that points towards a convergence of big problems for the final two episodes. And that’s the biggest hint yet from Tate that the fossils we saw the other week are causing a lot more concern than had been talked about thus far.
The show has been teasing us with the idea that the new residents of Carpathia aren’t alone for some time. And while you might have assumed that involved the ACs, it looks like there’s a bigger threat around the corner, aside from the ship of trouble Julius is in contact with. Could it be something that Baxter, from the last episode, knows about? Just a thought.
Two episodes left to go, then, before Outcasts disappears, presumably forever. And we’ll see you back here in a week, when we should get some intention as to just how many of the show’s story threads will be wrapped up in the last two episodes…
Read our review of episode 5 here.
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