This review contains spoilers.
I think there’s a pattern developing here. When Daniel Mays turns up in a big BBC genre series, the moral of the story is keep your eye on him (we should have guessed this after Ashes To Ashes).
As Cass, in Outcasts, there have been hints for weeks that there’s more to his character. In this penultimate episode of the show, those hints migrated into something just a little more substantive (although not too much just yet). And even if all of the show’s cats still aren’t out of the bag, there’s an undercurrent of trouble that was very much present and correct here.
This wasn’t an episode to win the show new friends, but it certainly kept the intrigue bubbling along. And for those of us who have enjoyed Outcasts to now, there was plenty to ponder.
In the case of Cass, then, we learn that his real name is Tom Starling, and that he keeps this information in a place that, er, women having a one night stand with him can easily discover. However, there’s more to his potential affair than that. For Cass has finally got Fleur to agree to a date. But then, following a night in the bar, he ended up with Carla Shapiro. Uh-oh.
He was only with her briefly, and yet out of this spun tales of a longer affair, blood on the walls, and the seemingly hurt feelings of her husband, James (aka Brian from Teachers).
Furthermore, Cass also has a note, threatening to expose his true identity. He doesn’t know who from, of course, although eventually the road leads to James. The same James who seems to meet his demise when a bucketload of crap descends on his head once a bullet has been fired.
There are further ramifications, though. And that’s that Cass’ moment of passion arose suspicions in Fleur. She dug away to the point where she discovered that there was more to Cass than she first realised. Of course, Tate knew this all along (he’s a box of secrets, that man, and Liam Cunningham was on fine form once more). And while the full revelations of his character haven’t yet presented themselves, you can add Cass to the list of names of whom it might be wise to withhold your trust from.
Julius, of course, has long been up that list, and here, he’s starting to really lay down his cards. For not only is he broadcasting to the people about the AC attack (particularly his take on it, and how it fits his agenda), and not only is he trying to convert Stella very much to his cause, he’s also got a further secret about Fleur, that’s been communicated to him from the ship he’s in contact with. The same ship that gave him the details of Cass, as it turns out. Julius’ tentacles go far beyond just Jack, that much is clear.
And Tate knows it, too. Julius is well aware that Tate is keeping more than his fair share of secrets. Tate has his reasons, of course, and he can see the problems ahead. Hence, off he pops to see Rudi, picking up a few bruises in the process. Asking for the opportunity to work together, and being suitably contrite, Rudi nonetheless rejects his overtures. Instead, he hints that the virus that took the newborns of the new residents of Carpathia might not have been a virus after all. Rather, the long-time inhabitants of the planet, whoever they may be, are clearly not in the best of moods. It’s a tasty story thread.
Those same original inhabitants are presumably behind the creepiest moment of the episode, too, where Tate ended up talking to a double of himself. Rudi knows what’s going on here too, we should note, but he’s not telling.
But does Rudi know what’s going on with the strange ultrasound messages that Stella has discovered? The messages that were transmitted just before the attack on Josie Hunter? Possibly. But the answers here aren’t forthcoming just yet, either.
And that sort of sums up the episode. Circumstance has dictated that next week’s Outcasts will be the last we’ll ever see of the show, and yet there was no feel of a penultimate instalment about it. The pacing of the show to date has been a real dividing line for those who enjoy Outcasts and those who don’t, and it’s hard to point fingers at it now. It’s just a shame that, as seems inevitable (and as we’ve noted before), we won’t be getting answers to a good number of the questions that Outcasts has been posing.
Can’t wait for that final episode, mind. And we suspect we’re not alone there…
Read our review of episode 6 here.