Amber Joins the Bad-Ass Club: Outcast Season 1 Finale, Review

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We knew it was going to happen. Ever since the episode when Kyle’s daughter Amber (Madeleine McGraw) revealed that she was able to see the demon in her mother Allison, it was pretty obvious that Amber was just like her father Kyle. She proved that in the season 1 finale of Outcast, “This Little Light,” by casting out Aunt Megan’s demon.

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Before Amber could join the Bad-Ass Ladies Club of Outcast, however, first she had to be terrorized, once again, by a demon in the form of one of her family members. She was already terrorized and abused by the Demon-Allison, and Daddy Kyle (Patrick Fugit) had to help cast that demon out. In the finale, Amber came to Kyle’s rescue, grabbing her Aunt Megan (Wrenn Schmidt) by the face from behind, and holding her in an attempt to keep her from attacking Kyle. Suddenly, Megan convulsed and coughed out the black miasma we’ve come to associate with Outcast’s demons.

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But are the demons really demons?

To be honest, I hadn’t thought much about the identity of the “evil beings” occupying the inhabitants of Rome WV until I read Kevin Yeoman’s ScreenRant post on the finale. He theorizes that the “demons” might be refugees of a sort, fleeing from some place other than Hell.

As it stands now, Outcast has the makings of what sounds like an inter-dimensional, inter-galactic, or inter-something refugee drama, which affords Sidney and his kind an extra layer of characterization with minimal effort on the part of the show’s writers. If these beings taking over people of Rome, West Virginia are not merely malevolent creatures from hell but immigrants fleeing from a hostile environment, then the show has immediately become more interesting and it makes Kyle’s ability to expel them from their hosts something of a double-edged sword; one with strong allusions to the contemporary political climate and crisis in Syria.

Wowza!  I do hope that it’s the way Outcast creator Robert Kirkman is going. That would add an incredibly fascinating and complex layer to the “possession” story. Sure, it would take Outcast into the sci-fi arena, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. After all, we didn’t get any answers  to the questions the show, and its protagonists, have been asking all season, like these:

Why are the “demons” attracted to Kyle?
What is the “light” within Kyle that draws “demons” to him?
Why have so many of The Rev’s exorcisms failed?
Why are so many “demons” coming to Rome WV?

So why not take the show into an other-worldly, sci-fi arena? Having an other-worldly story for the demons inhabiting the population of Rome would make the show more than just an Exorcist-clone, which is what Outcast was in the first few episodes of its freshman season.

It would explain why Sidney (Brent Spiner) is the “boss” of the demons, though he may not be the Devil.

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 It would make The Rev (Philip Glenister) seriously question his faith.

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It would make Kyle (Patrick Fugit) even more interesting a character, since we’d have to throw away out preconceptions of good and evil in order to understand what it is that’s attracting the “refugee-demons” to Kyle.

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Of course, right now, viewers do not know the answers to any of the questions the show has posed. When Kyle questioned Sidney, he evaded answering, giving only a bit of information, in the form of a metaphor, as to why the “beings” were drawn to Kyle. And no one knows why some of the “exorcisms” work and some don’t. All the questions posed by the characters and by the show itself were left woefully unanswered in the season 1 finale, though I only expected a few to be answered. Still, it was a bit disappointing not to have any of the show’s questions answered. And there’s only so long the show will be able to drag out the questions further without alienating its viewers, so I hope we get some answers beginning with the premiere of season 2.

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In “This Little Light,” Megan was un-posssessed — making her possessed and freed  in less than 2 episodes — which was a bit disappointing. I wanted to see if the demon in Megan treated Kyle any differently because of its host’s relationship with the protagonist.

Meanwhile, in Rome, Kat and Ogden are running a demon hospital of sorts: they were running it in the Camper in the Woods, but after Ogden burned that, and after Sidney asked a favor of Kat, she set up a triage center in some abandoned mannequin warehouse. That was the only disappointment of the finale (besides the unanswered questions). Why did Sidney have to ask Kat to take care of the incoming when she was already doing it? Did it matter that he made it official? If so, why?

The Rev has officially become a fully human character, even if he is a bit of an idiot in his fervor to rid Rome of demons. The Rev went to the small home where Sidney was staying and set fire to it, assuming that Sidney was inside. Since the episode went to a great deal of trouble to have Sidney mention to Patricia’s son Aaron that it was the second time Aaron had broken in to Sidney’s home, viewers were left with the inference that The Rev burned Aaron alive in the torched house, not Sidney. What a bad guy The Rev is turning out to be.

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The finale basically left us with three major protagonists in Rome: Sidney, who may be the Devil; The Rev, who is losing his faith and turning more violent in his attempt to exorcise demons; and Kyle, who is fighting to save his daughter and his family from whatever is possessing the inhabitants of his hometown.

The episode ended with Megan “returned” to herself, but with no memory of what she’d done to her husband Mark, and with Kyle attempting to leave Rome with daughter Amber in tow. A bunch of creepy strangers surrounded them at the gas station, making it clear that the two aren’t going anywhere soon.

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In any event, Madeleine McGraw is showing some fierce acting chops as the demon-fighter daughter of Kyle, and her character, Amber, is now officially one of the Bad-Ass women of Outcast.

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