Every character in Cinemax’s horror series Outcast, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta, has been damaged, by other people if not by demons. In episode 7, “The Damage Done,” many of the characters attempted to limit the damage previously done (whether by them or by others), to make up for past damage, or, at the very least, to prevent any future damage from occurring. They were not always successful. Sometimes, by trying to prevent any more damage, the people in Rome WV caused more damage in their personal lives and relationships. They didn’t need external demons from Hell to make their lives worse: the characters messed up their lives just fine without any demonic help.
We already know that Kyle’s ex-wife Allison (Kate Lyn Sheil) is not behaving normally, though Kyle’s sister Megan thinks that Allison’s slightly “off” behavior might be due to some of the medications she’s taking. Megan has already told Kyle that Allison is fragile, perhaps permanently damaged due to what happened on the night that Allison cannot remember. The night she was assaulted, she was told by police and ER doctors that her husband had admitted to attacking her. What she hadn’t knows was why he assaulted her.
In episode 7, after finding a drawing inside the closet where daughter Amber keeps hiding, Allison has a flashback of her daughter being choked. Amber cries out, “Don’t, Mommy,” in the flashback, and Allison realizes that her ex-husband Kyle has taken the blame for something that she herself did.
She then brought Amber over to Kyle’s home, made love to Kyle, then left them both: Kyle awoke to a note from Allison which read, Take care of our little light. He got his daughter back, but at the price of his wife. After recognizing Kyle’s sacrifice to keep her and their daughter safe, Allison sacrificed her relationship with her daughter to keep her safe. I’m sure it was incredibly bittersweet for Kyle, who has always made it clear that he wants his entire family back, wife and daughter.
Chief Giles (Reg E Cathey, above R) came to Kyle’s home and took Kyle to the burnt camper in the woods. Giles kept asking Kyle if he got a “read”on it. Kyle told him he wasn’t “psychic.” After Kyle explained that he sometimes got a reaction from a person who was possessed by a demon, but had unpredictable success casting out the demons — at times the victim is freed, but at others, the victim becomes catatonic, like Kyle’s mother — Giles and Kyle were shown at the town’s Memorial Service (Day of Remembrance) for 29 miners who died 7 years earlier. While Chief Giles’ friend Ogden, who burnt the camper, was greeting people at the celebration, Giles watched Kyle go up and shake Ogden’s hand, hoping to determine if there was a demon in Ogden (Pete Burris).
Fire Chief Ogden didn’t have the type of reaction that viewers (and Kyle) have come to expect when Kyle touches the demonically possessed. Instead, Ogden became verbally and emotionally abusive to Kyle, telling him that he was one of the miners who should have died 7 years ago, and that Kyle’s death would have been a blessing to his wife. Ogden tried to damage Kyle more his his abuse, but Kyle is already traumatized enough by what’s happened to him. Ogden’s words didn’t seem to affect Kyle. After shaking hands with Ogden, Kyle shook his head at the Chief to let him know there didn’t seem to be a demon in Ogden.
Later, when the crowd got there, Kyle accepted a candle from Ogden’s wife, and she jerked away, dropping the candle, when her hand touched Kyle’s. Demon Warning. Kyle attempted to follow Ogden’s wife, but lost her in the crowd. Kyle then had to abandon the hunt when the Reverend needed Kyle’s assistance at damage control.
That night, Kyle thought he was being reunited with his family only to wake in the morning and find himself alone with his daughter. Kyle probably thinks he’s cursed: not only does he seem to be the person that all the demons want, but he got his daughter back at the price of his wife. Furthermore, there seems to be some indication that his daughter Amber is a bit like Kyle: she admitted being able to see the demon that was in her mother 7 years ago. If she could see the demon, she may be like Kyle.
After Megan (Wrenn Schmidt) was blackmailed by her childhood rapist, Donnie, who was assaulted by her Police Officer husband Mark, Megan got together all the money she could and took it to Donnie in the hospital. Unfortunately, Donnie didn’t want money: he probably wanted Megan. He said he wanted “whatever she could give him,” or something equally ambiguous. Megan interpreted “what she could give him” as money. Donnie (Scott Parker, below), apparently, meant something else entirely (or he meant a lot more money than Megan could gather).
Donnie’s lawyer filed assault charges, Mark was suspended from his job, and Megan was left to deal with the fall-out of her not telling Mark about Donnie’s blackmail. Megan and Mark had a bitter argument about secrets, each of them accusing the other of not being completely honest. At the end of the fight, Megan asked, “How are we going to fix this?” and Mark told her, quite candidly, “I don’t know if we can.” The damage from the past has been complicated by the damage in the present, and these are two people who don’t have demonic possession to blame for ruining their lives.
After being attacked by Sidney and mutilated with a knife, Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) has become unhinged. The damage to his ego may be even greater than the damage to his body. Before the attack, The Rev was angry at God, blaming God for the Rev’s own failures to cast out all the demons in his congregation. Now The Rev is blaming Sidney (Brent Spiner), taunting him in the barbershop before the Remembrance Day Service.
After giving his dedication to the Memorial, The Rev flipped out when the statue of the miner was unveiled. It had been defaced with red paint, marked with the pentagram in a circle, the same mark that Sidney carved in The Rev’s chest the previous night. The Rev went totally berserkers, pointing out Sidney to the other members of the crowd, shouting that Sidney was The Devil, saying, “We can send them [demons] back. I can send them back.”
By the time The Rev displayed his own mutilated chest, he’d already lost the crowd. They were probably more frightened of him than they were of the black-garbed Sidney, who is a stranger in the town. The physical damage done to The Rev wasn’t as great as the reputation damage he did to himself with his neurotic, paranoid rant at the Memorial.
Kyle had to come “save” The Rev from alienating people any further. While The Rev realized afterward that everyone probably thought he was crazy, he listened to Kyle when Kyle said they needed to “be smart” to get the demons — and perhaps the Devil himself — out of Rome.
I thought, when she was taken away from her home, that Mildred (Grace Zabriskie) was catatonic, like Kyle’s mother and the exorcised Sherry in Charleston. To my dismay, I learned that Mildred is dead. What a shame. I hope we’re going to see more of the demon-possessed Mildred, at least, if only in flashbacks. She’s one of the best actors in the series, and I’d hate if we only got that little bit of her wonderful performance.
Kyle has become a Saviour, of sorts, to many of the people in Rome, and not just because they’re demonically possessed and need his exorcism services. He had to save The Rev from his own crazy diatribe and rescue him from the townies before they became a mob and turned on him. Kyle already had to save his daughter once from her mother Allison: now Allison has explicitly asked him to be Amber’s Saviour again. Allison didn’t ask Kyle to save her, but he may still have to do that. I can’t believe that he’d cast out the demons of Rome’s other citizens but neglect the demon in Allison. Chief Giles asked Kyle to help him identify a demon in his friend, Ogden. Whether or not the Chief will care about the demons in townspeople who are not his friends remains to be seen. In any event, the Chief has already made the first step to becoming more involved in the exorcisms by asking Kyle for help.
The only people who haven’t yet asked Kyle to be their Saviour are his sister Megan and his brother-in-law Officer Mark. But then, these two aren’t dealing with demons from Hell. They’re not even dealing with the Devil. Instead, their fighting their own inner demons.
I don’t know if Kyle will be able to help them in that battle.
The Demons in the Shadows:
s1, e4-6, Recap & Review
Demons, Demons Everywhere:
s1, e1-3, Review