Tag Archives: patricia

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

Share

Spoilers

images-13

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.

images-5

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.

images-4

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.

images-11

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

images-9

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.

images-10

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.

images-2

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.

images

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.

images

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.

Related Posts

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall:
The Bad-Ass Women of Outcast,
e 109, “Close to Home,” Recap & Review

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself:
Choosing the Devil in Cinemax’s Outcast 108,
“What Lurks Within,” Recap & Review

Damage Control: Cinemax’s Outcast, s1 e7,
“The Damage Done,” Recap & Review

The Demons in the Shadows:
Cinemax’s Outcast,
s1, e4-6, Recap & Review

Demons, Demons Everywhere:
Cinemax’s Outcast
s1, e1-3, Review
(No Spoilers)

Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Actors, Graphic Novels / Comics, Horror, Movies/Television, Outcast, Recap, Review

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall: The Bad-Ass-Women of Outcast, 109, “Close to Home,” Recap & Review

Share

Spoilers,
Gory & Spooky-Sad

images-22

We’ve known from the start of the season that the women in Cinemax’s horror show Outcast, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta, were some pretty fierce, bad-ass women. Not just when they’re possessed by demons, either. Sure, some of the girls get a little more feisty when they’re taken over by demons. Kyle’s mother and Mildred come to mind. Given how strong and tough all the women are, even when they are not controlled by demons, I’m guessing Kyle’s mother and Mildred were already strong: the demons just made them tougher, and, okay, a bit more violent. This week’s episode, “Close to Home,” showed protagonist Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit, below) and the viewers just how close to him the demons are.

images-4

Last week, episode 108, “What Lurks Within,” revealed that when the human host fights the demon, the demon has a more difficult time staying in control. Witness the camper in the woods: Chief Giles (Reg E Cathey, below R) has been investigating the site all season as a murder scene, only to have his friend Ogden reveal that he and his wife Kat have been helping demons get control of their often-violent hosts. Hence, all the blood and guts and eviscerated animals mounted to trees.

imagesWe haven’t witnessed Kat being violent, but she’s obviously tough: how else would she convince her husband to help her — when she’s already demon-controlled — give aid and sustenance to other demons trying to conquer their human hosts? Ogden’s wife Kat (Debra Christofferson, below) has seemed just fine to everyone else in Rome, while, in fact, she’s been facilitating the possession of fellow citizens.

images-31

In another surprise Reveal last week, Ogden (Pete Burris, below) told that he actually prefers Demon-Kat to his own wife. He prefers Demon-Kat so much that after Sidney gave her a “job” in episode 9 — a job which will prevent her from leaving Rome, as husband Ogden wished — she persuaded Ogden to stay with her in Rome, telling him there’s no “us” if she doesn’t do what Sidney’s instructed her to do. In a warehouse basement full of creepity-creepy mannequins, as Ogden expressed reluctance to stay in Rome, Kat took the matter into her own hands, literally and figuratively, by getting down-and-dirty with hubby. The woman knows what she wants, and she knows how to get it. At least from hubby Ogden. Yes, Kat’s bad. She’s so bad that, contrary to most folks’ expectations, Ogden thinks she’s very, very fine.

There are plenty of other bad-ass women in Rome, though some of them get badder after demon possession. In previous episodes, while Mildred’s daughter Sophie complained that Mildred (Grace Zabriskie, below) had changed over the last several months, and that Sophie no longer liked the woman her mother had become, Reverend Anderson thought Mildred was just the same as she’d always been. After the exorcism, of course. As he pointed out to Kyle, Mildred has been in church at his service every week for the past two years and The Rev is pretty dang sure he would have known if Mildred were still possessed.

images-10

Demon-Mildred is such a bad-ass, that she caught Kyle completely off-guard when she came to his home, cold-cocked him with her walking cane, straddled him on the floor, and tried to “steal” his energy or life-force or whatever it was she was trying to steal by doing some weird air-kiss. She was only prevented from finishing Kyle off by Sidney’s arrival. Sidney yanked Mildred away from Kyle. It was apparent afterward, from the way she kept trying to convince Sidney that Kyle was fine, that Sidney is a superior demon of some sort — if not the Devil himself, as The Rev suspects — and that Demon-Mildred had stepped out of line. She paid for her disobedience with her life: Kyle later found her dead in her home. The women of Rome may be tough, they may be demon-possessed, but they still have rules and orders to follow. Bad-asses can only be so bad, apparently, and then they have to pay for their mischief.

images-29

The Rev (Philip Glenister, above L) discovered, in episode 9, that Patricia (Melinda McGraw, above R) is much tougher and more bad-ass than she seems. Because she has been chasing after him, basically, and because she wasn’t up to helping him exorcise Caleb, The Rev may have gotten the idea that Patricia was a pushover. Despite the obvious conflict and discord between her and her son Aaron (CJ Hoff, below), Patricia chose Aaron over The Rev, whom she’d asked to move in with her after he lost his job and his home.

The Rev got upset with Aaron because he’s been hanging with Sidney (Brent Spiner, below).

images-17

The Rev foolishly thought that Aaron didn’t realize that Sidney is the Devil. Aaron knows. In fact, he’s been doing things to help Sidney, albeit without Sidney’s foreknowledge or approval. After Aaron saw Sidney carve the pentagram into The Rev’s chest, Aaron told Chief Giles that The Rev did it to himself.

images-13

When The Rev went after Aaron in Patricia’s home, which is also, technically, still Aaron’s home for about 6 more months (he’s counting down to his 18th birthday, when he can leave and be legally on his own), Patricia got her bad-ass on and ordered The Rev to leave. Permanently. The Rev was kind of surprised. Apparently, he thought that Patricia would choose him over her delinquent son. Given a choice between a relationship with The Rev and one with the wayward Aaron, Patricia showed herself to have a spine of steel and a mother’s love to die for: she chose her son, even though he doesn’t like her very much. Patricia may have seemed whiny and clingy and weak, but when forced to choose between the new love in her life and her own son, she proved herself the bad-ass that most of the women in Rome have shown themselves to be, with or without demons.

images copy

Kyle’s wife Allison (Kate Lyn Sheil), though she’s been a minor character all season, is another one of the tough, bad-ass women of Outcast. After she recovered her memory of the night Kyle “attacked her,” she remembered that she had been choking their daughter Amber. That means that, instead of being an abusive husband who assaulted Allison for some unknown reason, Kyle had been protecting Amber by fighting off Allison. Kyle  thinks Allison was demon-possessed. Amber agrees, insisting that someting was in Mommy. Allison thinks she’s just losing her mind. After making love with Kyle in an earlier episode, Allison left Amber with Kyle and disappeared.

images-24

Kyle found Allison last night. In a mental hospital. He tried to persuade her to come home, but she wouldn’t listen. She’s convinced that she’s a danger to Amber — and she obviously is — but whether she’s a danger because she’s losing her mind or because she’s demon-possessed is not clear. Kyle thought he’d exorcised the demon during their battle on Assualt-Night. Allison has still not been acting like herself, however, though Kyle may not know this (it’s only been shown to viewers and to Amber). Is the demon still in Allison? We don’t know. We do know that Allison is one tough lady, and when it comes to protecting her daughter, and her ex-husband Kyle, she’ll even lock herself up in an asylum to do it.

images-8

Without a doubt, the most bad-ass woman in Outcast is Kyle’s sister Megan (Wrenn Schmidt), who, despite a few “cracks” in her tough-woman armor, is the baddest of them all. She’s been violated by childhood rapist Donnie, who returned and tormented her, then blackmailed her after Megan’s husband Mark (David Denman, below L) assaulted Donnie. Megan’s been depressed since Donnie came back to town and taunted her, since she pawned her ring and robbed the savings account to pay off blackmailer-rapist Donnie, since Donnie filed assault charges despite receiving money, since Mark lost his job for assaulting Donnie, and, as viewers learned in episode 9, since she learned that she is pregnant.

Mark, good-guy that he is, was much more delighted and optimistic than Megan at the news of her pregnancy. She was talking about the expenses — clothes, food, diapers, doctor visits, etc — which seemed insurmountable now that Mark has lost his job, and Mark was just being the Happy-and-Totally-Supportive-Hubby.

images-6

Mark managed to convince Megan that her being pregnant again, after all these years, was a good thing, though completely unplanned. Megan seemed fine with that. After all, she is Woman, hear her roar. This is the woman who takes care not only of their daughter Holly, but of Kyle’s daughter Amber whenever Kyle needs Megan to sit for him. This is the woman who watches out for Kyle, going to his home and forcing him to come to the grocery with her, or taking lunch to his worksite just because she loves Kyle. This is the woman who is protective toward Kyle’s ex-wife Allison, going to see how she is when Kyle is concerned about Allison’s mental health,  trying to intervene for Kyle with Allison, then telling Kyle that Allison is fragile and that he needs to leave her alone. And she does all of these nurturing, caring things on top of being a full-time teacher. Megan is a tough, strong survivor. She’s one bad-ass woman who fights for herself and for the people around her. She’s the baddest of the bad-ass women in Outcast. 

And she got even more bad-ass in “Close to Home.”

images-2

Megan was taking a shower and suddenly started convulsing as if someone had flushed a toilet somewhere in the house, causing all the water to turn fiery hot. She jumped out of the tub, and seemed to have a difficult time walking. It was like the room was moving under her feet. As she stared at herself in the mirror, she seemed not to recognize her reflection. When Mark rushed into the bathroom, concerned for her, she grabbed him and slammed his head into the mirror.

Viewers, no doubt, collectively gasped at one of the most graphically violent scenes of the season.

images-3

Then, as Mark lay bleeding out on the bathroom floor, Megan pulled a wicked shard of broken mirror out of his neck. Was she confused about what she’d just done? Was the demon just interested in looking at himself in the piece of mirror? Or was the demon chanting, Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who’s the baddest of them all?

It’s not clear yet why Demon-Megan was so fascinated with the mirror-shard.

It’s clear, though, that the most bad-ass woman on Outcast just got scary-bad-ass.

Related Posts

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself:
Choosing the Devil in Cinemax’s Outcast 108,
“What Lurks Within,” Recap & Review

Damage Control: Cinemax’s Outcast, s1 e7,
“The Damage Done,” Recap & Review

The Demons in the Shadows:
Cinemax’s Outcast,
s1, e4-6, Recap & Review

Demons, Demons Everywhere:
Cinemax’s Outcast
s1, e1-3, Review
(No Spoilers)

Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Actors, Books, Graphic Novels / Comics, Horror, Movies/Television, Outcast, Recap, Review, Violence

The Demons in the Shadows: Cinemax’s OUTCAST, s1 e4-6, Recap & Review

Share

Spoilers,
Dark & Shadowy

images-3

 Cinemax’s new horror series, Outcast, based on the comic books/ graphic novels by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta, is deliciously spooky, and not just because the protagonists are fighting possession and demons. They’re also dealing with their inner demons, which, most of the time, are even scarier than the supernatural kind. Episodes 4 through 6 of its premiere season are as plot-driven as the first few episodes, but the stories are getting more complex as the characters fight their way out of the darkness that’s surrounding them. Add spooky good cinematography and creepy music, and you have a delightful Friday night spook show.

s1 e4
A Wrath Unseen

In Demons, Demons Everywhere, I reviewed episode the first four episodes without giving away plot lines. If you haven’t yet seen episode 4, stop reading now, since this post and subsequent ones on Outcast will contain plot spoilers. “A Wrath Unseen” is where Outcast departed from its Exorcism of the Week format and began exploring the inner demons haunting most of the characters. The plot was a strong as it had been in the initial episodes, but the character development significantly improved with this episode.

Kyle

images-11

Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit) is beginning to be a bit less “broken” than he was in the first three episodes. Though he is slightly afraid of his own inner demons, he also is very protective of women, children, and men who are possessed. He wants to help the Reverend exorcise the demons in Rome’s population. Unfortunately, Kyle doesn’t know specifically what he does that causes them to be cast out. Based on what happened to his own mother when he was a boy, he’s pretty sure that light, his touch, and his blood all cause the demons to react violently, but that doesn’t mean he can actually get them out of the body and soul they’ve inhabited. It’s still a trial and error procedure for Kyle. Furthermore, unlike the Reverend, Kyle doesn’t believe in God, though he clearly believes in demons.

Every other character in Outcast knows Kyle is angry, but viewers don’t yet know exactly what’s behind his anger. Is he angry because he feels stalked by demons? because the townspeople of Rome misunderstand his previous actions? because he had an abusive childhood? because his wife and child left him? any combination or all of the above? We’ll have to wait to see what Kyle’s real story is, but I suspect that Kyle is much more sympathetic than he’s currently being presented. This episode showed him extremely protective of his sister Megan, even if Kyle’s idea of protection is beating up — or, more accurately, getting beaten up by — her childhood rapist Donnie.

Megan

images-15

The story of Kyle’s adopted sister Megan and her family was expanded greatly in the fourth episode, and included flashbacks to Megan’s childhood. In the present, Megan (Wrenn Schmidt) and her husband Mark (David Denman) went out on a date night, only to have it ruined by a mysterious man named Donnie (Scott Parker), who clearly upset Megan, though Mark didn’t seem to notice. In flashbacks, Donnie was revealed as foster child who raped Megan when she was a girl (all violence was off-screen, and merely implied).

Later, Megan got a revolver out of a safe-box, and, in one of the more foolish moments in Megan’s life, went alone to the hotel where Donnie was staying, went into his room and let him close the door, and told him to get outta Dodge. Of course, Donnie is as emotionally abusive as he was previously sexually abusive, and he told Megan that he wondered why she was there, with him, in his hotel room, alone. I wondered that myself, again, since warning lights were going off. I expected her to pull out the gun and shoot Donnie, but she refrained. She simply told him that he hadn’t “ruined” her life as much as he thought. It was a hollow cry against her rapist, one that didn’t ring true despite her character’s insistence.

Later, Megan was shown buying glassware from a thrift shop. The final scene of the episode showed her going out to their backyard in the middle of the night, setting up the glassware, donning protective eye-wear, and smashing the glass with a hammer. Megan has as much rage as her adopted brother Kyle. She also has as many demons, though hers are not supernatural.

Police Officer Mark

images-5

Mark didn’t learn the truth about Donnie from his wife Megan, though it was revealed that Mark knew about the childhood rapes, just not the identity of the rapist. Mark took Kyle out for a beer and Kyle, who had already gotten into fisticuffs with Donnie the night before, told Mark who Donnie was. Later, Mark pulled Donnie over for a “traffic stop,” then beat him at the side of the road, revealing Mark’s wrath and his anger on behalf of his wife.

While it was theoretically admirable that Mark”punished” his wife’s rapist, he did it on the job: the assault was captured on Mark’s dash-cam. (That was one of the interesting touches in the cinematography this episode: the viewers got it from the dash-cam. It was very powerful.) Obviously, there are going to be consequences to this assault being caught on camera.

Reverend Anderson

images-17

Reverend Anderson (Philip Gennister) is still one of the most developed characters in the show. Profane yet devoutly spiritual, vain and proud yet humbled by his obvious personal and professional failures, the Reverend wants Kyle’s help ridding Rome of its demons, yet Anderson wants to be the main one responsible for “saving” his congregation from the Devil and his minions.

In fact, Kyle learns from Anderson that one of his “favorite” sins is Pride. Not as glamorous as sins like Lust and Greed, Pride is more sinister. The Reverend is clearly suffering from the sin of Pride: he wants to cast out the demons in Rome, but he wants to be recognized, even praised, for it. And he doesn’t seem to want to share any of the spotlight and applause with Kyle.

One of Reverend Anderson’s widowed congregation members, Patricia (Melinda McGraw), wants to have a relationship with him, and while the Reverend is interested in her, he seems to be haunted by his own failed marriage. In any event, the Reverend is pretty busy casting out demons these days, and he gets rattled when Kyle reveals that he doesn’t think all the Reverend’s exorcisms have been successful. The Reverend insists that he’d know if a demon was sitting in his church on Sundays, but viewers already suspect, from Sidney’s lurking presence, that the Reverend may not be able to tell the well-behaved, well-dressed demons from the rest of his congregation.

Sidney

images copy

Kyle’s elderly neighbor, Norville, who was murdered, was buried. While Kyle (Patrick Fugit) and Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) were at the graveside, the ominous Sidney (Brent Spiner) showed up. The Reverend recognized him as a recent visitor to his church and was polite, but Kyle seemed uneasy. Sidney told them he’d be staying at Norville’s home, claiming that he, too, was a friend of the deceased. Sidney’s role is still a small one, but I expect that will change given that such a well-known and popular actor is playing the character.

Chief Giles

images-8

Chief Giles (Reg E. Cathey) has that bloodied camper in the woods to investigate, although he previously told Officer Mark to leave it alone. Officer Mark got pretty upset with this “order,” since it’s obvious from the blood-spray inside the camper that something bad happened inside. Like, murder. Or something really close to that. Besides the blood in the camper, there were all those mutilated carcasses mounted to trees, seeming to show the way to the camper.

In “A Wrath Unseen,” viewers learned that there was a specific reason Chief Giles told his subordinate to “ignore” the crime scene: Giles recovered the watch of his best friend from the camper. At a backyard barbecue with his friend Ogden (Pete Burris), Giles returned the watch. Ogden’s face didn’t reveal anything. And that was despite the fact that Giles’ German Shepherd was going berserkers around Ogden. Given the fact that the two are friends, it would seem odd if that were the first time Ogden was at Giles’ home. Surely, Doggie couldnt’ have acted like that in the past. Something has changed. And that something has more to do with demons, I’m guessing, than with the camper in the woods. Unless, of course, Ogden was summoning demons in that camper. Or offering sacrifices.

Chief Giles may never know for certain. While Giles was on a stake-out in the woods, keeping an eye on the camper, Friend Ogden soaked it in gasoline and set it aflame. So much for evidence.

Mildred

images-4

Veteran character actor Grace Zabriskie joined Outcast as Mildred, one of Rome’s residents, and one of Reverend Anderson’s “successful” exorcisms. When Anderson and Kyle go to visit Mildred, bringing food and supplies, Mildred’s daughter Sophie asks to speak to the Reverend alone. She is pretty distressed by what she views as her mother’s completely changed character. Previously, Sophie found her mother loving and caring. Now, Sophie can only think of four-letter words to describe her mother. Her complaints make the Revered have a few flashbacks of demon-possessed Mildred.

While Sophie and the Reverend are talking about Mildred, Kyle goes into the living room, where he meets Mildred. After he introduces himself, she says she knows who he is, in a tone that drips with venom and… well, demons. When she loses her balance slightly and Kyle attempts to help her, she screams at his touch. Somehow, it wasn’t a surprise, but it was a delight to see Zabriskie get to be a nasty old lady.

When the Revered returns on a later visit, sans Kyle, Mildred alternates between hostility and Karo-syrupy sweetness. She even momentarily displays a demonic face: after the Reverend flinches and pulls back, she says, laughingly triumphant, “Gotcha.” She also says she still “likes to play games” with him. He was referring to Scrabble and other board games. Looks like she was referring to games concerning devils and God.

s1 e5
The Road Before Us

“The Road Before Us” introduced us a bit more to Kyle’s ex-wife Allison, their daughter Amber, the criminal investigation surrounding the camper in the woods, and Sidney’s role in the demonic possession of Rome.

Allison

images-6

Allison (Kate Lyn Sheil, above L) has a restraining order against ex-husband Kyle because, despite her lack of memory of the traumatic event, she believes that Kyle violently beat her. She’s afraid of him, yet she’s still attracted to him. Given that she’s acting somewhat strangely herself in this episode, and given Kyle’s enigmatic refusal to give other characters a full account of “what happened that night,” viewers are beginning to suspect that Kyle is right in fearing that something is “wrong” with Allison, and that that something may be a demon or two. Further, to make the situation worse, their daughter Amber is playing very violently with her dolls. Something happened to the girl, something the girl seems to recall, despite the blanks in her mother’s memory. Amber wants to spend more time with her father, but Allison fears for Amber’s safety.

Megan and Allison still have a relationship, and the two clearly care for each other. Kyle attempts to set up a meeting with Allison through Megan, but Allison isn’t interested. She confides in Megan that Kyle seemed to be better at handling Amber than she herself was. When Allison finds what looks like blood on the floor of the garage, and follows the trail through the house, she discovers that her daughter has decided to paint her bedroom walls blood-red. (Don’t ask how this little tyke got the lid off the paint, or even why there was blood-red paint in the house.) Allison goes berserkers on Amber, causing her to hide in the closet, a symbolic mirroring of the scenes with Kyle as a youngster when his possessed mother locked him in the kitchen pantry.

Later, however, Allison goes to Kyle’s house to talk to him. She ends up kissing him. Danger, Kyle Barnes, Danger. We know Kyle still loves his ex-wife, and that he’s protecting her from something violent she herself did to their daughter and for which he’s taking the blame. But she does have a restraining order against him, and she thinks he’s the one that assaulted her (though she can’t remember the attack herself). Poor Kyle: he’s in for some choppy waters ahead with Allison.

Chief Giles

Outcast-Cast-Other-Roles

Chief Giles is catting around Rome, trying to make his friend Fire Chief Ogden nervous. Giles wants Ogden to confess, even if Giles doesn’t know exactly what he wants his friend Ogden to admit. Ogden is having none of it, however, and he tends to stare blankly at Giles whenever he shows up unexpectedly and starts rambling about “If I were in trouble and I had a friend…” ‘Cause, you know, that line always works on criminals in the real world, so it’ll probably work in a demon-possessed world. Of course, Ogden says nothing to implicate himself. And why should he? I’m guessing Ogden’s a demon himself, and he’s got more important things to do in the demonic world.

The DNA

images copy

Officer Mark, in a surprisingly short time, got the DNA results from the blood in the camper. All that blood, sprayed over everything, seems to have come from just one person. Whom the DNA-guys have actually identified by  name.

Oh, come on. If DNA worked like that, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of criminals, including killers, who’d be on death row or in prison for life right now. How the actor managed to say Officer Mark’s lines with a straight face is beyond me. And Chief Giles, instead of being absolutely astounded at the rapid advances in DNA testing in recent weeks, casually told Officer Mark to further investigate the “missing girl” since she might be staying with someone secretly. So her boyfriend wouldn’t find her.

I guess Officer Mark was so flabbergasted by the amazing DNA test results that he forgot any additional police procedure, and I can’t say I blame him. The lab was able to determine the name of the “victim” whose blood was in the camper in the woods without having a matching DNA sample from said suspected victim.

It was so hard to stay focused on the remainder of that scene. Talk about shoddy science. I mean, I know the show is horror, that it’s dealing with the Devil and demonic possession, that it’s more concerned with exorcisms than scientific realities, and that Kyle’s supposed to be some “chosen one” whom the congregating demons need for some reason. Willing suspension of disbelief,  and all that. I got it.

But it was really tough to stretch credulity further by having this miraculous DNA test that could give the police the name, address, and phone number of the missing “victim” out of the great wide yonder. I realize that the creator-author of Outcast, Robert Kirkman, is also the creator of The Walking Dead, which dealt with zombies and a post-apocalyptic world, but that’s not the world we’re being given in Outcast. Even if it were, I’m guessing DNA tests couldn’t give the zombies the name of a victim. I laughed aloud when Officer Mark said he’d “found” the victim through the DNA test on the blood.

It’s never a good thing to laugh in a show that’s supposed to be horror. Just saying…

Reverend Anderson & Kyle

images-6

Reverend Anderson is rather proud of his record of successful exorcisms, and doesn’t seem to find it odd that his tiny congregation in Rome WV has so many demonic possessions. He’s just doing his job. And he’s proud of the fact that he’s doing such a great job. Unfortunately, Kyle bursts the Rev’s Pride-Bubble by insisting that Mildred is still inhabited by, and perhaps controlled by, a demon. The Reverend then drives around with Kyle to the homes or businesses of various previously-possessed-but-now-successfully-exorcised peoples. The Rev’s trying to prove his worth to Kyle, I guess, because the Rev believes in God and so he must be more successful at exorcisms that Kyle, if only because of the belief-in-God factor.

Imagine the Rev’s dismay when he discovers that at least two people besides Mildred may still be possessed by demons. One of them, Sherry, has run away and is living on the streets in Charleston SC, because that’s the demon-hang-out, I suppose, and the only reason a teen runs away is because she’s possessed by the Devil. The other, Pet-Shop-Boy, is now divorced from his wife and living in his abandoned petshop. After Kyle does the sneaky moves and grabs Pet-Shop-Boy from behind, he goes crazy and gets a shotgun. The Rev and Kyle back off pretty quickly. They decide to track down Sherry instead, presumably because she won’t point a shotgun at them.

They find her in Charleston (wait: how far is that from Rome, WV?). At this point, before they find her, I have to say, I’m getting rather bored with all those scenes of the Rev and Kyle in the car. I don’t know if the show’s trying to imitate the comic books on which it’s based, or if the director just likes buddy-movie-road-trip shots, or if the writer couldn’t think of any other setting in which two characters might discuss such profound topics as God and demonic possession, but enough with the car-shots already.

So, the guys find Sherry in Charleston, and they find her pretty quickly given that they didn’t have her DNA on hand. They follow her into an abandoned warehouse / train station / terminal, and she “recognizes” Kyle. That is to say, the demon(s) recognize him. She says, “We are the nameless, the numberless; we need you.” When Kyle goes to help her to her feet, she does the screaming routine, so we know that she is, indeed, still possessed, and the Rev is about to have is ego dashed again.

The black gooey crud that poured out of the mouth of Joshua, the first exorcised person in the show, comes out of Sherry’s mouth, too, but it’s more wiggly and snake-y than we’ve seen previously. It’s also a lot stronger: the demonic sludge surrounds Kyle, lifts up in the air, then dashes him to the floor. The Rev, who’s acting a bit jealous, asks, “What’s so special about him?” but the demon-sludge is too busy with Kyle to answer.

Then they get the bad news: Sherry is lying catatonic on the floor, just like Kyle’s mother is lying in the Home all those years after Kyle drove the demon(s) from her. It seems that sometimes when Kyle casts out a demon, it destroys the body-mind of the victim. Kyle is really upset about that. The Rev thinks it’s still Coolio and the Gang as long as the Devil doesn’t win the victims’ souls. Kyle has a serious problem with that interpretation of events. They have a shoving match in the hall outside the hospital room where Sherry is lying, unresponsive, while her father sits, grieving, beside her. Kyle and the Rev part ways: Kyle refuses to continue exorcisms is they’re going to leave the victim catatonic. Despite the fact that at least two possessed still have demons in them, the Rev is confident that he can continue the exorcisms alone.

Sidney & Mildred

images-7

Sidney shows up at Mildred’s house, and in a comical scene, she first tells him, from the window, that she doesn’t need her house numbers painted on the curb, or magazine subscriptions, or whatever else he’s selling. Then he just opens the door and walks in. She starts to get annoyed, then recognizes the demon in him — and his demon seems to be the boss of her demon — and she apologizes. They stand around Mildred’s living room, discussing human nature, including its tendency to collect knick-knacks, before they talk specifically about Kyle. It seems that both of their inner demons are upset about Kyle and about his exorcisms, even if he’s not as in control of them as he’d like to think. Sidney tells Mildred that he’ll take care of Kyle.

In a surprise maneuver, Mildred grabbed Sidney and kissed him, attempting to steal his soul or his energy or his life-force or whatever. She was unsuccessful because he’s much more powerful than she is, as well as physically stronger. He pushed her off. She then apologized, attempting to excuse her behavior by whining about the fact that she’s not strong enough to survive till “The Merge.” Sidney reminds her that she took the same chances “as the rest of us.” Now we know that there are a great number of demons, inhabiting humans, most of them in Rome, and most of them looking for Kyle, apparently. Mildred is one who fears she will not last until some apocalyptic event called The Merge, but Sidney feels no sympathy for her.

s1 e6
From the Shadows It Watches

images-7

Episode 6 of Outcast took viewers to virtually all the characters in the series, letting us know that It is watching all the people in Rome, whether they demon-possessed or not. Since there are 10 episodes in season 1 (the show has already been renewed for a second season), we’re more than half-way through this first season, so things are starting to bubble and boil in the demon-infested town.

Megan & Donnie

images-15

While having lunch with Kyle, Megan got a phone call from a number she didn’t recognize, and she ignored it. After Kyle when back to work, the phone rang again, and Megan answered, asking, “Who is this?” Viewers didn’t hear anything, but later, when Megan showed up at Donnie’s hospital room, we realized that he had been the one calling her. Beaten and brain-damaged, Donnie is attempting to blackmail Megan: he wants hush-money to not tell the truth about Officer Mark’s assaulting him.

We don’t yet know how Megan will respond to the blackmail attempt, but later in the show, we saw that she was unhappy enough with husband Mark’s violence to put their daughter into bed with her, and then to tell Mark to leave the girl there in bed. He went to sleep somewhere else in the house without even asking Megan what on earth was going on. He’ll find out. After all, the shadows around Megan are filled with demons, too.

The CamperInTheWoods
Investigation

images-19

Thanks to the miraculous DNA test results, Officer Mark is able to get the “missing” woman in for questioning about the mutilated animal carcasses as well as the bloody camper in the woods. She won’t give him any information, saying that he’s a big guy with a big gun and a big piece of male anatomy so of course he can’t imagine why any woman would want to just “disappear” from her boyfriend, leaving all her clothes and her car behind. Officer Mark doesn’t know what to do with that comment, so he just lets her leave the police station. Later, the woman shows up at Ogden’s house and tells him the Camper is being investigated. In case he didn’t know that already from all the Chief’s innuendoes and from his returning the watch found at the scene of the bloodied camper.

The woman and Ogden have apparently done more than a few things for which he might get into trouble, way out there in that camper in the woods, and at least one of those things involves a whole lotta blood. Ogden seems more concerned that his wife will discover that he and the woman have an inappropriate (probably sexual) relationship, than he does that the Chief may discover that a crime was committed. Did he and the woman mutilate and kill all those animals? Was all the blood in the camper from the animals or from humans? Was that his wife standing in the open doorway of the house watching him talk to the woman or was that just a shadow on the screen door? Demon or human, that man is in for some trouble.

Reverend Anderson

images-8

Kyle and the Reverend Anderson are seriously competing to be the Alpha Male Exorcismus. After another exorcism, this time of the Rev’s worker Caleb, Kyle says he is willing to help the Reverend if they do it Kyle’s way, but the Reverend would prefer to do it his own way, if only because he’ll get all the attention from God and from his congregation if he’s a successful Exorcist all on his own. After much shoving, yelling, and name-calling, the two eventually come to an uneasy truce.

The Reverend is having some serious issues with faith, God, demons, the Devil, and his own role in this world where the demons within the human bodies are stalking other humans and demons. Also, the Rev is pretty upset that, though Kyle managed to cast out a demon from Caleb, the worker tells the Rev afterward that he wasn’t frightened or tormented when possessed. All Caleb felt, he tells Reverend Anderson, was “warmth,” and Caleb can no longer tell his fellow believers to fear demons or the Devil.

As you can imagine, this makes the Rev none too happy. He gets into quite a few “arguments” with God during this episode, and he eventually throws a glass or a bottle at the cross hanging in his home. After Patricia offers to help the Rev in his work, she gets frightened and wants to get Kyle. The Rev is not happy with her lack of faith in him, and he basically tells her that she can forget any personal relationship if she lacks faith in him.

Mildred

images-4

In a delightfully surprising move, Mildred goes to Kyle’s house, cold-cocks him with her walking cane, and then, straddling him in an obviously sexual manner, attempts to drain the energy or soul from him, much as she did with Sidney, only taking the precaution to knock the guy senseless beforehand so he can’t resist her or fight back. While she’s sucking the black-energy-crud from him, she yelps and is tossed off him. Later, at the neighbor’s house where Sidney is staying, we see Mildred there, reassuring Sidney that she didn’t harm Kyle. It was apparently Sidney who yanked her off Kyle.

Sidney tells Mildred that she’s not to attract attention to herself. She responds by saying that the Reverend Anderson is doing lots more harm than she ever has, but the look Sidney gives her makes it clear he is not happy with her at all. Later, when Kyle goes to her home to talk to her, he finds her catatonic. Yeah, I’d say Sidney was more than unhappy with her. And he must be a pretty powerful demon. (But if that’s the last we see of Mildred, I’ll be disappointed: not only is the character great, but the actor, Grace Zabriskie, has some of the best charisma and on-screen chemistry in the show.)

Kyle

NEgf1vDC7VCfjk_2_b

When Kyle’s not arguing with Reverend Anderson, he’s attempting to clean up his life: he’s cleaned himself up physically, gotten a job, seems to be getting along with his fellow workers, is sending money to his ex-wife (though she returns the envelopes, unopened, through his sister Megan), and trying to support his daughter Amber. After he sees the spooky-snaky demon in a bucket of tar while working on a road-crew, Kyle decides that he’s meant to help the Rev with the exorcisms, so they work out a deal.

Sidney

images-7

Sidney finally revealed himself as the Bad Boy he is by going to Reverend Anderson’s home and ordering him to cease-and-desist with the casting-out-demons routine. Of course, the Rev wanted to argue about it, so Sid just shoved him into the wall, took out a knife, and carved a pentagram into the Rev’s left breast. Oh, man, it was creepity-creeps of the best kind. Brent Spiner is actually believable as the eerie and demonically violent Sidney. The Rev was devastated. So will everyone else in town be, when they look behind the curtain and find Sidney.

Outcast airs Fridays at 10p.m. ET on Cinemax. You can watch the premiere, “A Darkness Surrounds Him,” free on Cinemax (or on its YouTube Channel) and watch all the episodes on MaxGo. Think of Outcast as a kind of updated Exorcist. Lock your doors, turn out the lights, and enjoy the spooky ride.

Related Posts

Demons, Demons Everywhere:
Cinemax’s Outcast (1-3), Review

Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Actors, Graphic Novels / Comics, Horror, Movies/Television, Outcast, Recap, Review