Outcast | S1 E5

From the creator of The Walking Dead, Outcast rolls on with more spooky goings on than even the Ghostbusters could deal with, how does this episode fare?, join Film and TV Nerd to find out!

Despite building up a sense of dread with Kyle’s ex-lady and her daughter, this episode is also pleased to play about with more funny elements, giving a lightness of tone mostly helped by a playful turn by Reg E. Cathey as the always reliable Chief of Police. His turn is one that happens to offer a little escape from the seriousness of the Anderson-Kyle schtick. That’s not to say that there aren’t joys to be had along the way with things going bump in the night.

The element that works best is that Glenister’s Rev Anderson is becoming less and less the grizzled burn out that the beginning of the series would have you believe, and more and more is coming to show that he is just a very driven person, who wants to fight a great evil.

If there is a problem, it’s the refusal to explain anything. Exactly who is Brent Spiner? Why is he so damn pale (looking like Data’s evil twin), why aren’t there more loving flashbacks with Kyle and his daughter, and his wife? After all horror only truly works when there is a genuine sense of what is happening being a tragedy. Kyle is an interesting character, but perhaps if we could see just what he’s lost we would truly want him to kick demon behind.

As the episode progresses, and things seem to be pulling in different angles, there’s a sense that it’s building to something. There is a touch of Satanic majesty about Spiner, but if he was fleshed out more he would a more enjoyable villain, certainly Spiner seems to be having a lot of fun as a be suited personification of true evil.

Of course it’s not all doom and gloom, as there are great things in this episode. The performances are all great, and it’s possible that this offers some of the most enjoyable moments of tension, not least with Cathey confronting a friend of his, a scene that relies on reactions and long silences. Moreover, the meat of the episode comes to a head when Anderson and Kyle go on the hunt for a missing girl, one who could very well be possessed.

Here the episode finds it’s feet. With the moonlit gothic tensions, the little red riding hood style costume, it becomes something of a Grimm Fairy-tale with the Big Bad Wolf inside Red Riding Hood, ‘my my what dark thoughts you have!’ It’s still unclear just what makes Kyle so special, and if he’s actually some kind of paranormal Jesus.

But by the end of this episode, despite it’s missteps and it’s irritating elements, there is something positive to cheer about, Kyle kissing his wife is probably the most emotionally involved in the series we’ve been this far, which if the horror genre is anything to go by, can only mean something truly and unspeakably bad is waiting round the corner. Chances are, it’s probably Brent Spiner.

What did you think of this episode?

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