Monday, August 1, 2016

Outcast, Season 1, Episode 8: What Lurks Within

This episode finally dumps a whole lot more complexity on just about everything – which is what I’ve been saying for a while. Especially since Anderson is the worst

After a series of events, Giles decides to arrest Sidney, the demon leader, despite Anderson’s objections (more on that later) which gives Kyle a chance to talk to him and introduce a whole lot of complexity.

He describes how he and his fellow- I’m going to call them demons because I have no idea what they are – basically land in people at random (good or bad) which pretty much screws up all of Anderson’s prayer theory. And when they land they’re confused angry and generally “rough”. Which is why there’s a lot of violence with the initial possessed. But he also says the two sides merge together – and the reason why Kyle’s mother is in a coma is that he literally ripped half of her away. He says, if left alone, the two sides can merge peacefully.

On top of that, we return to the idea that it can happen to anyone – good or bad. Because Sidney is possessing a paedophile and possible serial killer; and when Sidney took over he let the man’s victim go and, presumably, is not continuing his predation (but proof that the host is still alive – he’s clearly still tempted). Exorcising Sidney brings a paedophile back to town. Who is the monster there?

Of course he could be lying…

But then we have the example of Elizabeth Odgen, Lewis Ogden’s possessed wife. He’s been acting suspicious for some time which Giles has been following up, not because he’s possessed but because he’s been helping them. The serial killer trailer is a place to lock up the newly possessed during their violent stage so they can get their shit together. He describes how he loves spending time with the new Elizabeth, how she is still in there, part of the new Elizabeth and he doesn’t want this to stop

Ok… part of this does humanise the possessed – but he doesn’t really focus on how Elizabeth is still there and she likes what she is or anything. This focuses on the fact that Lewis likes this Elizabeth. It’s not about her, her freedom, her expression, anything – it’s all about the person he likes. He will have her possessed because this is the woman he enjoys. This is not about her, freedom, expression or anything and kind of reduces her to an object or tool. His preference is what dictates her existence.

And into all this nuance we have Anderson – who tries to kidnap Elizabeth and force Kyle to perform an exorcism, attacking him when he refuses. While he screams about filling his church pews. Yes, again we’re confronted by Anderson’s true motive – while he talks about souls, ultimately it’s about his reputation, it’s about filling his church, it’s about him looking big and shiny and impressive. It’s his ego. This is all his ego.

Which takes another hit when the church council/whatever fires him. And evicts him from the rectory. Bye bye Anderson, please do let the door hit you on the way out.

Giles turns his back on him – if they have a problem he’s handling it his way because Anderson’s way certainly isn’t working. And Kyle isn’t performing any more exorcisms until he knows exactly what’s happening. It’s not that he believes Sidney, but he’s not going to risk harming more people until he has the answers. This is a very sensible position so of course Anderson is outraged

Anderson turns to the one person still with him – Patricia. Who deserves better than this arse

She also deserves better than her arse of a son who continually shames her, lies to Giles about Anderson carving the pentagram into his own chest and is generally awful. He ends up staying with Sidney which is… troublesome given his paedophile host.

The bright spot is Mark, Megan and Kyle. Mark and Megan are still all touchy after Donnie, Mark possibly losing his job and everything going to hell. Especially as Mark continues to try and attach some blame/shame on Megan for not wanting to talk to him about her rape and continually justifying himself. He pulls some back at the end though when he pulls out a sheaf of money – he’s sold his shiny truck and bought a junker so she can buy her ring back – because that’s one thing he won’t let Donnie take from them. It’s touching and sweet and a sign they may be heading for the mend

Kyle also talks about Allison’s possession. He talks to his daughter about it so she knows that Allison wasn’t the one who attacked her – and he tells Megan so she finally knows why he attacked Allison. But also so she will help him find her as he worries about what she’ll do if she remembers that she attacked her daughter – what that memory will do to her.

So we just got a double shed load of exposition which is now So Very Complicated and a whole lot of family development which is also complicated – but real. Things are looking up and I'm glad Outcast has more meat than just "evil demons to be exorcised"