OUTCASTS Series 1 Episode 4 Review

Outcasts Series 1 Episode 4

OUTCASTS Series 1 Episode 4 – When Elijah, a captured AC with violent tendencies, escapes into Forthaven, Fleur and Cass set out to find him. But they soon discover that Elijah is not in full control of his actions – and that it was testing lead by Tate after the arrival on Carpathia that caused this. While Fleur makes plans to quietly hand him over to the other ACs, Cass attempts to hand him over to his fellow PAS officers – with deadly consequences.

I wanted to like this episode. Elijah was an interesting character and I enjoyed Tipper sliding back into his rogue-with-a-heart-of-gold persona. Cass coming around to Elijah being a good person and then still turning to Tate was engaging. But it all comes apart when I look at the episode as a whole.

Outcasts only has 8 episodes to deliver a full storyline, whether or not certain plot points are left open-ended for a potential second series. Episodes 1 and 2 had some exposition and pacing issues, but they were pretty much par for the course for a single series drama. Episode 3 slipped into episodic storytelling, and while not a great piece of television, at least wrapped up neatly at the end of the hour.

But episode 4 is where we’re treated to an episode that should have been in a much longer series. It would have fitted neatly into a 13 or 22 episode order, but with only 4 episodes to go, have we really got time for past evil science and long moments of thinly veiled ‘are they human? are they equal?’ dialogue?

There are just too many things going on this episode and none of them are addressed satisfactorily. Everyone now knows about the ACs and Tate is apparently losing the support of his people – but we don’t see it. Rudi can walk into the town accompanied by Fleur without incident. Stella tells Tipper that his impromptu, unauthorised reveal of an AC running amok could cause panic – but we don’t see any. Even Tate doesn’t look particularly surprised when ‘ghosts’ (or whatever they may be) of his dead sons turn up at the end of the episode.

Things are starting to happen in Forthaven, but without seeing the wider reactions, without getting more backstory, or without focusing on the characters outside of work or their designated one personal issue (e.g. Fleur and Cass’ budding romance, Stella’s motherly angst, Tate’s fatherly angst), I’m starting to find it hard to actually care. Tipper is the only character I gave two hoots about this episode and he didn’t even have anything to do.

Which leads me to this: they have the scientists to mess with an ACs brain, but they didn’t bring an astroclimatologist? And they’ll use all the effort needed to carry people to a distant planet, but they won’t give those people specialised tasks? Tipper is supposedly a genius, so why is he running a radio station? Wouldn’t it have been wiser to lead him into a scientific career suited to his strengths on the way to Carpathia and once they had arrived? Yes, he was a child when he arrived, but which is going to be more useful in the long run – a young adult who can help you solve your crop issue or a young adult who can play vinyls of the Sex Pistols?

I’m also tired of this Stella and Lily plotline. Why did Stella have to leave her behind anyway? Tate brought his children along (even if they then suffered an early demise). Why didn’t Stella bring her family with her? At least then we wouldn’t be subjected to Lily being 90s emo child. The only way that plot line could get any worse is if Tipper starts sleeping with her as well as her mother. Sheesh.

And so we’ll end with this: what is the significance of the jawbone they found? Is really tens of thousands of years old? Could it really be from within the last ten years? (Tate did mention unusual rock formations and, let’s be honest here, the science seems to be a bit fast and loose on this show, who knows what is possible?) Is there going to be time travel involved? Did humans really evolve on this planet and spread out to others? (Is this Outcast‘s Kobol?)

I really want Outcasts to be as good as I had hoped, but after episodes 3 and 4 I’m not convinced it will be.

What did you think of episode 4? Let us know in the comments below!

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