Outcast “(I Remember) When She Loved Me” Review (Season 1 Episode 2)

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On the latest episode of “Outcast,” a mysterious new stranger (Brent Spiner, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) arrived in town while Kyle (Patrick Fugit) continued to struggle with his place in the grand scheme of things and his mother and her state in both the past and the present, in “(I Remember) When She Loved Me.”

That episode title sounds like an old country song, but I couldn’t find one of that name, so I’m guessing that was just what they were aiming for, which makes sense, given the small town rural setting. Either way, it suit the episode, which found a lot of people lamenting the past while worrying what the future might hold. In this town, probably nothing good.

We began with a flashback to when Kyle’s mother (Julia Crockett) was first possessed. As the episode progressed, we got glimpses of the woman she was before madness- or rather, demons- took hold, and it would seem she was a perfectly sane and loving mother until, out of nowhere, she was possessed, at which point things went downhill fast.

She began terrorizing her son to such an extent that he first had to hide from her, then lock her in the pantry, and then, after pulling the whole “I’m okay now” gambit and letting her out, fighting for his life as she came at him full force, trying to outright kill the poor boy.

Kyle barely managed to successfully stave her off and knock her out, resulting in a similar thing as with Joshua, as his mother spewed forth the demonic mass and it cascaded to the ceiling, then tried to attack and choke out Kyle.

However, whether it was not strong enough outside of a host’s body or it was dissolved by the sunlight outside, it eventually dissolved and the boy fell to the floor, emerging relatively unscathed- at least physically. Emotionally, on the other hand…

His mother had been in a coma ever since, residing in a local nursing home. But was she really completely out of it? After seeing the condition she was in and the state of the facility, Kyle aimed to find out by taking her out of there and caring for her himself.

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Naturally, this didn’t go over well with the locals, who called up Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) and informed him of what had happened. He went to Kyle’s and the two attempted a similar exorcism on Kyle’s mother- albeit with less punching this time- to no avail.

Eventually, Kyle had to cede defeat and returned his mother to the home, where she could at least be looked after by professionals who could give her round-the-clock care, which was more than Kyle could do.

No sooner had they done so, when the aforementioned mysterious stranger paid Kyle’s mother a visit, and we discovered that the two knew each other long ago. How exactly remains a mystery, but it would seem a distinct possibility that the man is Kyle’s long-lost father. He says that Kyle will “never know how hard you fought back” and “resisted” and yet, “we have him anyway.”

Does that mean that Kyle’s mom resisted letting the demon in- or that she resisted having Kyle in the first place, for reasons unknown? We’ll just have to wait and see. Either way, we do see that Kyle’s mom reacts to this, as a single tear falls from her eye, indicating that she may still be in there after all.

Beyond that, a local reported a possible cult meeting/practicing Satanism in the woods near his home, bringing in a slaughtered animal he found nailed to a tree and saying there were more where that came from. The Chief (Reg E. Cathey) and Deputy Holter (David Denman) go to check it out, and find a whole host of dead animals eviscerated and nailed spread-eagle on a bunch of trees, so the guy wasn’t kidding.

As someone had painted graffiti of a demonic nature on the outside wall of the church, it seems possible that there is indeed a cult in town, or at the very least, someone messing around with witchcraft and/or Satanism to some extent. Given what we’ve seen to date, this does not seem like the town one would want to do that in.

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Honestly, that was about it for this week, beyond Megan (Wrenn Schmidt) attending Kyle’s daughter’s birthday party and giving her a gift on his behalf, a Homer Price book which his ex-wife seemed to sense was Kyle’s doing. We also discovered that Amber (Chandler Head), the child in question, didn’t understand why her dad had left, and blamed her mother for it, seeming to indicate she may know it was her mother who abused her, not him.

We also met a few new characters, including several female members of the Reverend’s congregation, which he referred to as “Anderson’s Army,” who he tasked with trying to recruit others to attend church more, telling them that it was a necessity in these troubled times, with all the evil burgeoning in town.

Among them were Patricia (Melinda McGraw, “Mad Men”), who seems to have a thing for the Reverend- and the feeling seems mutual- and the crusty but matter-of-fact old woman played by cult fave actress Grace Zabriskie, of “Twin Peaks” and “Big Love” fame, whose name I didn’t catch. (I liked her comments about the Reverend putting a little “pepper” on his sermon, lol.)

That was about it, really. It was a decent enough episode, I suppose, but more about table setting than anything else. I do think it was a wise move that they started the series out with the last episode rather than this one, as it showed how bad things had gotten in town since the events Kyle witnessed as a child, which were pretty bad, but didn’t involve a grown man beating up a child, so…

The episode was directed by Howard Deutch, of all people, the former John Hughes associate best-known for the much-beloved “Pretty in Pink” and “Some Kind of Wonderful.” Needless to say, he was a long way from Duckie and the gang here, but given that his resume as of late also includes episodes of “American Horror Story,” “The Strain” and “True Blood,” it’s safe to say that his tastes have changed over the years. (He also has quite the beautiful daughter, up-and-coming actress Zoey (“Beautiful Creatures”), who is the offspring of none other than Lea Thompson, aka Mrs. Deutch.)

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All in all, it was a good episode, but it definitely left you wanting more, which I suppose is the idea, but still…I could have dealt with just a hair more action, as the episode didn’t really tell us a lot we didn’t already know, beyond introducing a few new characters and revealing that there’s someone actively practicing black magic in town, which isn’t exactly a shocker.

I don’t mind letting it slide, though, as the series has a lot going for it overall. Of the things I didn’t mention last week, I should give a shout-out to Paul Azaceta, who co-created the comic this was based on with Robert Kirkman and the super-cool and uber-creepy title credits sequence, which isn’t quite “American Horror Story” unnerving, but is still pretty nifty.

Also, I can’t recall if I mentioned it, but the show has already been picked up for a second season, so good news for those who are loving it so far. I’m still a bit on the fence, but I did love the premiere, so I’m definitely willing to give the show the benefit of the doubt in the short-term. It has enough going for it to stick with, at the very least.

What did you think of the second episode of “Outcast”? What did you make of the new characters? What do you think is really going on in the woods? Will Kyle be vindicated in his actions, whether with his family or in town? Will his mother ever fully recover? Who is that mysterious stranger? Kyle’s dad? Or someone more sinister? Sound off down below and see you next week!