Outcast “All Alone Now” Review (Season 1 Episode 3)

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In the riveting third episode of “Outcast,” the boys got a new case, while Megan (Wrenn Schmidt) had an unexpected- and seemingly unwanted- visitor in town, and her husband Mark (David Denman) took matters into his own hands, in terms of whatever was going on in the woods, in “All Alone Now.”

We began with what, at first glance, seemed to be a host of new characters, including cop buddies Luke (JR Bourne, “Teen Wolf”) and Blake (Lee Tergesen, “Defiance”), and their respective significant others. Engaging in a friendly game of bowling on a double date, things got somewhat ugly when the normally on-his-game Blake found himself off of it.

Taking matters out on his date, it understandably causes a premature end to the evening, with Luke chalking it up to a mixture of booze and perhaps a touch of the flu. Luke and his wife take Blake to their house to rest up while Luke runs to the store to fetch some medicine and general remedies.

This proves to be a dreadful mistake, as Blake’s illness proves not to be of the normal, run-of-the-mill variety, and instead, of the demonic kind. Or is it a demon? (More on that later.) Whatever the case, Blake assaults and kills Luke’s completely caught off-guard wife, seemingly raping her and then crumpling her up into a ball of flailing limbs and broken bones, leaving a surprise of the worst kind waiting for his friend when he arrives home.

Rightfully recognizing that this isn’t- can’t be- his friend, Luke calls in the Calvary, aka the Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) and Kyle (Patrick Fugit), who have already started to make a name of themselves after the whole Joshua case in the first episode. The two meet up with Luke at the local prison, where Blake is being kept in solitary in the mentally ill ward.

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Though the guard warns them about bringing in anything that can be used as a weapon, the Rev insists on taking in his trusty crucifix, having a good idea what’s waiting for them on the other side. On the one hand, he’s not wrong, but on the other, the guard wasn’t, either, as Blake isn’t exactly above doing just that.

At first, Blake laughs off the Reverend, but he eventually shows his hand when it becomes clear he recognizes Kyle, just as the demon possessing Joshua did. Dubbing Kyle the “Outcast” (title reference alert!), he alludes to the fact that Kyle has always been a loner, and not by choice, either, noting that he bets that people have just always kept their distance from Kyle naturally, including his loved ones- if he has any.

From this, it’s clear that, unlike say, the demon in “The Exorcist,” these demons don’t necessarily know things that they couldn’t really possibly know, but that there is some sort of demonic network going on in which certain information is relayed. In other words, just as word have gotten around about Kyle and the Rev amongst the humans, so has it amongst the demons.

Kyle asks Blake how to “stop it,” meaning his seeming powers, but Blake asks why he would want to in the first place. “Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to keep a light under your bushel?” This is a Biblical expression, simply meaning that “light is to be revealed, not concealed,” but it sets off Kyle nonetheless, who pummels Blake for it.

The Reverend stops him, and Blake comments how Kyle is special, and why would he want to be anything else. Kyle says he just wants his family back and would be willing to leave the demons alone if they promise to back off him and his family. Blake says he thinks he can arrange it, but that it will take some time, perhaps even a year, to get the word out to everyone.

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This would seem to imply that there is a sort of demonic network at hand that allows them to communicate with one another, but not instantaneously. In other words, as with regular human beings, these things take time, even amongst demons. But are they, really?

When the Reverend goes back in for a second round of attempting an exorcism, it proves far less effective than with Joshua. Yes, his words and holy water and crucifix have some effect on the creature possessing Blake, but on the whole, Blake just continues to laugh it off.

Kyle goes to leave, but Luke stops him, saying he knows exactly who he is and he’s the real power here, which the demon (or whatever) all but confirms when he taunts the Reverend with the fact that his actions have no real effect on him and his kind and that it’s Kyle that is the one who can defeat them- and he doesn’t even believe in God, ironically enough.

Luke admits that, if they don’t save Blake, he’ll have nothing left, as the demon not only took his wife, but his best friend in the process. Meanwhile, Blake continues to taunt Anderson- “Do you do kids’ parties, too?”- finally setting him off, as he all but attacks Blake with his crucifix.

Blake uses the opportunity to wrest free of one of his handcuffs and grabs the cross and holds it to Anderson’s throat, threatening to kill him. A frantic Luke and Kyle return to the room, as Blake informs Kyle that he and his family will never be safe and that he’ll never be free of “us.”

The Reverend manages to get out from under Blake’s grasp and wriggle away, and Kyle goes into attack mode again, beating Blake down. At first, Blake only laughs, but then Kyle either gets his own blood or possibly his saliva in Blake’s mouth and that clearly has an effect on him in earnest. He finally says his name, but says that he’s not going anywhere.

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This proves to be the case, making this their first failed exorcism, if you don’t count Kyle’s mother, who was already in a coma, so I’m not sure that counts. (Also, we already know the demon, or whatever, left her body, as we saw in the last episode, back when Kyle was a kid.) Luke is crushed and later on, very nearly suffocates his former friend to free him of whatever it is inside him, but can’t bring himself to finish the job, for which the creature dubs him a “pussy,” as Luke leaves, defeated.

So, what we appear to have here is something demon-like, and which is somewhat affected by religious rites and words and the accompanying objects (i.e. crucifixes, burning sage, holy water) and even seems to know the Bible enough to quote it just as effectively as the Reverend. However, exorcism alone doesn’t seem to be enough to get them out of people.

Instead, they must be beaten out to some degree, nearly to the death of their host, coupled with Kyle putting some sort of bodily fluid into their mouths or what have you, be it his tears, blood or saliva. But even then, as we see in this episode, it isn’t enough to guarantee defeat, which is troubling.

Might it have to do with the durability of the host body? After all, Joshua was just a kid and Kyle’s mother was pretty frail, but Blake was a pretty sizable dude. Hard to say, but it’s clear from this episode, that these demons or whatever they are aren’t going to go so quietly every time- if they go at all.

On other fronts, Deputy Holter demanded that the Chief (Reg E. Cathey) let him go and process the trailer they found last week, which he allows him to do, albeit dubiously. Holter finds all sorts of stuff, including blood, hair, possible fingerprints and even a broken off fingernail embedded in the area of a sunroof, as if someone were trying to get out that way.

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Alas, all his hard work proves to be somewhat for naught, as the Chief simply takes all of said evidence and tells Holter he’ll “take it from there.” Not sure if the Chief is simply wanting to take the credit for all of Holter’s hard work or is simply aware that it will all come to nothing as he already knows that whatever is going on in the woods has nothing to do with a human suspect, per se, but rather these demonic creatures.

If his letting Kyle and the Reverend go on the premiere episode was any indication, it would seem to be the latter. I think the Chief is well aware of some of the stuff going on in his town and knows that it can’t be fought by conventional means, which is why he’s wary of involving outsiders, opting to take care of these matters “in house,” as it were.

Besides, what are the chances outsiders would even believe what was going on? That is, of course, unless they’d had dealings of their own with similar creatures. From what both Blake and the Reverend said, these creatures are hardly just limited to this one town, but rather, are spread out all over and multiplying by the minute.

Indeed, we see at least one instance of what appears to be a demon trying to get “into” someone with Kyle’s own sister, Megan, who has a reaction to something that’s quite similar to that of Blake’s before he was possessed. Ultimately, she emerges okay, but it sure did seem like something was trying to mess with her.

Beyond that, though, Megan did seem rattled by the arrival of someone from her past, when she spots someone from the road at a local hotel and stops dead in her tracks. Unable to focus at her job as a guidance counselor at the local grade school- she even snaps at one of the students- she returns to the hotel and goes so far as to find out what room the man is staying in and sneak into his room.

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Once inside, she finds the man’s laptop, who she refers to as Donald Hamill, an “old friend,” to the desk clerk, but is listed as “Joe” on the main screen of said computer. Whatever the case, when she opens it up, she sees that the man has been Facebook stalking her, and thus, is well aware she lives in town.

From the way she reacts, I’d have to say that it seems likely he was an ex-boyfriend that possibly assaulted or abused her in some way and which she moved back to her hometown to get away from.

Well, whoever he is has clearly found her again, and she’s obviously not happy about it, to the point that she actually hallucinates him later on in bed with her husband making love and cries out, causing her to cut the encounter short. Might her daughter also be this mystery man’s? Could be, but we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

That was about it for this episode, save a check-in with the other mystery man of the series, played by Brent Spiner. IMDB refers to the character as Sidney, so we’ll go with that, but thus far, we know next to nothing about the guy and this episode certainly did nothing to change that. About the only thing I do know is that he’s connected to Kyle in some way and obviously knows his mother, which could well make him Kyle’s father, but we’ll see about that one as well.

After an attention-grabbing fantastic premiere and a decent, if more table-setting second episode, this was a definite return-to-form for the show, although the last episode was hardly that bad, just more of getting-acquainted-with-the-characters sort of deal, which is fine.

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While that episode didn’t tell us much we didn’t already know, this one did, at least in terms of the creatures Kyle and the Rev are fighting, which may not be as cut-and-dried as a simple “demon,” but rather, something more. Religious approaches may affect them, but they are not enough to defeat them- only Kyle seems to have that power, and even his abilities are not foolproof.

Indeed, we still don’t know exactly what Kyle’s true powers are- and neither does he, for that matter. All we know is that he is capable of defeating these creatures, whatever they may be. He just has to learn how to harness and control said abilities before they are rendered truly effective. Otherwise, all he’ll end up doing is beating up a bunch of people.

I loved that the show made it readily apparent that Kyle’s powers aren’t as reliable as the Reverend might have thought, or that they may not have anything to do with religion at all- nor do the creatures themselves. It would have been easy for the show to fall into the “exorcism of the week” formula, but there’s clearly more going on here, which is a good thing.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there will be new “cases” most every week, but the fact that not all of them are successfully resolved means that this show is capable of throwing some curveballs at us. This team of Kyle and the Rev are hardly unstoppable and infallible, which is much more interesting to me than if they were so. They’re flawed, troubled, and hardly heroes in the typical sense, and that’s a good thing.

This was an even better attempt by second-time director Howard Deutch than the last episode, and shows that he can definitely bring it with the material to back him up. The scenes with Blake and Luke’s wife were effectively cringe-inducing and hard to watch and the scenes in the prison were also well-staged.

While I didn’t dislike the second episode, by any means, this was absolutely up to the level of the premiere, from the similar “in media res” opening to the big set-piece at the prison. I love that the show keeps us guessing, and the fact that it threw us some surprises along the way instead of resorting to formula bodes well for its future. Can’t wait for episode four!

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What did you think of the latest episode of “Outcast”? Are you liking it so far? Any fave characters as of yet? What do you think is going on with Megan? Who is that guy she’s investigating? Why weren’t Kyle’s efforts successful this time around? What is Sidney up to? Why did Kyle’s neighbor kill himself? Sound off on this and more down below and see you next week!