Outcast “The Road Before Us” Review (Season 1 Episode 5)

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On the latest episode of “Outcast,” we had some juicy developments that shed light on what exactly was going on here and what Kyle’s place in it might be, in the aptly-titled “Road Before Us.” The episode was written by Robin Veith, a “Mad Men” and “True Blood” vet, with direction by Craig Zobel, of “Z is for Zachariah” and the notorious “Compliance” fame.

We began with an on edge Kyle, sitting outside his ex Alison’s house with Reverend Anderson, wondering if he should demand to be let in, lest she still be possessed by the demons or what have you tormenting everyone. His primary concern is the well-being of his daughter, who could very well be in danger, if not outright being tormented by his ex.

However, all seems quiet, so he lets it go- for now- but we see that Ali is definitely acting strange, so Kyle’s fears aren’t completely unfounded. Instead, Anderson offers up an alternative- what if they go and visit some of his successes before Kyle came back to town, thus proving the thing with Mildred was a fluke?

Kyle agrees and they head back out on the road to track down the closest one. He does call sister Megan and asks her to set up a meet between him and Ali, but she flatly refuses and tells him to stay away from her. She does agree to go over there and check things out to make sure everything’s okay.

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Meanwhile, the Chief swings by the Fire Station in the morning on his way to work to drop in on Ogden and see if he’s rattled by his unexpected appearance, baiting him a bit about his suspicions, including mentioning the fire at the trailer. Ogden is rattled, but lies and doesn’t say anything just yet, and neither does the Chief do anything in regards to arresting him or the like, despite what he witnessed.

The Reverend and Kyle stop by a rural house in the middle of nowhere to talk to Roy (Jason Davis, “Secrets & Lies”), a man whose daughter Anderson performed an exorcism on. He tells them that she’s not there and last he heard, was living on the streets somewhere, having run away some time ago, leaving him to feel like he’d failed as a father.

He gives them a general idea where to look for her and they head in that direction, but Kyle remains unconvinced and skeptical, much to the Reverend’s chagrin. As such, along the way, they stop at another location, a pet store, whose owner Anderson helped by exorcising her husband.

The man in question is living in the pet store, which has now gone under, and he informs Anderson that him and his wife split up some time ago and that things hadn’t been the same since the exorcism. Kyle decides to take matters into his own hands, literally, and touches the man, who has a violent reaction to Kyle’s doing so and recoils, tossing Kyle aside like a rag doll.

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The man runs off, grabs a gun and threatens to shoot them both if they don’t leave, so they do, immediately, getting out of there by the skin of their teeth. Now convinced that the Reverend has failed in all of his exorcisms, Kyle is likewise convinced that he might have failed as well and demands to be taken back to Ali’s. Anderson gives him the keys to his car and has Kyle drop him off somewhere along the way.

Megan visits Ali and asks her a few things, including whether or not she’d agree to meeting with Kyle, with her present to mediate. Ali flatly refuses, but does admit that the period in which things went sideways is a blur and that she can’t remember a lot of it. She thinks it’s because she was traumatized by the event and doesn’t want to remember, and has no desire to push it and learn more.

Megan relays this to Kyle, telling him to stay away, but allows that she definitely seemed off somehow, which doesn’t exactly discourage him. While he’s away, we see the mysterious Sidney pay a visit to his house, breaking in and poking around for something or the other, or perhaps just feeling out the vibe of the place. As far as I could tell, he didn’t take anything, though.

Deputy Mark reports back to the Chief with his findings, in regards to the evidence he assembled from the trailer. It seems the DNA on the fingernail he found is a match to a missing girl named Lisa, whose boyfriend hasn’t seen her for some time. The Chief says Mark needs to do his due diligence and follow up by talking to the girl’s parents and making sure that she’s really missing and not just hiding out from the boyfriend in question.

Outcast Season 1 Episode 5 Kate Lyn Sheil and Patrick Fugit

Kyle goes to Ali’s, despite everyone’s warnings and talks to her, albeit at a slight distance, as she won’t entirely come outside to talk. It’s going about as well as could be expected until their daughter Amber gets wind of his presence and rushes outside to embrace him and ask him when he’s coming back.

Kyle tells her that he’s not sure but that she should listen to her mother and go back inside. Amber isn’t having it and resists, saying she wants to go with him, and Ali freaks out and grabs her and pulls her back inside, telling Kyle he needs to leave, accusing him of trying to turn Amber against her.

We then get a flashback to Ali in the direct aftermath of Kyle’s “assault” on her, as she wakes up in a hospital to a nurse and cop telling her that she’d been beaten up and that Kyle had confessed to doing it. Her face is heavily bruised, but she refuses to believe Kyle could be capable of such a thing. However, she can’t remember anything that happened, so she’s forced to believe it.

The Chief heads out to Ogden’s house to confront him with his latest news, obviously planning to bring him in for questioning this time. He picks a fine time for it, as Ogden is armed with a chainsaw at the moment! Luckily for both, Mark calls the Chief at the last minute to inform him that he was right, Lisa’s fine and was hiding out with her family, just like he suggested could be the case.

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As such, the Chief opts to let sleeping dogs lie for the time being, but tells Ogden they need to talk, be that it as it may that they go way back and he considers Ogden to be his best friend. However, at this point, Ogden has to know the Chief’s onto him, at the very least, even if we don’t know for sure what Ogden is up to anymore.

Sidney heads over to Mildred’s house and just lets himself right in. Mildred is taken aback at first, but after looking him over, allows him to come inside further, clearly recognizing him as “one of us,” as it were. She introduces herself, and talks about how she’s adjusted since taking over Mildred’s body. “You find your passions here,” she says, cryptically.

Mildred tells him that Kyle and Reverend came by and that she’s sure they know something’s off with her. Sydney says what they know is practically nothing at this point, but that’s why he’s there and that she should call him immediately if they show up again, as it’s his “responsibility” to take care of such things.

Mildred has a coughing jag, and then suddenly springs upon Sydney, trying to suck out his life force or whatever, as we saw the demons try to do with Kyle previously. Sydney quickly pushes her away, saying “that won’t work with me.” Mildred says, “you can’t blame a girl for trying.”

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She expresses concern for her host body’s well-being, as she is obviously in poor health, and worries that she won’t make it for the upcoming “merge.” Sydney tells her she took her chances like everyone else, but unfortunately, she chose unwisely, which is on her. He leaves shortly thereafter.

So, armed with this new knowledge, I have a new theory: what if these “demons” aren’t really demons at all, but instead aliens? I’ve long since wondered if they were demons in the first place, given the mixed results the Reverend has had on his end. Yes, the rites and Holy Water and so forth seem to have some effect, but as was proven beyond the shadow of a doubt in this episode, all of the Reverend’s exorcisms have likely failed- and for a reason, as it’s not demons he’s dealing with.

I think that perhaps the aliens come from a planet or dimension or what have you that’s dying out, and as a last-ditch effort, they all descended en masse to Earth, where they took possession of as many people as they could. But, because the Earth’s atmosphere or general make-up doesn’t agree with them, many died instantly.

Only those who successfully found host bodies survived, and you’ll note that those Kyle managed to expel dissolved almost immediately upon coming into contact with the open air in their “true” forms- that black, liquid goo we’ve seen a few times now. I think that Sidney is one of their leaders, whose job it is to protect those he knows to be possessed from the likes of Kyle and the Reverend.

Outcast season 1 Episode 5 Philip Glenister

As for the “merge” alluded to, I think that pretty soon there’s going to be a mass event where the aliens band together to take things to the next level, perhaps by merging together with one another to be able to survive Earth as one? That part I’m not sure about, obviously, but I like where this seems to be headed, and I’m actually happy it may not be as cut-and-dried as an old-fashioned demonic possession.

Thankfully, we got a little more info as Kyle reunites with the Reverend, who has by now gotten a lead on where Sherry (Vanessa Marano,”Switched at Birth”), Roy’s daughter, might be. They spot her as she scuttles away and goes into what appears to be an abandoned factory. Kyle catches up to her and touches her, and like the pet store guy, she screams and runs away.

Kyle asks her what’s going on for real, and she tells him: “You’re the key. We need your light.” Sherry says they are “the nameless, the numberless,” who “see through the veil.” She says they came to him because he led them there. Sherry then attacks Kyle and tries to suck out his essence, just like the previous demons/aliens/whatever.

The Reverend pulls her off of him and he grabs her. Now obviously a believer in Kyle’s way, at least to a certain extent, he tells Kyle to do his thing and hit Sherry to expel the demon. Kyle refuses, thinking of his recent encounter with his wife, and likely not wanting to hit a woman, though apparently he’s okay with hitting little boys, lol.

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Kyle tells Sherry to fight it, and she floats up into the air, taking him with her. Then she falls to the ground and the black goo stuff comes pouring out of her and immediately attacks Kyle, tossing him into the air as he tries to fight it off, helplessly. However, as we’ve seen before, the goo almost instantly dissipates and Kyle is released, falling to the ground.

The two take Sherry to the hospital, where she is reunited with her father, who sits with her. Anderson tells him he’ll be around to check on her condition tomorrow. From the looks of things, she’s in the same shape as Kyle’s mother, having gone into a coma of sorts.

Kyle berates Anderson for his beliefs, saying that this wasn’t a “win” and that if there is a God, he’s laughing at them for thinking they can make a difference. Anderson says, at least they saved her soul, but you can tell Kyle is dubious of it all.

So, theory #2: I think the reason the aliens came to Earth was that they were drawn here by Kyle’s “light” or what have you. Not entirely sure why they didn’t try to possess him- maybe he can’t be possessed- but either way, they know he has power and they are drawn to it. He’s also apparently the “key” to everything, though why that is and how he came to be that isn’t known as of yet.

Outcast Season 1 Episode 5 Patrick Fugit

As such, I think Kyle may be the only one with the power to defeat the aliens, which is why Sidney is really there: to assess the enemy and learn all he can about him so that they can defeat him before the crucial “merge.” If they don’t defeat him before then, there’s a chance he could stop the whole thing, so Sidney has to play things carefully.

Sidney knows enough already to know that Kyle has no idea just how powerful he is and that he only has the most rudimentary understanding of the powers he possesses. But he can still likely harm Sidney, so he’s playing it close to the vest while he gets as much info as he can about Kyle so that he can use that knowledge against him later, when the inevitable showdown occurs.

Getting back to the show, at Ali’s house, she sees what appears to be blood on the floor and follows a trail of it upstairs. When she gets to Amber’s room, she discovers it’s actually paint and that Amber is furiously painting the walls red, for some reason. Ali grabs her and she screams, running off and closing Ali up in her room.

When Kyle arrives home, he’s shocked to find Ali there, waiting for him. She wants to know what really happened that day, the day he allegedly attacked her. She admits that she can’t remember it, but that’s it’s completely at odds with the Kyle she knew and loved and she can’t reconcile the two things, as they just don’t add up.

Outcast Season 1 Episode 5 Patrick Fugit

She kisses him and he tells her she’s safe now, being as how they touched and she didn’t react to him, the way that most of the possessed do. However, he won’t say why that is or tell her what exactly is going on, likely because he assumes no person in their right mind would believe him and that it would be the final nail in the coffin of their relationship if he tried to tell her the truth, which is probably true.

Naturally, this doesn’t go over well with her and she leaves in a huff, cursing him. Oh well. So close, yet so far. Obviously, it’s a no win situation, as she’ll think he’s crazy if he tries to tell her the truth and then he’ll never get to see his daughter again. On the other hand, he might just have to tell her the truth, given how out-of-control Amber’s behavior is getting.

I don’t think she’s necessarily possessed- remember, the two embraced earlier in the episode and it had no effect on her- but she’s definitely acting out big-time and it’s probably because she witnessed what happened and thinks her mother is the “bad one” and is scared to be left alone with her.

She probably thinks whatever happened was her father protecting her from her mother and is confused as to why he was sent away and she was left with Alison, being as how she was the one acting crazy, not him. At the same time, Ali not remembering anything is complicating things, because in her mind, Kyle is the villain here, not her. So, like I said, it’s practically an unsolvable scenario, unless Ali finally remembers the truth, which is what I suspect will happen eventually.

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I really like where all of this seems to be headed, and I’m glad that the show opted to go in a different direction with things than we might have thought early on in the proceedings. It’s proving to be a really interesting premise and I hope people stick with it. I know that ratings have been soft early on and some have complained that the show moves too slow, but I think it’s worth the build-up, because I do think it’s all leading to something that will be a cool pay-off for those of us who are patient.

I guess we’ll see soon enough, but it helps that Cinemax seems to be committed to the show, having already renewed it for a second season. Of course, HBO did the same thing with “Vinyl” and look how THAT turned out. (For the uninitiated, they ended up dropping the show anyway.) Hopefully, “Outcast” will fare better. It’s an acquired taste, to be sure, but it’s also a taste worth acquiring.

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What did you think of the latest episode of “Outcast”? Do you like the direction things are headed in? What do you think of my theory on the demons actually being aliens? Do you have a crazy theory of your own? If so, let me know down below! Join me next week for a look at the next episode, and see you then!