Outcast: Season 1 Episode 3 Review – All Alone Now
After the shocking pilot, and the rather retrospective and mellow second episode, Outcast finally swings around to its strongest episode yet in Episode 3. ‘All Alone Now’ takes the horror to a new extreme and provides the best example of possession from the show to date. Below you will find our spoiler-heavy review of episode 3.
If you cast your minds back to shocking opening scene in the pilot – Joshua eating a cockroach, then his own finger. It was a crucial tone setter for the show and perhaps a moment of extreme gore that you wouldn’t expect Outcast to exceed too soon. Well, Episode 3’s opener surely casts all of those notions aside, for it truly took the gore and extreme violence and elevated it to a whole new level.
The episode opens with a friendly bowling game between two colleagues, along with one of their wives and a blind date. As one of the friends – Blake Morrow (Lee Tergesen) – begins to feel light-headed and uneasy, his personality begins to slide out of line with his own. He outright insults the blind date that his friend Luke (the superb J. R. Bourne) has set him up with. A clear indication, as we know, of demon possession (acting hostile and unlike yourself).
Blake is then invited to Luke’s home, due to his ill state. A sure act of kindness from his colleague Luke and his colleague’s wife Terry (Erin Beute). Terry even sends her husband out for remedial supplies, to make Blake feel better. This is when Blake’s demon takes full hold of him. What’s intriguing about this possession too, is it seems to simply amplify the darker traits that are already buried within Blake, such as secretly harbouring a liking for his friend’s wife (he admits this later on, when talking to Luke in prison).
Blake begins to sexually assault and then attack his friend’s wife. The editorial brilliance of this is that they only show us his shadow on the wall assaulting her, then it cuts to Luke returning home and finding his friend sitting there, bloody, with his wife dead in a horrifically contorted mess at Blake’s feet (although we don’t witness this gory sight until 18 minutes into the episode).
Truly it is J. R. Bourne’s reaction to this that really sells this scene. As he walks in talking about how the woman over the counter swears by the remedy that she gave him, he then witnesses the violent scene and his expression slides slowly into that of a man’s world collapsing in one single instant. His lip trembles and his eyes are wide, as he tries to comprehend what he is seeing.
It is later on, when Kyle and Reverend Anderson visit Blake in solitary confinement, at the request of Luke, that Blake recounts how it felt to kill Luke’s wife and we see (through flashback) the gory sight of her mangled body. What then follows is what makes this the best episode we’ve seen of Outcast to dat. Kyle and Anderson converse with Blake in a stand-off reminiscent of NBC’s Hannibal (the level of gore here too, reminds us of Hannibal).
Blake is sassy, humorous and honest, and is willing to push the buttons of everyone, including Kyle’s. When asked why he killed Luke’s wife, the demon inside Blake states: “Even if i were to tell you, I don’t think you could comprehend it.” He also, quite interestingly, isn’t able to spot that Kyle is “the Outcast” straight away and after he does, he even states to Reverend Anderson: “You see what he can do – your friend, The Outcast. The power he has… Why did the lord give it to him? He doesn’t even believe.” Highlighting to us something that rings kind of contradictory, but which is likely true – that Kyle doesn’t truly believe in everything that is happening around him, despite the clarity of it all.
All of this makes Blake Morrow a very interesting villain indeed, which we have to credit both the writers and Tergesen for. And Tergesen by no means a stranger to playing villains, it should be noted. We loved him too as General Rahm Tak in SyFy’s Defiance.
We feel that the show has found, in Blake, a truly great character/demon who the writers could utilise to great effect as a recurring antagonist for the show, with Blake making an appearance every now and then, even if it is just Kyle going to consult him from time to time. One potential weakness for the show is its tendency to focus on a different possession every week (the ‘case of the week’ approach), so we’d love to see an arc ensue instead, ideally with Blake (perhaps escaping from prison). Tergesen is listed as a recurring actor for the show on some sites, so let’s hope that this is accurate. And we’d love to see J. R. Bourne stick around too, as he’s such a likeable and naturally strong actor.
In this episode we’re also granted a look at Megan’s profession – as a school teacher – and interestingly, the show provides hints that maybe Megan is becoming possessed too. This is when she is staring out of the window, while reprimanding one of her pupils, and you hear a high pitch static noise, which reminds us of what Blake experienced at the beginning of this episode. We know that these demons try their hardest to possess everyone that Kyle loves, so really it’s a surprise that they’ve taken so long to attempt to possess Megan. If the show does take this turn, then we foresee some very interesting episodes ahead.
This was easily our favourite episode of Outcast to date and it really shows what the show is capable of. It provided some sinister Megan foreshadowing and introduced us to a great villain in the form of Blake Morrow. Let’s hope for more of Blake (and Luke), and for more episodes of this level of calibre later on.
Image credits: Cinemax, FOX