Outcast: Season 1 Episode 5 Review – The Road Before Us
After last weeks retrospective episode focused heavily on Megan’s traumatic past, the most recent episode of Outcast shifts the story back toward Kyle. This episode moves a bit away from the possession of the week scenario that we’re used to, and instead takes a bit of a turn. Below is a detailed and spoiler-heavy review.
This episode explores the notion that more of the possessed victims that Reverend Anderson has exorcized previously may not be fully cured. Last week revealed that the elderly woman, Mildred, still has a demon inside her. This revelation understandably set Kyle into a state of near panic, fearing that his estranged wife may still be possessed and that she and their young daughter may be in mortal peril.
The episode opens with Allison and Kyle’s daughter, focusing on some very eerie shots of them both, and indicating that something is very off in their household. It then shifts to Kyle and Anderson in a car outside of the home, with Kyle desperate to check on his family but fearful of how they’ll react to his presence, given that Allison has a restraining order against him. The demon- fighting-duo discuss the possibility that there are others in addition to Mildred that are still afflicted, the Reverend being entirely convinced that she was an isolated incident and Kyle insisting that she, or rather the demon possessing her, had been able to trick him for a long period of time, and therefore others could do the same. Deciding not to risk approaching the house, Kyle instead pleads with his foster sister to assist in convincing Allison to see him. Megan is unwilling to cross that line, but instead assures Kyle that she’ll check on his family.
The story then shifts to Chief Giles and longtime friend Ogden. The chief seems entirely convinced that his friend is harboring some dark secret, and given evidence found recently and Ogden’s actions in previous episodes, it’s entirely likely that he’s not wrong. Giles questions him in a roundabout way and is given the runaround. It’s revealed later in the episode that the evidence found is connected to a young woman who was reported missing by her boyfriend some time before. Chief Giles approaches his friend at his home, on the verge of taking him in, and giving him every opportunity to confess some wrongdoing. In the nick of time the Chief receives a phone call from his deputy, stating that the girl has been located and remains in hiding in an attempt to avoid her boyfriend. Though he can’t be charged with anything at this point in time, it’s clear that Ogden still has something to hide, as he seems a man whose world is closing in on him.
Determined to prove to Kyle that his previous exorcisms were in fact a success, Anderson takes Kyle to visit some of the previous victims. The first family they visit lives in an out of the way farmhouse, where they speak to a man about his daughter who had been possessed. The Reverend assumes that the girl has gone off to college and asks about her well being, but is told that she has in fact fled and is living on the streets in another city. Kyle inquires if the man feels that the exorcism really worked, causing Anderson to become flustered at his partner for being inconsiderate to the girl’s father. Kyle storms off to wait in the car, and is soon joined by Anderson who insists that Kyle apologize to him for his actions.
The next person they visit is a pet store owner who’s closed up shop but is living in it because his ‘wife got the house’. The Reverend seems surprised by this and by the man’s general state of existence. Kyle decides to put his hands on the man without his knowledge or consent, to which the man reacts violently, as have all the other possessed victims that Kyle touches. By this point it is more than obvious that more than one of Anderson’s previous exorcisms have failed.
As promised, Megan visits Allison, who seems put off by her showing up unannounced at first, but agrees to let her in after Megan tells her she’s been worried about her. After spending some time together, Megan seems convinced that something is ‘off’ with Allison and fears she may be self-medicating. Upon telling Kyle this, he panics and abandons The Reverend, determined to check on his family regardless of the consequences.
When Kyle shows up to see them, Allison is fearful of him but goes outside on the porch to ask what he wants while he stays some distance away. This all goes wrong when Kyle’s daughter rushes out of the house, delighted to see her father. The child insists that she wants him to return home or to go live with him, and curses at her mother for trying to make her go back inside. Kyle tells his daughter not to speak to her mother that way and tells her to go back inside. He physically reaches to assist his ex while their daughter is resisting, and Allison flinches at his touch. However, it’s unclear whether it’s because she’s still suffering from possession or because she fears him. Allison is obviously upset and shuts Kyle out. We then get a flashback of Allison waking up in the hospital with half of her face bruised and swollen. When she awakens she is told that her husband was the one who hurt her, giving us more insight into their turmoiled past. However, in the flashback, Allison seems unconvinced that Kyle would hurt her and reacts violently at the news.
Anderson, concerned about his previous failed exorcisms, recruits Kyle to seek out the daughter of the man the visited earlier in the episode. After showing a photograph of her to other people living on the streets of her last known location, they spot her up a dark alleyway and follow her into an abandoned building. The Reverend insists that he’s going to take her home, and she resists. At Kyle’s touch, as with other victims, she reacts violently and they have an altercation that results in the demon leaving her and physically attacking Kyle. He manages to fight off the attack and the girl is seen lying motionless on the floor. She is later shown in a hospital in a vegetative state with her father by her side, and Kyle and Anderson argue about whether or not they actually helped her. Anderson is convinced that her soul has been freed, and Kyle offering a counter argument that they’re not saved because nobody, meaning God, is listening.
The story shifts to the elusive character, Sydney, who lets himself into Kyle’s current home while he’s away. Sydney takes his time looking around, and ends up lying down in the bed that belonged to Kyle’s mother. Later in the episode he places a visit to the elderly woman, Mildred. He walks into her home without knocking, and after asking him to leave and him refusing, she suddenly seems to recognize him. Or rather the demon possessing her seems to recognize him as some sort of superior, and some interesting conversation ensues. We still know very little about Sydney at this point, though the show seems to be hinting that he is the physical incarnation of evil, or very possibly the devil himself.
Late in the episode we see Allison in her home, following what appears to be a trail of blood throughout the house. Upon reaching her daughter’s room she discovers the little girl painting her walls, the child insisting that they should be red. Allison becomes upset with her daughter, to which the girl has a dramatic reaction to and locks herself in her closet. This is reminiscent of the initial two episodes of the season in which Kyle was locked in the pantry by his possessed mother. Clearly things are off with Allison, or with her and Kyle’s daughter, but it’s not entirely clear which. The episode leaves viewers wondering if it’s possible that the daughter could be the one afflicted. Although, it’s also possible that neither is possessed, and that their actions are indicative of their past trauma.
The final scene of the episode shows Kyle arriving home to find his ex waiting for him on his porch. She tells him the man she knew would never have harmed her, and they share an intimate moment. His touch does not cause an adverse reaction, making Kyle assume that she is no longer possessed and telling her that she’s safe. However, she questions why he never apologized and then pleads with him to tell her what happened the night that she was hospitalized. Much to her frustration, he insists that he can’t and she leaves disappointed
It’s worth noting here, that as was the case with Allison, Kyle’s daughter also had physical contact with him in the form of an embrace with no violent reaction. However neither instance was initiated by Kyle, which leaves one to question whether the possessed would react in such a way if they’re the one making the contact.
This episode was certainly packed full of content, with a number of emotional moments and some interesting revelations. However, it somehow felt a little underwhelming, and as with last weeks installment, lacked the impact and gravity of the first few episodes of the season.
Image credits: Cinemax, FOX TV