Outcast: Season 1 episode 7 review – The Damage Done
Titled ‘The Damage Done’, this weeks episode of Outcast sees the plot progress effectively and carry more weight than the previous few installments. Below you will find our spoiler-heavy review.
This episode finds Reverend Anderson in a state of shock after his visit by Sidney the previous night. After reluctantly hosting a game of poker with Chief Giles, Ogden, and the mayor in attendance, he opens up to Giles about Sidney. The police chief wants his friend to press charges, but Anderson refuses and declares that Sidney must have attacked him because he fears the work that he’s doing. He expresses that he wants to expose Sidney for what he is and bring the power of the lord down on him. Giles takes this all in stride, knowing of the Reverend’s ongoing work with the possessed.
As the episode progresses, Anderson’s trajectory becomes more and more unbearable to watch. Despite that viewers know what he’s experienced and that he’s being truthful in his words and actions, he comes across as a man on the verge of having a breakdown, making it impossible for other character to believe him. We witness an awkward moment between him and Patricia, in which he thanks her for helping him in his work and apologizes for behaving like a jackass. He then kisses her in full view of the town, declaring that he doesn’t care if they all see. While it’s a genuine portrayal on his behalf, it catches her off guard and she’s clearly a little uncomfortable.
The main focus of this episode is on the town and their celebration of what they refer to as ‘Remembrance Day’. It’s revealed that this is the anniversary of the deaths of 29 miners in a work related accident, one of which was Patricia’s husband. We also get a flashback revealing that Kyle also worked for the mine, but had escaped the horrible fate of his fellow employees due to leaving his shift early on that day. In the flashback, Kyle is having a conversation about starting a family with a friend who is also a miner. Upon shaking hands with this man, he has a reaction to Kyle’s touch indicating that he was possessed. This leaves viewers wondering if the miner’s deaths was in fact an accident.
The townsfolk gather for a celebration that will witness the unveiling of a memorial dedicated to the workers, and after an introduction from the mayor, Reverend Anderson gives an ominous speech to confused onlookers in which he insinuates the the tragedy was their fault due to their own complacency. The memorial is revealed to be a statue of a miner, but has a red pentagram painted onto it’s chest in the very spot that Sidney carved one into Anderson. The mayor rushes to cover the statue up but is stopped by The Reverend, who insist that it should be seen and declares that the devil walks among them. He then approaches Sidney and calls him out in front of the entire town, which only succeeds in making him appear unstable. Kyle approaches and returns him to the church, suggesting that Anderson seek professional help.
Kyle’s family also gets a lot of focus in this episode. The show delivers an eery scene in which Allison finds their daughter Amber playing in her bedroom closet, which is reminiscent of the times Kyle was locked in a pantry by his possessed mother. The child tells her mother that she doesn’t feel well, but refuses to leave the closet and even slams the door in her mother’s face. At this point Allison begins having flashbacks of the night she was hospitalized, and starts to realize that she was the one who hurt their daughter. Later Allison finds a drawing that Amber did of their family, only the child’s depiction of her is unfinished, showing her off to one side of the page and without having a face. Allison asks her daughter if she wants to finish the drawing, and is told by Amber that she doesn’t know ‘which face to draw’. At the end of the episode Kyle returns home to find his family there. He has a touching scene with his daughter in which she reveals that she saw something ‘black and cold’ leave her mother on the night she was attacked. Her father then promises to protect her. Kyle and Allison reconnect, and it seems they will remain united. However when he awakens, he finds that Allison is gone, but has left Amber with him along with a note telling him to take care of her. Previous episodes left viewers wondering if either mother or child could be afflicted by dark forces, and after this week’s episode it seems they’re both themselves.
We see Megan’s world unravel even more in this episode. She visits Donnie in the hospital and gives him her family’s entire savings in an attempt to deter him from pressing charges against her husband. Donnie accepts and it seems she will finally be rid of her attacker. However, later in the episode, Mark is called in the the Chief’s office and shown video footage from the surveillance camera on his patrol car that shows him beating Donnie. He’s suspended from his job and told that charges are being brought against him. When he informs his wife of the news, she is enraged. After Mark presses her on the matter, she confesses to him that Donnie sexually assaulted her. She then tells him about her bribe attempt and has a violent outburst declaring that it will never end.
One aspect of the series that needs to be addressed further is the ongoing mystery and tension between Chief Giles and his friend Ogden. In this episode the Chief recruits Kyle into testing his friend, fearing that he may be possessed. Kyle manages to shake hands with Ogden during the events of the town memorial, but does not receive an adverse reaction to his touch. This seems to indicate that the man is not possessed, and Ogden later tells the Chief that he sould look the other way regarding the burning of the trailer, which seems to have an underlying threat. This is a plotline that seems to develop at a slower pace than the rest of the series, often making it seem out of place and tedious.
While the series has continued to be quality material, there have occasionally been episodes that felt underwhelming and oddly paced. This was a strong episode that hopefully lends to the remaining few of the season being as compelling and powerful as the initial few episodes.
Image credits: Cinemax, FOX