Episode two “(I Remember) When She Loved Me” of Outcast premiered on Cinemax Friday night. Here is the Mr. Robot of 2016; from top-notch writing by Jeff Vlaming, a tight cast, and a bone-chilling score, it’s the best show you’re not watching.
In the pilot episode, “A Darkness Surrounds Him,” we’re given a complete story, working to invest the viewer in the series. In the second episode, Vlaming and director Howie Deutch give you a keen look into Kyle Barnes’ life, and how fractured a person he is, plus Deutch sets the table for the series arch with the introduction of Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek: Next Generation).
The first aspect of the show that jumps out at you is the setting of Rome, West Virginia, everyday America where the church gossip is unrestrained and cloudy days foreshadow the darkness within. No matter who you are, an abandoned trailer in the middle of the woods surrounded by dead animals gets under your skin on several levels. Also, I have no clue how Kyle continues to sleep in the house where his mom was possessed by a demon. That house now that it is rundown is the meaning of ominous.
After two episode you’re left with solid questions to enjoy the ride of the next eight episodes, and because Outcast is on Cinemax, the viewer should not be subjected to the exorcism-of-the-week plotline. Additionally, with the introduction of Spiner’s character, there is a battle brewing in the city of Rome. The plot twist at the end of the episode leaves you with an uneasy feeling of who’s on which side.
Patrick Fugit does an admirable job in the lead role of Kyle Barnes; the man is broken, but he’s been given a glimpse of higher purpose or at the very the least finding the answers to make sense of his life. Philip Glenister’s Reverend Anderson gives a powerful sermon to set up the second episode. Reg E. Cathey with part of the cast you know at some point in time he will get a chance to shine as Chief Giles. David Denman is the perfect foil to Fugit’s broken hero. The cast of the show is sturdy; it will be interesting to watch the crew grow into the characters.
Outcast feels like what The Leftovers should have been. The score and the cinematography are on par with True Detective (at least that first season). What separates Outcast from the rest is creator Robert Kirkman’s addition of horror to the mystery. That is why this is the best show you’re not watching. Yet.