A freshly-possessed Megan’s (Wrenn Schmidt) musings over her new body—and dead husband—are interrupted by daughter Holly and niece Amber (Madeleine McGraw), who promptly drop their chocolate ice cream and flee screaming.
When Kyle (Patrick Fugit) and Anderson (Philip Glenister) arrive, they find a house of horrors. There's a huge hole smashed in the glass of the back door. Mark’s (David Denman) body is cooling on the bathroom floor. Bloodied handprints mark the walls, the stuffed animals, the closet door…
That is gonna be one monstrous cleaning bill.
The girls, luckily, are still hiding in the closet. They're both traumatized and sure to need years, if not decades, of therapy, but they're still alive, thank God.
Megan, however, is nowhere to be seen. Still in a fugue state, she's wandered off into the night. So, Kyle and the Reverend hurry the girls to Chief Giles’s (Reg E. Cathey) place before setting off in chase.
Barnes is desperate to find her quickly and exorcise the demon—he's come to the conclusion that there's a finite amount of time where he can pull the creatures out of someone before it damages the host. Perhaps Kyle's mother only ended up comatose because too much time had passed, whereas with Allison and Joshua it had only been a matter of hours and days. Time seems to be the only serious variable in this equation.
Meanwhile, in Mannequin Hell, Kat (Debra Christofferson) and Ogden (Pete Burris) are tending to another newly possessed—one who apparently did some self-inflicted damage to their eyes, given Ogden's horror and the bloody water Kat's sponging off their face.
I foresee a serious ICK moment on our horizon…
Megan moves on from freaking out on the football field to eating fast food off a parking lot—the teen that interrupts her is gonna have one helluva creepy story to tell his buddies that weekend. (If that had been me, I would have promptly run in the opposite direction—when you catch someone crouching crab-legged in the dark by the dumpsters, that's never, ever, a good sign. You've either got a case of zombies or demons, in my experience.)
Kyle and Anderson pause in their hunt for Megan—who's already been found hiding at the old Barnes homestead by none other than Evil Data/Sidney (Brent Spiner)—to recap all they know about the newly afflicted.
- They can't stand light.
- They don't like to be touched.
- They can't properly communicate at first.
- They're all afraid.
Afraid of what, precisely? Truth, the word of God, and the trappings of the Church are Anderson's immediate answers, but Kyle thinks that's a load of baloney. Rightly so, given the Reverend's less than stellar track record so far and the fact that handyman Caleb seemed wholly unaffected by the religious paraphernalia surrounding him just a couple episodes ago.
“Look, if we can figure out what they're running from, maybe we can figure out where they're running to,” Kyle argues.
“As violent as they can become, they're like children,” Anderson points out. “They want to be rescued. They want a parent to take care of them.”
Too bad Megan's already latched onto Evil Data/Sidney—alright, so the man can put on a convincing paternal mask, but we already know he's an evil dude (even before his possession). And, too bad the Chief's wife, Rosie, decides to call Kat Ogden and mention that she's taking care of Amber.
Which sends Evil Data/Sidney's new BFF (and Anderson's minor foil) Aaron (C.J. Hoff) straight to the Giles's to collect her.
Kyle and Anderson prove to be one step behind the creatures; they get to the Barnes house just a little too late, and Kyle finds a message already waiting for him.
A message that sends him to a remote stretch of road where Evil Data/Sidney is waiting with a classic car—“They used to call this a 'three body trunk',” he brags ominously—and an ultimatum. Either Kyle willingly climbs into the trunk, or he never sees Amber again. If he does as Sidney demands, he'll even get answers for his questions.
At least the “false prophet,” as Anderson calls Sidney, is a demon of his word. He actually takes Kyle to his daughter, who's unharmed, and then gives him those pesky answers. Well, a couple, at least:
SIDNEY: “My kind, we find our way into your world every day. We can't stay where we're from, so we come here.”
KYLE: “Where are you from?”
SIDNEY: “Same place you are. That's why we've been around you your whole life. That's why you're gonna stay right where you are, where I can keep an eye on you. Until we need you.”
With Kyle trapped and Kat's unpleasantly full “hospital ward” of newly-turned patients, things are looking pretty bleak. At least the Reverend was sharp enough to follow our hero and bust him free with a handy-dandy tire iron (never leave home without one).
In the following kerfuffle, the Ogdens and Anderson get pretty knocked around; one of the newly afflicted tries to suck the whatever-that-stuff-is out of Kyle, who in turn exorcises her; and Megan looks about to do a damage to Amber.
But, when Kyle's intervention seems to be going badly, little Amber jumps into the fray and proves that all sorts of gifts can be inherited. Seems Allison wasn't far off when she called their daughter their “little light”—if Kyle “burns bright” to the afflicted, Amber must be a candle in her own right, too.
Speaking of burning bright: the Reverend decides to handle the Sidney situation once and for all and goes to immolate the guy's current homestead. Of course, we all know Sidney isn't living alone these days, and that shadowy figure Anderson sees in the window probably isn't who he thinks it is…
Sure enough, Patricia (Melinda McGraw) crosses paths with him the following morning and reveals Aaron never came home. She's off to the police station to file a report—one we know will come to naught, given Sidney drives by, alive and unfortunately well, in that classic car he loves so much only seconds later.
I don't want to sound like I'm endorsing death-by-fire for all juvenile delinquents, but you've gotta admit: that Aaron was a bad apple. He may not have been a demon, but he just proves that sometimes humans don't need to be possessed to do truly hateful, evil shit. Can't say I'm all that sorry to see him burned to cinders and ash.
In spite of the ominous foreshadowing of a massive clash between good and evil, this finale ends on a somewhat anticlimactic note. Kyle succeeds in rescuing his sister and daughter, sure, but none of the other principal characters ended up choking on their own blood.
Plus, there was a distinctive lack of an apocalyptic battle. Sidney (and the Ogdens, it seems) slimes away to see another day. The Reverend is still a pariah—even more so than Kyle, at this point—and has no congregation to preach to. The crumbling, half-dead town of Rome, West Virginia, is still standing and not a smoking crater thanks to God's wrath or Satan's will.
It's also still rife with the possessed, as Kyle and Amber realize when they find themselves intently regarded just before they can set off on a road trip to a new home “where nobody knows about our super powers.” Or so our hero hopes.
What's clear is that Kyle's battle is far from over, there's nowhere he can hide, and there are still lots of questions that need answering. Obviously, this demon problem has spread further and faster than anyone thought, and that has to have some serious repercussions down the road.
After spending a full season with Kyle Barnes and Co., I have to admit: Outcast definitely had a stronger opener than closer. The pilot, especially, was dripping with tension, horror, and the promise of heavy, dark, traumatizing things to come.
That was a promise that was only half-kept. With only a ten episode run, this season had more slow-paced episodes than outright horror moments than it really should have, much to the detriment of the whole. The talent of Patrick Fugit and Wrenn Schmidt carried most of the story, and Fugit in particular proved to be a compelling and likeable lead—I just wish that this season had more fully embraced and reveled in its southern gothic trappings and demonic framework.
With a second season already green-lit, I just hope that Kirkman and Co. keep such fan reactions in mind when it comes to crafting the next chapter in Kyle's story. A little less conversation and a little more horror, please.
Angie Barry wrote her thesis on the socio-political commentary in zombie films. Meeting George Romero is high on her bucket list, and she has spent hours putting together her zombie apocalypse survival plan. She also writes horror and fantasy in her spare time, and watches far too much Doctor Who. Come find the angie bee at Tumblr.