If you look for violent kill-shots to amp up the drama in your television experiences like me, then you’ll agree wholeheartedly that the end of The Outsider‘s ninth episode is the best thing we’ve seen since the beginning of the second episode. Let’s jump in with a large focus surrounding the final few minutes of what we watched.
1. Howard Salomon (played by Bill Camp) had the best line in the series so far
While the level-headed and weathered legal professional Salomon gets roped into the hunt for the Boogeyman, he leaves the room for less than a minute to grab some leftover chicken. Claude Bolton’s brother Seale spills the beans about the group’s plans, as Claude wakes up, inadvertently tipping off the Boogeyman of what’s to come. Upon this realization, Salomon looks at Seale (who’s off screen) and delivers plainly, but with perfect level of ridicule and urgency given the stakes at hand, “You are one dumb fuck.” It is subsequently the best use of the word “fuck” in the series as well.
2. So now the Boogeyman has telekinesis through those he’s infected as well?
Every other episode it appears a new power of Public Enemy #1 is revealed. Because it was alluded to prior, we know both Jack Hoskins and Claude Bolton could feel something trying to pry inside their mind or take control over them. First off, how was this not mentioned when speaking with Terry Maitland or other victims of the Boogeyman before their deaths? Is this head space feeling consistent among those who’ve been scratched? There seems to be some inconsistencies in how this feeling or power the Boogeyman has is portrayed.
In the scene with Salomon and the Bolton Brothers, the explanation of what’s happening is now beaten over the audiences head by way of direct explanation to an oblivious Seale, just to make sure we know what’s going on. Sometimes direct explanations like this are good thing, like in films such as as Inception, where concepts are cleanly explained to characters and the audience simultaneously when both parties don’t already an understanding of whats going on.
In the case of The Outsider, I think they got a little lost in how vague the Boogeyman’s effects on people are, so they have to present it in a way that didn’t leave people guessing. I think this could have been depicted better throughout, as any mystery in the middle of the series around the Boogeyman’s powers ultimately didn’t add much value. Then again, maybe I really am just picking nits and wanted an excuse to include Inception in my post.
3. Unrelated flashback to earlier in the episode–and to defend Seale for a moment–the group wouldn’t been know where to look for the Boogeyman if it weren’t for Seale telling them about the past accident in the Bear Caves.
A) I like how the story of Bolton kin and other townsfolk being trapped in the caves appeared to be in present day to start the episode and was revealed as a flashback in the middle of the episode. It should have been obvious to me what was happening given the attire of the children and father in the caves. Either way, I think it’s a testament to the history of grief in the Bolton clan and why Claude is an especially attractive target for the Boogeyman.
B) This flashback was teased before, and I mentioned it in my Episode 8 recap as it looked like a 25-50 man brawl was going to go down. I was wrong and only our core group will be taking on the Boogeyman (at least until the cavalry arrives) in the season/series finale.
4. The Boogeyman has trained sharpshooter Jack Hoskins on his side, and from the end we can tell he’s already snuffed out war veteran and Salomon right-hand Alec Pelley (played by Jeremy Bobb.)
I did NOT think we were going to get actual evidence of a character death at the end of this episode, so when we see the blood spatter from Pelley’s neck onto Ralph Anderson’s face, my jaw dropped and remained open until the credits rolled. RIP Pelley, you never should have gone to help when you had the taste of copper on your tongue.
After replaying the episode’s final seconds, it appears seven shots were fired from the same sniper rifle shot by Hoskins. However, there was only a sound effect for pulling the action back after two of the shots.
I’m willing to bet Pelley is the only dead character thus far, and many of the shots we heard at the end could just have echoed on a black screen for effect. Maybe three shots were taken, but hopefully the second two missed Ralph and friends. They still have Salomon and the Bolton brothers on their way and maybe some SWAT cavalry in due time, but right now they’re in a mighty sticky shootout with Hoskins. If it’s quickly resolved by Seale flanking and killing Hoskins, I won’t be surprised, and I’m not sure I’ll feel great about it either.
The Outsider has a lot of ground to cover before it’s all said and done, and I’m hoping we get a well-deserved conclusion to the season/series for making it this far.