HBO’s The Outsider Episode 3 Review

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A slow burn episode that on its surface seems to drag a bit, but by the end you realize that there is a ton of new information and new theories that were brought about from what we learned. One of my biggest fears coming out of the last episode was whether or not the story could hold up with losing one of its main characters so early on. Now I know that there was no guarantee that Terry would make it through the whole season, but with a name like Bateman playing the character, it’s certainly a risk to kill him off so quick. So far so good, this episode really dials up the mystery while also slowly revealing new information that potentially answers some questions, but also raises more.

One thing that this episode did to really make up for the lack of having another major character outside of the detective is the introduction of Cynthia Erivo as Holly Gibney, a private investigator in the vein of L from Death Note. They aren’t exactly the same, but she did immediately make me think of him. She has a very intriguing personality and quirk about her with her condition that makes her a real treat to listen to when she’s going on one of her little rambles about something random like car makes and models. She certainly brings a new angle to the investigation and a bit of a change of pace from the gloomy characters we have for the majority of the episode.

Another character that I failed to mention in the previous episode review is that of the other detective Jack. He’s very much an ass hole that I really don’t care too much about, but while investigating the barn of where they found some clothes of the killer, he finds himself infected in some way. I’m not exactly sure how to explain what it is that’s going on with him because it really isn’t explained to us, but it’s clearly painful to him and is causing him to hear a voice. It seems that by the end of the episode, he’s somewhat controlled by the voice, but again I’m not entirely sure. It does raise an interesting question of why him and what the intention is for infecting him. I also wonder what exactly is going on with Terry’s daughter who has been seeing the mystery figure.

I want to know more about what’s going on when she sees him. She seems to be awake whenever we find out that she saw him, but was she awake when she saw him or was she actually dreaming? If she is hearing just a voice though and imagining seeing him then how different exactly is it from Jack? She doesn’t seem to be effected by any kind of infection like Jack so it’s definitely a different kind of connection that she has with the mystery man than what Jack has, but again like my last episode review, I want to know why them. Of course the daughter makes some sense with her relationship to her father and Jack could have just been a vulnerable victim considering his state of mind, but what’s the intention.

I suppose it could be possible that the warning the daughter gives to our detective Ralph could be connected to Jack now. It seems that Jack is going to be listening to the voice and acting upon its request which leads me to believe that he could possibly be set to do something to Ralph or his wife. I think that’s exactly where this is leading, but I won’t be surprised if I’m wrong. It also feels very similar to that of Stranger Things 3 when Billy becomes infected by the Upside Down creature except that the mystery figure does seem to be a physical being just hiding in the shadows. It also seems apparent that the figure is in fact able to change his appearance to some extent.

We learn a few significant things that point to some new information. It seems that its possible that when he impersonates someone that he eventually ages out of that appearance and becomes disfigured. We learn that the fingerprints of Terry on the belt have both a young set of finger prints and a much older set of finger prints. They both are identical but leads me to believe that the longer he stayed as an impersonation of Terry, the more his body aged or maybe just the appearance aged. I’m not entirely sure, but as stated by the daughter over the course of her seeing the figure on four separate occasions, the figures appearance changed from looking like her father initially to looking like someone else entirely.

That seems to without a doubt point to him having some kind of effect after becoming someone and very much that he is able to change appearance somehow. If not for this information then I think it’s more apparent as we learn new information in Dayton regarding the killing of two young girls. Throughout the episode, we were getting glimpses into a prisoners life has he was being called a child killer. He doesn’t seem guilty and when Holly comes across the news clipping of the killings that show us that he was in fact the guy found guilty of the murders, it seems that this could possibly be connected directly to our current case. If these murders did indeed occur right close to the time that Terry and his family was in Dayton then I believe the figure may have began his killings here while impersonating the man that we later saw in prison. Unfortunately we will have to hold out hope of Holly’s ability to investigate since he decided to take his own life rather than be killed by another inmate.

It doesn’t feel like a lot of information is revealed when you first finish this episode, but as I started to sit and think about everything new that I learned, I realized that there was a lot more going on than I actually realized. The show up to this point is showing to be an excellent slow burn that its revealing information at just the right time. It’s not making you feel like you have the answers, but keeping you hooked just enough that you feel like you’re figuring it out even though the mystery deepens. I’m actually having a lot of fun trying to figure out where this mystery is going and I am pleasantly surprised that the show managed to continue its quality and fantastic narrative despite my concerns coming out of the previous episode.

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