TV Show Review

TV Review: OUTCAST: Season 1, Episode 7: The Damage Done [Cinemax]

Brent Spiner Outcast The Damage Done

Cinemax’s Outcast The Damage Done TV Show Review. Outcast, Season 1, Episode 7: ‘The Damage Done,’ got some elements back on track (after some needless derailment), and moved some forward; but kept some (currently) B-side threads going. Kyle (Patrick Fugit) finally caught a personal break, allowing him to focus on the matters at hand, while Rev. Anderson (Philip Glenister) caught some Hell – an unexpected case of mutually assured destruction, to himself & the Hell-raiser, coming of it.

I’d say Rev. Anderson recovered from his violation pretty well; but then, he’s had his fair share of rough treatment, given his history of occupational hazard. Being carved like a prison trophy had to have had some novelty to it, though, so there was a noticeable change to the man. Of course, it took Giles’ (Reg E. Cathey) poking at Ogden (Pete Burris) boiling over, some, for Giles to notice; but Anderson seemed determined to double-down on his pact with the Police Chief (and God, I guess).

He also got things back on track with Patricia (Melinda McGraw) – the good news being that she’s already been vetted by Kyle (I think), so no more drawn out sleeper-demon-infiltrates-Team-Touch question; the bad news being that her brat of a son looks to be having an expanded role, for the moment. Frankly, I’ve had enough of these. The town seems to breed nothing but brats & bratlets – including the creepy kids of key characters.

Amber (Madeleine McGraw) alert: key character creepy kid #1’s acting out has started to trigger mommy’s malicious memories. Sure, Allison (Kate Lyn Sheil) should’ve taken the hint a while back – that her daughter hates her, but loves the supposed abuser father – as a reason to question the story of the estrangement; but creepy kids can be useful, in that sort of way. I’ve been watching them turn into a storytelling staple since The Sixth Sense – poking at viewers used to looking elsewhere for scares (they used to just be bait, in films like PoltergeistMimic) – so it kind of annoys me when characters like Allison never seem to take any of their hints.

The good news is that she still had enough doubt, left over since last ep, for those hints to start collecting & sinking in (“Hey, Mikey – she gets it!”). That, and all the deliberate Allison creepiness was finally exposed as so much PTSD red-herring. The (current) why of Kyle got back on the road, and I can appreciate that as a resolution, for the time being (even if it was left one lady lite of Kyle’s liking).

The bad news: the Showrunners still thought that none of the viewers had caught on to what was really happening with Fire Chief Ogden. I was a little insulted, personally, but I suppose that was part of the point of having all these threads splaying out at once – to split our attention, so as to not see where any one of them is going too soon. I won’t comment on what was expected of me to expect from the Megan (Wrenn Schmidt) blackmail thread (or her husband’s extra crispy carelessness, in facilitating it), other than it being another example of too many red-herrings spoiling the chilly.

Not that it was all telegraphed, mind you. Sidney (Brent Spiner) remains the best thing about the series, so far. Every creepy conspiracy show needs a Smoking Man, and Sidney has been it, for Outcast. Unlike the X-Files’ Big Bad, however (and props to the prop guys, for the “I Want to Believe” poster), Sidney got called out pretty darned early, and has been less than airtight with his grip on things. I’ve been taking that as a sign that frustrating Sidney will be as much a part of the show’s more effective twists as Sidney frustrating Team Touch (until Kyle’s ‘gift’ gets another gimmick going for it, that’s what I’ll be working with).

With the Sydney call-out, however, came something of a public foaming-at-the-mouth moment, for the Reverend; so he hasn’t quite turned a corner, completely. It did provide Kyle with an opportunity to step up, regarding their two man crusade; and with Chief Giles fully on-board, I’d say the show is now well on its way to having a solid footing.

Something will have to be done about all the herring, though. One redhead herring seems overdue for an otherworldly attitude adjustment, you ask me….

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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