Outcast: Mercy Review
Cinemax’s Outcast, season 2, episode 8, ‘Mercy,’ began with the end of Blake Morrow (Lee Tergesen) – arguably the most memorable character from the first season – but unlike the call-back of Kat, his end was only the beginning. Apparently there are perks to being (arguably) the most memorable character from the first season.
Despite being a fake-out, this time around, the notion of a call-back culling theme left me wondering if there actually is an end-game in mind (if not in place); and if I should actually hope for some finality, to this series. Blake’s apocalyptic deadman babbling, about Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), helped; though I suppose the story has entered a phase that makes the secret identity suspense aspect irrelevant – given that every Occupied in sight now gives Kyle a knowing stare – further reinforcing that hope.
I don’t recall Nunez (Briana Venskus) being left in that bad a condition, by Kyle; so the lack of follow-up, to Giles (Reg E. Cathey) being set loose, seemed like a sizable plot-hole. On the other hand, since the Occupation seems to be all out in the open, kind of, I guess legal action would be moot. Giles was free to join his wife, for all-out vigilante warfare, and Nunez was free to treat him as a loose end, rather than a fugitive. Somewhere in all that, we were supposed to be surprised by how that eventuality would turn out; but really, who talks about Toe Poppers without them popping up, at some point. Predictable, yes; but still satisfying. The duo’s just getting started (fingers crossed).
So is Dr. Park (Hoon Lee), apparently. If the Council was the Doctor’s in, for putting pressure on Sidney (Brent Spiner), then it also served to give Park his Big Bad cred. Sidney falling into the hands of Dakota (Madelyn Deutch) might be a game changer, regarding Sid’s role on the series; but for now, it left an opening for Park to make some major moves. The most pivotal likely being his deal with Blake.
Despite Dakota making a good case for the Good Cop method, the Anderson (Philip Glenister) OCD is what it is – especially where Sidney was concerned. If you consider that maybe the Power of Christ compels him, then the receipt Sidney handed him (for a 1st season debt repaid) cut much deeper (once you get past the whole Christ was an exorcist detail). If anything, it was an idea too long in coming; but hopefully another indication of where the show could go. Could, anyway.
So with Sidney tied up, Blake took up the lead menace role. I’d say he was very good at getting what he wanted, like the very best sociopaths always do, but a lot of credit should go to his marks being just so easy. Not to take away from the Blake character, however – his toned down scene chewing was a nice pick up, from where the character was left off.
I’ve come to rely on the Creepy Kids being used as misdirecting bait, on this show; so it came as little surprise that the episode’s principal threads all converged on the recently revealed state of Megan (Wrenn Schmidt). Throw in the excesses of the conflict’s previous two principal players, and we may have been given an idea of what Park’s plan for the Occupation might look like. Closer to the present, however, some Barnes family issues might have to get worked out, first.
Tick-tock, guys, Outcast looks to be having more promise than delivery time on its hands.
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