Five Thoughts on Outcast‘s “The Day After That”

By | July 30th, 2018
Posted in Television | % Comments

Welcome aboard to the world of the supernatural, Southern fried style – – it’s Robert Kirkman’s Outcast, the Cinemax adaptation of his 2014 -2018 Image Comics series. Set in Rome, West Virginia, Outcast is the story of Kyle Barnes, a man haunted in many ways by demonic possession throughout his life, and his return to his hometown of Rome to solve these mysteries after separating from his wife and daughter after his wife’s own demonic possession was misinterpreted as a domestic violence situation.

Anderson confesses to Patricia his role in her son’s death but then witnesses an even more horrific occurrence while in jail. Megan’s post-traumatic stress from her possession deepens, and Kyle’s still on the hunt for Sidney – – and it’s turning into a race against time for someone close to Kyle. Let’s dive into “The Day After That” – – and as always, spoilers within.

1. Radical Tactics

When you’re dealing with the supernatural, the normal detective work just won’t do. In order to find out from Evelyn, one of Sidney’s associates, where he’s been, Kyle resorts to bleeding out the truth – – but not from Evelyn, from himself. In a scene that will make the strongest of stomachs turn, Kyle takes a knife right to his ulnar artery (that’s the blood vessel at your wrist) and lets loose the blood. It gets Evelyn to confess, sure – – but Kyle, honey, you’re still mortal. You can only do that so many times without lasting damage. Use it when it matters most.

2. Out Damn Spot, Out I Say! 

As they say in Kiss Me Kate, brush up your Shakespeare kids, because Megan’s pulling a full Lady MacBeth and scrubbing imaginary blood off of her fingers.  Unlike Lady MacBeth – – a woman who suppressed her feminine side for the masculine pursuits of power – – Megan holds fast to those feminine characteristics of fragility and compassion to help cycle through her pain and loss: reflecting on her first meeting with Mark, heartbreak and guilt over her role in his death, a death he did not deserve.

3. Wisdom of the Children

Between “Bad Penny” and this episode, I’m seeing the role of Amber this season as both a Greek chorus and the voice of the viewer asking the tough questions. “It’s not safe here either,” she says to her dad. “Aunt Megan. She had a monster inside of her – – what if it comes back, and we can’t stop it this time.” Last week, we saw in Kyle’s investigations that once the demon in Rome gets deep into a host, there’s no pulling it out. Amber’s smarter than her young years, and she’s not afraid to ask these questions. Though she does attempt to run away from home later on in this episode, so maybe I’m giving her just a little too much credit.

4. The Power of Christ Compels You

Anderson’s new cellmate in jail is a cocky drug addict going through the worst of withdrawal symptoms – – or so it seems. One violent spasm leaves him motionless, only to arise and taunt our reverend that “Kyle’s not here to save you.” The Reverend uses the Good Book to fight back what appears to be a possession .  . . but is this a honest-to-goodness case of the demons of Rome claiming another victim, or a hallucination perpetuated by the Reverend’s guilt (and Patricia’s rejection of his confession) over Aaron’s death? Is it his feeling of helplessness over being abandoned by God?

5.  Desperation

It’s ironic and hypocritical that Megan attempts to take her own life when she bristled at the idea of Mark’s death being listed officially as a suicide (to clear her of any wrongdoing) – – Megan felt the suggestion of death at his own hand would be seen as abandoning his family. But, as someone who has suffered through severe depression after a traumatic event, her actions (irrational as they are), make sense. In those dark moments, your mind is so clouded over, you want out of your pain, and you’ll do anything to make that so. Memories of Mark and daughter Holly seem to pull her out as the last minute, but is it a case of too little, too late?

Continued below


– The doctor treating Kyle’s mother in the nursing home is an associate of Sidney’s. Throughout this episode, we see a mystery person carrying out autopsies on very decomposed bodies, several of them leaking out black goo. Is this on the instruction of Sidney – – and for what end? Moreover, is this doctor going to play angel of death and hasten along Mrs. Barnes’s demise to further this end? (Signs point to yes, if you ask me.)
– The song playing over the credits is Adam Ant’s “Ants Invasion” which starts with “10:35 and I hope I made the right decision.” I finished watching this episode at 10:35 PM on Sunday evening. That bit of synchroncity left me, as the kids say these days, a bit shooketh.

//TAGS | Outcast

Kate Kosturski

Kate Kosturski is your Multiversity social media manager, a librarian by day and a comics geek...well, by day too (and by night). Kate's writing has also been featured at PanelxPanel, Women Write About Comics, and Geeks OUT. She spends her free time spending too much money on Funko POP figures and LEGO, playing with yarn, and rooting for the hapless New York Mets. Follow her on Twitter at @librarian_kate.


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