Season 1 Episode 1: The Outsider Recap, Review and Theories
The obligatory drone shot opens over a quaint small town. A direwolf notices blood on a white van (I know its not a dire wolf thats the wrong HBO show). Later while walking the dog a man notices blood on a tree trunk. The dog breaks away and seems to be barking at something under an overpass.
A Police Detective (probably with a debilitating addiction) gets out of his aged cop car. The Detective is not happy. There are lots of lights and a dead kid with converse sneakers on. The kid looks like he has been mauled to death. BIG SCRATCHES down his back. King has a real thing for kids in converse shoes. The Medical Examiner tells him the body has bite marks all over it. Not from an animal….I am to assume it was from a human.
The detective is interviewing the dog walker. He was taking his dog for a walk. He left his own address which was 246 mulberry street, and headed to the park around 5:15. The dog walker seems quiet but mentions he saw a white van in what is normally an empty lot. He describes the van in about as vague a fashion as possible.
A normal family cooking breakfast. Jason Bateman is our father who seems to be playing a much better version of the father figure he plays on Ozark. He is a coach of something as his two children mention a game that he is coaching later that day.
Ralph, our detective, is going to arrest someone in town. He is real pissed about something this suspect has done in the past. His wife says you can’t arrest someone for something they did in the past for a different crime now. They load up the cop car with the dogwalker and knock on a door. They go to tell the mom that her son has died. She screams.
Now Ralph is interviewing a teacher. Perhaps the last one to see the Peterson boy. She recalls Bateman pulls over in a white van and offers to help give the Peterson boy a ride back in his van. (shit does not look good for our Ozark native). Ralph reaches out to the board of education to get Terry’s (that is Batemans’ character’s name) finger prints.
Ralph wants to make a big scene by arresting Terry and tells the deputies to cuff him in front of everyone.
He is now interviewing a little girl about what she saw on the day of the murder. She saw Bateman all bloody (Like tons of blood covering his mouth bloody). She says Coach Terry told her he had a bloody nose but the little girl ain’t buying it….frankly neither are we.
Back at the little league game the deputies arrest Terry in front of everyone like they were told to do. We get lots of people with cell phones recording things.
The CSI team is scraping a shit ton of blood off of the van and find a small piece of paper as well. Ralph is talking to a new witness. This is an adult and he mentions that he has been arrested but is on the straight and narrow. He mentions Terry came in to his strip club. He recalls the time and that Terry was covered in blood and that Terry asked to clean himself up and that he needed to get a taxi home. He also mentions a horse head buckle and that as he walked past he had blood on the back of his jacket.
Back at the ball diamond Terry’s wife is pissed and Terry seems pretty calm and insists as the police drive him away she needs to call Howie. Howard is hitting golf balls and Lorie tells him what happened. He can help. He tells her to drop off the kids at a friends house and to keep her mouth shut.
Ralph and Terry are talking in the cop car. Terry says he wasn’t even in town. Ralph asks him if he touched his kid. He also asks if Frankie was the only boy he did it to. We get an interview with the cabbie who gave Terry a ride to the train station. During the cab ride Terry requested she call dispatch to let them know he got picked up. They are also going through security footage at the bar and they see Terry in all his belt buckle glory. Curiously he left without the brown bag he went into bar with. Throughout the security footage he poses for the camera.
Observation #1 He clearly wants to be seen by cameras. No one gets what he is up to. Ralph doesn’t understand why he is trying to get caught. He smells something fishy. Why was Terry making choices that would be so easy to track.
Ralph is watching Terry through an interrogation window. The blood in the van was Frankie’s. There was also AB positive blood, which I assume is Terry’s. From an evidentiary standpoint it seems open and shut.
The District Attorney arrives and mentions if he clears things up he can go home. Ralph wants to get a cheek swab to match up DNA. The District Attorney is up for reelection and Ralph says he won’t take a chance if the DNA doesn’t match up. Terry can leave scot free if it doesn’t match. Terry, like any sane and rational person lawyer’s up. Howard to the rescue.
Howard wants to know what happened when they arrested him. Howard is pissed about how Terry was arrested. Ralph says he had someone else arrest him because he couldn’t do it without beating the fuck out of him. Observation #2: Ralph has some issues with our boy Terry. I think maybe there is some animosity there.
Glory Maitland arrives at home and the police have a search warrant and are ransacking the home. They are taking all kind of stuff. There is also a dude in a green hoodie. Its such a big hoodie we can’t see his face. He is simple watching. Observation #3: The Unabomber did it.
The cops are detailing all of the evidence. They have his fingerprints, his blood, all of the witnesses. Terry insists he was in Cap City. He was attending a conference for English Teachers. Terry was there and lots of people can verify his story. Howie is real pissed now. The District Attorney is still smugly waiting on the DNA.
Its been four days and they cops are leading Terry out and they parade him by Frankie Peterson’s mom. Who yells at him. As Terry is processed there are some prisoners that do not like child killers and they are making it known.
Howie has a PI who is investigating where Terry is. Terry refuses to go into a cell with the other prisoners who will undoubtedly hurt him. A lot.
The police officers are talking about how to investigate the conference. Meanwhile Howie’s PI is trying to find some footage of Terry at the conference. Nothing is super conclusive on the footage the hotel has but the head of security mentions there was public access camera crew that might have more.
At the Peterson house, Frankie’s mom loses her shit and destroys dinner with her sons baseball bat. To be fair I would do the same. She moves her rampage into the kitchen. She finally falls to the kitchen floor. Ooooofff. Observation 4: If this show ends up being about grief then I think they capture it really well in this scene.
Its 3 something in the morning. Glory Maitland opens the door to her daughters room. She is awake and staring out the window. That’s fucking terrifying. Mom tries to wake her up. But her daughter screams NO I WILL NOT…..GET OUT OF MY ROOM. Yep that is enough to unsettle you for like a month.
The private investigator has found something in the public access video. Its Terry who is asking a question at one of the conferences. WHAT THE FUCK. The detective and the DA are all there and they look devastated. I mean they probably should be, right? The DA and the police are now talking about what they should do now. The DA does not sound confident. Ralph is headed to Cap City to talk to the hotel staff.
Howie is detailing how they are going to get Terry out of jail. They still have his arraignment. Howie wants to get forensics evidence to exonerate Terry.
Ralph is talking to the gift shop owner who confirms he was in there and touched a book. The detective buys it and leaves the hotel but not before running into the PI who gives him grief about it. They are running the fingerprints and all of them match. But they mention how can they be in all places at once. Observation 5: This feels like some chimera shit to me.
Ralph is mourning his son at his grave. These scenes are brutal and tragic and it’s really hard especially with two of my own. Both Ralph and Frankie’s family and how they cope with grief are compelling story lines. Ralph’s wife asks him if he really thinks Terry killed that boy. Ralph, our honest cop, replies he doesn’t know. He reviews the footage of Terry at the train station again. They zoom in on his hand and he is flipping the camera off. Friggin weird yo….friggin weird.
Its night and everyone is going through their nightly routines. Including the bad inmmates telling Terry they are going to kill him when he gets back from court. Terry is wide awake now….
- Horror has a really rich history with doppelgangers. I am down for a show that explores that.
- The whole rush to judgment feels a lot like the Satanic Panic and the Daycare Abuse scandal which has been debunked.
- The injuries sure looked like something an animal might commit despite what the cops said.
- So the dude we saw in the green hoodie. Could it be the other Jason Batemen? That’s my working theory.
- In the video at the conference, Terry mentions a couple of banned books Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut and the Iliad by Homer. A couple of things about the Iliad. First it has dopplegangers in it. Achilles meets Hector who is wearing Achilles own armor. In some ways he confronts himself. Homer also describes Achilles as a Doppleganger of Apollo. In fact you could describe the entire book as about foils and doppelgangers.
Check out our Episode 2 Coverage. More later!
Tyler has been the editor in chief of Signal Horizon since its conception. He is also the Director of Monsters 101 at Truman State University a class that pairs horror movie criticism with survival skills to help middle and high school students learn critical thinking. When he is not watching, teaching or thinking about horror he is the Director of Debate and Forensics at a high school in Kansas City, Missouri.