The Hooded Man
Episode 2 of The Outsider builds on the great foundations set last time out and delivers another tense episode, one that brings plenty more questions into the fold. With the strange, hooded man becoming more prominent and plenty of little details hidden in the dialogue, The Outsider continues its great work with another strong hour of drama.
The episode begins in the middle of the night with Ralph driving to meet with Terry at the prison, where he admits to being baffled by the case. Looking him square in the eye, Ralph asks him outright if he had any interaction with the child but Terry remains cool and level-headed, telling the investigator calmly he didn’t kill him. Having heard enough, Ralph takes his leave but not before Terry brings up his dead son Derick and how hurt he was over Ralph insinuating that he had something to do with his death.
As it turns out, the footage of Terry at the school has been leaked to the press, prompting even more pressure and publicity to surround this trial. En-route to the court house, a masked man shoots Terry along with several other officers too. It’s only when Ralph manages to shoot the gunman down that he’s stopped from killing anyone else. On the ground, Terry starts bleeding out. Gasping and panting, he tells Ralph that it wasn’t him responsible before he dies. In the distance, the strange hooded figure from before watches on.
That evening, Ralph drinks while deep in thought, staring at the flickering flames of his fireplace as we learn he’s on leave for two weeks and forced into therapy. As another officer arrives, Ralph doubts himself for arresting Terry in the way that he did. Meanwhile, Glory tries to soothe her daughter Jessa who claims to see the man again in her room. As the camera pans down something wet appears to be on the floor, footsteps perhaps? As night turns to day however, a man hangs himself in his bedroom while the same hooded man from before watches outside.
The DA phones Ralph and tells him he’s not going forward with the case. After the shooting, things have become difficult for him and he needs to get away. Despite them both convinced that Terry was guilty, the case hits a serious dead end and as the DA says himself, they need to move on. Ralph doesn’t though, of course, and continues to investigate the case further. In particular, he turns his attention to the white van instead.
Ralph also begins therapy too where the therapist warns him that sometimes psychological manifestations can take a little while to present themselves. Ralph brushes these concerns aside thopugh and afterwards heads up to the orphanage to speak to Merlin regarding a restaurant that may hold more clues.
That evening, Ralph visits Glory, questioning whether her husband really is innocent and asking for her help. Instead, she throws it back in his face, telling him that her life is in ruins. In a cruel sense of irony though, proving her husband innocent may just be the way to clear her family name. Thinking it over, she eventually lets him in where they talk about the van, and her daughter chimes in after having eavesdropped from the stairs, informing them on crucial details, including a cut on Terry’s wrist that may hold yet more clues.
Meanwhile up at the farm, a farmer finds some strange clothes on a hay bale that matches the description of Terry’s bloody clothes described by the strip club owner last episode. Could this be a spot where Terry was hiding out? Before we can get any answers however, the episode ends.
Much like Mr Mercedes, The Outsider is a really well-worked King thriller that takes its time to build up the investigation with plenty of questions and mystery along the way. There’s some really great work done here with the dialogue too, featuring plenty of easy-to-miss details that will surely hold up on repeat viewings here. The Outsider may just turn out to be one of the most talked-about shows this year too, especially given the number of questions people will inevitably hold each week.
The camera work is smooth, with plenty of zooms and slick transitions that linger on characters for just the right amount of time to allow the impressive acting to shine through. As a personal gripe, the show does feel a little too dark at times, making it difficult to discern certain details (like the presumed wet footprints mentioned earlier) but aside from that, The Outsider is a solid thriller and one that certainly looks like a promising prospect going forward.