Predator And The Prey
The Outsider returns this week with its penultimate slice of uneasy tension and drama before next week’s finale. At times the show has struggled to settle into a consistent groove, with its middle slew of episodes sinking into a bit of a slow paced slog but boy has this show pulled itself together and delivered some really tense segments. Sandwiched between these slow paced moments are some truly memorable episodes, boasting a lot of tension and world-building to allow this foul El Coco monster to begin festering in the grief-stricken characters inhabiting this world.
We begin episode 9 of The Outsider with a segment out on a farm with two boys called John and George who run away, leading their Father out on a wild goose chase to look for them. The two boys, as fate would have it, stumble into the cave system. Inevitably they become lost but continue to walk through the caves as their Father follows in hot pursuit.
Cutting back to the cabin, Ralph and the others talk to the officers about the footage they’ve got on their tablet. Ralph suggests the officers let them interview the suspects to try and gain some valuable intel that may help both parties. Agreeing to their terms, the local police drive off while Holly encourages the group to keep up the charade for Claude. If he finds out they know, that could prove to be very problematic for them all given his mind is clearly linked to El Coco now.
With Claude out of earshot, Ralph and the others discuss how to contain El Coco but stop short when Claude himself shows up. Convincing him to go on a road-trip, Ralph takes the time to speak to Jeannie back home where he tells her El Coco has arrived. Despite her pleas, a determined Ralph tells her he’s going to hunt this creature and stop its reign once and for all.
Howard drives Claude drive away, with the latter acting erratically and eventually throwing up by the side of the road. El Coco’s grip over him is clearly growing but as they continue to drive away, they stop by a chicken shop and discuss the past while taking a break to eat.
While they do, Ralph and Yunis head off to the police station where they interview the young boy about what happened with El Coco at the festival. Ralph asks whether it scratched him and after seeing no evidence of this on the child, they set to work turning their attention to Mr Davison, asking him about the creature he tackled to the ground. He mentions Claude’s weird eyes, as if the man infront of him was wearing a mask – which ironically isn’t far from the truth.
Meanwhile Andy and Holly continue to investigate, with the latter paying particular attention to the direction the creature ran after being spotted that night. Back at Claude’s house, the group learn about the horrific history of the caves and the tragedy that befell the town. All of this leads back to the cave system we’ve seen these past two episodes and as they get a map and begin working out the best way of entering, the group realize that this is where El Coco is hiding out.
The final fight looms on the horizon as Andy, Yunis and Ralph head off while Claude and Howard return to his brother’s house. Unfortunately his brother has doubts about keeping Claude out of the loop and as Howard leaves the room, he spills the truth to Claude. He’s incredulous though, berating his brother for revealing such crucial information and prompting El Coco itself to awaken inside the cave and immediately prepare for their arrival.
As Ralph and the others pull up in the forest, Jack lies waiting for them, turning prey to predator as he readies a sniper rifle, pointing directly at them. As he pulls the trigger, gunshots ricochet through the air as the episode fades to black.
With our ensemble gathered and all roads leading to El Coco, the latest episode of The Outsider combines this main conflict effortlessly with a couple of really well-written subplots. The cave system and claustrophobia this brings with it is a welcome inclusion and learning about the town’s history adds some much needed depth to this area. However, the big talking point is that finale and with El Coco psychically linked to Claude now, the finale looks set to turn the tables and send our characters scrambling to safety.
Having not seen the preview for next week’s episode, big question marks remain over this one as the final fight to stop El Coco arrives. There will inevitably be victims with this but quite who comes out unscathed by the end remains a mystery (except for book readers of course!) In the meantime though, The Outsider looks set to end things on a high for a show that’s certainly up there with one of the better thrillers of the year so far.