Outcast S01E02 “I Remember When She Loved Me” REVIEW

Outcast S01E02 “I Remember When She Loved Me” REVIEW

0 comments 📅14 June 2016, 22:56

Outcast S01E02 “I Remember When She Loved Me” REVIEW


stars 3.5
Airing in the UK on FOX, Tuesdays, 10pm
Writer: Jeff Vlaming
Director: Howard Deutch

Essential Plot Points:

  • An eye opens, a kid cycles towards a house in slow motion. He plays with his mom who calls his name…
  • “Kyle!”
  • Flashback City.


  • As they play, his mom collapses and begins covering herself in dirt. A terrified Kyle is frozen in place and…
  • …Wakes up in his still magnificently hideous old family home.
  • The Reverend is holding forth for his sermon. It’s…not going well. His congregation is thin on the ground. Anderson lays it on thick.
  • At the house Kyle starts going through his old stuff. He finds the book he was reading in the flashback and wraps it.
  • Anderson talks about the exorcism, naming Josh Austin as the victim. A curious looking man in black is sitting at the back of the church.
  • At the house, Kyle drops the tape. He crouches and finds it. Along with a human tooth. Kyle flashes back to his mom charging at him.
  • As the service finishes, Kyle comes to see Anderson. They talk about the sermon, and about how his Mom was “exorcised”. Kyle is uncertain as to what he did. Anderson is resolute that Kyle freed her.
  • The Sheriff comes to see Anderson and warns him about Kyle. The Sheriff doesn’t trust Kyle. Anderson does.


  • At the police station, a man walks in with a blood soaked plastic bag. There’s a dead, mutilated animal in there. One that was nailed up. He explains that there were five others on his land, all maimed the same way.
  • Kyle goes to see his mom in hospital and tearfully recollects how they used to be. He flashes between the angelic parent he loved and the screaming abusive harridan that tormented him, breaking down as he does so.
  • He notices watermarks on the ceiling and goes to the nurse’s station to report it. Spiky and angry and completely unable to face his emotions, he snaps at her and leaves.
  • Back at the house, Kyle’s neighbour notices him come back. Carrying an unconscious woman. He goes to see Kyle who shuts him down. Then goes inside and takes his mom to bed. Nearby, the man in black watches Kyle’s neighbour go back to his house…
  • The next morning, Meg shows up with some groceries. Kyle heads her off at the pass.
  • She pushes back, hard when Kyle tries to persuade her to pass the book to his daughter.  She’s far from happy, but she does it.


  • Inside, Kyle preps some food for his mom and flashes back to her savagely beating him. He locks her in the same cupboard she locked him in.
  • At the church, Anderson is hosting a high tea for the women he wants to recruit. 
  • Meg arrives at Amber’s birthday party. She finds out they’re dealing with Kyle’s absence, and what happened to Amber by largely ignoring it.
  • Mark and the Sheriff go out to investigate the animal mutilations. Mark is derisory about the Sheriff letting Kyle off last week but the Sheriff sticks to his guns.
  • Kyle fails to hand feed his mom. Again, he flashes back to his mom locked in the cupboard. She pleads with him, manipulating him into opening the door for her so she can attack him.
  • Anderson takes one of his recruiters up on the offer of dinner. The two are clearly flirting with one another until Anderson gets a phone call dragging him away.
  • Out in the woods, Mark and the Sheriff find a bloody nail in a tree and other mutilated animals. The trail of crucified raccoons leads deeper into the forest…


  • At Kyle’s house Anderson rolls up and confronts him. He storms in, explaining that he’s listed as Kyle’s mom’s emergency contact. Kyle tries to persuade him that she’s better off at home and Anderson takes him apart. Kyle pleads with him. He believes that he didn’t complete the exorcism and maybe he could still save her.
  • Back in the Woods, the Sheriff and Mark find an amazingly creepy old caravan. They find scratch marks all over the caravan, ones that may, or may not be done by animals…
  • At Kyle’s house, Anderson agrees to retry the exorcism. We see the knock-down drag-out fight between Kyle and his mom in the past, as Kyle tries the same tricks he did last week. He drags the bed over to the light, and when that doesn’t work he pounds the wound on his hand open and smears the blood in her mouth.
  • Nothing.
  • In the past we see Kyle knock his mother’s tooth out and the par of them, exhausted by the fight, slump to the ground. In the present, Kyle breaks down realising he can’t save his mom and never could.
  • At Kyle’s house, Anderson redresses his wound. He gently, and firmly, points out Kyle wasn’t wrong to try but it isn’t right to keep his mom there.
  • Kyle agrees, and takes her back to the home. He tearfully apologises to her, stroking her hair as she stares unseeing into the distance.
  • In the past, we see Kyle wake up and look at his unconscious mother’s form as police cars arrive outside. Anderson bursts in and Kyle’s mom is taken away in an ambulance.
  • In the present, he arrives home to find a note from Megan saying Amber loved her present. He starts to cry, shaking with relief that something, at least, has gone right.
  • Amber’s mom finds her asleep holding the book, and realises who it must have been from…
  • The Man in Black arrives at Sarah’s room. He talks to her, lamenting how sad it is that Kyle will never know how much she fought back. He finishes with a parting shot; nothing she did mattered, they have Kyle anyway.
  • Unseen, Sarah weeps…
  • Back in the past, we see the pair of them unconscious. We see Kyle dragged upright and into the air as something pours into him. Powerless, Sarah watches her son be tortured and dropped to the floor as Anderson arrives outside with no idea of what’s going on…



This one makes you work for it. Episode two of Outcast is, at times, painfully slow. We spend a lot of time at Amber’s birthday party, a lot of time with Anderson, a lot of time with Mark and the chief in the woods and some time with Kyle. It would be easy to look at this episode as a place filler.

It’s not, though. This is a very smart, very necessary hour of TV that doubles down on the show’s comparisons between possession and PTSD. Fugit’s Kyle is an open wound and here, in an effort to heal himself, we see just how badly hurt he really is.

Again, this is going to be a hard watch for abuse survivors. The fights are untidy, desperate and brutal and the show pulls no punches, especially given the episode opens with Kyle finding the teeth he knocked out of his mother’s head on their last day together.  But push through that and you’ve got the last thing this show is expected to exhibit: compassion.

This episode is what Kyle has to do to get some kind of closure. His time at home is the definition of unfinished business so of course now he’s saved a stranger he has to go back and try and save his mom. It speaks not just to the child like logic he still has but the faith he chooses to believe he does not. He did a bad thing. He can do good things now. The balance should be reset.

When it isn’t, his heart breaks and ours goes right along with it.


Kyle has to go through this. The show has to explore him going through this. Last episode was all about Kyle discovering what he can do. This episode is about him discovering that while he can’t close the wounds of his past, he can, maybe cauterise them. That’s not great but that’s all he’s got. For now.

The other reason this episode is slow is the nature of the show itself. This is a 10-episode season that by definition is novelistic. This isn’t episode two as much as chapter two and with everything established it makes sense to explore a little bit before kicking off again. Plus a lot of balls are put in the air here, many already bloodstained; the animal mutilations, the Man in Black, Kyle’s mom still being cognisant and Anderson’s maybe sort-of romance are just the major ones. Not a lot may happen but a lot is set up this week. And, having seen next week’s too, let us assure you, you’re going to need the breather…


The Good:

  • “Just take it slow. You can’t go cold turkey off a Cap’n Crunch diet.” Meg, lone guardian of Kyle’s digestive tract.
  • “You wanna reclaim your family? You gotta let your mom go.” Such a simple, perfect, powerful line.
  • Fugit’s slow-burn rage, numbness and desperation is heartbreaking. The episode makes you work to get there but damn is the journey worth it.
  • The direction is stunning throughout and the way the flashbacks meld with the present is seamless. We also loved the image of Kyle’s bike grown into the tree in the garden.


  • Chief Giles is delightful. Much more of him being salty and badass please.
  • That ending. This show is getting very good at upending expectations.

The Bad:

  • The pacing really is pretty slow this week. That’s going to bother some people.
  • That Anderson/parishioner sort-of romance needs to go somewhere, and that somewhere may be “away”.
  • We’re two episodes in and Kyle’s neighbour, has not, to my knowledge been named on screen yet. That’s odd.

The Random:

  • The book that Kyle gives his daughter is Homer Price by Robert McCloskey. It’s apparently lovely.
  • Howard Deutch? THEY GOT HOWARD DEUTCH FOR TWO EPISODES?! Holy wow! Deutch directed two definitive ’80s classics in Pretty In Pink and Some Kind Of Wonderful. He also did magnificent and underrated sort of medical thriller Article 99 and episodes of numerous shows like American Horror Story, CSI: New York and Warehouse 13.
  • The Man in Black is the magnificent Brent Spiner. Star Trek mainstay as Mr Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation, plot explainer in both Independence Day movies and member of the world’s most dysfunctional science team in excellent and much-missed Threshold with Carla Gugino and Peter Dinklage.


Review by Alasdair Stuart

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