Gibney presents her unbelievable evidence, and finds herself in danger.

By Kyle Fowle
February 09, 2020 at 10:00 PM EST
HBO

The Outsider

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It’s time for the moment of truth on the latest episode of The Outsider. After traveling around and exhausting every possible angle about a series of seemingly connected child murders, it’s time for Gibney to present her theory to the rest of the team. It’s a moment she’s dreading because she’s more than aware of how it’s going to come across, and how difficult it will be to get Ralph and everyone else to accept that something supernatural could be going on here. She’s confident she’s on the right track, but that doesn’t make the mental leaps for the others any easier.

Heading back, she goes over everything she has. She hears about Tracy Powell, the man she encountered at Heath’s gravesite, being killed by the police in a deadly standoff where his gun wasn’t loaded. She spends the night on the bus home and sees a vision of Tracy telling her to look out the front window. She sees the bus hurtling towards a truck. She runs to the front of the bus screaming, but of course the impending collision is in her head. It’s all part of whatever’s going on; the supernatural being trying to stop the investigation.

Before getting to the actual meeting where Gibney lays out her evidence, we get a lot of the same old stuff. Everything involving Glory is particularly frustrating. Jeannie heads over to her house to invite her to the meeting with Gibney, hoping to give her some sense that things are progressing, and while she’s there she asks permission to get Jessa to describe the figure she saw on three occasions. Jeannie has her suspicions confirmed: it’s the same man she saw in her dining room. But then, after just allowing this to happen, Glory scolds Jeannie for putting her kids through it, saying that she hopes it’s all worth it in the end. How many times do we have to watch Glory agree to something and then immediately turn around and talk about the trauma it’s causing? It’s getting old; she’s a one-note character.

There’s also more slow-moving stuff in terms of Jack and his descent into whatever he’s becoming. He picks up Gibney to take her to the meeting, and she can tell he’s having a tough time. “You look like you’re going through some kind of hell,” she says, and Jack nearly breaks and tells her about what he’s been experiencing. Of course, whatever’s inside him stops him from doing that. But no worries, it won’t be long before Gibney finds herself confronted with the truth about Jack. Thankfully, both Jack and Glory get better moments to close out the episode, but we’ll get there in a minute.

So, we get to Gibney presenting her case, showing how all the alleged killers were in different places when the murders happened, and how each of them had contact with each other. “I think they’re victims,” she says, before going on to detail how she believes some sort of “evil entity” has been going around killing children and inhabiting different bodies. She urges everyone to “expand your sense of what reality might entail,” but it’s all for naught. Glory loses it, completely pissed off that this is what everyone’s been up to. Howie can’t believe his ears, and Ralph is angry that all this time has been wasted on a theory about the boogeyman. For what it’s worth, Jack wants to hear her out, and Pelley has a similar belief in the potential for something demonic to be happening here.

This episode is better than the last, which suffered from some sluggish pacing. Here, the storytelling is a little brisker, and the events just a little more exciting. It feels like we’re getting to the meat of the story. Things are getting weirder. Jack is seeing “STOP HER” written on his hands, like a demonic case of stigmata. Gibney is seeing more connections and posits that this entity is shedding skins like a snake, and is currently in a vulnerable state. There’s evidence that shows someone really was sitting across from Jeannie in the dining room, and Jack has a physical confrontation with his dead mother that’s more hilarious than it is terrifying.

Then, the episode dives into two of the season’s best moments. First, there’s Glory sitting with Ralph and telling him that it shouldn’t be this hard to clear her husband’s name. Then, after struggling to get the words out, she wonders out loud if Terry did kill that boy. Her reaction to uttering those words is both relief and betrayal. It’s a stirring moment, and one rooted in everything she’s been through.

Then, the final scene of the episode. Jack has essentially lured Gibney into coming to the barn where Terry’s clothes were found, promising to show her something that will help all of this make sense. Gibney’s suspicious of him in general; he’s acting strange, his face is beaten to a pulp, and she doesn’t quite trust him. Then, when he bends over to pick something up off the floor of the truck, she sees the boils on the back of his neck, the same ones she’s seen before. She knows she’s in trouble, but she has nowhere to go, and the episode ends on the chilling overhead shot of the truck driving into the distance, towards an unknown fate.

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The Outsider

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  • 01/12/20
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