‘The Outsider’ episode 6, titled ‘The One About the Yiddish Vampire’, does little to further the investigation. All the proofs that one needed, or could have, are there. All the theories that could be entertained have been. All the reasonable possibilities of how an impossible thing could have happened have been explored. The audience already knows who the killer is, then why is the story being dragged along for so long? Couldn’t ‘The Outsider’ wrap it up in fewer episodes? It very well could have, but then it would have been reduced into just another supernatural horror miniseries.
Rather than being the story about a bogeyman who eats children, ‘The Outsider’ is about beliefs. What do you do when an impossible situation presents itself? Better still, what do you do when all you ever believed in comes crashing down with one incident and you don’t even know what’s real anymore?
This episode is about the difference between doubt and belief, which is what makes it such an important step in the journey that is only four weeks from its conclusion. What it means for the case and the characters, let’s find out. If you haven’t yet caught up with the show, head over to HBO. SPOILERS AHEAD
Holly finally arrives at Cherokee with the theory about the case that she is pretty sure won’t hold up with her audience. Before she faces off with the doubt of her clients, she has a nightmare that almost costs her life, as well as that of the rest of the passengers on the bus. The news of Tracy Powell’s death alarms her, especially because she had seen him a couple of days ago, and knew that there is a connection between him and the entity. She finds out more about it from Andy.
In the meeting, she puts forward her ideas and while Glory storms off in anger, Jeannie stays till the end. At the Andersons’ place, Holly sees the sketches of the Outsider and makes the connection between the time span of the murders. She also comes to know about the visit and the threat it made to Jeannie, as well as, the dream that Ralph had. Meanwhile, Jack receives a threat of his own and is ordered to stop Holly, which makes him take a drastic step.
What’s Happening to Claude?
For Holly, things have been moving forward very well, but for the rest, they have come to a standstill with absolutely no direction. Ralph has gone through everything he could, in the domain of the explainable, and for a while, he even thought about the scratches that Terry received from Heath, and then Claude received from Terry. But you can’t catch murder like you catch a cold, so he let it go. Luckily, Sablo held on to it, and after the meeting with Holly, he keeps a close eye on Claude, who is going through a strange, if not a difficult time.
Ever since he was scratched by Terry, Claude feels a bit off but can’t exactly put a finger at his problem. He doesn’t know it, but it is the effect of the Outsider taking over his form. Remember when Glory admitted that Terry had been acting strangely before the murder of Frankie Peterson. What if he, too, had been feeling the effect of it?
Holly had left the terrain of “reasonable explanations” when she met with Maria Caneles. After the bogeyman theory, she realised that she could drag it on and on from Terry Maitland to Heath Hofstadter to Maria Caneles and so on to so on. The further she looked into the past, the farther she’d go. So, she turns her eyes towards the future. And she is not just on the right path, but also very close to the one responsible for all the child killings.
Knowing that she will be scoffed at, she presents the theory, along with the chain of events, to the rest of the group. Interestingly, half of them immediately dismiss her, while the other half keep an open mind, if not instantly siding with her. To bring the other half to her side, she needs tangible proof, something that will convince not just them, but also her. And she finds that at the end of the episode.
What will Holly do?
Jack Hoskins has been under the effect of the Outsider ever since he stepped inside the barn. We wondered why the entity didn’t just copy him like it did Terry. Why is it just forcing him to do its bidding? Wouldn’t taking the form of a police officer serve it better? Because the entity had already chosen its next form, which would be Claude Bolton as correctly guessed by Yunis Sablo, it needs someone to do the dirty work for it while it is in hiding, while it is transforming. This also solves the mystery of why the murders happened within 20-25 days of each other. This is the time span needed by it to turn into the next person who would take the blame for its killings.
The death of Tracy Powell alerts Holly and the pictures that she took of him show her the scar at the back of his neck. She believes that now that El Cuco is in hiding again, there must be someone serving as his delivery boy. Little does she know, before sitting in the car with him, that it is Jack Hoskins. He invites her to the barn under the guise of tangible proof. It is midway that she sees the same scar at the back of Jack’s neck, and that’s all the proof she needed. But what will she do now?
Jack is definitely going to kill her, as he is under the strict order of stopping her. No one knows that they are going to the barn, so it would not lead any trails back to Jack. Holly realises the danger she is in, what remains to be seen is how she will get herself out of it.