In its fourth episode, ‘The Outsider’ keeps diverging into a darker path, as the mystery of El Coco unravels.
As I’m still trying to digest the fact a Stephen King story finally found its way to an HBO production, I keep getting amazed by how good this show is. Without massive buildup beforehand, HBO presents us with something that feels like an interesting mixture of True Detective Season 1‘s vibes with fantastical / horror elements–what more can you possibly ask for?
The show absolutely delivers in terms of directing and acting and gradually building an eerie atmosphere that keeps me hooked from one week to the next.
While the first three episodes looked like a 100% murder mystery show, in the fourth episode you can intensely feel that it’s a Stephen King story you are watching, with all the elements involved. This episode focused mainly on Holly Gibney’s investigation, as she tries to link the connection between the murder that Maitland is accused of and other mysterious cases from the past.
As the story progresses the tension is building (brilliantly, in my opinion) and as time goes by you understand that you are entering the more mythical side of King’s tales, with horror and fantasy elements heavily involved. While many of Stephen King’s stories got to see the light as film and TV adaptions, this perhaps is the first one that came from HBO, and as a big Stephen King fan, I say it’s about time. You can definitely feel the high standards the show set for itself, being an HBO production. It is kind of reminiscent of Richard Price’s previous show, The Night Of.
By the end of the episode, more light is shed on a possible lead to the investigation, that completely shifts the show into a new direction that I hope the casual HBO viewers will be able to adjust to.
One thing that’s important for me to emphasize is just how well made this show is. It’s dark and intriguing and the first time I’m getting horror vibes from an HBO show.
The directing is amazing, the acting is brilliant (especially from Emmy Winner Ben Mendelsohn and Cynthia Erivo), the music is unique and setting the mood perfectly, and the writing by the HBO veteran Richard Price is top-notch. With the popular habit of category frauds that awards networks love so much these days, it’s unclear if HBO will submit this one as a Drama or Limited Series. While the Drama series lineup for next year is absolutely packed, if they send this to the limited categories I think it does have a chance for a few nominations, including Directing for Bateman, acting, writing and perhaps even series. Hopefully, by the time Emmy voting starts the voters won’t forget all about it, like what unfortunately happened with the amazing third season of True Detective.
This story surely seems to lead to an interesting direction, and I’m absolutely thrilled to see what the next episodes will hold. This show gives a unique new side to horror stories, taking them on a very serious and mature note while keeping the audience captivated and asking for more. From my acquaintance with King’s other works, I have no doubt that we are heading to an amazing conclusion that will make the whole story make sense while still closing all the threads in an imaginative and unexpected way.
Before you go, check out this behind-the-scenes look at The Outsider‘s most recent episodes: