REVIEW: The Outsider (S01) - Interesting theme and characterization met with a drowsy execution

"The Outsider Season 1 is a slow burn and takes an ample amount of time in tucking the bed of mystery. Even with brilliant characterization and theme, the slow pace gives time to make unpredictable predictable."

HBO's The Outsider based on Stephen King's novel is a journey to make you believe the unbelievable taking two very opposite personalities i.e one a person who only believes in facts and shreds of evidence while the other believes in supernatural events, devils, ghosts, superpowers and God.

Terry Maitland, a baseball coach in a local town gets arrested for the murder of a child Frankie Peterson. Terry's fingerprints and sets of evidence confirm he is the killer. Frankie Peterson's death moved his whole family both the parents committed suicide and his brother set on a mission the to kill Terry, he shots Terry gets shot back in his head by Ralph. While dying, Terry says that he didn't kill the kid. Ralph, the chief of the investigation, in this case, believes Terry's last-minute words and starts an investigation of his own with the help of lawyers of Terry's wife. Holly Gibney, a private investigator and a firm believer of things that are inexplicable like devils, ghosts etc sets on a mission to investigate about Terry but while Holly is busy investigating things in different parts of the country, Ralph is struggling from grief and a set of warnings he received.

The show takes slow steps towards revealing the actual truth, the mystery of actually who is the killer of Frankie Peterson and what is it actually, etc. These things unravel slowly which might make you a bit disinterested in the course of the episodes. The mystery is there but isn't well-paced and is predictable after a certain point. The ending too is just okayish, has a certain depth and heart-racing moments for sure but it isn't anything out of the box, the post-credits scene hints for a season 2 but I think there isn't much substance left for another season.

There are certain parts of some episodes like episode nine, in which a story of a grave incident in a cave is shared and how it is connected to everything which is going around right now really makes you praise the way how some episodes are so-well crafted. Also, the story of Heath Hoffstader was also neatly executed.

Another thing that is interesting in the show is that it knows where it is believable and where it isn't, it knows what can audience actually believe and what it cannot that is why this show has two protagonists, one is Ralph who is always looking for facts and pieces of evidence but being clueless completely makes him choose the path which is not supported by his brain but he still pursues and then comes the other protagonist i.e.. Holly Gibney who believes her own existence is nothing but a miracle and a part of the things which are exclaimed to be unbelievable by the world. We find ourselves in Ralph and how slowly his beliefs are changed also marks the change in the way we would think during the events of the show.

Ben Mendelssohn and Cynthia Erivo stood out while others did a remarkable job. Paddy Considine in the last episode acted powerfully. The dialogues were good at the start but for me, they stretched in the other half of the show. Stretched, you can say this for the whole series, the story wasn't so big to take ten episodes to unravel rather six to eight episodes would have made this show far more well-paced than it is right now.

Overall, The Outsider is not a disappointing adaptation of Stephen King's book but it is still not an adaptation King deserves. The Shining was the only adaptation that was better beyond the original source material, we all have to wait for more proper adaptations but for now, The Outsider is a good adaptation but certainly not an excellent one.


Good. Can give it a try.