HBO’s The Outsider
Episode 6: “The One About the Yiddish Vampire”
Directed by Karyn Kusama
Written by Jessie Nickson-Lopez
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Tear-Drinker” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “In the Pines, In the Pines” – click here
Holly sees the report on the news about Tracey Powell’s standoff with the police, not long after she met him in the graveyard. She calls up Andy to see if he can look into things for her. She avoids small talk about their budding relationship, though it’s clear to see she digs him, and he obviously digs her. So, at least something good might come of all this madness. Right now, Holly’s hopping on a bus. She looks at the pictures she took of Tracey when he was walking away from her, noticing that he had a blistery rash, like the one we’ve seen on Jack. Not only that, Andy’s quickly dug up interesting connections: Tracey and Heath were first cousins.
Ralph’s troubled by the all but identical descriptions of the sagging faced figure described by Merlin, the young car thief, and his wife Jeannie. He’s up at all hours like usual. Then Jeannie sees the sketch Merlin drew, exactly like what she saw, which just troubles her deeper than she has been already. She’s worried that the sagging faced figure’s threats will come true. She believes continuing the case might be a “worse mistake” than the mistakes her husband made on Terry’s case.
On the bus, Holly has a vision of a dead man. He grabs her, insisting: “Look.” She sees a transport truck stopped in the middle of the road, as if they’re about to collide with it. She yells out for the driver to stop, and it nearly causes a crash on the road. The driver’s angry, wondering if she’s high. All she can do is pass it off as “a nightmare.” In the morning, Holly gets a call from Andy— apparently Tracey’s car contains fingerprints belonging to the Williams sisters, Heath’s supposed victims.
The matching drawings won’t stop nagging at Jeannie. She suggests to Ralph that maybe Glory should be at the next meeting about Terry’s case. He reluctantly agrees. But this is a way for his wife to maybe corroborate things further. She takes along pen and paper, convincing Glory to let Jessa help by describing the man she saw in her room. Jessa gradually describes a man whose eyes look like “black circles.” Elsewhere, in therapy, Ralph tells his therapist about the dream he had of his son Derek asking to “let him go.” He knows he has to move on, even if it’s not as easy as just saying the words.
At the bus station, Holly finds Jack waiting for her. They go have coffee before leaving, and Jack attempts to get info out of her about the investigation. She keeps looking at him strangely and he gets his back up. She tells him: “You look like someone‘s been trying to rip out your heart.” He mentions his wife walking out months ago, acting nonchalant about the whole thing. Oh, my. This is getting tense.
Is the cop actually going to drive her? Or is something more sinister poised to happen?
Judging by the message he sees scrawled in the bathroom, sinister it is!
Thankfully, Holly arrives at the meeting unharmed— though there’s always going to be worries about Jack— and she starts to lay out everything she’s found/everything she believes so far. One of the major problems, obviously, is that Terry was in two places at one time. This is where Ms. Gibney lays out what she knows about Heath, Maria, and Tracey’s cases. And then, how Terry connects to Heath, and so on. Holly thinks they were all “victims themselves,” selected by el Cuco. Howie and the rest aren’t quite ready to step off the road of reality. Yunis doesn’t wholly pass it off, having heard the tales himself as a boy. Well, none of it sits right with Glory, who storms out of the meeting.
“A human being cannot be in two realities at the same time”
And they can all argue about it, one way or another, but in their midst is Jack, whose existence is currently being claimed by el Cuco. The cop sees STOP HER appear again, right on his hands. All the while, everyone’s debating. Alec and Yunis aren’t going to throw away Holly’s theories like the others, more susceptible to the ambiguities of the universe than Ralph and his “dumb cop shit.”
QUITE AWKWARD when Jeannie invites Holly to stay at their place.
This gives Jeannie more time to dig into her own anxieties. She shows Holly the drawings of the sagging faced figure. The private investigator begins to see the transformation process of the monster. She asks if Ralph dusted for fingerprints, after Jeannie said someone was in the house. He didn’t, so Holly does, and what they find is evidence of the creature’s “calling card“— residue like was found on Terry’s clothes in the barn. She thinks the monster periodically sheds, similar to a snake.
At home, Jack receives an odd visit from his mother. Funny, seeing as how she’s dead. Mom taunts him about how he “fucked up.” A nasty, terrifying vision sent by el Cuco to punish Jack for not dong what he’s told. Jack’s mommy stomps the shit out of him. He comes to later with a worse blistered rash on his neck. At the club, Claude gets in a fight and leaves. Outside, Yunis keeps an eye on the bouncer, in case Holly’s theory is correct about someone being next in the creature’s path.
Glory’s now doubting her husband’s innocence because of everything. This has Ralph more pissed off than before, questioning Holly about her occult theories on the case. They lightly argue about it. Holly asks if the detective’s had any dreams or “unexpected visits,” so Ralph mentions the dream of Derek. He’s trying to convince himself it has nothing to do with el Cuco, whereas Ms. Gibney’s very curious.
Now, Jack’s calling Holly about “truly tangible” evidence at the barn. Uh oh. She picks him up at his place before they head off together on another tense ride. She offers him wipes to take off his poor makeup job, dropping them on the floor of the car. Then she sees those familiar blisters on Jack’s neck.
Oh, god. Can Holly get herself out of this jam?
And will the others finally start believing in her?
“In the Pines, In the Pines” is next time.