REVIEW: Outcast Season 2 – Was It Really Worth the Wait?

***Spoiler Review***

What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Outcast Season 2! I felt like I owed it to myself to finally watch the second season. Still not happy with how they handled this show. Cinemax should have never been the channel they put this on, and they should have done MUCH MORE to advertise the second season. I’m sure there are some who watched the 1st and have no idea they made a second.

If there’s one thing I had to hand it to them for, it is the pacing and momentum that the second season took on. What worried me about the first season was how slow things were moving. When transitioning to TV, you have to be able to buckle down, and speed things up. From the first episode to the last, they kept you at the edge of your seat as madness unfolding in the town of Rome. You felt the stakes as everyone was figuring out what they had to do to calm the storm. They didn’t know who to trust, who to fear, or what to do when it came down to them or their own. No one knew what to expect with a situation that was well out of their hands. I mean, I had my fears when at the end of the first season they had Kyle running away from the town. Obviously that could not happen.

This second season wasted little time putting Kyle in a position where he really had to take on the role of the hero. He may have been reluctant at first, but they made sure that there was little option than to fight whatever was coming for him an Amber. With this season in particular he also started to act more like his comic counterpart. Having him evolve into someone with purpose was a big step forward since the last thing we needed to see was a main character who was spending too much time afraid of the unknown.

Now when it came to the plot, I did feel like they tried to hard to make something simple into something very complicated. Everything is supposed to lead to The Great Merge. The moment when all of the world would be taken over by the darkness. The only thing I believe they did right was the way they captured the desperation from Sidney to bring their plans to fruition. It was a race of time for him to make the merge happen, and also accomplish this before his body gave out on him. Though where things took a turn for the worst was when they began doing everything in their power to steer the direction away from the merge. It didn’t really make sense that they would add all of these players into the mix who had different goals. There only needed to be the one problem, and instead they wanted to pull us in different directions because of course their had to be betrayal and drama among the darkness.

I did appreciate that when it came to the show, Anderson was not as problematic as he was in the books. I had always found it painful that he had to be that guy who could not see what was right in front him. This version of him was more aware of what he was up against. He understood that this had nothing to do with the devil, he understood that it took someone like Kyle to fight back against them, and he was willing to do the things no one else was to stand a chance. In fact, I loved that many of these characters were willing to go to a place unexpected to fight back. In the books there wasn’t many people fighting the good fight till it was too late. Here in the show you had Giles, Rosie, the junkyard man, even Allison, among others who took up the fight instead of leaving Kyle and Anderson to handle most of it on their own. In turn this created a lot more engagement that we didn’t have before too. The fight was different for everyone. One believing this to be a holy war, another simply seeing something wrong and trying to do right.

That said, two characters I had problems with were Megan and Simon. Let’s start with Megan. They went too far with trying to make her story different from the books. In the books, she was only supposed to cripple Mark. Not kill him. I get that they wanted to create a situation where someone was trying to resolve what was done with their body, and the trauma that creates, but it was executed poorly. And followed through with worse. I mean, the twist of having a baby with the darkness inside of it? You could have done better than that. Which brings me to Simon. The father who abandoned Kyle and his mom. It was never supposed to be as dramatic as they made it. It was never supposed to be as dark as they made it either. This was supposed to be the turning the point in the story as we properly came to understand what it means to be an Outcast. However, they decided Simon had to be the extremist, rather than the guy who arrived at a crucial time to steer everyone in the right direction.

Now as someone who read the book? I was very disappointed with how the second season ended. This is a book where at the same point in time we were finally beginning to see what made the Outcasts so powerful. These were people who when clustered together could achieve some amazing feats. They exorcised the darkness out of people with greater ease, they felt stronger, even Amber found enough strength to release lighting from her hands! Let me repeat that, LIGHTNING FROM HER HANDS. Yet here we are at the moment where all of the Outcasts are together, and they instead start slitting their throats? Because their greatest power lies in their blood? Come on… You have a good budget here, and you blow it on the laziest writing. A breathtaking moment ruined by the fact that the writers decided shock value was better than giving supernatural fans what they want to see from a supernatural series.

So, was Outcast Season 2 worth the wait for me to finally watch? Unfortunately the answer is no. The bad outweighed anything good that they were doing with this second season. This was not one of those situations where I should have had to say this or that the books did better. They took too many liberties which did not pay off. They got lazy with a budget that didn’t require too much from them. Though worse than that? As I said above, who the heck even knew the second season was a thing? Who even knew when this was available to watch? They failed advertising this show, and they failed putting it on a channel that people aren’t going out of their way to get a subscription for.

Jideobi Odunze Author

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