TV Review: The Merge returns in the Outcast Season 2 premiere “Bad Penny”

Robert Kirkman’s Outcast returned this week and I had the pleasure of being around for its return. I am so glad that a well written and tight nit team of characters and story has graced the screen for another round and I will happily be reviewing the series on a weekly basis. Over the course of Outcast season two, I will do my best to stick to minor spoilers while not giving away major plot points. So here goes!

When we left Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit) and his daughter Amber (Madelaine McGraw), pleasantly nicknamed Firefly, the two were leaving the town of Rome and escaping the madness that had prevailed the night before. Some form of demonic possession was slowly but cautiously taking hold of the citizens of Rome and while we found out it was the beginning of what they called ‘The Merge’ we had no idea the trouble had gone on any further than small quaint town they had run from.

Reaching a service station to refuel, around ten others are seen going about their business until Kyle exit’s the car and one by one, all of them slowly turn to stare at Barnes and his daughter with the same glaring vacancy we had all come to know from the poor souls now taken over. The season ended there and we were left with the knowledge that these beings are not just in one town, but maybe further widespread then any of them could have imagined.

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD

The beginning of season two see’s Kyle returning to Rome after realising he can’t escape. Leaving his firefly (daughter Amber) with Chief Giles’s wife Rose (Charmin Lee) while he reluctantly realises he needs to track down Sidney (Brent Spiner) and get to the bottom of this seemingly insidious plot.

Through the eyes of the newly possessed!

After finally witnessing the horrors first hand, Chief Giles (Reg E. Cathey) is working to help Kyle find Sidney. We see that Giles is being threatened daily by the town Mayor to back off and give up his foolish endeavours if he wants to keep his job as Chief of Police. Is he also involved somehow or just someone looking to keep his town looking golden?

Maggie (Wren Schmidt) has been left in an almost catatonic state, being saved and released of the demon inside of her and coming to the realization that she had been forced to murder her Husband Mark. Maggie’s daughter Hollie is also blaming both Kyle and Amber for bringing death to her Dad and the Holter’s lives.

Meanwhile the now debunked Reverend John Anderson (Philip Genister) has begun to throw the book of god, quite literally and figuratively, at the floor. At the end of season one Anderson causes a fire at Sidney’s old place of residence, thinking Sidney to be the Devil himself and after believing he was home at the time of the arson (seeing a silhouette in the windows), only after, the truth surfaces when Sidney appears alive and well. Someone else’s life was taken inside the house, but who’s? Believing it to be his girlfriend Patricia’s (Melinda McGraw) narcissistic son Aaron (C.J. Hoff), he gives himself up to Gile’s and is thrown in the local prison until further investigation is complete. Anderson’s actions in helping Kyle stop this evil manifesting itself in Rome and in the very people he once called his family and friends have left a gaping void and Anderson begins to lose faith in what his purpose even is.

Knowing that Amber now imbues the same powers of her father, Amber is given more of a responsibility to be more grown up and it may be something she is not ready to bare. Leaving her behind while Kyle does all the running around doesn’t sit well for Amber. I love that the show has given her a little more focus and (at least to begin with) gives each character’s individuality time to shine while dealing with season one’s aftermath, rather than setting its sights on a simple shock and awe screenplay. I’m in love with the music of the show as well. Its themes throughout the episodes make such an impactful presence when it needs to and doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Reg E. Cathey as Chief Giles

Outcast has returned and it stays strong. Slowly reintroducing its main cast of characters with more than enough time for each of them to show their weaknesses and strengths. It never seems to stray from what made the first season so great. They still haven’t been able to take away some of the meticulously slower pacing issues that plagued the first season, but in no way does it detract from delivering great start and a promising future for the exciting new season.

Review Score: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

FX’s Outcast Season 2 premiered Monday, April 10th, 2017 on Foxtel and Foxtel On Demand. Also playable on Foxtel Play and Foxtel Go.