The finale of The Outsider is finally here.
The HBO show has been an incredible ride the last ten weeks and the finale has a hell of a lot to unpack from it.
Throughout this, we’re gonna be breaking down all of the ins and outs of the finale, it’s ending, the post-credits scene and where things could be going in the future.
There will be heavy spoilers here so if you don’t want anything ruined then I highly recommend that you turn off now. Make sure you subscribe to the channel to never miss a breakdown and please drop a thumbs up if you enjoy the video.
With that out the way, thanks again for clicking this, now let’s get into our ending explained of The Outsider Episode 10.
The Outsider – Episode 10 Breakdown
Episode 10 picks up immediately after the shootout that began in last week’s cliffhanger. Alec is dead and everyone else is in the crosshairs of a military-trained marksman so it looks like they could be going to hi-heaven and I’m not talking about the best chicken in 200 miles.
Howie, Claude, and Seale arrive and the latter returns fire. He, Howie and Andy are killed and it’s really devastating scene that holds no punches. He had the heart of ten men and watching these characters die one after the others feels worse than the Red Wedding on Game Of Thrones.
There is going to be a lot of grief and despair left from all of this by the end and I’ll discuss how this may play a part in the inevitable season two that we are getting.
Holly puts herself in Jack’s sights but he lowers his weapon after being reminded that he’s only going one way after this. That is straight to hell. I think that he remembered that Holly did genuinely want to help him earlier in the season and get him out from under El Cuco’s command and he relinquishes control before getting his comeuppance.
As we predicted last week the snake bites him which ends the fight and all that are left standing are Sablo, Ralph, Claude, and Holly.
They find Jack who has been bitten by the snake several times and he looks like the outsider Mid Transformation. He points the way to the bear cave and they slowly make their way through, discovering carcasses and eventually El Cuco. They see that he took the stairs precautiously showing that he’s scared of falling and therefore he can be killed.
They pass several of the landmarks from last week’s episode and it’s a very intense scene that uses multiple exposures to overlay the beast with their journey into the depths of hell.
El Cuco actually helps to guide them which showcases the psychological aspect of the character.
The beast looks completely like Claude now because of the 27 day transformation cycle coming to an end and it must now choose another face.
El Cuco Explained
It wants to be found but in guiding them it will make them think that it has the upper hand already and thus it doesn’t mind allowing them to come face to face with it. It has purposely chosen this location because of the nature of the collapse last week which was caused by the search party shouting for the boys.
Though they could instantly shoot it, we see from one of its screams that it completely rocks the cavern and thus guns are useless if they want to make it out alive. They are already aware of the cave in and have been reminded by the names of the dead Boltons that it’s a bad idea so it’s fair enough that they are taking it easy in terms of their weapons.
They actually have a conversation in which El Cuco enforces the notion of the greatest the trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world it didn’t exist. El Cuco has evaded the law for centuries because people simply won’t believe it. Holly was the only one to and thus it was finally caught.
Other El Cucos?
During the exchange, El Cuco hints at the idea that there may be more than just it out there and though it hasn’t encountered them it does know that they exist. Stephen King’s work all tends to be linked in some way and this could be a nod to Pennywise, The True Knot or some of the other creatures that he has created.
Earlier in the season, Alec did state that when he was a young boy he got lost in the woods and heard something calling his name so we do know that should the show go beyond this season that there are other avenues in which they can go.
El Cuco also pays lip service to the glow that fuels him from grief. It gives him energy and he feeds upon it and thus it is possible that if the deaths of those in the caves from the 40s still provide him with a power that the bodies of those murdered outside could also.
Holly asks ‘why children’ and the creature replies with ‘because they taste the sweetest.’ We did say in Episode 8 that due to the comment on one of the victim’s cancers that El Cuco would probably eat younger people as they are less likely to have it but maybe the guy just likes the taste.
This sets Ralph off who as we know has lost a child himself and he says that El Cuco has nowhere to go and that the authorities will arrive soon. The monster seems to be accepting of this but like he says, he needs to eat and the pair could make a great last supper. Claude arrives with a shotgun in hand staring at his mirror image and he wants to get revenge for the death of his brother.
The Cave In
Despite being warned not to fire he still does it anyway. El Cuco inhales, almost accepting of its fate and this is because of the psychic link that it has with Claude. After the blast echoes throughout the cave it collapses and they hide out, missing the worst of it.
Everyone other than El Cuco survives and Holly stabs it through the heart just to make sure it’s dead.
This differs from the source material as in that Holly hits the creature with a happy slapper which is a sock full of balls. She used this in the Bill Hodges story, Mr. Mercedes, to kill the murderer in that but as it hasn’t been set up then I can see why they diverted from it.
Mr. Mercedes is actually a tv show as well and though the cast and creative team behind it are different, it should provide a nice distraction whilst you wait for the second season of The Outsider to drop. It’s three seasons deep and I do recommend it if you want more adventures with Holly Gibney.
Upon exiting the cave, Ralph comes face to face with a bunch of dead specters and he goes back to El Cuco to see it playing possum, pretending to be dead. El Cuco will just wait and though Ralph could bring people to see it, collect DNA samples and expose it to the world, it’s for the best that no one ever knows that it existed.
We see it change to Terry who…I only realized in this Holly didn’t know, Tracey Powell and Maria and slowly it begins to cycle back through the chain showing who it framed. Ralph smashes it’s head in with a rock thus apparently killing it once and for all.
We also see the green hoody in the rubble that the creature wore between transformations, showing that it had another plan after this.
Getting Their Stories Straight
Outside Holly feels guilt over bringing Andy out there but Ralph talks her out of it. The group says that they need to get their stories straight and there’s not really any time to grieve. We cut to the DA reviewing the footage of Terry and Claude and he gets a phone call from Sablo. Sablo tells him that there was a rogue shooter that was one of their own and the DA immediately writes down Jack before even hearing if it was him which shows that he will likely believe whatever he’s told due to his prior suspicions.
Sablo tells him that Jack was the accomplice of the child killer that has been operating in the area and says that though they gunned the former down, the real threat got away.
Therefore they will not really investigate the cave but Terry’s name will be cleared and the manhunt will remain at large though we already know justice has been served.
Claude rehearses his story and reneges his statement on identifying Terry Maitland as being covered in blood.
They line everything and make sure that all bases are covered and Ralph says that he thought the whole thing would turn out to be BS but it wasn’t which showcases his arc throughout the season.
Holly breaks down over Andy and it’s one of the saddest moments in the season so far. Ralph calls Jeannie to fill her in on the coverup and she visits Glory and the two agree to not mention El Cuco.
Jeannie triumphantly sets the chair alight that El Cuco sat in and though several lives were destroyed in the series at least there was justice and closure for the families.
The DA arrives and as we guessed last week, tells her that things have changed in the case and that Terry has been discarded as a suspect in the Frankie Peterson homicide. He will hold a press conference to announce that the charges are being dropped and that the investigation will remain ongoing. It’s a big apology that finally spares the grief that Glory and her two daughters will face in the wake of the accusations.
Holly packs up her things and goes to leave and Ralph tells her that he wouldn’t mind teaming up with her again down the line should the right case pop up. She says that she believed in El Cuco because an outsider knows and outsider. Now why this is interesting is because this entire series we’ve believed that El Cuco is The Outsider, however this cements that it is actually Holly which the title was about.
Whilst I can see some disagreeing with that…especially my wife who said I’d stupid if I put that in the video, I did wonder how they would continue the show after the death of El Cuco.
It’s because it was never really centered around that, rather it focused on Holly learning of the beast and also the supernatural things that exist in the world that will open the door for further investigations.
Ralph asks what else is out there and she shrugs.
The Outsider Ending Explained
This is important because almost every other question in the series, Holly has had an answer for. Whether it’s lines from movies she hasn’t seen, car makes and models or the hit parade for the last 100 years, Holly has known it all.
Finally she has found something she is unsure of showing that there is so much more for her to learn and she is actually traveling into unmarked territory.
Claude moves into the house, Andy gets his funeral and Holly lights candles in remembrance.
At Derek’s grave, Ralph tells Jeannie that he saw their son and that he said he needed to let him go. Though Ralph believed this was El Cuco I never actually took it as that for a number of reasons. Firstly, El Cuco’s nightmares always came with torturous messages that tormented those who received them. Derek’s was a hopeful one that countered this. El Cuco also fed on grief whereas Derek told him to free himself of this which seemed like a positive thing for the character.
The two now fully believe in the other side and that they will get to see their son again one day and they place roses on the stone. As they leave we catch a glimpse of Frankie Petersons grave which started this whole thing off.
The Outsider Post Credits Scene Explained
The show ends but it’s not done yet and it actually has a mid-credits scene that centers on Holly. She is clearly haunted by Jack and he appears behind her for a brief moment showing that something is psychically out there and tormenting her. She checks the back of her neck but is uninfected.
After googling Frankie Peterson she sees that Terry’s name has been cleared.
As she sits listening to the radio we see that there is a scratch on her arm.
Now there’s a lot to take from this scene, firstly the song on the radio is Washington Square. If you cast your mind back to episode 8, Ralph told Holly that when his mother was dying he ran to get her favorite song in order to play her it as she passed away. He didn’t hear it anymore until his son was born and though he said the entire thing was an anecdote, it did seem like the truth.
The song that we hear at the end is Washington Square and now that we no longer believe in coincidences this has been placed here for a reason to show importance in the moment.
Holly’s wrist has a red scratch on it that shows that El Cuco could be intending her to become his next victim. Though he appeared to die in the finale, we also saw that he is extremely difficult to kill and if a knife through the heart, shotgun blast and massive rock impaling him didn’t finish him off then I can’t see a rock either.
Personally I believe that once El Cuco dies it does move more into its psychic astral form that we also saw throughout the season. It could have allowed Ralph to leave the cave wondering if it was really dead but instead it showed him images of ghosts to make him return. This could be because it needed him to believe that he had finally killed it so that it could lay low and then go out for more victims.
As Holly knows who it is she is very dangerous and thus it will need to get her out the way so it could be framing her to take her out the picture. All of those that knew about it covered up its demise and thus it will be free to operate once more.
The Outsider Season 2?
It has already started filling her head with visions of Jack and we know from Claude that it likes to get inside it’s victims heads so I can see this being an avenue for a second season.
Showrunner Richard Price recently told Indiewire that he was already working on a second season and it’s there if HBO want one.
If El Cuco is really dead then I think this cut was probably caused in the cave in, however that doesn’t mean they’re out of the woods completely. As we know from Alec’s story and the other victim that was shown to the DA, there exists more than just El Cuco and I think going forward, Holly and Ralph will be seeing one another a lot sooner than they think.
Overall there are a lot of avenues to take but personally I think El Cuco itself may be returning.
Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on Episode 10 and what you’ve thought of the season overall. Comment below and let me know!