This article we’ll be breaking down the third episode of The Outsider.
The new HBO show has a hell of a lot to unpack from it and the introduction of Holly Gibney brings a lot with it.
Throughout this, we’ll be breaking down the ins and outs of the episode, things you may have missed as well as what could be happening in the future.
There will be heavy spoilers here so if you don’t want anything potentially ruined then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
We will be talking about certain elements of the book so if you don’t want to know anything at all then it’s probs best to go hide in a barn until this video is over.
With that out the way let’s get into our breakdown of The Outsider.
The Outsider Episode 3 Plot Recap
Episode 3 opens in the Barn from last week with the GBI investigating the clothes that were found there. The GBI stands for The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the nature of the crime scene has clearly caught their attention.
They believe that they belong to Terry Maitland who even in death is still suspected for murder and it’s likely that they think this is where he stashed his bloody clothes as they were never found.
The black ooze like substance has sunken into them and completely stiffened the attire making a sock so hard that you can snap it.
I tell you what everyone that took me back to my teenage years.
The police snag, bag and tag the evidence but it doesn’t seem like they really know what’s going on. I’m proud of the farmhand for calling this in though and we did suspect last week that The Outsider would be lying low but here it doesn’t look like he’s going to have the opportunity to.
We join Officer Jack Hoskins who shows up late and half-cut and spots The Outsider moving about the area. Something grazes the back of his neck and it looks like this is going to be their first meeting.
King didn’t really bring in the Supernatural element in the book till quite near the end but here they are setting it up quite early. In the storyline The Outsider ended up working with Jack to bring our protagonist, Ralph Anderson down but here they could be taking a different turn with it which I’ll get into further in the breakdown.
As for Anderson himself, even though he’s on leave, the case is clearly getting to him. When visiting his son’s grave he notices two for The Petersons and we are reminded that they lost two children in the wake of last week. There is also an open one that could signify that Father Peterson also tried to commit suicide and the gravediggers are being pre-emptive. You have to be economic in these times I guess.
I dunno if that’s definitely the case but with it being unmarked that’s how I took it.
Lost In The Maze
We also join a prison reading a book called Lost In The Maze. This could either refer to the book on Isis by Gary William Ramsey or it could also be a nod to Lost In The Maze: Finding Myself by Eve Blohm.
Personally I think it’s the latter as that is a self-help book.
We later learn in the episode that he was framed for the murder of two sisters and that this was likely committed by The Outsider who framed him much in the same way that he framed Maitland.
Finding Myself could mean that he believed that he could have carried out the crime and just not remembered it and he is trying to find himself. Which he is literally trying to do because the killer looked exactly like him.
Anyway he’s in trouble and people are willing to stick knives in their legs to get him. However, he kills himself possibly because he also believes he is a monster and is unable to reconcile with what he thinks he did.
Detective Sablo meets with Anderson to discuss what they found in the Barn and the closest match to Maitland they can make is that there is a belt buckle that the suspect was seen wearing in CCTV footage.
There were also prints located at the scene which are so faint that they could belong to a 90-year-old. Juxtaposing this there are the same prints but they appear to be that of a younger person meaning that whatever made them was young one moment and old the next or vice versa.
There’s also the black substance that was found which is a calling card of The Outsider and was seen last week in The Maitlands home showing that the antagonist had been there.
He later returns there to tell Jessa to pass something on for him and having been discovered in the barn this shadow has had to flee back to their home.
This teases that the great evil behind this all has been around for almost a century and can also take on the appearance of others. They are eventually lead to Holly Gibney and she becomes attached to the case.
Holly Gibney is a recurring character in King’s work and she not only appeared in The Outsider but also The Bill Hodges Trilogy which is comprised of Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers and End Of Watch.
Mr. Mercedes is a game of cat and mouse with a killer and Gibney is introduced in this before eventually running the case herself.
Gibney has an almost of Encyclopedic knowledge of pretty much everything and she sees this as both a gift and a curse. Holly has OCD, Synesthesia, a photographic memory, Sensory Processing Disorder, a fear of flying and is on the Spectrum. However, she is also blessed with the aforementioned knowledge and is highly observant.
We also learn a lot about Anderson in this episode, namely that he took the death of his child’s death and that he can handle himself in a fight.
Holly meets him and she decides to work with him, she pours over the case files and seems to be the big brain that they need on the case to get to the bottom of it.
Holly says that whoever they’re searching for sounds like a Doppelganger, an identical double that looked exactly like Maitland.
The Outsider Explained
The Outsider is actually a vampire that is able to take on the appearance of others through their DNA. In Episode 2 The Maitlands mentioned to Anderson that when he was visiting his Father he got a cut and this is how the villain was able to take on the appearance of Terry. The Outsider tracked them across the country and then came to the area and began masquerading as Maitland in order to frame him.
When he came face to face with Jack and scratched him I believe that he took on his appearance and this is given weight by Jessa. When discussing the character she says that the first time he looked like daddy but the second time he only did a little bit, like someone had tried to erase his face.
Jessa later adds that he looked inky which is lip service to the black goo like substance which showed that here that he was beginning to deteriorate.
She says that he is built better than her father was and this could show that he is taking on the appearance of Jack.
Jack is clearly being tormented by The Outsider and I think he will be forced to work with him.
In the book Jack actually has cancer and The Outsider says that he will cure it in exchange for Jack killing Anderson. However, in the show I think that The Outsider has actually given Jack Cancer and is tormenting him over it.
This is exemplified by Jack saying ‘make it stop’ several times in the episode and I believe the mark on his neck will begin spreading.
We see at the end of the episode that the rash is getting worse and worse and it could be turning cancerous.
As for Holly, she travels around the key locations of the case, trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on. The CCTV for where the van was stolen no longer exists. A creepy guy works there. She’s unable to visit Terry’s dad as she isn’t family but in her hotel room on her computer she finds a story about a search for two missing sisters.
She discovers that a local hospital worker is in custody for the slaying and this ties back to the prisoner in the cell that we have seen throughout the episode and the cut on Terry’s hand that he gained there.
The pieces are now all falling into place and we can sort of build a timeline from this.
We know that The Outsider traveled to the hospital, took on the nurse’s appearance and carried out the murders. The sisters that turned up dead did go missing so this would give him time to operate in the area.
During his work at the hospital, The Outsider knew that he was living on borrowed time and needed a new identity. He cut Terry and then followed the Maitlands cross country and ended up kick-starting the story that the show centers around.
We see the prisoner kill himself and then the episode ends with Jack saying ‘whatever you need me to do’ with the huge rash on the back of his neck.
The Outsider Episode 3 Ending Explained
As we said earlier I believe that he has cancer now and that The Outsider is going to be using him as a pawn to take down Anderson. Anderson clearly isn’t backing down from the investigation, even after the warning and The Outsider will likely send Jack to kill him in exchange for ending the torment and removing that thing on the back of his neck.
Either way, I’m really enjoying the show and I’m surprised at how much they’re putting in place this early on. The book dragged things out quite a lot but this seems to be setting up so much.
In the preview next week it looks like we will learn more of the ins and outs of the hospital and the nurse and through Matilands father we will discover how the outsider taunted him. We will also likely finally uncover exactly what it is with Holly visiting someone who seems to know about the creature.
I’m hooked on it at the moment and I love watching this slow-burn series slowly set things in place.
I’m so glad the show is pulling it all together early on as that was a big criticism that I had with the book.
It’s really working out well and I’ve loved the first three episodes.
Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Outsider and what you think will be happening in the future.