THE OUTSIDER: Episode 4 Breakdown & Full S...

THE OUTSIDER: Episode 4 Breakdown & Full Spoiler Review | HEAVY SPOILERS Ending Explained

the outsider episode 4 breakdown ending explained spoiler talk review

This episode we’re breaking down the latest entry of The Outsider.

The new HBO show has a hell of a lot to unpack from it looks like we are getting to the bottom of the mystery that will have you going Loco down in El Coco Coco.

Throughout this, we’ll be breaking down the ins and outs of episode four, the 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 including what The Outsider really is so if you don’t want to know anything at all then it’s probably best to leave now.

With that out the way, I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking the video now let’s get into our breakdown of The Outsider.

The Outsider Episode 4 Recap

Episode 4 finally starts teasing as to what’s really going on and even gives the creature a name. The legendary El Cuco. In folklore this is a Spanish Boogeyman that is sometimes referred to as either Coco or Cuca and the creature has existed for centuries. Primarily the legend is used by parents to discourage children from misbehaving and this sort of warning basically terrifies them out of being naughty.

In The Outsider, El Cuco is a sort of vampire that can mimic someone’s appearance through taking their DNA and this is how it was able to appear as both the convict and Terry Maitland.

The Outsider Explained

The Outsider is similar to Pennywise in several ways as it can shapeshift and also feeds on emotion. The Outsider is even referred to as IT and there are a lot of striking similarities. However, whereas Pennywise fed on fear, The Outsider feeds on grief.

Like the killer clown El Cuco hunts and eats children and this is a big aesthetic of the show.

However, here it also attacks adults as well. In folklore the creature can take the form of a shadow and it stalks and watches its prey sometimes for days before attacking.

This motif carries across in the opening and we watch as the inmate from last week has breakfast with a woman. We know that the character is dead so this is before he was ever wrongfully convicted of the child killings that saw him in confinement. This date pops up later in the episode once more and is of high significance in piecing together the timeline.

the outsider episode 4 breakdown ending explained spoiler talk review

The Theme Of Stalking

We watch the Convict here and you get the feeling that something is watching him and the opener is masterfully directed to make the audience member the voyeur, or rather The Outsider that is spying on them. It turns out that there is a lot going on in this scene as we discover and there’s brilliant looks over the shoulder and one through the window that really gives you a feeling the character is being watched.

This theme is repeated throughout this entry and later we see Holly following a hospital worker in order to get results. Jack too stalks a deer whilst hunting, a restaurant-goer lashes out at Glory Maitland after peering at her and there is this repetition throughout a lot of the scenes.

In the present, we pick up with Anderson hearing some of the results from Holly’s investigation. She has unearthed the identity of the now-deceased prisoner and is slowly piecing it all together. His name is Heath Hofsteader and Holly has tied him to the care home where Terry Maitland’s father lived.

As we know from Episode 2, when visiting this hospital Terry gained a cut and using his DNA, The Outsider was able to track him across the country and then begin it’s killing spree.

Clearly The Outsider was masquerading as the nurse in the Care Home and killed a couple of girls, then realized it needed to move on and chose Terry as it’s new face.

The Duality Of Serial Killers

Holly was refused access to see Terry’s father last time and similar to the Outsider she follows the nurse that we mentioned earlier.

The nurse reveals that though Hofsteaders DNA and fingerprints were found all over his apparent victims she just can’t believe it was him. When creating the book Stephen King wanted to paint out the duality of Serial Killers and this is paid lip service here.

Holly says that Killers often are able to blend in with society and this is how the nurse didn’t sense anything. King’s original works stated that in some ways, Ted Bundy was a vampire and he would appear like a normal person on the surface, all whilst having a thirst for blood beneath it. It’s a really strong psychological study and it could even showcase that our myths such as vampires, werewolves and so on all have footing in real life.

Perhaps centuries ago there were psychopaths who used to drink blood and cannibalize people and this has become the foundation of our myths and legends.

This duality too pops up at several points with a reporter attempting to sneak into the Maitland’s home under the guise of being a live in nanny. This is reflected through Hofsteader who it appears had a double side to him.

Clearly something was going on and The Nurse even states that Hofsteader came in on a vacation day and that he didn’t seem to recognize her. They also discuss the cut and we finally get confirmation that Hofsteader was the one who caused it.

Clearing Terry’s Name

Similar to Terry’s case, Hofsteader had an airtight alibi that placed him at another location but still he was arrested.

Finally we have answers to it and now know for definite that The Outsider posed as the nurse, went in on his day off, took Terry’s blood and then followed him.

When analysing the CCTV later on, the missing scratch on Terry’s hand is something that Anderson uses to pretty much clear the character and it is a big piece of evidence in the case.

We learn that Terry scratched the arm of the Stripclub bouncer and it could highlight that in the upcoming episodes that he will try and take the appearance of the character in order to carry out a crime.

The Outsider is able to cut people easier than a regular person and this is also how it was able to infect Jack so easily.


Speaking of Jack, we cut to him hunting and his rash has become even more infected.

We see throughout this episode that his mental state begins to unravel even further. The Outsider and the character will eventually end up forming an alliance with one another in order to try and kill Anderson and clearly the fact that the character only seems at ease when he’s hunting will help the shadowy character sway him into forming a union.

The Outsider has likely given Jack cancer and similar to the source material I think that it will say that it can cure him in exchange for killing Anderson.

Holly eventually gets to Peter Maitland but due to his dementia, he is pretty incomprehensible. We did say last week that we had a theory that the Outsider could have been masquerading as him too and this is why he seemed nonsensical, however, this confirms that he does indeed have the disease.

Though the majority of what he says is nonsensical, he does at least get one message out, namely that it wasn’t Terry and that The Outsider fooled them all.

Holly meets up with the security guard from last week and he agrees to look deeper into what happened in exchange for a date with her. Weirdly Holly says yes, guess he wasn’t creepy enough last time and we discover that he has the strength of ten because his heart is pure. That’s the sound of a million people stealing that line for their tinder bio. Through him we learn that because of the investigation, the Hofsteader’s have been left in complete ruin.

A Wave Of Grief

Hofsteaders’ brother was ruled out of the investigation but he ended up overdosing himself and the mother of the family drove herself into a telephone pole. The murdered girl’s grandfather suffered a stroke and the mother tried to poison herself.

Andy says this was like a plague and we have already seen something similar happening with the Maitland case. After the death of Frankie  Peterson, his brother ended up trying to kill Maitland and died during this and Father Maitland attempted suicide.

After her date goes well, Holly goes back to Angela and asks if Hofsteader went anywhere out of town before the murders.

She says that he went to New York and received a postcard from him and that whilst he was there he met a girl.

Holly begins researching New York crime reports for the time that Hofsteader was in the area and she pulls up a child murder. This was committed by Maria Caneles who we saw on a date with Hofsteader in the beginning.

Like a virus, the outsider has been spreading from person to person, area to area and we finally have a more conclusive timeline.

the outsider hbo explained episode 1 and 2 breakdown and recap

The Timeline Of The Outsider

The Outsider posed as Maria, went on a date with Hofsteader, stalked him across the country, posed as him, cut Terry, took his DNA and then followed him across the country too.

Unlike Terry and Hofsteader though, Maria is still alive and in prison. I guess women are just nicer inmates Holly visits her and begins to unearth the truth. Maria says that she would never hurt a child and completely protests her innocence saying she never met or saw the child. Maria doesn’t really recognize Hofsteader and that she didn’t meet the character for breakfast.

Maria seems like she knows what’s going on we learn that and she has also had a wave of tragedy hit her family as the child’s grandfather that she apparently murdered shot and killed her father and her uncle.

She says she knows who is responsible and but says that if anyone found out she thought this then they’d send her to a nuthouse.

It’s here that we begin to learn about what the Outsider looks like and how it operates. Anderson visits the boy that gave information on the stolen van that the character used and Holly visits a woman who knows the ins and outs of the legend.

She states that “All the old cultures have a bad habit of turning truth into fairy tales. When we tell our children about El Cuco, we say, ‘If you misbehave, it will take you away and eat you.’  However, as we have seen in the show, this isn’t the case and the woman says that it simply takes what it wants.

In meal terms, the child is said to be the meal and the families despair the dessert.

This is why the creature hasn’t left the area yet and why it still lingers around the Petersons and Maitlands.

The episode closes with the look at The Outsider and this is the being that we have seen following the crime scenes throughout the series. Holly does what any normal person would do an googles it, trying to get to the bottom of it and we are now well aware that something horrible is going on.

Episode 5 Predictions

Going forward now that we have all of the pieces in place I think the investigation will slowly start to wrap up, however it won’t be easy convincing Anderson.

Last episode he said he disliked things that weren’t rational and in the source material Holly has a hard time convincing him that something sinister is going on here.

Eventually, she manages to and they track the creature to a cave. I don’t wanna get too spoilery just yet because some people haven’t read the book and want some surprises still but there is a lot going on here that will be unearthed over the next couple of weeks.

It looks like Jack and the partnership with the character will be formed and he will try to get on the inside of The Investigation in order to feedback info to the antagonist.

There’s a lot going on and I’m very hyped for the return of the series next week.

This has really made me want to revisit the original work as I did find it a bit meh but now seeing it sort of remade with the correct setup in place and so on, I’m finding it a lot more enjoyable and less disorientating. The Outsider is awesome and yeah, I’m hyped to see what’s gonna happen next.

Your Thoughts

Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Outsider and what you think will be happening in the future. Comment below and let me know!


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