The Outsider Episode 2, Explained

Airing on HBO, ‘The Outsider’ is set in a small town that is shaken by the murder of an 11-year-old boy. In the first episode, we are taken through the crime and introduced to the main suspect. However, there are some issues that need to be cleared out, and with the conflicting evidence on both sides, it becomes more and more difficult for Detective Ralph Anderson to ascertain the truth. The second episode takes him a step further. If you haven’t caught up on the episodes yet, head over to HBO.


The Outsider Episode 2 Recap

After discovering the conflicting evidence that puts Terry Maitland at both the crime scene as well as miles away from it, Detective Ralph Anderson finds himself at crossroads. On one side, there is the undeniable overwhelming evidence against him. In any other circumstance, this would have led a criminal to break down by themselves and confess. But then there is Terry Maitland’s alibi backed by a number of other people. On top of that, there is also a video recording that leaves no doubt that he has been telling the truth. The only thing that can solve this case now is a confession.

Anderson visits Maitland at the prison and asks him how he got the van with New York plates. Terry tells him that he has never been New York, and their conversation ends with Terry answering Anderson’s question of whether he had ever touched his son. The next day, they prepare for the arraignment. The crowd and the media have gathered outside the station, and then, a masked person comes out and starts shooting at them. Anderson kills him and discovers that it is Ollie Peterson.

The White Van

The shooting leads to several cops getting injured and Terry Maitland receives a fatal wound. He dies, but not before telling Anderson that he didn’t do it. Anderson receives a two-week mandatory leave and counselling, but he can’t stop thinking about the case. And then new information about the van comes out. Sablo discovers that the van was actually stolen by a teenager, who had been going around stealing and switching vehicles for some time.

With the boy in the foster home, Anderson makes a point to talk to him. In the meantime, he also examines the piece of a flier that had been found stuck in the van’s windshield. This leads him to Dayton, which is where the Maitland family had gone on vacation some time ago. The white van is placed there at the same time, and with the help of the boy who had stolen and later ditched the van, Anderson discovers that it was in the same time window when the Maitlands had been in Dayton.

Even though Anderson had initially believed that Terry was the one to kill Frankie Peterson, he had started to have his doubts ever since the alibi. He wished he had gone about the case as he did with others, but his personal feelings had clouded his judgement and now, dead bodies were falling like flies. There is something strange about this case and in order to figure out exactly what, he asks for Glory Maitland’s help.

The Hooded Figure

While all of this happens, we find a creepy presence in the background. There is a man in a hood who looms around important places, and it looks like he might have something, if not everything, to do with the Peterson murder and the mess that followed.

The first time we see this strange man is when Glory Maitland arrives at her house and the cops are already sweeping it for DNA. The second time this figure appears is when Ollie Peterson shoots at the cops and Terry Maitland. While the rest of the people run away or try to save the victims, he lingers for a few moments and then leaves. The third time he appears is when Fred Peterson tries to commit suicide. As his body swings out of the window and we see him choking on the rope he made from his bedsheet, the camera shifts in the background, and the strange man is found standing at the end of the street.

While we are yet to determine exactly what role he plays in the story, there are some things we cannot deny about him. ‘The Outsider’ starts out as a crime drama. There is a brutal murder and the suspect is a well-known and respected member of the community. It, kind of, gives off the vibe of another HBO show, ‘True Detective’. However, the primary difference is that this show is based on Stephen King’s work, which means that with all the mystery that we get, there is also room for horror. This man could be it.

The Ending

As far as we believe, there is a supernatural explanation to how Terry Maitland was in two places the night of the murder. We are also sure that this strange man could be it. The last scene of the second episode nudges us towards that. A man finds a pair of clothes in his barn, and they have some nasty, sticky goo on them. These are the same clothes that Terry had changed in the bar- the blue jeans and the horse buckle belt.

If we are to look at this case from the supernatural angle, we can say that there is a shapeshifter involved in this. That hooded man could just be that. Remember how Anderson wondered why Terry did all the stupid things from getting himself identified by multiple witnesses to getting himself on the tape? This makes it look like someone framing themselves, or a lookalike framing Terry. The next question is how did the shapeshifter find Terry? The simplest answer is Dayton. Whether he was specifically targeted or if he was just a random victim is yet to be known, but we can pinpoint the exact incident when Terry and the shapeshifter crossed paths. It was when Terry got a cut from a nurse who was a man!

Perhaps, this shapeshifter needs your DNA to change into you, and Terry’s blood provided him with that. It could also be as simple as touching, and Terry did touch the nurse while trying not to slip on the floor. But those are all details that will certainly become clearer as more episodes roll on. For now, our next question is who is the shapeshifter targeting next? Who will be the next Terry Maitland and Frankie Peterson on his list?

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