The Outsider Episode 3, Explained

With its third episode, ‘The Outsider’ introduces a new character, though a familiar one to the fans of King-verse, to crack the impossible case of Frankie Peterson’s death and the mind-boggling evidence for, as well as against, Terry Maitland. ‘Dark Uncle’ opens up another chapter for our scrutiny and we get one step closer to understand what exactly happened that day. If you haven’t yet caught up with the show, head over to HBO.


Episode 3 Recap

After finding nothing to go on with, Anderson decides to retrace Terry’s steps but needs help with it. This is when Howard Salomon and Alec Pelley mention Holly Gibney. She is a private investigator, a bit eccentric but unrivalled at her job. She meets with Anderson before starting her own investigation, which is where he discovers exactly what makes her “eccentric”. Meanwhile, the man appears in Jessa’s dreams again and this time, he has a message for Anderson. While this happens, the cops recover the clothes at the barn and even more puzzling evidence surfaces. Jack Hoskins is attacked at the barn by something sinister that latches on to him.

What’s Up with Jack?

Jack Hoskins doesn’t have a good reputation. He is an alcoholic and he isn’t serious about his job. When the clothes allegedly belonging to Terry are discovered at the barn, he is supposed to show up at the place. But he takes a detour to the strip club to get drunk and then ends up alone at the barn in the dark. So, if he is attacked by a supernatural entity, we can say that he brought it upon himself. How that plays out for the story is what we are interested in.

Jack is attacked by something at the barn. It leaves a mark, that looks like a skin infection gone bad, on his neck. It isn’t just an injury. From Jack’s behaviour, it looks like something is talking to him through it. It has become a presence inside him that tortures him through physical pain and negotiates with him to do what it wants if he wants the pain to go away. What does this mean for Jack?

At first, it looks like the shapeshifter might have found a new victim. Will it now turn into Jack and kill another child? Maybe. However, considering its pattern, what’s going on with Jack is not what happened to Terry. The shapeshifter simply took his DNA, turned into him and murdered a child. But with Jack, it seems to have another plan. It wants Jack to do its bidding. Pair that with the warning it sends to Anderson through Jessa. It wants him to stop with his investigation, or something very bad is going to happen.

The shapeshifter knows that it has left some loopholes this time around and Anderson will not rest until he gets to the root of it, which would eventually lead him to it. Before it can move on to another target, it needs to make sure that everything is taken care of on this end. It doesn’t want cops following it around, it doesn’t want to draw attention. So, to make one cop stop, it looks towards another. Jack is a police officer, which puts him close enough to the case to sabotage it or entirely change the direction of the investigation. It could also use Jack to kill someone, most probably Anderson. In any case, its work is not done yet.

The Maitland Connection

The entry of Holly Gibney, played by Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo, adds a new dimension to the story. She is introduced as a “unique” person and considers herself unexplainable, and perhaps, that’s what makes her the best person to solve this case. She is ready to consider all possibilities. She mentions a doppelganger as soon as she has been let in on the details, unlike the cops who didn’t want to consider that option because it was too outlandish. In any case, Holly’s approach is different and that’s what leads to what could be a breakthrough in the case.

While retracing Terry’s steps in Dayton, she tries to meet with his father. But it comes to her attention that his Alzheimer’s has worsened since Terry’s visit in March and that he was questioned by the cops for another case. Further digging leads her to the rape and murder of two girls, the details of which are similar to Frankie Peterson’s. A man had been arrested for that, and we see him commit suicide in prison.

This sheds light on a number of things while also posing more questions. First of all, whoever, or whatever, killed Frankie Peterson has killed before. Not only has it killed the same way, but it has also framed someone else the same way Terry Maitland was framed. The timeline between the two murders is yet to be established in order to further clarify things. But that’s not what we focus on right now. Our attention is drawn towards Terry’s father and his connection with the case. Why was he questioned for it?

The one link that we can ascertain is that the man who was convicted for the murder of the Williams sisters was “a local hospital worker”. It could be that he worked in the same place where Terry’s father has been admitted. It could also be that Terry’s father had seen something or he knew something about this shapeshifter, or that he was the alibi of the man who was arrested for the crime. Perhaps, that’s why the cops wanted to question him.

This could also be why the shapeshifter was in the hospital. The woman at the reception told Holly that his condition had worsened during the same time as Terry’s last visit. Maybe, the shapeshifter had something to do with it. All of this also aligns with the incident with the nurse where Terry got a cut. It could be that with all things taken care of in Dayton, the shapeshifter decided to move on to Cherokee to commit his next crime when he stumbled upon Terry.

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