Tear-Drinker, Grief-Eater… these are some very vivid and disturbing names given to the entity in HBO’s The Outsider.
Episode 5 of The Outsider was profoundly sad and full of tension. The biggest revelation I got was how the people with the blistered necks relate to the story at large.
As Holly investigates the cemeteries where the victims are buried, she discovers that all three have a “hiding place” nearby. A decaying building, an abandoned factory, the farm where Terry’s clothes were found covered in goo… all perfect for the creature to hide out, soak in the grief, and perhaps recuperate before moving on to its next victim?
Holly talks to a man at the cemetery near Heath’s grave. He seems completely distraught and tells Holly, “He fucked me over.” Then we get a brief scene where this man was dragging a deer through the woods, just like Jack did. Later, we see the man holding someone at gunpoint. He waits until he is surrounded by police, but then appears to shoot the gun into the air. The police shoot him, and when he’s lying dead on the ground, we see he has the blisters on his neck.
So here’s what I’m thinking… there are two people involved in every “cycle” for the Grief-Eater/Tear-Drinker. The first is a person whose mind is taken over by the creature. That’s Jack. And the guy Holly meets in the cemetery. These people are providing “food” for the creature to help him recover so he can take the form of the next person. The deer, the random stuff dumped in the woods… somehow the creature needs this for fuel.
The second person involved is the one who’s body the creature takes over to kill the children. My theory is that it can only “hold” the person’s form for a short period of time – that’s maybe where the aging fingerprints come in. The creature must take some of the person’s DNA through the scratching, then uses the second person to gather food/’strength before it can fully take on the person it scratched.
I know many people have read the Stephen King book and know what’s happening… Don’t tell me if I’m on track – I don’t want any spoilers!
Jeannie has been warned
Jeannie sees a hooded man in the waiting room in her office. When she asks him to remove his hood, he doesn’t respond and we get a chilling moment as she slowly goes to him and tries to shake his shoulder. The guy is just asleep (or passed out), but this is clearly a sign of something to come.
And we find out what that something is pretty quickly. I think the creature was in her office, but skillfully left before she made contact with him. Obviously this creature is adept at hiding in plain sight.
That night, Jeannie is getting glass of water and sees the hooded creature in her dining room. She drops her glass, it breaks and she steps on it, cutting her foot as he demands she sit down at the table. He tells her she needs to get Ralph to stop the investigation, or they will both die.
The next day, she tells Ralph and he doesn’t believe her – which I find unbelievable after all the weirdness going on! Later in the day, Jeannie draws the face of the creature. Did it seem like Ralph did not even realize it was the same face the boy drew? I couldn’t really read his reaction.
At the end of this episode, Ralph is visited by his dead son in a dream. His son tells him, “You have to let me go.” My first thought on this is that Ralph won’t be able to get the answers he seeks because the Grief Monster is still feeding on his, and Jeannie’s, grief. Will he see more clearly if he lets go of his grief?
No, please, not the baby!
Jack attends Tomika’s party for the baby, but he refuses to hold the baby. Tomika calls him out, pressing him to find out what is wrong. He tells her she should just leave him alone and that it’s for her own good.
That night, Tomika has a dream – which I watched from between my fingers as they covered my eyes – about the hooded guy taking her baby. She wakes to find the baby’s crib empty, but then discovers her husband has the baby outside on the porch swing. As much as I don’t want the show to go there, I’m sensing some foreshadowing.
As Yunis tells Ralph, “Dreams are messages, bro.”
Andy, the mall security guy, invites Holly for a drink, but she asks him to come to her room instead. Pacing the room, she uses him as a sounding board as she talks through some of her thoughts on the case. When he tries to make some advances with her, she asks him to just “lie down for a bit” with her. In the morning, she leaves him in the room. He finds her notes and starts googling the three murder cases. Is it possible he is connected to the creature, too? Maybe he is trying to find out how close Holly is getting to figuring him out?