The seventh episode of HBO’s new flagship drama doesn’t bring anything new to light, instead opting to give minimal forward movement to the plot.
This recap of The Outsider Season 1, Episode 7, “In the Pines, In the Pines”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
HBO’s The Outsider had no problem getting right into the weeds of its story. It started with a bang, quite literally, and has been a mad chase to catch up to its beginning events. In recent weeks, though especially in The Outsider Episode 7, the show has decided to slow down the plot and development, leaving you wanting much more from a network with a reputation for impressive television making. “In the Pines, In the Pines,” is a fine piece of television, with fine performances, and fine plot points, but in the end, it’s a means to an end. It’s only a plot-mover.
The Outsider Episode 7 opens on the widow Glory Maitland (Julianne Nicholson), as she heads back into her real estate job. Immediately, she yells at a couple who notice her from the news. It’s surprising that creator Richard Price didn’t cut straight back to Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo) and her hopeful escape from Jack Hoskins (Marc Menchaca), but he jumps back to that plotline soon after. Holly, whip-smart as always, realizes she’s trapped, pulls to a gas station, and pulls a fast one on Jack, intentionally breaking the window and escaping through the front door. Jack’s pissed and looking horrible as always, leading to him attempting to commit suicide without being able to go through with it. He then hitchhikes onto a truck and sits planning his next move. Not much movement there, despite Jack’s impending meeting with the outsider.
With Holly back together with the group that’s been tracking her, Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn), Alec Pelley (Jeremy Bobb), romantic interest Andy Katcavage (Derek Cecil), and Howard Salomon (Bill Camp), she explains everything that happened. In what has become a frustrating reoccurring theme, Ralph still doesn’t believe her.
A few other plot notes: Claude Bolton (Paddy Considine) quits as manager of the strip joint in town, which makes much more sense now that we’ve found out Terry Maitland scratched him on the night of the murder; Officer Tamika Collins (Hettienne Park) decides to transfer to computer crimes because she cannot handle the intensity of these crimes with her new baby; Ralph decides to visit his therapist because he cannot handle the confusion of the case and accepting the unacceptable; Holly has a nightmare of Jack shooting her and screams as loud as she can.
This episode did little to advance the plot, further the character development, or increase the horror elements of The Outsider. “In the Pines, In the Pines” unfortunately was a throwaway episode. Here’s hoping that the next one gets the story, and the show, back on track.
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Based in Brooklyn, NY, Michael is a regular critic for Ready Steady Cut and also writes for Cinema Sentries, The Film Experience and Film Inquiry.