Detective Anderson may be on mandatory leave, but that doesn’t mean his wheels have stopped churning. The third episode of HBO’s The Outsider raises more questions, while adding one genius, yet highly unorthodox PI to the mix — hello, Holly Gibney!
At the top, local police swarm the barn, bagging-and-tagging evidence they don’t know what to do with. Cherokee City gets wind and sends Officer
Crankypants Jack to check it out, but as usual, he’s super salty. He gets liquored up before driving to the barn to do his job, which honestly, is pretty on brand for him. While scoping the scene, a dark figure scares the heck out of him and something graces the back of his neck. He screams out in agony bringing this total WTF moment to a close.
Anderson is clearly troubled and still working the case. He finds the old-age home where Terry Maitland’s father is housed and starts rattling off his findings to Jeannie, who shuts his laptop and tells him to enjoy his leave. (Seriously, a mandatory paid vacation? Score!)
Detective Sablo meets with Anderson to share the barn findings. The best find is a belt buckle “Terry” was wearing in the surveillance footage acquired from the club. Some of the prints detected are so faint, Sablo says they could be from an 80- or 90-year-old. They also found an unidentified black substance that might as well be something straight out of The X-Files.
Meanwhile, an inmate quietly sharpens a glass lens in his cell…
Anderson, Sablo, Howie and Alec can’t figure out the mystery behind the prints. Alec suggests bringing in Holly Gibney to help retrace Terry’s steps in Ohio, but Holly wants to meet Anderson face-to-face before she’ll join. Holly has an encyclopedic amount of knowledge in her brain along with a possible photographic memory. She devours the case files, outlines her tasks, asks for her fees and teaches them a Lithuanian toast in almost the same breath. No question about it: Holly is special in more ways than one.
Holly says it sounds like a doppelgänger, a non-biological double. She schools the men on how other cultures perceive the notion, but Anderson tells her he has “no tolerance for the unexplainable.” Rrrrecord scratch! “Well then sir, you’ll have no tolerance for me,” she replies. Holly says she can pinpoint what day May 1 lands on centuries away. She can speed past a tall building and know how tall it is within a six-inch range. Her parents had her tested by all sorts of doctors at the young age of 4. She’s been studied and written about by heaps of scientists, and no one could figure out what makes her tic. She abruptly leaves the table after feeling exposed, but jolts back to say to Anderson, “You don’t drink that much, but you did it to make me feel comfortable…thank you.” Classifying Holly as “eccentric” would be the understatement of the year.
A second inmate at the jail cuts his leg open (eeew!) and pulls out a plastic knife. A showdown is brewing…
Elsewhere, Jessa wakes her mom up and tells her to call Anderson. She has something to tell him and “the man” said she can only tell the detective. The Andersons head over and Glory says she wants them to help ease the child’s mind. Jessa tells Anderson that the man said to stop. If he doesn’t, “something very bad is going to happen.” When Anderson digs further, Glory shuts it down. After some probing by Jeannie, Glory allows Mrs. Anderson to continue the talk.
Jessa says she’s seen the man multiple times. The first time he “looked like Daddy, but wasn’t.” The second time, he looked “a little bit” like her daddy, but his face was blurry like “someone tried to erase it.” The adults tell Jessa she doesn’t need to be scared. “I think you’re the one who’s supposed to be scared,” she tells Anderson. When did Jessa turn into the creepy kid from The Omen?
Jack is —surprise! — getting hammered again at the strip club. He collapses, muttering, “Just make it stop,” over and over.
Holly interviews a security guard from where the van was stolen. She asks about the surveillance footage, but the cameras are scrubbed every five days. Her next stop is the home where Terry’s dad Peter lives, but since she’s not family, she’s not allowed in. The nurse at the desk thinks she’s a reporter and kicks her out. In her hotel room, she finds a news story about a search for two missing sisters. She learns the girls were eventually found dead, and that a local hospital worker is in custody for the slaying. The man in question is the lens-sharpening inmate!
We cut back to the jail as a guard unlocks a cell door. The second inmate enters, but before a scuffle can start, the accused child killer slits his own throat with the lens. The bloody glass falls to the ground as the man’s limp body collapses against the wall.
We cut again to Jack who’s frantically repeating, “Whatever you need me to do,” as we zoom in on a bubbly, grotesque rash on his neck.
How are all these events connected? Hit us with your best theories in the comments!