The Outsider Finale Recap: El Cuco Comes Calling for a Grisly Final Battle

The Outsider Series Finale Cynthia Erivo Ben Mendelsohn

On last week’s penultimate episode of The Outsider, Ralph and his team were under fire as a virtually insane Jack Hoskins rained bullets down on the unsuspecting gang of detectives. Alec Pelley took a hit to the head (RIP), but will he be the only casualty of Jack’s assault? Who else won’t survive this final showdown against El Cuco? Let’s dive into the series’ final hour and find out.

We start in the midst of chaos. Ralph quickly sees it’s Jack shooting at them, but Jack doesn’t want to talk it over. Howie, Claude and Seale pull up and are able to distract Jack, but after Seale fires back, he’s also shot dead. Andy makes a run for it, hoping to drive toward better cell reception, but as he’s trying to make the getaway, he’s shot by Jack, who then shoots up the truck’s gas tank. One more bullet sends the entire vehicle ablaze, taking down Howie with it. Our team is unfortunately dropping like flies. But why did Andy have to die? Poor, Holly.

In the cave, El Cuco growls in anger over the loss of his Renfield. Both sides have suffered loss, but which one’s going to win out?

Jack gets what’s coming to him when a pissed off rattler attacks him. He’s able to stumble his way off his rock; his face is swollen like a balloon from the snake bites. He finds Ralph and tells him, “it’s in there… kill it,” before putting his gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger. Some of the series’ episodes have been a tad slow, but this finale is certainly all action.

Into the cave we go, following our main two leads, Ralph and Holly. They find skeletal remains of animals, so they know their creature is feeding. They hear a voice in the dark telling them to hold on to the walls and beware of slippery rocks. They creep forward as their flashlight pierces the darkness. They’ve finally found El Cuco, who currently looks exactly like Claude. Holly asks what its (his?) name is and where its from… are there others, she wonders? “Will the real Claude Bolton please stand up!” Cuco screams, causing dust and fragments in the cave to fall from the ceiling. Yelling — and firing a weapon — is going to be a problem in this cave.

“Why children?” Holly asks. “They taste the sweetest,” it replies. As the creature walks toward Holly and Ralph, Claude storms in with a shotgun aimed at his mirror image. He wants to avenge his brother and also take back what Cuco stole from him. He blasts the creature in the chest (despite being told not to fire) and the ceiling starts collapsing. Ralph and Holly make a run for it, but Claude seems too dazed to move.

When the cave settles, Ralph and Holly find Claude pinned beneath a boulder. “I told you not to shoot,” Ralph says. Ralph and Holly walk toward Cuco’s body. A rock pierces its chest; Holly stabs it with a knife to investigate further, but Ralph stops her. The body, as is, should be enough to clear Terry’s name. As Holly helps Claude out of the cave, Ralph sees dead people… literally. He goes back to the body, but says the beast is playing opossum. And he’s right. The creature’s hand moves, but Ralph pins it to the ground with a knife. As the creature’s face morphs right in front of his eyes, Ralph smashes its skull with a huge rock.

Outside, Holly stares at the flaming truck. She tells Ralph that Andy only went there because of her. Ralph snaps her out of it. They need to get their story straight in order to make the situation believable to the higher-ups. And so they twist the truth in order to sell the story and clear Terry Maitland’s name. Holly breaks down talking about Andy during an interview, while Ralph calls Jeannie to fill her in and ask a favor. Jeannie visits Glory and asks her to not mention shapeshifters or El Cuco when the authorities comes calling; Glory agrees. Jeannie then takes their kitchen chair, the one Cuco touched, and lights it on fire. Better safe, than sorry.

The district attorney visits Glory to tell her they’re re-examining and reopening the Frankie Peterson case. He tells her that he’s going to officially drop the charges on Terry in a public press conference. The Peterson family may have been completely destroyed, but at least Glory and her girls can finally get some closure.

Holly packs up to prepare to leave and Ralph tells her he wouldn’t mind teaming up again should the right case arise. Holly mentions that Cuco asked why she was so quick to believe it existed. “An outsider knows an outsider,” she says. “What else is out there?” Ralph asks her after hugging her goodbye. Holly smiles, shrugs and walks out the door.

At their son’s grave, Ralph tells Jeannie that he saw Derek, and Derek said to let him go. The couple leaves a fresh rose on the grave site and as they walk away, we catch one last glimpse of Frankie Peterson’s grave.

In a mid-credits scene, Holly sees a flash of Jack standing behind her. She quickly checks her neck, but she’s uninfected. Later, she Googles to find that Terry’s name has finally been cleared, but on her forearm is a deep, red scratch.

What did you think of the series’ ender? Was Holly scratched by El Cuco? Grade the finale and overall series, then tell us your thoughts below!