'The Outsider' Finale: Fans not optimistic about Andy’s chances, say another El Cuco could tie into season 2
As ‘The Outsider’ reaches the season finale, there’s a lot that still needs explanation in HBO’s adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel. Of course, for those who have read the book, these explanations are unnecessary. However, not everyone has and fans of the southern gothic horror series on Reddit have posed several questions -- and sometimes even plausible explanations.
One, of course, is the case of multiple El Cucos. One fan asks, “In Episode 9, the DA is given images of another victim that was killed in a similar attack to Frankie Peterson. I can't remember this being in the book (so apologies if I'm mistaken) but does this mean that there is another El Cuco?”
This speculation makes sense if HBO is gunning for a season 2 as showrunner Richard Price told IndieWire that he was already working on it. “It’s like pulling a rabbit out of a glass hat -- of course there will be another [if HBO wants one],” Price said. “There’s no such thing as a series that, if it does well, they’re not going to want a second season.” It’s the same model on which Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ worked. In season 1, the Demogorgon was seen as the ultimate evil. Season 2, however, revealed there was plenty more of that creature.
But there are a few other interesting questions that even attempt to poke holes in the show’s logic. A Reddit user posed, “So if El Cuco scratches people to look like them, why would the tattoos transfer over? I just think it’s weird that Claude [Paddy Considine] was scratched and El Cuco gets his tattoos as well as his appearance when those tattoos are not something genetic.”
It’s a fair question: to what degree can El Cuco work as a doppelganger? Of course, this question can also be extended to the clothes of the people El Cuco impersonates. After all, one has to remember that Terry Maitland’s (Jason Bateman) El Cuco impersonation was also dressed in Terry’s clothes. The same is true for Claude, as well. Perhaps, El Cuco is more powerful than anyone could have imagined.
Another fan also pointed out that “He also has their memories and knowledge which are also not genetic so the transformation is likely supernatural and the genetic material he gets through the scratch is how he deposits the DNA at the crime scenes.”
A matter of contention as has been: who all survived Jack’s (Marc Menchaca) rain of bullets at the entrance of the bear cave? At the end of episode 9, we see Jack use his sniper skills on the party that included Ralph (Ben Mendelsohn), Holly (Cynthia Erivo), Alec (Jeremy Bobb), Yunis (Yul Vasquez), Seale (Max Beesley), Claude, Howard (Bill Camp) and Andy (Derek Cecil). Alec, so far, is the only known casualty.
One fan commented, “I think that Andy is going to die during the explosion of the car, right in front of Holly. Seale is probably going to die, too -- Claude's expression looks a lot like he just saw the killing of his brother. But I don't know who the guy in the exploding car is. Maybe it's Howard? Hmmm. And I'm worried because we see Yunis only one time: when he's hiding behind the car with Ralph, right after the killing of Alec. I hope he somehow survives.”
A sense of foreboding has existed among fans about the mortality of Andy for some time now. Andy and Holly work as a couple, but throughout the series, there has been an implied feeling that the two would separate at some point; perhaps even through death. And while it is certain that Holly will survive (she’s a recurring character in a number of King stories), the same cannot be guaranteed for Andy.
And then there were questions about the very nature of El Cuco itself. One fan posed the question, “How did El Cuco come to be?” adding, “So usually with folklore, a lot of monsters were human first. Vampires, werewolves, etc. Could it be that El Cuco was a part of the initial rescue party or even one of the lost children? And they had to consume human flesh to survive which turned them? Is it born from trauma involving children? I feel like it has to have been human at one point.”
In response, another fan said, “Most King monsters just are. As others have stated, they often tie into other stories in the Stephen King Multiverse. The same monster may go by different names in different places/times or have ties to others. For example, Randall Flagg from ‘The Stand’ is also the Man in Black who serves the Crimson King from ‘The Dark Tower’ Series.”
Another pointed out that “There's no connection to the caves… It's just a convenient hideout that happens to have a lot of ‘psychic pain’ attached to it, so ideal for the Outsider's purposes. It clearly found out about them from Jack, who grew up in the area and knew about the history.”
One hopes that the finale will shed more light on these questions. But seeing how uneasy the HBO series has been about keeping the viewers informed about the show’s plot, one doubts that would be the case.
'The Outsider' finale will air on Sunday at 9 pm EST (8 pm CST) on HBO.