Stars: Liam Cunningham, Hermione Norris, Daniel Mays, Amy Manson, Ashley Walters, Eric Mabius, Langley Kirkwood, Michael Legge, Jeanne Kietzmann, Claire Keelan, Adrian Bower, Heather Middleton, Brett Williams, Rory Acton-Burnell
Writer: David Farr
Director: Jamie Payne
Network: BBC America, airs Saturday nights
Original Telecast: July 30, 2011
In the seventh episode of the BBC America sci-fi series, OUTCASTS, President Tate (Liam Cunningham) and Stella (Hermione Norris) struggle with the realization that they are not alone on the plant Carpathia. As they launch a plan to locate the strange life form that can apparently clone members of the Forthaven community, Cass (Daniel Mays) finds his past catching up to him. He is not who he claims to be, and not only will this jeopardize his relationship with Fleur (Amy Manson) but perhaps his position in the colony as well.
Opening with a shocking, creepy scene in which Tate is confronted with his own alien double, this episode ratchets up the story arc that would have presumably carried into this show’s future if it had been given a chance to have one. The aliens issue an ultimatum of sorts, making it clear to Tate that they believe the 70,000 humans in the colony are doomed to extinction. But will they actively exterminate them, or just let nature take its course? When Tate goes to beg help from Rudi (Langley Kirkwood), leader of the ACs and a man dedicated to killing Tate one day, he finds out that the aliens were responsible for the virus that killed their children. Rudi refuses to help, but the intriguing bit is when he tells Tate that the aliens are only interested in annihilating Forthaven, not the ACs. Have the ACs struck some deal with the aliens, or are they closer to those creatures than they are to their human creators? Food for thought.
Central to this episode though is Cass’ dilemma, with a secret past unraveling before his very eyes. But there are some strange beats here in terms of character development with him and Fleur. First, Fleur’s distrust of Cass early in the series vanished completely after one episode of conflict, but now it comes back just as quickly to the extent that she’s willing to believe such horrible things of him that it almost strains credulity. Her fluctuating level of trust is grating, especially since even at his worst Cass always comes across as a guy whose heart is in the right place. Even if he is someone else (Tom Starling?),his feelings for Fleur have been crystal clear from day one, so her ability to ignore all that is rather aggravating.
That isn’t to say Cass is entirely sympathetic here. His quick bedding of a mystery woman as some sort of comfort is unsettling, and it’s also convenient that she turns out to be a woman in desperate need of a hero as her thread in the plot grows in importance. Still, Cass has been one of the emotional cores of this series, so it’s nice to see him unhinged and literally on the run, faced with fighting for what’s right even when everyone turns against him. The potential for secrets in every main character’s past is one of the gambits that could have brought this series to life for many episodes to come.
One of the great lessons in all science fiction allegory is that humans are their own worst enemies. Although the alien threat is a subplot in this episode, it’s the simple evil of a husband willing to murder his own wife that propels this admittedly weaker episode and drives a wedge between Cass and Fleur. We even see her gravitating to Jack (Ashley Walters) at the end. Revenge? Perhaps, but bigger things wait around the corner…
The episode ends with a game-changing scene in which Berger addresses the entire colony and displays a dead, hanged AC as Tate returns to the camp. The power struggle is coming to an end, and Berger is clearly winning as he lashes out publicly at Tate. But Berger holds another secret or two – that ship approaching Carpathia, and the fact that Fleur is an “Omega” subject. What? There’s one episode left, and where will we leave the people of Forthaven when the final hour ends?
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Click on link: AX’s Interview with OUTCASTS and MI-5 creator Ben Richards
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Article: Review – OUTCASTS – Season 1 – “Episode Seven”