In a season that’s admittedly been moving slower the last few episodes, “The One About the Yiddish Vampire” picked up the pace a little. It still contains more set up than payoff, but everything seems to be moving into the direction it needs to.
Chasing the Boogeyman
Following her frightening encounter with the mysterious figure, Jeannie reaches out to Glory Maitland, and her daughters, as they had reportedly seen something similar. While humoring this, Glory remains very concerned of the effect this may have on her children.
Meanwhile, Holly concludes her research and returns to base, so to speak to present her findings. Before an audience of Ralph, Glory, Howie, Alec, and even Hoskins. Citing her two other examples of accused child murderers with strong alibis, Holly purports that they are all connected and have to do with El Cuco.
Glory doesn’t seem very responsive to this supernatural explanation, and becomes quite angry that this is what they’ve all been spending their time and resources on. She was under the impression that they were going to posthumously exonerate her husband, and this fairy tale about a mythical creature doesn’t seem helpful.
Confused by the less than stellar reception of her theory, Holly accompanies Hoskins to further investigate, and she’s starting to suspect that which we the audience already know. The danger is all the more real to her because Hoskins had previously been given a message, written in blood merely conveying, “Stop her”.
She had urged everyone to heed the warning that their greatest threat was the next person this chain of murders. Ending on a cliffhanger, the episode leaves us in suspense as to what Holly and Hoskins’ fates will be.
Believing the Unbelievable
It’s interesting that it’s Holly who discovers the previous cases and their connections to Terry. Had it been anyone else, they might have abandoned the train of thought that led to suspecting El Cuco, but Holly sees the world differently, and here that’s to her advantage. Whereas Glory, or anyone else wouldn’t even begin to entertain this paranormal explanation, Holly is more willing to abandon the traditional worldview, because she’s less tied to it.
That said, if we end up spending the next few episodes slowly allowing each character to come to terms with the existence of El Cuco, it’s going to be a very long rest of the season.
There’s always a point in any horror fiction when the characters have to from skeptics to believers in order for them to deal with whatever supernatural threat faces them. There’s no precisely right or wrong way to do it.
When the characters accept it sooner (like in It or From Dusk Till Dawn), it gives us more time with them fighting it. However, keeping them skeptical till the end can work, so long as the payoff is worth it (like in Sinister or The Omen). The Outsider seems to leaning more towards the latter, which normally would be fine, if the series wasn’t already moving at a very slow pace.
Either way, the next few episodes should prove interesting as HBO wraps this story up, and cliffhanger endings like this one help to keep the momentum going! What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments below!