The name Stephen King is synonymous with horror, and for good reason. He is a master of suspense, world creation, and intricate plots. I am a huge fan of King’s novels, as well as some of his movie adaptations, so it should come as no surprise that I have also embraced one of his latest transitions to the screen, HBO’s series The Outsider. Even for viewers wary of horror, the series promises an invigorating ride.
The plot centers on the brutal murder of a child that initially seems like an open and shut case. The fingerprints and DNA of local teacher and baseball coach Terry Maitland (played by Jason Bateman) are found everywhere at the crime scene. Numerous witnesses and even video footage place him at or near the scene as well and point to him being the culprit. After his very public arrest, an impossible paradox comes to light: there is also footage of him 60 miles away at the time of the murder, and fingerprints to support that version of events as well. The question for detective Ralph Anderson (played by Ben Mendelson) then becomes much deeper and confounding: how is it possible Terry committed this crime if he’s on film elsewhere at the time of the murder? How could someone be in two places at once? And if Terry is innocent, is the real killer still out there waiting to strike again?