Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Outsider delivers its final gutpunch of the season

Cynthia Erivo
Cynthia Erivo
Photo: Bob Mahoney (HBO)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Sunday, March 8. All times are Eastern.


Top picks

The Outsider (HBO, 9 p.m., first-season finale): The Outsider has, since its second episode, been mostly tense rather than shocking or brutal. (That’s not a complaint; tense is good, we like tense.) That all changed in the final act of the penultimate episode of the show’s first season, when Jack Hoskins, his hunt interrupted in episode two, finally put that sniper’s eye to use. Here’s Allison Shoemaker on those final moments:

Those 10 minutes or so stand apart, but they are an inexorable destination, not an unexpected twist. Expect the worst, this episode promises over and over again, and then the worst happens. It tells us that things will end badly, and yet it’s still shocking when that prediction comes true. What a monstrous cliffhanger—a brutal ending to a brutal episode, with a brutal finale on the horizon.

And here we are, at the end. Or are we?

That’s a hell of a teaser, but the most interesting aspect isn’t anything that happens in or outside the caves. It’s the words “season finale,” a tantalizing phrase to those eager to see more of Cynthia Erivo’s Holly, Ben Mendelsohn’s Ralph, and anyone else who has a chance of surviving the finale. (We’re guessing at least one of them will.) Showrunner Richard Price has already said he’s working on a second season, so assuming HBO wants to keep The Outsider on the prowl, this is a goodbye rather than a farewell forever. Allison Shoemaker will recap.

Regular coverage

Outlander (Starz, 8 p.m.)
The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.)
Batwoman (The CW, 8 p.m.)
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.)
Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 9 p.m.)
Supergirl (The CW, 9 p.m.)
Homeland (Showtime, 9 p.m.)
Avenue 5 (HBO, 10 p.m.)
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO, 10:30 p.m.)


Wild card

Dare Me (USA, 10 p.m., first-season finale): “USA’s new original series Dare Me will inevitably be compared to HBO’s EuphoriaIt’d be more accurate to compare the twists and turns that await Dare Me’s high schoolers to something like the 2009 film Cracks—or Gone Girl, or even Heavenly Creatures and Black Swan. There’s a bit of a ‘Friday Night Lights, but make it cheerleading’ thing going on, too, though this is a much grimier and more sensationalized look at the entwining of local politics and high-school sports, and the ways that pressure on the field seep into these kids’ lives (and vice versa).” Read the rest of Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya’s pre-air review of this smart USA drama before checking on on the sure-to-be-gripping first-season finale.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!