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S01.E08: Foxhead

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What kid goes walking off with a stranger? Does the book explain this better than the series?

Edited by kay1864
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53 minutes ago, kay1864 said:

What kid goes walking off with a stranger? Does the book explain this better than the series?

And to a cave. At night.

Claude really dodged one there by having his own security detail.

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1 hour ago, kay1864 said:

What kid goes walking off with a stranger? Does the book explain this better than the series?

In my head, I’m yelling “Stranger danger!” 

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Kudos to the show's sound design team, because man, those scenes where "The Thing" was feeding on poor unsuspecting victims his minion Jack Hoskins had procured were mighty convincing. You couldn't see a thing, but the audio was effin' disgusting and terrifying!

There are vague similarities to how the novel begins its final wrap-up, but thus far, I'm liking the show version a lot better.

Ralph's finally on the train with everyone else. Sablo is actually beginning to grow on me. Since he seems like a genuinely decent caring guy, I suspect poor Andy is probably toast (not a spoiler, just a hunch - his character doesn't exist in the novel).

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6 hours ago, kay1864 said:

What kid goes walking off with a stranger? Does the book explain this better than the series?

The festival and thwarted child napping is a show creation. 

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The show continues its annoyingly slow pace to stretch this thing out to as many episodes as possible. I’ve never seen so many scenes of so many people talking in cars for such an extended period of time with the end result having absolutely no effect on the story. Even the scene in the camper of the potential victim family driving to the festival seemed inexorably long. And the long establishing overhead shot of the crowd at the festival was pointless. We get it. Big crowds of people, with many of them wearing masks. Vulnerable boy who missed his stranger danger lesson wandering around like he just landed on earth despite going to the festival every year. Way to be subtle.

I get the feeling Ralph has been wearing that same overly big polo shirt this whole series.

 

 

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So where does the doppelganger come from?  The back of the minion's neck?  It was weird that all of a sudden NotClaude was in the back of Jack's SUV.

1 hour ago, Johnny Dollar said:

I get the feeling Ralph has been wearing that same overly big polo shirt this whole series.

IKR?  Noticed that last night.  Hasn't anyone told him that off-duty TV cops wear long-sleeve flannel or denim shirts?

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8 hours ago, Auntie Anxiety said:

In my head, I’m yelling “Stranger danger!” 

 

I think the boy was set up as being so focused on the caves and bones that he'd sort of let other things slip.   His sister had NOT.  That was some world class and highly appropriate yelling she did.   

The scene in the car between Sablo (Ga Bureau of Investigation) and Andy (security guy, Holly's beau) was good.  I've been suspecting that they both might be more than they seem or maybe less.  Sablo is surprisingly open to the idea of a demon, which is kind of explained by his being an ethnic Catholic.  My whole family is various versions of ethnic Catholic which makes me a little suspicious of his openness.  I'm suspicious of Andy since he was rather quickly willing to go off on an adventure with Holly after only having met her and slept with her the once.  Doesn't he have responsibilities at home or work?  The scene in the car played on my suspicions of them both, but left me thinking that they're both probably pretty much what/who they appear to be.

 

1 hour ago, humbleopinion said:

Was the grandpa scratched when he wrestled the Almost Claude to the ground?

Yep, he certainly was.   Grandpa is fixin' to start actin' funny.

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1 hour ago, humbleopinion said:

Was the grandpa scratched when he wrestled the Almost Claude to the ground?

Yeah, but it won't matter. It's going to be over too soon for the transformation.

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2 hours ago, Johnny Dollar said:

The show continues its annoyingly slow pace to stretch this thing out to as many episodes as possible. 

 

 

I'm enjoying the show but is could have easily been 8 episodes not 10

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I was wondering if the creature has some kind of attractive force that helps it lure kids. Because what kid in this day and age doesn't know better than to go off to a cave with some strange man, in a mask no less? I found that whole segment less than convincing because today's kids are just too smart, about that at least.  But I was glad that at least his sister had good sense. 

Still two more episodes? This is was too slow going. I agree that 8 episodes would have been plenty. 

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Geez, for awhile I thought the entire episode was going to be driving. If your most exciting scene is a family we've never seen before having their grandchild nearly kidnapped then you're doing something wrong.

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4 hours ago, Johnny Dollar said:

The show continues its annoyingly slow pace to stretch this thing out to as many episodes as possible. I’ve never seen so many scenes of so many people talking in cars for such an extended period of time with the end result having absolutely no effect on the story. 

 

It's kind of a Stephen King thing.  Have you read The Stand?  Holy guacamole.   I actually enjoy the slower pace.  It lets you get to know the place and people a bit and ratchets up the creepiness when terrible things start to happen.

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At least something happened.  And in nice crisp colorful shots, unlike the green haze that surrounds our brave band of heroes.

The creepiness was there from the beginning of the show.  You can't start with showing a main character who has clearly been eating someone, and not have creepiness.  The pace here is all wrong.

I always finish books, even those I don't like.  My exception was Under the Dome by King, because it was so ginormous that I couldn't hold it up any more.  

Edited by meep.meep
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1 hour ago, cpcathy said:

Geez, for awhile I thought the entire episode was going to be driving. If your most exciting scene is a family we've never seen before having their grandchild nearly kidnapped then you're doing something wrong.

The spinoff is tentatively titled "Boogeyman hunters in cars getting coffee".

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In the book, does King ever explain how our ravenous shape shifter manages to be on this years, decades, hell, centuries-long killing and frame -up spree, and only now some people catch on that something is amiss, beyond some child-killers?

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3 minutes ago, Bannon said:

n the book, does King ever explain how our ravenous shape shifter manages to be on this years, decades, hell, centuries-long killing and frame -up spree, and only now some people catch on that something is amiss, beyond some child-killers?

The book does not offer an explanation, but in both the book & show, it's implied that this creature (or perhaps there are multiple creatures around the globe) is eternal, and has been a part of human folklore all over the world since the beginning of time. Ancient child eating monsters are a favourite trope of Stephen King (see "IT"). Could be that only now our modern technology is able to catch people on camera, and allows people from far flung places to communicate quickly and compare notes.

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7 minutes ago, Bannon said:

In the book, does King ever explain how our ravenous shape shifter manages to be on this years, decades, hell, centuries-long killing and frame -up spree, and only now some people catch on that something is amiss, beyond some child-killers?

How did they know something was weird about the Terry Maitland case? Because somebody posted a video online, proving he was elsewhere. Failing that, Maitland's on death row, and nobody's talking about El Cuco. That phenomenon of people filming everything is only a decade old. And people still had a hard time with it.

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4 minutes ago, Cheezwiz said:

The book does not offer an explanation, but in both the book & show, it's implied that this creature (or perhaps there are multiple creatures around the globe) is eternal, and has been a part of human folklore all over the world since the beginning of time. Ancient child eating monsters are a favourite trope of Stephen King (see "IT"). Could be that only now our modern technology is able to catch people on camera, and allows people from far flung places to communicate quickly and compare notes.

Penneywise at least went to sleep in 27 year cycles. 

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1 minute ago, AimingforYoko said:

How did they know something was weird about the Terry Maitland case? Because somebody posted a video online, proving he was elsewhere. Failing that, Maitland's on death row, and nobody's talking about El Cuco. That phenomenon of people filming everything is only a decade old. And people still had a hard time with it.

Yeah, but nobody ever said, in decades past, "Hey, Jethro the farmer couldn't have butchered the Smith boy, cuz' Jethro was helping us with the barn raising 20 miles away on the Jones ' homestead!"?

Eh, I always have problems with fiction which features the supernatural. Ignore me....

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 Because what kid in this day and age doesn't know better than to go off to a cave with some strange man, in a mask no less? I found that whole segment less than convincing because today's kids are just too smart, about that at least. 

I didn't buy this either. How dumb is this kid supposed to be? I think it might have worked with a much younger child but they probably needed a kid who could at least act and the shape shifting killer walking off with a three or four year old probably would have freaked out too many people. 

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Not that long ago, I watched one of those undercover video investigations on the local news. They asked parents if they thought their kids would go off with strangers. The parents each time said, no, that they had drilled the kids on stranger danger and gave permission to the news crew to test them. And each time, it took a sad story about a lost puppy or promise of a treat to get the kid to start to walk away with the "stranger." Last night, I bought it completely. Especially as they were in a setting where he felt safe, with people who he thought were all there for the same reason they were, in a kind of community. Good for the sister. 

This isn't  the one I saw, but it's the same type of test: https://www.wcnc.com/article/life/family/what-would-your-child-do-new-ways-to-teach-children-about-strangers/275-5419aba9-289b-4347-9f3a-8b0a2282c5d6

Another: https://abc13.com/family/social-experiment-would-your-kid-go-with-a-stranger/697911/

I find some of the stylistic choices pretentious.  I don't even remember which week it was, but they shot a conversation so you couldn't see who was talking. I have hearing issues and closed captioning didn't identify the speakers, so I had to wait until halfway through to see who was speaking. I find the way they shot this really distracting. I love the cast. 

It's funny that I also don't like Glory, though I do feel some sympathy for her, and much of her behavior is understandable. But I like that they seem to be be writing her that way and Julianne Nicholson, who I always feel does good work, is playing her. I love that she didn't sue Ralph because he and Jeannie have been supportive friends, but because she wants him to clear Terry's name. It makes sense, but it also feels consistent with that character. I really like that. 

I don't remember seeing Ben Mendelsohn in anything before, but he's excellent. I am enjoying the entire cast. The acting may be what's kept me on board. 

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48 minutes ago, Darian said:

Not that long ago, I watched one of those undercover video investigations on the local news. They asked parents if they thought their kids would go off with strangers. The parents each time said, no, that they had drilled the kids on stranger danger and gave permission to the news crew to test them. And each time, it took a sad story about a lost puppy or promise of a treat to get the kid to start to walk away with the "stranger." Last night, I bought it completely. Especially as they were in a setting where he felt safe, with people who he thought were all there for the same reason they were, in a kind of community. Good for the sister.

I don't remember seeing Ben Mendelsohn in anything before, but he's excellent. I am enjoying the entire cast. The acting may be what's kept me on board. 

I agree. I've seen that on news shows. Kids forget and they are also programed to listen to adults. It's very disturbing to watch.

Ben Mendelsohn was very good in the Netflix series "Bloodline". 

Edited by HollyG
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What really disturbed me was that they were taking care of the copied man by providing him with an alibi, while essentially waiting for another kid to be murdered. They knew what the killer will look like and that he was hunting for kids and yet did not even try to do anything about it. Also did not try to find and stop the killer "helper" from providing new bodies for it. There is zero urgency in what they are doing while people are being killed.

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44 minutes ago, meira.hand said:

What really disturbed me was that they were taking care of the copied man by providing him with an alibi, while essentially waiting for another kid to be murdered. They knew what the killer will look like and that he was hunting for kids and yet did not even try to do anything about it. Also did not try to find and stop the killer "helper" from providing new bodies for it. There is zero urgency in what they are doing while people are being killed.

This, thank you.  They could have left Claude IN JAIL where he already was and gone to look for Jack to try to prevent another murder. 

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It's funny that I also don't like Glory, though I do feel some sympathy for her, and much of her behavior is understandable.

I wonder if Glory played a bigger role in the book (haven't read it). The character on the show feels sort of peripheral to the main story.

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15 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

I wonder if Glory played a bigger role in the book (haven't read it). The character on the show feels sort of peripheral to the main story.

Conversely, I wonder if Glory had a smaller role in the book, and the show enlarged it because they liked the actress.  It almost makes me uncomfortable that they’re showing Terry’s family at this point, because how in the world would they ever legitimately clear him?

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21 hours ago, kay1864 said:

What kid goes walking off with a stranger? Does the book explain this better than the series?

 

20 hours ago, NurseGiGi said:

And to a cave. At night.

Claude really dodged one there by having his own security detail.

The entire “Cavestock” scenario seemed pretty contrived to me.

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2 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I wonder if Glory played a bigger role in the book (haven't read it). The character on the show feels sort of peripheral to the main story.

Will answer this generally. If you want more detail, I can answer in the book v show thread: she is just as peripheral. Perhaps more so. 

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8 hours ago, Cheezwiz said:

The book does not offer an explanation, but in both the book & show, it's implied that this creature (or perhaps there are multiple creatures around the globe) is eternal, and has been a part of human folklore all over the world since the beginning of time. Ancient child eating monsters are a favourite trope of Stephen King (see "IT"). Could be that only now our modern technology is able to catch people on camera, and allows people from far flung places to communicate quickly and compare notes.

When Creature-Claude was describing the pre-historic bears sharpening their claws on the roof of the cave, I was wondering if he knew their size because he’s lived that long and seen them. Perhaps fed along side them  

Current access to cameras and technology hasn’t hindered El Cuco, the NYC bartender was also filmed by her cousin as as alibi, but that didn’t help her. It was accepting the possibility of El Cuco that is its apparent downfall. Book spoiler:

Spoiler

When Ralph and Holly confront the creature:

“Yet I’ve taken others who had strong alibis and immaculate reputations. With evidence and eyewitness testimony, the alibis and reputations make no difference. People are blind to explanations that lie outside their perception of reality. You should never have come looking for me. You never should have even sensed me, no matter how strong his alibi was. Yet you did.”

 

Edited by scottiB · Reason: Ralph not Frank
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11 hours ago, Jodithgrace said:

I was wondering if the creature has some kind of attractive force that helps it lure kids. Because what kid in this day and age doesn't know better than to go off to a cave with some strange man, in a mask no less? I found that whole segment less than convincing because today's kids are just too smart, about that at least.  But I was glad that at least his sister had good sense. 

It seemed to me the boy was in a trance-like state when his sister was yelling to him and was ignoring her,  so maybe the creature does have that sort of power.

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7 hours ago, HollyG said:

Ben Mendelsohn was very good in the Netflix series "Bloodline". 

He scared the hell out of me in “Bloodline.” I had a hard time buying him as Ralph because I couldn’t shake off his creepy character from before.

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8 hours ago, Darian said:

he parents each time said, no, that they had drilled the kids on stranger danger and gave permission to the news crew to test them. And each time, it took a sad story about a lost puppy or promise of a treat to get the kid to start to walk away with the "stranger." Last night, I bought it completely. Especially as they were in a setting where he felt safe, with people who he thought were all there for the same reason they were, in a kind of community. Good for the sister. 

I agree with this - people who are trying to lure kids aren't necessarily obvious scuzzballs in trenchcoats waving candy and going "psst... hey kid come with me". When I was a kid, I thought I was pretty savvy about danger from strange adults, but my Dad was a cop, and  he drilled potential scenarios into me that really gave me pause: someone needing help trying to find a lost pet for example, or someone coming up to you saying they were a parent's co-worker and that they'd been taken to emergency, and that you needed to come with them right away, etc. I definitely might have been dumb enough to fall for those ploys, even though we'd had stranger danger drilled into us as youngsters.

The show did stretch credibility slightly regarding the boy's age - even if I was excited to venture into a dinosaur cave (which, nerd alert! I TOTALLY would have been!), I probably would have sought out my family for permission. But I could see a kid getting caught up in overexcitement and forgetting himself in busy surroundings.

Eh, I was enjoying the episode and just went with it.

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11 hours ago, meira.hand said:

What really disturbed me was that they were taking care of the copied man by providing him with an alibi, while essentially waiting for another kid to be murdered. They knew what the killer will look like and that he was hunting for kids and yet did not even try to do anything about it. Also did not try to find and stop the killer "helper" from providing new bodies for it. There is zero urgency in what they are doing while people are being killed.

Later it occurred to me that this scenario could only be accepted and nearly unnoticed because the kid was not actually killed and the people who were killed were either unknown to us or not even shown.

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The show continues its annoyingly slow pace to stretch this thing out to as many episodes as possible. I’ve never seen so many scenes of so many people talking in cars for such an extended period of time with the end result having absolutely no effect on the story.

I wnat to like this but I;m just not. Too slooooow by far. The pacing is just glacial and that's completely unnecessary. Pare it down to a five episode series or something.

And yes, why not just leave him in jail while going to search for the doppelganger. Athough, how would they know where to begin to find it.

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My wife is a big Stephen King fan. I’ve tried reading his books but could never get past the first fifty pages. Granted I don’t have a lot of patience when reading but watching the incredibly slow pacing of this series shows why I couldn’t stick with the books. 

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10 hours ago, Auntie Anxiety said:

He scared the hell out of me in “Bloodline.” I had a hard time buying him as Ralph because I couldn’t shake off his creepy character from before.

I know. In Bloodline, I alternated between feeling sorry for him for how bad his family treated him (his father in particular), and being so creeped out and terrified of him. At times he was very hard to watch. It was so twisted!

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while people are being killed.

Holly has stated repeatedly that she believes the creature is vulnerable while it is transforming, none of  them are aware of any evidence that led them to believe it's eating animals/people along the way OR that Jack/minions are procuring them for the entire 24-27 day cycle.  Ironically she thinks they do procure the children and yet with Not Claude we saw the opposite Jack procures the meat along the way, and El Cuco personally hunted his own damn child snack. 


I do agree their doing a poor job showing how these fine distinctions work and that their plan was janky but I'm not sure what plan is a good plan when dealing with a supernatural creature you can barely understand. I think part of it is that they still want to "prove" this in real documented terms rather than just "stop it" like Yunis said he wanted to last week. It sesm hard for them to let that piece go. Also they are obviously all scared shitless of what they don't know/understand. 

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1 hour ago, HollyG said:

I know. In Bloodline, I alternated between feeling sorry for him for how bad his family treated him (his father in particular), and being so creeped out and terrified of him. At times he was very hard to watch. It was so twisted!

Mendelsohn is a phenomenal actor. In Bloodline, he constantly walked a line between being somewhat sympathetic and skin-crawlingly creepy. I was very surprised to see him cast as a straight man in "The Outsider" because his forte seems to be skeevy villains, but he's totally working for me in this role as well. I also always forget that he's actually Australian.

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Is it too much to hope that the guys from Grimm just show up with the correct weapon, take down the creature, and the rest of the episodes are devoted to planning Holly and Andy's wedding?

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The show did stretch credibility slightly regarding the boy's age - even if I was excited to venture into a dinosaur cave (which, nerd alert! I TOTALLY would have been!), I probably would have sought out my family for permission. But I could see a kid getting caught up in overexcitement and forgetting himself in busy surroundings.

I just couldn't buy into it unless the kid was somehow mentally impaired. I think my biggest hangup might have been the fox mask El Cuco was wearing. I get that masks are a thing or whatever at this festival but this is a total stranger urging a kid to go alone with him somewhere and the kid hasn't even seen the guy's face. If the kid is dumb enough to go with him then there's something to be said for Darwinism. 

From a dramatic standpoint, El Cuco had to be wearing a mask in order for the big reveal to have the visceral impact they were going for once Ralph et. al. saw the video. But it didn't make the scene with the kid very believable. Like I said . . . maybe with a four or five year old but not this kid.

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When I was five years old (this is the 70's) an old man came to our school and tried to talk to some kids. There was a big chain link fence between him and the kids on the playground, but I was terrified. I started screaming at the kids that they shouldn't go over there, but they did anyway. Teachers finally saw or heard the commotion and chased him off. Police were called.

I remember very little about that time in my life, but that incident has stayed with me for all these years. Never told my family, friends, no one until now.

In other words, I know it's possible but is it possible in this day and age? Maybe under the right circumstances. I think El Cuco would need some kind of power and play on the kid's  desire to see something so unusual. Didn't Holly or someone say he feeds off pain so he pushes people to do things that cause pain? I didn't see a father, so maybe this kid wanted an adult to be one and interested in caves.

Or I'm spitballing.

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It just occurred to me that Cuco used Maitland to lure the first boy. There was an established trust.

Claude Bolton is from that cave area originally and El Cuco is breaking protocol by not finding someone who trusts or knows him.

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El Cuco is breaking protocol by not finding someone who trusts or knows him.

Cuco protocol?

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Granted I don’t have a lot of patience when reading but watching the incredibly slow pacing of this series shows why I couldn’t stick with the books. 

I think the pacing has been fine, it wasn't until episode 7 I started to lose patience. I realize HBO has to make as many episodes as makes sense financially but I think the problem is there isn't really enough story to fill 10 of them. Eight would have worked better IMO.

For what it's worth I'm the same way about Stephen King. I haven't been able to get through any of his post-Shining novels except 11/22/63 (which, by the way was made into an eight part miniseries).  I love his short stories though and think he's at his best in that medium.

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I can buy that the kid would go off with the stranger, as disconcerting as that is. The kid was super excited about something that it seemed like was being put on the back burner, he was near his family, and kids are given kind of conflicting advice when it comes to adults sometimes, so it gets confusing. Stranger danger, but also listen to and respect adults. Thank God his sister noticed that something was up, that she sounded the alarm, and that some random bystanders intervened, even if they didnt end up catching him. It would have been kind of funny if they did catch him, and the boogeyman and Claude were both standing right there! 

So Ralph has finally found himself a clue and had tentatively gotten on board the hunt for the bogyman! The talk in the car with him and Holly was really interesting, and its ending was pretty funny in a weird way. "It sounds like it was just a coincidence. I also liked the chat between Sablo and Andy, who are both characters I like a lot, especially Andy talking about how he hopes that he and Holly are "a thing" and Sablo messing with him a bit. I hope that Andy and Holly hitting it off leads to a happy ending, and not Andy being tragically killed for maximum angst. 

On 2/24/2020 at 1:54 PM, Bannon said:

Yeah, but nobody ever said, in decades past, "Hey, Jethro the farmer couldn't have butchered the Smith boy, cuz' Jethro was helping us with the barn raising 20 miles away on the Jones ' homestead!"?

 

I guess its possible that something like that has happened before, we really only know about the last few cases, its possible that the people the creature did set up got exonerated and the creature had to make a break for it before he sucked up everyone's misery, just we dont know about it. If the creature has done this for possibly thousands of years, it possible that it didnt go write its way every time. I do wonder though, if the creature has some kind of dark aura that it exerts, that brings children to it, no matter how many times they've been told not to go off with strangers, and/or brings out peoples darkest impulses and makes the misery surrounding its crimes grow. It does seem like a whole lot that, no matter the horrific nature of the crimes, that so many people involved would end up all killing people, themselves, dying of ODs, etc so quickly after the incident. The creature does its thing, everyone dies quickly so that maybe they dont ask questions, and then it moves on. I also wonder if, due to the horrible nature of the crimes, there is such societal outrage and desire to find and punish someone for it, that people get arrested, tried, and killed or locked up so quickly that no one does their due diligence. Its what started this whole mess with Ralph and Terry in the first place, Ralph was so disgusted with the crime and it brought up his dead son angst, so he arrested Terry in a super public way before he could even talk to Terry and see that he had an alibi, which is, you know, pretty normal cop stuff to do before you arrest someone in front of the whole town. Its the same with the other two people we saw get framed, it seemed like they could have had a decent defense if the cops had done any real investigation, but it seems like they just saw the DNA and the witnesses, and then locked them up and threw away the key without anything further that could have found an alibi or any other evidence. Whether its because of the Creatures powers or because of the massive pressure to punish someone for something like this is up for debate, or it could be both. There is a lot to speculate on. 

 I dont mind the pace, the slowness really ramps up the creepy atmosphere for me, and it makes the "big" moments even more shocking.

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The last meal shown was a deer, I think, from the looks of the legs.  The first one was that fisherman that he shot and killed?

Unfortunately the plot here is way too much like the Denzel Washington movie Fallen.

Speaking of Washington, I went to youtube to look up "Washington Square", and there, in the comments section below the video, was the highest rated comment:  "How many of us are here because of The Outsider?"  Heh.  So, if anyone is interested,

https://youtu.be/cUqgoMfgro0

 

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