How THE OUTSIDER Finale Set Up a Second Season

Spoilers for The Outsider’s season finale

El Cuco is dead, but its mystery lives on. Where did it come from? Do others like it still exist? What else is out there? Are other mythical monsters also real? With those unanswered questions, The Outsider‘s supposed series finale left open the possibility that Holly and Ralph could one day team up again to fight other supernatural creatures.

But that wasn’t the only sign that the show could return for a second season. A surprising mid-credits scene revealed that HBO might still have an itch to scratch with Stephen King’s story.

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The most frightening aspect of the final showdown with El Cuco was that it left open so many terrifying possibilities. When Holly asked El Cuco if others like it exist, the monster didn’t know for sure either. But it had a feeling they do. “There have been times when I sense there could be more,” it said.

The legend of El Cuco—the shape-shifting eater of children, the drinker of tears and grief—transcends cultures around the world. Some know El Cuco as Baba Yaga or Babau, others call it Butzemann or the Tata Duende. People everywhere fear it. Thus, the monster Ralph killed probably wasn’t the only one of its kind. And the world will need someone to hunt them.

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Ralph was open to the idea of working with Holly again someday. He’d rather they reunite for something simple like a gangland triple homicide, but if another demon posed a threat he wouldn’t ignore it.

And if El Cuco and ghosts exist, what other supernatural beings might also be out there? A second season of The Outsider could send Ralph and Holly on a different monster hunt with new challenges and dangers. (We would definitely watch Ben Mendelsohn and Cynthia Erivo as monster P.I.s.)

But they might not need to go looking for a new monster to hunt, because the story of this El Cuco might not be finished yet.

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The Outsider was supposed to be a limited series based on Stephen King’s standalone novel. As such, it was the last show you’d ever expect to have a mid-credits scene. Yet there it was.

Holly was looking in her mirror when the ghost of Jack Hoskins appeared behind her. The two, both outsiders in their own ways, had a connection. Jack only stopped gunning everyone down when she walked out into the open. Holly was the one who broke El Cuco’s spell over Jack. It’s possible his ghost appeared to her because they are linked in a way we can’t fully understand. This episode showed that ghosts exist, and that it’s possible to see them or feel their “glow.”

Jack’s presence doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, but his appearance very well might have been a harbinger of something sinister. Holly immediately checked the back of her neck to make sure she hadn’t been infected by El Cuco. There was nothing there, and it seemed like that was the end. El Cuco never got physically close to her anyway.

But in the final shot of the season, we saw Holly had a fresh scratch on her arm. We don’t know how she got it or when, or who or what was responsible for it. But we do know what a scratch from El Cuco means.

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Maybe that was the show’s way of saying evil can never be fully defeated, and that good people must always stay vigilante and ready to fight. Holly’s scratch might have been a fitting metaphor to end the story with.

Or it might have been a way to tell us the story isn’t over. “What else is out there?” For fans of The Outsider, it might be a second season.

Featured Image: HBO

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