Let's compare the penultimate episodes of Outcasts with Being Human, shall we?
Whereas Being Human was full of intriguing and shocking twists that built up to a huge cliffhanger, Outcasts sort of just plodded along with an average episode. It was the sort of thing you might get during the middle of the series, a potential character piece that keeps the big series-wide storyline in the background whilst concentrating on one or two central characters. Other than Berger's TV spot at the end, calling for the residents of Forthaven to rebel against Tate, there was no build up, no tension, and no cliffhanger to whet our appetite for the big finale.
I also have to say that Outcasts' next episode previews are a bit naff as well. A dozen quick images accompanied by what sounds like the Eastenders drumbeat doesn't really excite me and make me desperate to watch next week. If anything, the final episode just looks like more of the same!
The beginning of this episode started well. We had Rudi, leader of the ACs, appearing to chat to the invisible "aliens" (are they a disembodied intelligence or, as Tate and Stella kept calling them, host entities?). Then Tate came face-to-face with one that looked just like him (or is Tate just imagining it all?). I did note that the "alien" didn't actually answer Tate's question about whether it would kill the humans; it just said that the same fact would befall them as happened to the fossilised hominids.
That was mostly it for the interesting stuff.
Instead, the show switched to Cass receiving an anonymous note indicating that someone knew his secret identity. Of course, in response he decided to get blind drunk and sleep with a strange woman. As you do. After he catches Faith (who is actually called Carla) rifling through his things, he assumes she's the one who sent the note and attacks her. She runs off and much of the rest of the show turns into a hunt for the woman whilst Cass tries to cover up his involvement.
Meanwhile, Tate decides it would be a good idea if he sneaks out of Forthaven to go and speak with Rudi, the guy who swore he'd kill him. Turns out that the "aliens" only have it in for the 70 inhabitants (sorry, 70,000 inhabitants) of the city and not the ACs. So Tate returns to his dimly lit office empty-handed and with a potential riot on the cards.
In the end, it turns out the woman was being abused by her husband and, eventually, Cass is cleared. But not before his relationship with the gorgeous Fleur has seriously soured. She finds some meaningless solace in the arms of wily Jack who, after some egging on by Berger, had earlier hanged their AC prisoner.
Oh and there was some dreadful stuff with Lily stealing money from the bar in order to get Stella to notice her. Or something. I thought the two had reconciled? All this seemed to serve was to allow Berger to 'comfort' Stella and thus show us how he's trying to bring people onto his side. And that was just a prelude to inciting the populace against the returning Tate.
After small improvements week after week, it looks like Outcasts had already reached it's peak last week. Instead of giving us a thrilling lead up to the final episode, we got something decidedly average - helped only by the wonderful Daniel Mays as Cass. Heck, we didn't even get to find out what it was Cass - a.k.a. Tom Starling - did in the past that was so awful! And with so many questions and plot threads still to be answered, it looks like the final episode this weekend might be a bit of a disappointment.