Does The Outsider's Post-Credits Scene Set Up a Second Season?

The first season of Stephen King's The Outsider concluded earlier this week, delivering audiences a resolution that had previously unfolded in the source material, but the post-credits scene in the season finale might have hinted that a new season could be possible, despite King not having delivered a follow-up novel to the original story. Of course, it's possible that the sequence was filmed merely to put the notion of continued adventures into viewers' heads with no intention of furthering this narrative, but a number of clues in the scene could confirm that there are more planned adventures for the characters.

WARNING: Spoilers below for The Outsider

As fans witnessed in the finale, the whole season built up to a confrontation with the monstrous "El Cuco," who has the abilities to imitate a victim down to a DNA level, finding its sustenance by consuming children, as they taste the "sweetest," according to the monster itself. Ralph (Ben Mendelsohn) knew that no one would believe this story, so rather than bringing the beast in, he bashed its head in with a rock. The mysterious nature of the creature means that, while a crushed skull would surely be a setback, even El Cuco itself was unaware of its origins, meaning it might not be possible for it to be killed at all. Despite its seemingly fatal injuries, it's possible that it could regenerate or heal itself if it was given enough time, which could take decades or even centuries.

Before the credits even rolled, Ralph offers to Holly (Cynthia Erivo) that he would be interested in teaming up with her for another investigation, though she makes it clear that, like El Cuco, she considered herself an "outsider," as she shrugs when Ralph asks her how many other monsters like El Cuco could be out there. While we likely won't see Ralph returning to the world of monster hunting, Holly will likely continue to seek answers for the unexplainable.

When we see Holly again, she sees the image of Jack (Marc Menchaca) in the mirror, making her think El Cuco is still pulling some strings. She first checks the back of her neck for boils, a sign that she has been infected by the creature, though she doesn't have the growths, much to her (and the audience's) relief. However, we then see that Holly has a scratch on her arm, indicating that she could be the next person that El Cuco will replicate, once it manages to recover from its injuries.

In addition to the cut, what could support the idea that Holly will be the next to be replicated is that the song playing on the radio in the scene is "Washington Square” by The Village Stompers. Ralph previously explained that his mother, before passing, revealed this as one of her favorite songs, with only the second time he ever heard it being when his son was born. It's possible that the song has taken on significance in matters of life and death, signaling that with the beast's "death," it has actually found new life with Holly. It's also possible that the song is meant to cement a connection between Holly and Ralph, which could potentially be explored in a new season.

Given the landscape of TV, it's possible for The Outsider to continue in a number of ways. Much like HBO's True Detective, a follow-up adventure could delve into an all-new storyline, or along the lines of USA's The Sinner, we could focus on another one of Holly's investigations where she is the only connective tissue from one season to the next.

HBO has yet to confirm any plans for a new season, but showrunner Richard Price has previously confirmed that he's begun toying with a number of possibilities.

"It’s like pulling a rabbit out of a glass hat — of course there will be another [if HBO wants one],” Price revealed last month to IndieWire, while also confirming he was working on the subsequent season. “There’s no such thing as a series that, if it does well, they’re not going to want a second season."

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All episodes of The Outsider are now available on HBO.

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