The Outsider Review: HBO’s Next Big Hit

Warning: There will be spoilers below, so proceed at your own risk!

The Outsider Review: HBO’s Next Big Hit

HBO has done it again, folks. They continue to pump out shows that shock and awe and their new crime drama, The Outsider, does just that. Jason Bateman, Ben Mendelsohn, and Cynthia Erivo have me absolutely hooked on this show and I cannot wait to see what happens in the second half of its first season.

The Outsider Plot

According to IMDB, the synopsis is as follows: “Investigators are confounded over an unspeakable crime that’s been committed.” Now that may seem extremely vague and nondescript, but it honestly couldn’t say anything else without giving away too much of the show. However, now that I have watched the first half of the season I think I can add a little more detail to spice things up. “A small town is rattled by the ghastly death of a young boy. As the child’s family and the town mourn, things begin to get very strange. Investigators are baffled by the evidence they find, and struggle to find who, or what, is wreaking havoc upon their town.” If that doesn’t make you want to watch then I don’t know what will!

What We’ve Witnessed So Far

If you haven’t watched the show yet and are still reading, now is the time to stop. I will briefly dive into each episode below via bullet points, so proceed with caution.

Episode One: Fish in a Barrel

  • Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman) is accused of the grisly murder of the young boy in his town.
  • Ralph (Mendelsohn) and his detectives find clear evidence pointing at Maitland. They all 1,000% believe no one other than Maitland could have committed this heinous crime.
  • Maitland’s attorney finds clear cut evidence putting him in another town on the day of the crime.
  • Maitland is tossed in jail until his arraignment, where he is threatened as a “child killer”.

Episode Two: Roanoke

  • Ralph is no longer certain Maitland is the killer.
  • On the morning of his trial, Maitland is shot and killed by the brother of the dead boy Terry was accused of murdering. The brother is also shot and killed.
  • Ralph is put on administrative leave, but that doesn’t stop him from still attempting to solve the case.
  • Maitland’s daughter, Jessa, claims that she is being visited by an ominous man at night.
  • Ralph learns that Terry got cut while on vacation, and that the Maitlands were in Dayton the same day the van he was seen in was stolen.

Episode Three: Dark Uncle

Ralph and Holly
  • Terry’s post murder clothes are found in an old farm out in the middle of nowhere.
  • We’re introduced to Holly Gibney, a private investigator who will be helping dig deeper into the Maitland case.
  • We also meet Heath Hofstadter, who appears to be another wrongly accused child murder victim, in prison. He kills himself at the end of the episode.
  • As more and more is dug up on the case, the less sense it makes. Things are strangely starting to point towards a supernatural entity being behind these crimes.
  • Detective Jack is introduced, and he has been attacked by whatever is creating this chaos. Leaves a nasty boil mark on the back of his neck.

Episode Four: Que Viene el Coco

  • Holly learns of another wrongly accused child murderer, Maria Coneles.
  • We learn that Heath’s doppelgänger was the one who cut Terry Maitland when he was on vacation.
  • We get some intriguing details on el coco, who is essentially the boogeyman.
  • The boy who spoke with Ralph about the van in Dayton admits to lying. He then draws a picture of the twisted-faced man that he saw stealing the car.
  • Claude Bolton, the former convict turned gentleman’s club owner, appears to also have his hand cut by Terry Maitland on the night of the murder.
  • Detective Jack appears to be feeding and supplying the creature and is under its control via the boils on his neck.

Episode Five: Tear-Drinker

  • We finally meet twisted-face man as he breaks into Ralph’s house to warn his wife about his interest in the case.
  • Twisted-face man can’t speak English very well OR he loses most motor functions (and looks) while in his transformation/regeneration state.
  • Ralph is an excellent mansplainer (à la the nightmare explanation LOLOL).
  • Jack loses his cool when Tomika asks him to hold her son. He claims he doesn’t want anything to happen to him.
  • Holly officially buys into the boogeyman storyline and is no longer looking for a who, but for a what.
  • Ralph is still having hallucinations of his dead son, or the twisted-faced boogeyman monster has his hooks in him already as well.

And that’s a wrap. So far, season one of The Outsider has been excellent. I can’t wait to see what all is in store in the second half of season one! If you haven’t watched episode fives sneak peek for six through ten yet, I highly suggest doing so. Thanks again for reading my review of HBO’s The Outsider. Watch out for more reviews in the near future, and be sure to head on over to DustyPosts for more of my content.

My Top Five Books of All Time

My Top Five Books of All Time

While at work the other day I was asked to answer a boatload of questions that described my hobbies for the monthly “About This Employee” newsletter. One of the first things that came to mind was how much I love to read, even if I don’t always have as much time to as I’d like. This, of course, sent me down memory lane and had me reminiscing on all the incredible books I’ve read over the years. This list is nowhere near comprehensive, and there are so many books that truly pain me to leave off, but the top five books below are the ones that I feel stand out the most in my 20+ years of reading.

#5 – A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith

Rounding out the bottom of my list is A Land Remembered. This was a book I would’ve probably never read if it hadn’t been a mandatory read when I was in high school. As I made my deeper and deeper into the book, it slowly snuck its way up into my list of favorite books. It’s also a pretty neat little history lesson of sorts for me as the book takes place within the state of Florida, which is where I was born and still live to this day. One of the other things I absolutely loved about this book was its split into three substantially different perspectives. Each detailed a different generation of the MacIveys, and it was a very fun way to tell the story of a family who was trying to make a name for themselves during the 19th and 20th centuries.

#4 – The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques

For those of you who do know this series, I’m sure you will recall that there are about 30 books within or related to the series. I didn’t read all of them, but my elementary years were littered with most of these stories. Redwall, Salamandastron, Martin the Warrior, and Marlfox were just a few of Brian Jacques mesmerizing novels. Each had their similarities, but were also ridiculously unique in their own way. They all completely submerged me into a realm I had never even dreamt of. The fantasy novels all enlist some form of anthropomorphic animal that is undertaking a massive task to save the people of Redwall and its surrounding areas. It is one of few book series of its kind and it is a must-read for anyone who enjoys fantasy based novels. The books were aimed at children, specifically older children, so be weary of this is you decide to indulge yourself within Brain Jacques realm!

#3 – The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

It’s very hard for me to rank this book at #3, but unfortunately it has to be done. Lord of the Rings itself was incredible, but The Hobbit is one of those books that is basically absolute perfection. I can still remember when I picked this book up in fifth grade and didn’t set it down until I was finished with it. I was glued to that book for over a week and enjoyed every single second of it. Since then, I’ve probably only re-read this book twice. But knowing that I have a child on the way I am already anticipating reading it to them countless times once they can understand the story behind this incredible book.

#2 – The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

Now, I won’t waste too much of your time here since I just recently posted a complete breakdown and ranking of the Harry Potter series, but it goes without saying that these books were essentially my entire childhood. From the second I opened my first HP book until my freshman year when The Deathly Hallows was released I always dreamt of the wizarding world. J.K. Rowling’s series was atop my list of favorites for years, but just recently it was toppled by ASOIAF. These books have the most read throughs for me and I know quite a disgusting amount about these books. I actually corrected the librarians answer key when I was in fourth grade too. Super nerd alert haha. Harry Potter and his crew taught me so many things over the years, and if you haven’t read this series yet you’re doing an immense disservice to yourself!

#1 – The A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R. R. Martin

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. And the #1 book/series of all time goes to… A Song of Ice and Fire! I know I know, this series isn’t even done yet (and it honestly might never be), but there is something about the way GRRM writes that I can’t get enough of. I’ve even bought his children’s book, The Ice Dragon, for when my child is born haha. His writing style was something I was very unfamiliar with but grew to love almost immediately. He actually inspired me to begin my own novel in a similar POV fashion as his ASOIAF books. The first five books of this series are all amazing, however, they’re not all the same caliber to me for one specific reason: I watched the show before I read the books. With that being said, the third, fourth, and fifth books are much more intriguing to read, but that in no way takes anything away from the first two!

The Lord of The Rings Series, The Great Gatsby, To Kill A Mockingbird, these are just a few others that had every right to make this list. Reading just has a way of making us lose track of time while we immerse ourselves in the fantasy worlds of these spectacular authors. I hope one day my books can influence someone the way that some of these have influenced my life. When all is said and done, these books just hit on a different level, and they will forever hold a special place in my heart.


Thanks again for reading the list of my top five books. As always, please leave some feedback and give my page a follow so you can experience all of my content. I’d love to hear from all of my wonderful readers, so be sure to rate and comment often!

A Land Remembered Review

A Land Remembered Review

Welcome back to another DustyPosts weekly rec! This week I’d like to recommend one of my all time favorite books, A Land Remembered. Also, I know I typically don’t talk about books all that often, but prepare yourselves to start seeing a lot more about my must read books.

So I read this book for the first time my senior year of high school. The way my English teacher premised the book at the time made me think I was going to hate it. Not to mention, the book looked like an absolute monster page wise, especially for a high school kid who (at the time) only read when required. Looking back at it and its 403 pages, it’s really nothing compared to the ASOIAF books. But any who, it ended up being shockingly amazing and I will always be thankful that my teacher made us read it at the time.

Without giving too much away, this story is about a family who is trying to survive after they make a move into Florida in the mid-to-late 19th century. The thing that I liked the most about this though is that there was three parts, all a different generation of this family. It begins with a father and his son, who turns into a father and has a son, thus spanning three generations over the course of about 100 years if I’m not mistaken. It is such an interesting read and an even more interesting way to break up a book! A Land Remembered is an all time classic novel, and you be a fool if you didn’t give it a read soon.


Thanks again for reading this week’s weekly recommendation. As always, please leave some feedback and give my page a follow so you can experience all of my content. I’d love to hear from all of my wonderful readers, so be sure to rate/comment often!

Three Things Harry Potter Taught Me That Changed My Life Forever (7/3/19)

[Originally published on 7/3/19 on my previous site, Bright-blood.com]

Three Things Harry Potter Taught Me That Changed My Life Forever

My first memory of reading dates all the way back to 2001, when my mom handed third grade me The Prisoner of Azkaban for the first time. I know it’s super unconventional to start a series on the third book, but I don’t think my mom ever really thought I would fall head over heels in love with the series in the first place. But, that’s exactly what I did, and a few weeks later I was begging her to buy me the rest of the books. When she finally caved, I read the first book over the course of a weekend and dove into the second. Even eighteen years later I often find myself reminiscing about those days and all the life lessons J.K Rowling taught me.

I have always been a reserved person, so making new friends isn’t always the easiest. But over the years I’ve realized I don’t need hundreds of people surrounding me to be happy, and that by keeping fewer people around I can focus more on the relationships that truly matter. The friendship that Harry, Ron, and Hermione have reminds me a lot of some of my closest friends. We’ve been through so much that we are practically family, and we all know we would do everything in our power to help one another. We would sacrifice something important to our individual selves to get something done for our friends. And we will always do what’s right for one another whether good or bad, just like when Hermione reports Harry’s Firebolt to McGonagall in book three. I’d like to think that these books molded my opinions on friendship all those years ago, and that because of them I have been able to have amazing relationships with my closest friends.

Happiness is not always easy to come by, and many of us struggle daily to remember that it all stems from our own minds. As Albus Dumbledore said in The Prisoner of Azkaban, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” This is one of my favorite quotes from not only the Harry Potter series, but of all the books I’ve read in my entire life. If I were dissecting this statement, I’d say the true meaning is that we are always in control of our own happiness and we just need to remember that in order to be happy, we simply need to be happy. Now, I realize that may be easier said than done for some of us but just think how much easier life could be if we remembered small things like this a little more often.

The final life lesson I took HP is that people aren’t always who they say they are or who they are portrayed to be, (whether by the media, friends, family, etc.) so we shouldn’t be so quick to judge one another. J.K. Rowling had plenty of examples throughout the series where this applied. We see Sirius Black portrayed as the depraved escapee of Azkaban who actually ends up being wrongfully accused of Peter Pettigrew’s crimes. A case could even be argued for Peter that he himself was misjudged as a vile creature acting on the commands of He who must not be named, but in reality he was a lonely man dying for the affection and recognition of his master. And I know all of our minds instantly go to Snape when we think of characters that we had all wrong, and for a good reason. The Potions (and Defense against the Dark Arts) professor was made to be one of Harry’s biggest nemeses for the first six books, and then in the seventh we find out he has been protecting Harry all along. We find out that he loved Lily so much his Patronus transformed into hers, and that he was the one who has been helping Harry and his companions this whole time. Obviously, Severus is the greatest example of why we shouldn’t be quick to judge as he has the largest swing of any of the aforementioned characters. But all of these examples by J.K. show us that in judging we can make things much more difficult for others as well as ourselves, and that is why we should take more time to get to know one another.

Of course, there are countless lessons to be learned and hundreds of other examples as to how this series ties directly to our lives. No matter how you look at J.K. Rowling’s work though, it’s clear that she wants us all to take something away from her characters and live our best lives. As Dumbledore says, “You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be”, and that is why in following the footsteps of Harry, Ron, and Hermione we can all grow to be amazing.

Three Things Harry Potter Taught Me That Changed My Life Forever

Three Things Harry Potter Taught Me That Changed My Life Forever

My first memory of reading dates all the way back to 2001, when my mom handed third grade me The Prisoner of Azkaban for the first time. I know it’s super unconventional to start a series on the third book, but I don’t think my mom ever really thought I would fall head over heels in love with the series in the first place. But, that’s exactly what I did, and a few weeks later I was begging her to buy me the rest of the books. When she finally caved, I read the first book over the course of a weekend and dove into the second. Even eighteen years later, I often find myself reminiscing about those days and all the life lessons J.K Rowling and Harry Potter taught me.

I have always been a reserved person, so making new friends isn’t always the easiest. But over the years I’ve realized I don’t need hundreds of people surrounding me to be happy, and that by keeping fewer people around I can focus more on the relationships that truly matter. The friendship that Harry, Ron, and Hermione have reminds me a lot of some of my closest friends. We’ve been through so much that we are practically family, and we all know we would do everything in our power to help one another. We would sacrifice something important to our individual selves to get something done for our friends. And we will always do what’s right for one another whether good or bad, just like when Hermione reports Harry’s Firebolt to McGonagall in book three. I’d like to think that these books molded my opinions on friendship all those years ago, and that because of them I have been able to have amazing relationships with my closest friends.

Happiness is not always easy to come by, and many of us struggle daily to remember that it all stems from our own minds. As Albus Dumbledore said in The Prisoner of Azkaban, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” This is one of my favorite quotes from not only the Harry Potter series, but of all the books I’ve read throughout my entire life. If I were dissecting this statement, I’d say the true meaning is that we are always in control of our own happiness and we just need to remember that in order to be happy, we simply need to be happy. Now, I realize that may be easier said than done for some of us, but just think how much easier life could be if we remembered small things like this a little more often.

The final life lesson I took from HP is that people aren’t always who they say they are or who they are portrayed to be, (whether by the media, friends, family, etc.) so we shouldn’t be so quick to judge one another. J.K. Rowling had plenty of examples throughout the series where this applied. We see Sirius Black portrayed as the depraved escapee of Azkaban who actually ends up wrongfully accused for Peter Pettigrew’s crimes. A case could even be argued for Peter that he himself was misjudged as a vile creature acting on the commands of He who must not be named, but in reality he was a lonely man dying for the affection and recognition of his master. And I know all of our minds instantly go to Snape when we think of characters that we had all wrong, and for a good reason. The Potions (and Defense against the Dark Arts) professor was made out as one of Harry’s biggest nemeses for the first six books, and then in the seventh we find out he was protecting Harry all along. We find out that he loved Lily so much his Patronus transformed into hers, and that he was the one who has been helping Harry and his companions this whole time. Obviously, Severus is the greatest example of why we shouldn’t be quick to judge as he has the largest swing of any of the aforementioned characters. But all of these examples by J.K. show us that in judging we can make things much more difficult for others as well as ourselves, and that is why we should take more time to get to know one another.

Of course, there are countless lessons to learn and hundreds of other examples how this series ties directly to our lives. No matter how you look at J.K. Rowling’s work though, it’s clear that she wants us all to take something away from her characters and live our best lives. As Dumbledore says, “You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be”, and that is why in following the footsteps of Harry, Ron, and Hermione we can all grow to be amazing.

Thanks again for reading my reminiscent Harry Potter post. As always, please leave some feedback and give my page a follow so you can experience all of my content. I’d love to hear from all of my wonderful readers, so be sure to rate/comment often!