Outcast is about to be released, and there are many promotional pics from the first episode, A Darkness Surrounds Him, showing us most of the cast (the pilot also received a couple of early screenings, so we already met all the characters appearing in the first episode). Let’s start with a member of the main cast: Allison Barnes, portrayed by Kate Lyn Sheil. In the show, she’s the estranged wife of the protagonist, Kyle Barnes, and their marriage failed after she was possessed by a demon and tried to arm their daughter, Amber, something for which Kyle took the blame. Judging from that final phone call, we’ll most likely see more of Allison throughout the show, and she’ll possibly be developed in a different way from her comicbook counterpart… but for the moment let’s take a look at the original one.
Not much is known about Allison’s early life, not even her maiden name. She lived in Rome, West Virginia, and when she was little more than a teenager she met a boy her age, Kyle Barnes, an orphan who was living with an adoptive family. Allison and Kyle grew close one to the other, and eventually they became a couple, with Allison taking sympathy in Kyle’s tragic past, with a comatose mother, a runaway father and even an abusive adoptive brother. The two reached adulthood together, and they eventually got married, and Allison was more than determined to give her man the family he had never had. With her love and kindness she brought light into Kyle’s life, and when the two had a daughter, Amber, it seemed they could truly be happy together. Of course, this wouldn’t have lasted long, since Kyle Barnes had a shadow haunting him since he was born, and it followed him wherever he went, corrupting everybody close to him… especially the ones he loved. The Barnes’ perfect family life ended the moment Allison was suddenly attacked and possessed by a demon: at first she only displayed a slightly weird behavior, but the more the demon took control of her, the more her personality and conscience were buried deep inside, leaving the creature in control of her actions. One day, the demon made Allison hurt Amber, hurt badly: when Kyle came back home, he found his wife attacking their daughter, the same way his mother Sarah had hurt him many years before. Along with the curse of being followed by demons, Kyle had also inherited the gift to be able to lure them away: he exorcised his wife, in a violent struggle that ended up hurting her as well. When the demon was gone, Allison came back to her senses, but she didn’t remember anything of what had happened, and she was shocked to see herself and Amber covered in blood. Kyle, knowing that the truth would have been simply unbelievable, took the blame, and told her that he had attacked them both. For the woman, obviously, this was a shock.
Allison simply couldn’t explain to herself how the gentle and meek man she had married could have been capable of arming both her and Amber: betrayed, afraid and overall willing to protect her baby girl, she decided to break up with her husband, and she took her daughter along and moved away from him. In a small town like Rome everybody knew everything about everybody else, so life for her estranged husband became quite impossible, and the man left Rome, starting to travel through the country. Allison, despite that episode of violence haunted her nightmares, still loved Kyle, and she kept contacts with Megan Holt, Kyle’s adoptive sister, the only one she could confess her true feelings for her man, and who could tell her how Kyle was doing, despite Megan herself didn’t have many news about her brother. From time to time, Allison received weird phone calls: she picked up, but nobody on the other line ever said anything, she only heard somebody breathing; she suspected it was Kyle, but she never got to speak with him via telephone. Finally, after years of silence and distance, Kyle came back to Rome, and of course his darkness followed him… not that Allison knew anything about it. Allison learnt that her estranged husband had come back to town when he spotted him behind a tree, looking at Amber: she approached him, and they started talking. Kyle tried to tell her he was fixing what was wrong with him, but she cut him short, telling him to come back when he had managed to do it; she however told him that they could have had a perfect life together, if it wasn’t for that single episode back then. She kissed him, then she warned him she would have called police if she ever saw him around Amber again. When a few days later the girl, seeing her father, happily hugged him, she abruptly brought her inside the house, forbidding her to see her father again, and even slapping Kyle for touching her (she slapped him over and over again, until Amber begged her to stop). Shocked by her own reaction, Allison came back home, knowing that the most difficult part of her post-marriage had just begun…
Allison Barnes is a strong yet scarred woman, who saw her entire world crumbling down in a matter of minutes. Now a single mother trying to protect her daughter from the man she still loves but whom she cannot trust, Allison is dragged into a world of darkness and evil that she doesn’t understand… and that she simply cannot believe in.