‘Outlast’ Recap And Review: Which Team Wins The Game? The Charlie Team Or The Alpha Team?

As the title suggests, the fundamental premise of the survivor show “Outlast” on Netflix is to outlast all the other contestants on the show. It is a gruesome race to the finish line in the midst of freezing temperatures and the unforgiving Alaskan wilderness. A set of sixteen lone wolves are pitted against each other in a deadly match to see who remains the last one standing. But like all good reality shows, there is a catch that makes it all the more exciting: you can’t win alone. All the contestants are asked to be divided into teams of four and win the competition as a team. A sole survivor cannot take home the grand prize of a whopping million dollars. While they have the choice to switch teams and defect to another camp, things start getting tense when their loyalty and their individual values are put to the ultimate test. The reality show makes one thing very clear: no matter how extreme the surrounding conditions are, sometimes the biggest threat one can face in a race like this is from their fellow survivors. If you like watching a cutthroat show where everything is on the line and people do nasty things to each other to get ahead or to leave others behind, then this one is going to be a real treat for you!

All sixteen contestants are complete strangers. As per the rules, only a team can win the race by outlasting everyone else. Unlike typical shows, there won’t be any voting out or elimination on this show. People will leave of their own volition and fire a flare gun to announce that they are quitting and bowing out of the race. The real games begin once they get split into four teams: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta. While everyone picks teams based on their instincts and gut feelings, the four people who get left behind form a team of their own: the Deltas. The first few days are spent gauging one another’s abilities and skills, which can be of immense utility in the wild. We see a sense of unity in the teams and determination to make it to the end with the people they initially chose. But what will happen when two natural leaders collide head-to-head in one team and there is no one to lead in another? All contestants have a varying range of skills and personalities. Some are hard-headed and determined to stick to their guns, while others are more amiable and open to hearing others out. More than just survival, this game will prove to be an intricate mind game to see who has the power to manipulate both people and the situation to their benefit.

The Alpha team contains Jill, Amber, Justin, and Lee. They seem to get along fine until they have to find a comfortable place to camp for the night. Justin and Jill have a hard time listening to each other or giving up the lead. The Bravo camp has Javier, Brian, Tim, and Corey. The former takes charge as he is the most experienced, and everyone else follows. The Charlie squad has Nick and Angie going head-to-head as their ideologies and approaches don’t match, whereas Andrea and Seth act as mediators. Finally, the Delta team, or the underdogs, have it best, as each of their skills complements the other. Jordan has a military background that makes him the most suited to lead and instruct. Paul, Dawn, and Joel are understanding and obedient teammates who focus on getting stuff done rather than looking for a pat on the back. Out of all the teams, Delta seems to have a good grip on the wheel with their camp and fire in place on the first night itself. The other teams fall behind due to petty squabbles and a need to always be the leader. The first night also acts as an eye-opener for all the players, as they get humbled and grounded by the conditions they are currently in.

With a new day comes newer and harder challenges. The contestants seem to function on little sleep and no food. Everyone huddles with their teams to forage for food and drinkable water. Ultimately, this shows who has the skill to survive in the wild and who has just been all talk since the beginning. Some people start capitalizing on their soft skills, like keeping people together and resolving conflicts. However, that is not enough to outlast other contestants who have the physical and mental grit to make it through the wilderness. Subsequently, Andrea becomes the first one to call it quits, leaving Team Charlie with just three people. The fight hasn’t even started yet, and two more people have quit the game by firing their flare guns: Tim and Corey from camp Bravo.

Finally, the mind games begin as people start to get into each other’s heads and manipulate each other into giving up. With a member of the Alpha team also bowing out, Delta remains the only team with all four members present and together. To stir up some more drama, a challenge arrives for the teams on the island. They are offered a chance to build a raft, get to another island, and get crab pots that can help them get their hands on enough food and protein to get through the coming weeks. Eager to win this challenge and get a head start, all the teams start preparing their rafts and plotting how to best take advantage of the challenge. While Justin from Delta loses his clear advantage because of his overconfidence, Angie from Bravo proves everyone wrong and manages to secure three crab pots for her team. Alpha and Bravo make a deal to split the loot, but neither of them even steps foot on the island on the first day. Amber and Jill from Alpha get to the island on foot by finding a way around. They manage to get the remaining two crab pots for their team and their ally. The first challenge brings out the first wave of mistrust and doubt in the teammates. Their mutual compatibility and benefit to each other come to the forefront for everyone to analyze and decide.

Now, three teams have food to survive and live another day. But the one remaining team gets anxious and turns up empty-handed in all their efforts to acquire food. As a result, the Delta team starts getting sick, and their star player even collapses from hunger. He is then taken for a medical examination and eventually quits the game. This shakes up the remaining solid team and leads them to make some tough decisions. Paul decides to defect to another team as his chances of making it with his team are slim. This leaves Dawn and Joel at the mercy of their own skills and abilities, which are nothing compared to the others. At first, they feel confident they can get through it all. But being the weakest team out of them all, they become targets of schemes and dirty tricks at the hands of the Alpha team, which steals their sleeping bags. Without them, it is near impossible for them to survive the night. Moreover, this plan brings out the ugly side of the game and the Alpha members. They begin playing the underhanded and despicable game that gets on everyone else’s nerves. This is when the competition switches from surviving the elements of nature to competing against and beating the opponents.

In the midst of the dishonor and viciousness that have come out in certain people, Brian from Bravo also quits, as he wants to be remembered as a good man. Now, Javier is left alone as he scrambles to find a team to join, failing which he will have to quit. Since he is absolutely against Alpha’s actions, he decides to merge with the Deltas across the river. Amber and Jill show their true colors as they thwart this merger and threaten to rip everything apart. While Amber destroys Javier’s raft, Jill stands near his camp to steal and destroy it. The bullies try their best to not let the two teams come together, so they eventually quit. They succeed as Dawn and Joel have had enough of their tricks and fire their flare guns. This makes Javier also call it quits, as the Charlie team does not accept him into their camp. As it turns out, Jill had an agreement with Paul in the Charlie camp to not let the other teams get ahead. Now every other team has dissolved and quit, and only Alpha and Charlie remain to go head-to-head.

Another challenge invites the remaining teams to fish for food. Charlie and Alpha come face to face in this challenge to catch fish and have more food to sustain themselves. Everything goes well as both of them get enough to have a feast for dinner. However, the dinner doesn’t sit well with Angie, and she has to be taken for a medical examination. After she quits the game, the playing field finally levels out with three players on each side of the river. Charlie decides to invite Jill over to their club, as this will cripple the Alpha team. Nevertheless, after much deliberation and argument, Justin is the one who makes his way to the other side of the river. Having poisoned the well on his team, he is unable to make it big on the other team as well, as Charlie’s members want honor and integrity above everything else. This eliminates Justin from the race too.

The final challenge calls on the teams to make their way to the final package drop and claim the prize for themselves. Both teams need to make it with all their mates; otherwise, they don’t get to be crowned winners. After much difficulty and a lot of patience, the Charlie Team takes the prize home. They are in every sense the most deserving winners, as they never schemed to put others down or played mind games to manipulate other contestants. On the other hand, Amber and Jill were able to make it this far only by using underhanded and deceitful means that brought dishonor upon them. Furthermore, Charlie’s mates were brothers in the real sense, as they had each other’s back the entire time and spent their time with the utmost integrity and honesty. It almost feels like karma getting Bravo and Delta’s revenge on Alpha by getting them so close to a victory yet having no share of it. In the end, Charlie proved that to win a race, you don’t need to be mean or manipulative. One can emerge victorious completely based on their true skills and determination to get to the finish line.

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Vidhi Narula
Vidhi Narula
Bio: With a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Vidhi puts her skills to use for dissecting and analyzing the essence of entertainment features. She loves writing about movies and shows that fascinate her. Her love for the numerous fictional worlds grows with every piece of content she consumes. All she hopes to do is deepen her knowledge of the world on screen and widen her horizons by watching movies from across the world.
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