Fish in a Barrel

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Fish in a Barrel is the first episode of HBO's The Outsider. It premiered on January 12, 2020.


When the body of an 11-year-old boy is found in the Georgia woods, detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) launches an investigation into the gruesome murder. With eyewitnesses and physical evidence pointing to local teacher and baseball coach Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman), Ralph makes a very public arrest but is perplexed by Terry’s seeming indifference to hiding his crime. After Terry’s wife Glory (Julianne Nicholson) calls their attorney Howie Salomon (Bill Camp) for assistance, a bewildered Terry produces an ironclad alibi during interrogation. Meanwhile, Howie calls in his PI Alec Pelley (Jeremy Bobb) to look into Terry’s side of the story.


In Cherokee City, Georgia, the mutilated corpse of Frank Peterson, a young boy, is found covered in saliva and human bite marks. Local detective Ralph Anderson quickly identifies strong evidence pointing to little league coach Terry Maitland, including testimony from multiple witnesses and security camera footage.

Ralph, whose own late son was coached by Terry, is enraged, and has him publicly arrested at a little league game. Terry insists on his innocence, and his wife, Glory, promptly calls their family lawyer, Howard Salomon. Alec Pelley, a private investigator hired by Salomon, tracks down evidence that Terry was at an out-of-town conference at the time of the murder, including news footage of Terry speaking at the conference. Both sides are left with extremely decisive but contradictory evidence.

Salomon is certain Terry will be vindicated, but Terry is left in jail waiting for his arraignment. Meanwhile, the Peterson family disintegrates, with Frank's mother suffering an emotional breakdown that escalates into a heart attack. A hooded figure with a grotesquely deformed face lingers outside the Maitlands' house, and Glory finds her younger daughter suffering from apparent nightmares of a man in her room telling her "bad things".


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