The Following Review: Catch Me If You Can

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I think we can all definitely agree that Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy give captivating performances week after week on The Following.

When either of these actors appear on screen, you know you're in for something exciting, whether it's Joe Carroll devilishly delivering lines about his master plan or Ryan Hardy giving his steely and determined glare. They are, after all, the major players in the game, the strongest characters on the show, and the ones that keep the entire plot from ever feeling like it could crumble into sheer ridiculousness.

Ryan On The Hunt

The final standoff before Joe's escape had the men nearly at each other's throats. Joe certainly could have killed Ryan right then and there, but there was such a restraint behind his menacing threats and pointing of the gun. To kill him in the parking garage would have ruined everything, as well as been an anti-climactic death.

Joe is hell bent on telling the ultimate story, remember.

There's definitely a fueled passion and desire burning in both men, each set to complete their goals, while potentially leaving only one man standing.

It was no surprise that Joe left Ryan to live another day, but his purpose felt as real as Ryan's determination to bring the killer down and rescue Joey. I think that not only does he know that no other follower can kill him, but that he'd be ready to die if it meant finishing off the leader of the sadistic cult of followers.

And, wow, was that final scene of the mass of followers pouring out of the house laden with chills. There really are so many of them that the whole concept of trusting anyone seems like an idea better placed in the trash.

Even Emma calling out to Joey to join her and Joe was like a creepy welcome to the family. It was such a wild ending that really makes me question whether Ryan even has a chance to win.

But can the followers can be more than just a faceless scary force? I know that one of them comments on that very idea, and it adds to the freighting aspect of them being anyone and everyone. It's just a lot harder to be invested in enemies who can be used as throwaway devices that get in Ryan's way.

Sure, we have at least Emma, Paul, Jacob, and to some extent Charlie. They have a bit of backstory. Yet even they can't hold as much of a candle to Ryan as Joe can.

It's even similar with "good guys" Mike Weston and Debra Parker in the sense that while we have some idea of who they are and what they can do, they can't necessarily compete with Joe like Ryan can.

If anything, I'd like to see some of those minor characters get a chance to become more involved and show what makes them matter in the grander scheme, even though the clash of the titans between Ryan and Joe remains riveting with each moment.

Ultimately, it's having those big characters stand out that made a prison transfer - which was certain to go wrong - not feel so obvious that it detracted from the story. Each time someone says it's going to be okay, or they've got it covered, we all know that's not what's going to happen.

While the whole escaping aspect wasn't necessarily as exciting or pulse-pounding as, say, Ryan infiltrating Emma, Paul and Jacob's home, it was a great set up for something I've been looking forward to seeing.

Joe will have a chance to do something instead of sit in prison. We will really get to see the evil master of followers lead and act and illustrate just how bad of a bad guy he is. He did kill is loyal attorney after all. It's time to watch the ultimate villain at work, while hoping that Ryan can shoot, interrogate and fight his way to stop him.

Or maybe Joey will manage to actually runaway without getting caught and brought back.

"Let Me Go" was a decent setup for things to come, and while a majority of the episode wasn't overly shocking in what took place, Bacon and Purefoy continued to keep things compelling. And hopefully that final moment of Joe with his flock will spin The Following onto an even more intense and suspense filled path between good and evil, even if sometimes the good is colored with certain shades of grey.


Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (95 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


To complete my comment below which was somehow cut short, I was questioning how we are expected to believe that any judge would be at all sympathetic to Joes transfer request. Wouldn't the DA use the crime scene photos of the tortured , eyes gouged, out body of a woman hanging from the ceiling along with the recording of her screams while being tortured, to explain ryans momentary lapse of control. Then again, Why was Debra , so happy to give him the big Poe book he requested after having seen and heard what this man did. She is either in league with him or so ignorant that she could care less about his victims than she does about making his stay more pleasant. All in all, there's just way to much nonsense running through The Following.


The fact that this show got renewed is testament to the caliber of the majority of people watching this show that LIKE IT! Like I said in a previous post, I'm a Natalie Zea fan. I'd watch her in a show that was about watching grass grow. She's the only reason I put up with the superfluous lunacy that falls from the writers.


The only reason I watch this show now is because of Natalie Zea. I love looking at that stunning woman!
This writing on this show is absolutely absurd. Just absurd!
Predictable (we all knew that Carrol was going to escape)
Ridiculous, in that law enforcement couldn't be more inept.
And now, with Natalie Zea's character in an unknown protective custody location, her involvement in the show might diminish. That would be bad.
Oh, boy.


I feel so much better now, knowing that I'm not alone. I have to wonder if the entire cast of legal and law enforcement actors are informed that they will be playing someone stupid. FBI agents who get fooled every time by an "inside man" but still aren't doing background checks on everyone involved, or a lawyer who publicly sends a message that initiates a crime and is still allowed access to the prisoner. How about a warden, his legal team and the invisible judge, oh so concerned about poor Joe's mistreatment. The FBI boss lady , was so excited to give Joe that big book of E.A. Poe at his request. It astounds me that the writers producers and director of the following would have us believe that anyone , Judge , Jury, lawyer or law enforcement officer would want to do anything to appease a convicted serial killer. Is the DA on vacation. A judge would have to hear arguments from both parties. Let's see , Joe's defense team claims a retired FBI agent broke three fingers, check out the photo evidence. The DA : Your Honor. this former agent is not current employed by the Gov't. He was upset having come from the crime scene shown in these photos and heard on this tape. Notice the Woman hanging from the ceiling with her eyes gouged out , and have a listen to this tape of her screams while being tortured, and check out the bodies of the prison guards , and the dead cops . Will we find out in a coming episode that the presiding judge is a follower as well? Oh, there's more... but I just want to add to what Douglas mentioned about Mike being one of Joes group and my suspicion that Debra is as well. When she learned that Meagan was with Joe, she didn't call Troy, the agent in imminent danger, no, she called mike. Moments, later Meagans phone gets the "now" text and troy get killed. Stupidity or complicity? Another thing, What took mike so long to come to the rescue of Ryan and his sister. What was he doing during the time it took for Meagan to blindfold Ryan , then knock him out cold, then somehow manage to get a six foot 180 lb. (I'm guessing} man up onto a table, secure him with duct tape and place magnets over his heart. She could have sliced both their throats and been miles away by the time Mike showed. Didn't Ryan find that to be a little suspicious? Why would he? After all, He's shown far more ignorance that anybody else.


I agree, its kind of boring to see Joe always winning. Who want to keep watching the show where the bad guys always win!


this was a lame episode joe once again escapes and this time it might be for a while til the FBI catches him IF THEY can. joe is now reunited w/ joey who didn't run towards him like a' la emma weeping like a little bitch LOL. where was weston when ryan found joe? OVERALL the followers are way AHEAD of the FBI and i'm losing patience! Clarie needs to watch out cuz it seems they're coming after her AGAIN.

Sarah silva

I too still think Mike Weston is in on it all, he was not where to be found when Ryan was chasing Joe in the parking garage.
Also when Mike walked into the cell and Joe said that he had never seen him before.

Sarah silva

This was a pretty good epispode! As soon as Joe's transfer was ok'd I knew he was going to escape.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out, it has just been renewed so I am guess Joe will be on the lam for a long time!


Oh great. Over a dozen young people that Joe can mold into his own next generation serial killers. Nothing more chilling than that.


I'm not watching this show anymore after last night. When he escaped and then all the "followers" poured out of that house at the end, that did it for me.

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