The Following

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The Following Review: The Chase is On

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Sometimes I wonder what The Following would be like without Kevin Bacon.

There's such a strong presence whenever he appears on screen, delivers a line, gives a steely stare or shoots a bad guy. Bacon brings that gravitas to the character, helping me believe in every rogue move that Ryan Hardy makes or gritty edge during an interrogation scene.

Sure, sometimes it baffles me that Ryan has such spot-on hunches (seriously, how did he spot the cult mansion on that map?), but I'm more able to go along with it because it's Bacon.

Even now with 14 episodes down, I still enjoy watching Ryan hunt down his enemies, although I do wish we got to see some more of his cocky attitude like when he was all tied up in "The Fall."

Trapped in the Mansion

But if Bacon wasn't commanding the lead character like he does in every episode, I'm not sure that the regular routine of hunting followers every week would be as entertaining.

You'd think that as the penultimate episode, "The End is Near" would get past that repetitive fighting of the random one act followers and really gear up for Joe - master cult leader - and his ultimate plan.

Granted, there were some major moments towards the end of the hour, and I've got some suspicions about "The Final Chapter," but the rest felt like a drawn out way to get rid of Joe's faceless cult, while doing a lot of running around amidst killers and trying to let the FBI not be that step behind.

Of course, even with Ryan's intuition and skill, Joe and his massive group were able to disappear just in the nick of time. Well, at least the FBI found that one guy who I don't know.

And even with the creepy blonde spouting out book quotes while Ryan took a page out of the Batman interrogation manual - practically manhandling her across the room - she was still just another random follower to get in the way.

Much like the many that led the violently bloody attack. It was creepy and graphic, but if it's not one of the main characters, I've got a feeling somebody is going to shoot and kill them.

We've seen for the most part all this before, although it was Parker that managed to get captured this go around. Will Ryan have to make a hero's choice: Debra or Claire?

As for Joe, Jacob, Emma and Claire, they joined in on a random feast with a random couple (what is it with serial killers and food?) to discuss the power of love. Or perhaps as it has become for Joe, a sense of hate.

I'm not exactly surprised his marriage to Claire didn't last.

I was surprised that Claire was able to knock Joe over the head with the wine and then stab him again... but, alas, she was captured. Funny how the couple got away and Jacob and Emma didn't really care. Probably because they weren't important to the story.

Yet, through all the running, Joe was able to use that diversion of his followers attacking (that's clearly not his big plan even if they feel that's their chapter) to escape with Claire. It's not going to end happily ever after, but I think the idea is to bring it back to Ryan and Joe facing off. Just the two. The yin and the yang. Nothing else in between.

I wonder if Joe will die by season's end, leaving either another character to take his place; or some new cult to spring up to go after Ryan.

When it comes down to it, Joe really has been practically driven mad to write this story. It's all he's cared about and I've come to think that everything, at least for him, was all about that novel and, of course, Ryan. Maybe there really wasn't a bigger plan.

While Joe escaping by boat with Claire and the disturbing shouts for help from Debra buried alive took me aback, the big shocker was Emma slitting Jacob's throat.

Jacob continued to juggle the possibility with getting out of the killing game and running away with Emma. Sure, she betrayed him, but for him, forgiveness and love seemed to be where it was at.

Yet, the psycho chick still had a thing for Joe, and that choice seemed to come pretty easy to her. So long, Jacob.

I was shocked but disappointed. Once again, another interesting character got killed off. And maybe we'd exhausted Jacob's possibilities, but it was far more intriguing to watch him amidst all the crazies, trying to find his place, trying to fit in, all the while contemplating the other side of the coin.

Really, I still think we barely scratched the surface of who Jacob was and even his motivations for joining or his hinted relationship with his father.

So now, all we really have left is Joe and Emma - and I'm not sure both will make it past the season finale.

Overall, the scary and dark tone was consistent as it has been all season, as was the fighting of followers. I'm hoping it really just comes down to Joe and Ryan for the finale and that the series gets away from what's become a tedious battle with those random cult members. I still want to know how it all ends, so I'm looking forward to seeing it really focus in and close out the final chapter on a high note.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (125 Votes)

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

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This is by far the worst show ever. The list of weaknesses is a long one. Thank god for DVR to allow me skipping and saving me lots of agony. FOX should just stop its production, and Kevin Bacon who we all love should withdraw from it

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All I really want to see is that crazy bitch Emma killed--preferably a slow and painfully lingering death. I have wanted to see her die since the beginning of this series!! She may be even more psycho than Joe.

Watchestoomuch

@Ken: Parker is Annie Parisse. She was a lawyer in Law and Order, semi-evil in Rubicon, blah in Unforgettable, and evil in Person of Interest. With that track record, I kept thinking she would be a bad guy here. @Su: Burying Parker alive is the first thing Joe's folks have done that truly reflects a Poe story. Shows you how dedicated the writers are (not) to this idea that Joe has created a cult of Poe. @Ken: Serial killers/mass killers are not necessarily "deranged." I'm surprised that you'd criticize Roderick, given your concerns. Managing a bunch of killers, many of whom are imbalanced in some way, should be tougher than herding cats. Roderick was hard to control. He joined what he thought would be a killer support group and wound up in a literary-focused cult. Of course he was unhappy!

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First of all: Thank god those ,,I hate this show and I stopped watching 1 month ago" stopped (no one needs that) @Rae Yeah i was shocked. But to be fair I knew she would kill him!! I knew it as soon as she said: So youre going to leave? boom Jacob youre dead. And now I just hope someone shoots that bitch in the head (god this Tv show makes me think really violent ;) )
- because u have to shoot them thats all u can do Ah that stupid blonde girl with her stupid laugh - she needed to get scared ;) Well I hope Deb and Claire will be alrigth - and I hope Emma wont be I was screaming at the TV: Claire hit him with the bottle COME ON - and she did ;) good girl - so glad the other couple was able to escape

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I'm a big Kevin Bacon fan and I've watched every episode of the Following, but this week was a little to much for me (buried alive..... can't stand it). Think I'm done

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(cont.) Now, I do suspect someone in Ryan's inner circle is actually working with Joe but fear that when this person is revealed, it will be hard to believe and again, leave me wondering why.

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(cont.) You see, for these deranged people, none of them are actually very manipulatively deranged. Emma is happy to kill random people with no sense of regret yet is supposedly (and unbelievably) torn about having to kill Jacob. She's not torn so why not just commit her character to being a manipulative, murdering bitch who just gets pleasure out of it? Then there's Joe. He's supposedly sinister and manipulative but comes across as too unstable to be able to manipulate anyone... and when he does, you're left with wondering why people follow him. The premise of the show is interesting... A serial killer trying to convert the protagonist into being a cold-blooded killer via acts that work towards breaking him down, surrounding him with death and hopelessness, and damaging his psyche. Yet, nothing so far is convincingly leading our protagonist in that direction. Now, I do suspect someone in Ryan's inner circle is actually working with Joe but fear that when this person is revealed, it will be hard to believe and again, leave me wondering why.

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I'm torn about this show. I like Kevin Bacon and the actress playing agent Parker, I like the darkness and how sinister the killers are... when they commit their killings, for the most part, I like the story. I just have an issue with how stupid some of the characters are and how I find their motivations rather unbelievable. I keep hearing these supposedly deranged killers talk about how much Joe has given them but have yet to see any real evidence of what Joe has actually done for them. The Jacob died, it was good riddance. I was uncommitted as a killer and stupid as heck to have anything to do with Emma. It was so implausible that someone like him would even be drawn to such deranged people, let alone "love" them. Makes me just keep asking WHY??? Similarly, Roderick was a pretty stupid character. He was supposedly committed to Joe and his cause but yet challenged Joe in everything. I was happy when they got rid of him too. You see, for these deranged people, none of them are actually very manipulatively deranged. Emma is happy to kill random people with no sense of regret yet is supposedly (and unbelievably) torn about having to kill Jacob. She's not torn so why not just commit her character to being a manipulative, murdering bitch who just gets pleasure out of it? Then there's Joe. He's supposedly sinister and manipulative but comes across as too unstable to be able to manipulate anyone... and when he does, you're left with wondering why people follow him. The premise of the show is interesting... A serial killer trying to convert the protagonist into being a cold-blooded killer via acts that work towards breaking him down, surrounding him with death and hopelessness, and damaging his psyche. Yet, nothing so far is convincingly leading our protagonist in that direction. Now, I do suspect someone in Ryan's inner circle is actually working with Joe but fear that when this person is revealed, it will be hard to believe and again, leave me wondering why.

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I can't believe they killed Jacob. He was my favorite of the psychos. I found his struggle between wanting to fit in and knowing he was in over his head very compelling. I would have liked to have seen him continue on, perhaps making more decisions like the one to let Joey go, yet still be seen as remaining on the cult's side. It would have been cool to learn more about him and see a sort of traitor within the cult itself.
The part with Debra at the end completely blew me away. I can't even imagine getting buried alive. Hands down the worst way to die so I hope they get time to save her!
One irritating comment: what is with Claire? Why does she seem to think attacking a SERIAL KILLER at every given opportunity is a good idea? I don't understand why she stabbed him last episode in the first place (she WAS is a house full of psychos, stabbing their ring leader seems like a dumb idea...), but now it's like she doesn't even care about trying to get back to her son. I hope she doesn't die, though. I'm not sure if Ryan Hardy could survive that.

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Do watch the show only because i like james purefoy good actor-But i do think he could have done better than this series-So much running around & getting nowhere-Carnt C it Carrying on after series 2-think would have enough of it by then

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