I’ve figured out the recipe to The Following and it goes a little something like this: every episode starts off okay, lulling you into a false sense of security that it won’t suck.
And then it does.
Let’s bitch it out…As usual things begin in a decent, almost promising fashion. Then somewhere between Frenchie Gisele (Camille De Pazzis) conveniently dislocating all of her fingers and post-murder coitus, ‘Reflection’ just falls to shit like always. Here’s the snarky point by point commentary:
- Joe (James Purefoy) shaves and comes downstairs for a drink with Lily (Connie Nielsen). And wow, I’ve gotta say –Nielsen and Purefoy have no chemistry together.
- Initially I thought that the continuity editor had forgotten that Emma (Valorie Curry) has coloured hair and that it’s literally the next day. Then Lily makes fun of it and all is forgiven!
- Ha ha – Hardy’s (Kevin Bacon) niece, 90210 (Jessica Stroup), continues to get the best lines. “No one is buying the je ne comprehends bit” she barks at Frenchie, who continues to tragically exist without any discernible personality.
- It’s pretty rich that Emma thinks Lily and the Wunder Twins (Sam Underwood) are crazy. Pot meet kettle.
- Ah yes, here we go. We were doing so well – Hardy (Kevin Bacon) reminded us that he can occasionally be competent when he catches Frenchie and he wasn’t acting as dumb as he normally does. And then…the minute 90210 looks away Frenchie dislocates her thumb to get out of the handcuffs, knocks 90210 out and escapes. Because of course she does.
- Hardy kills Jamal (another black character bites the dust) but is somehow unable to kill Eurotrash Twin Luke despite the fact that they are maybe standing four feet apart. Impressive! And of course Hardy is shot in a convenient location that will slow him down, but put him in no danger of dying or being sidelined for too long.
- Character development! Polo Twin Mark freaks out because Emma didn’t abide by the cardinal rule of strippers: I can touch you, but you can’t touch me. Gosh I hope the fact that she leaves the face unpainted is some kind of deep metaphor.
- Lily (showcasing her murder room): “Have you been writing?” Joe: “I was in Arkansas” Well that explains everything. She wants to foster his greatness by offering him a drugged coed to kill, but he rebels because he doesn’t like to be controlled. Nobody puts Joe Carroll in the corner!
- Here’s the Ryan Hardy we know and love (to make fun of). Instead of just – you know – explaining the situation to the woman whose house he breaks into after being shot, Hardy takes her hostage, completely terrorizes her, then locks her in the closet. I get that it’s likely faster than explaining Frenchie and Eurotrash are after you, but why does he act like a complete a-hole and make this woman’s life hell???
- Thank god Frenchie is dead. Hardy stabs her (because she lied and said she killed 90210). Double negative points: Eurotrash sees Frenchie’s body and flips out because he was in love with her (even though he told mommy he wasn’t!). Now we’ve going to have to suffer through some inevitable revenge fantasy. ‘Cause that’s what this show needs more of: revenge plots.
- Despite not wanting to be controlled, Joe proceeds to do exactly what Lily wants him to do and kills the girl. But he’s totally upset about it (but not upset enough to break a glass – very important distinction!), so he sexes Lily up (while covered in blood…because of course).
- Has Mike (Shawn Ashmore) figured out that Hardy was right all along and Joe is still alive? Oh probably not…
- Finally, Emma is still totally in love with Joe, so she paints his face where Polo’s should be. I don’t think I need to break out my Freudian to BS translator to understand what that means. So subtle, The Following writers.
Is Carroll the biggest idiot of the episode for knowing he’s being manipulated and going ahead with it regardless? Are you sad for Eurotrash because Frenchie is dead? Are you glad 90210 survived? Do you think Hardy is a dick for terrorizing that woman? And would the episode have been better if Polo had taken off his clothes for the portrait? Sound off below
The Following airs Mondays at 9pm EST on FOX