There are times when we stop watching shows and they get better, making us wonder if we made a mistake giving them up. The Following isn’t one of those shows.
Let’s bitch it out…For a while earlier this year, I decided to revisit a number of the shows that I hadn’t enjoyed in S1 to see whether they improved in their second. I made it through an episode of Bates Motel‘s second season before I realized that it’s not the show that’s bad; it’s simply not a good fit for what I want the show to be (it’s not you, Bates Motel, it’s me).
I made it through considerably more S2 episodes of The Following, but that’s only because it’s a legitimately terrible show that’s easy to make fun of. After a while though, I started to feel like I needed a shower after every review, so I’ve sat the last few out with plans to revisit things in the lead-up to the finale. And so, here we are: with only a few episodes until the second season finale (FOX has mistakenly already ordered a third season), I thought I would check in for the dramatic reunion between Hardy and Carroll in ‘The Reaping.’ Colour me shocked that all I saw was more of the same old, same old.
Here’s a break-down of 2×13:
- Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) is holed up at Camp Cult and everyone who shows up gets a red down jacket or a Phantom of the Opera get-up.
- Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) goes for a run in the snow, then decides the best way to learn Joe’s master plan is to let himself get captured. By the end of the episode he knows it’s happening in NY – which is the same amount of information he had before he let himself get captured. That’s our Ryan!
- Joe spends the hour trying to convince the son of a pastor he doesn’t like to commit a murder on camera as though this will somehow mean something. That’s about it. It honestly takes the entire episode and involves this college kid, whom we met last week by the way, crying and Joe berating him to gut some chick (who we may never have met before…or we met and I forgot about because she isn’t memorable). Obviously the kid kills her, then cries and it’s meant to make us feel…or something with feelings and morals. Maybe we’re supposed to barf?
- Joe also does a shit ton more sermonizing now. And it’s super uninteresting. Amusingly though he does suggest he’s traded in Poe for the Bible. Wait, did I say amusing? I meant to say “ugh.”
- Side Note: Has Purefoy’s performance gotten considerably worse? You can always see him muttering “Fat paycheck, no big screen options” to himself.
- Lily’s (Connie Nielsen) guys and the FBI raid Camp Cult. Countless red down jackets are slain in the process. I’d call this the Red Down Massacre, but I worry people would think it’s tied to Game Of Thrones and no one should ever confuse the two shows.
- Bobblehead Emma (Valorie Curry) is still on the show, but she doesn’t really do anything anymore.
- Claire (Natalie Zea) is still alive (we learned this last week). Newsflash: she’s still useless! Claire basically spends two episodes sitting around Ryan’s apartment. This week she got Ryan’s new girlfriend to read some cryptic poem on live national TV to mess with Joe’s mind. Um yeah…what?
- On the plus side, her new hairdo is snazzy.
- Oh yeah, Mike (Shawn Ashmore) shot Lily. Strangely Ryan and 90210 (Jessica Stroup) both spend two minutes pleading with him not to, even though it’s obvious that he totally should. Also, isn’t this the exact same thing that brought Ryan to Camp Cult in the first place: he wanted to put Joe down himself once and for all? Double standards only get you into trouble, Ryan!
- I especially liked the part when Ryan shot at Joe, but only hit a very thin guard-rail instead. I know Ryan isn’t FBI anymore, but if you’re serious about taking a guy out, maybe, I don’t know, aim better or something?
Bottom Line: This show still sucks.
The Following airs Mondays at 9pm EST on FOX. Next week: more sermonizing, more pointless murders, more