It gets personal this week on The Following as the one of the cult members targets Ryan’s (Kevin Bacon) sister in order to lure him out. Does the thinly veiled, Valentines-themed episode make the show any more palatable?
Let’s bitch it out…
Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is The Following has yet again failed to deliver anything compelling in this week’s offering. The good news is that I have been freed from my shackles in reviewing this show and this is my final The Following recap (Side Note: We usually give a show at least four episodes to convince us to stick with it before promptly dumping it on the side of the curb like a discarded Poe mask).
On the upside, I think I’ve finally cracked the code as to why this show is so bad: every single character is a complete idiot. Let’s start off with the easy targets – Carroll’s (James Purefoy) minions. Paul (Adan Canto) tries to justify his kidnapping of Megan (Li Jun Yi) by saying “Girls go missing all the time.” Sure! It’s not the dumbest move in the history of serial killers to plaster your face all over the security cameras from her place of work! Why would that matter when you have the FBI conducting a nation-wide manhunt for you?! Paul’s rebuttal: “We’re wanted in 50 states, they’ll never find us.” Oh really? You didn’t just narrow those 50 states to one?
Then we have Emma (Valorie Curry) who tries to be the brains of the group, but when it’s revealed to her that Jacob (Nico Tortorella) hasn’t actually killed anyone, she agrees that Megan needs to stick around so Jacob can log his first kill. I’m not trying to condone the killing of an innocent girl, but if these idiots want any chance of keeping their hiding place, you know hidden, they need to get rid of Megan pronto – not keep her around until wimpy Jacob grows a pair.
Of course, Jacob can’t go through with it and ends up letting Megan go. Although it shows us that he possesses a slightly redeeming characteristic, is incredibly stupid. Letting her go is the equivalent of calling the cops and letting them know where the farm is.
Megan (bless her heart) is no better. She manages to creep quietly upstairs when she’s finally let out of her restraints in the basement, only to slam front door as loudly as she can when she exits. Granted she’s been severely traumatized, but come on. You couldn’t quietly exit if you life depended on it? I just can’t help but laugh my a*s of at the farce of it all. To top it all of, she doesn’t run like the wind off the farm like any sane person would do, but actually decides to hide in the nearby barn instead. Behold our poster girl for “how not to survive when you get kidnapped”. Clearly this girl needs to watch a few slashers films.
And then we have the ominous Maggie (Virginia Kull) who’s been sketched out as some serial killer extraordinaire, yet she suffers from the tired cliché of the idiot killer. Note to all killers: Kill first, talk later! Not only that, she actually thinks that telling Hardy not to come to his kidnapped sister with any backup is actually going to happen (despite the fact that he works with a swarm of FBI agents). And her plan nearly succeeds because apparently Hardy is the stupidest one of them all!
Thankfully Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) brown-noses his way into convincing Hardy to let him tag along and ends up saving the day. Even so, Iceman still gets the idiot moniker as he waits until the very last moment to barge in and shoot Maggie, just as Hardy is minutes away from death (A death by…wait for it…magnets! So ominous!!) What the hell took him so long? Why didn’t he call for backup? Hardy was going to meet a known serial killer! That’s probably cause, dontcha think?
And furthermore, do the writers really think we’re stupid enough to believe that our leading man is going to bite it in the fourth episode? There was absolutely no suspense in this episode – scratch that- the entire series – just a bunch of women screaming and crying as bad actors attempt to terrorize them. Guess what I get for Valentine’s Day? Never having to watch this crap again and boy, does that beat out a dozen roses any day.
Final (woot!) observations:
- Despite it all – the chemistry between Bacon and Natalie Zea, who plays Claire, is definitely there. Unfortunately the show is so desperate to cram their unrequited love down our throats that it rips away any authenticity. The terrible use of flashbacks intercut with Claire continuing to try and win Hardy back by cooking him breakfast is overkill. It would be much more believable if they parted ways in 2005 and met in the present as people who have moved on with their lives but still think fondly on the time they spent together. To believe that the level of love between is exactly as it was over EIGHT years ago is totally unbelievable (and the accompanying Fiona Apple-esque soundtrack doesn’t help either…)
- The threesome shower between Emma, Paul and Jacob is incredibly asinine. I would say it was an attempt for the series to titillate its viewers but the fact that all characters are clothed and clearly as uncomfortable with the scene as we are takes away any potential sensuality or boundary pushing.
What did you think viewers? Do you think I’m being unnecessarily harsh and I need to give this one a few more episodes (Totally not happening, but your pleas are welcomed!) Anyone even watching this show? Sound off in our comments section below.
The Following airs at 9pm EST, Mondays on FOX.