Contains *some spoilers*
Does everyone on this show get stabbed in the gut at least once?!?!?!
When this show first started I was in love with it. There was huge excitement when it started, “A show about a serial killer who has a cult of serial killers,” soon became “Really? A cult of serial killers.” It became hard to believe or buy into any of the situations that were depicted on the show. It’s hard to invest in any of the characters, when it feels like the show doesn’t care about them and treats everyone as if they were expendable.
It’s not that the performances are awful. All the actors give out fine performances, given the characters they are supposed to play. Kevin Bacon brings his usual Kevin Baconess to the role, being all wisecracking and stern. James Purefoy brings the right amount of crazy to the screen, allowing us to understand Joe Carroll but also fear and hate him. You could see why people would follow him. He was just the right amount of crazy to manipulate weak minds.
Even the supporting cast of FBI agents and cult members were great. Natalie Zea who plays Claire, Joe’s ex-wife on the show, had one of the most frustrating story arcs but Zea’s performance was solid. Her arc of trying to find her kidnapped son was frustrating to watch mainly because it involved the FBI losing and losing and then losing some more.
Speaking of the FBI losing, they were always three step behind Joe. Every time they got close to catching him, they either just missed him or Joe’s plan worked perfectly. There isn’t one moment on this show where the FBI won, even in the freaking end something bad happens to Ryan and agent Parker.
This show is making it seem that Ryan is going to loose and loose to Joe until the very end. Where even in the end he thinks he may have won but oops he didn’t. There’s a problem with that because it becomes extremely hard to root for any of the good guys since you know they’ll loose. It became a running pattern on this show and it took all the excitement from it.
The show had little character development. You did get to know the characters but they mostly ended up dead soon after. Jacob and Roderick were two people who died early on in the show and I was starting to get to know them. Roderick could have turned out be someone who could challenge Joe because of their many similarities but ended up on run and hunted and killed by Joe. Jacob was finding his humanity after he lost it and it would have been great to see someone escape Joe’s poison but sadly it was not meant to be.
Actually, the death toll in this season alone was huge. After Sarah Fuller everyone else started dropping like flies. Innocent bystanders, FBI agents, police officers, etc. On top of that Mike almost got beat up, Claire and Joey both got kidnapped, Ryan was just not having a good time. Even when he got brutal and physical with a cult member in the finale the show never rewarded him with finding Parker alive.
The best moments on this show are the flashbacks. Finding out that Ryan killed the man who murdered his father or Agent Parker’s own cult upbringing. The were the most fascinating aspects of this show, fleshing out the characters and giving them intriguing backstory. It also explained some of their motivations and why they are in this moment of their lives.
The Following is more fun when its effectively dishing out creepy moments and when it makes everything playful. When Ryan Hardy is provoking the cult members or Joe. It works better when it’s having more fun with its character and not just using them as plot devices.
The Following began as enjoyable, bloody fun but soon descended into predictability and numbness. I like to compare, The Following to the Killing, you know the way the Killing started off all captivating but then descended into repetitiveness. You become numb to the violence on screen. The show needs to start treating its characters like real people, instead of plot points and enough of the knife to gut, I mean it doesn’t make for a good cliffhanger, especially when it’s the main one getting stabbed.
Some will love The Following, some will hate it. I however, am over it. It had me at the beginning but then it lost me. All I can think about are the possible story lines for all it’s dead characters. Roderick, Jacob, Agent Parker all gone too soon, in deaths that were not earned.
Score: 6.5 out of 10