The Following: Chapter 2 – I’m Not Pleased and You Shouldn’t Be Either

 I know it is Wednesday, and I only caught the second episode of The Following just today – a couple of days after broadcast.

One of my readers commented that this episode was better than the pilot; but he also was of the opinion that the show is likely doomed and will not be renewed for a second season.

Spoilers ahead.

I agree with the conclusion but not the first part. While I am thrilled that I will be seeing a good deal more of Annie Parissi as FBI Special Agent Debra Parker, rather than John Lafayette as the US Marshall – there’s still too much going on with this show that is off-putting, or dull, or even not nearly as mysterious as they try to make it, or want it to be.

One is the flashbacks. We are shown, via flashback, how Emma Hill was attracted to Joe Carroll and his faux gentility, how easily she was seduced by his ideas, and ultimately recruited to what looks like the key spot, if not the top spot in the organization. If you are going to show us that – couldn’t there have been some doubt – I’m sure most folks aren’t into serial and ritual murders, and I’m even more certain that they don’t sign on to visit violence on innocents without some hesitation.  And why not show of something of the physical relationship of Carroll and Emma. Which being a necessary flashback, and time filler – betcha they do.

Valorie Curry as Emma Hill

Valorie Curry as Emma Hill

As long as we are on the topic of Emma – do we really enjoy the internecine struggles and jockeying for position between Emma, Nico, and Adan? After the police did discover the true Emma which Claire’s background check failed to, and they get her old address – did we really need the spooky music to tell us that this house would be the HQ of this cult or the following, or though not instantly evident – the house would be filled with the standard signals that all is not well – you know the stuff pinned, posted, or glued to the walls, as well as the never wrong as indicator – walls with handwriting on them.

And the Poe character – the one who did an ET by posing in his Poe mask, among the other Poe masks – he only conks Ryan rather than silently knifing him in the back and slashing Ryan’s throat – that seemed too wrong – and too intentional – meaning as soon as we didn’t see him kill Ryan (which of course we knew going in was not happening) we knew we’d see him again. Which means the douse and torch of some innocent at the very end of Episode 2 was there only for the shock.

Natalie Zea as Calire matthews

Natalie Zea as Claire Matthews

As I said above – the flashbacks. Like Ryan and Claire. Each time that happens – I find my self wishing for some action. I find the flashbacks dull and uninteresting. And clearly they interrupt the flow.

I didn’t like the fact that the Jordy Raines character was able to not only get into Claire Matthews home, but was able to secret himself there. If the police were able to convince themselves that Claire needed protection, then why is it that Jordy found his way via the floor plans, but the police didn’t do that when they first got to the Matthews house and they need to set the protection in place properly?

Oh I know that one – so it could be Ryan’s idea and he would be the one, after looking at the crudely drawn bad guy version of the Matthew’s home blueprint, saying they needed to rush off to Claire’s home [to save Claire] instantly

And then Jordy says to Ryan = either I’m going to Kill Claire, or you’re going to kill me. But I don’t want to die just yet. Really? Is this best you can do Mr. Williamson. That was pathetic.

Joey

Joey

The little boy, Joey Matthews is played by Kyle Catlett. Twice he wanted to call his Mom, and twice he was refused. Didn’t seem plausible at that point, and then when his room in this new location is made up to look exactly like his own real room – that should have triggered something, especially since Claire told us all how smart Joey was. How he was reading at levels far above his age.

Adversaries: Kevin Bacon as Ryan Harding and James Purefoy as Joe Carroll

Adversaries: Kevin Bacon as Ryan Harding and James Purefoy as Joe Carroll

Long story short – Joey will figure some stuff out – because obviously Joe Carroll will NOT have his minions kill the boy.

Assorted murders, from the Poe books will continue. Eventually the killer in the Poe mask will be unmasked, as will a Carroll ‘acolyte‘ right in the FBI – young Mike Weston perhaps? Creepy music will play at all the wrong times, as if we need to get prepared with a musical clue for something shocking.

As my reader FD suggested:

We can only watch this cat & mouse play for one season even if Bacon, Purefoy, Parissi, and Zea continue to deliver top-notch performances. After that, it’s bound to be just a gory, uninteresting, but [with] a continually rising body count [kind of story].

Pass my apologies on to Annie Parissi as Debra Parker for using the words ‘cult’ and ‘acolyte’ after she pointedly asked Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Harding not to. And did we really need Ms Parker to tell us that cults and acolytes were her specialty? Arrgh.

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