The Following episode 5 review: The Siege

Review Ron Hogan 19 Feb 2013 - 07:41

Might The Following finally be fulfilling its original potential? Here's Ron's review of The Siege...

This review contains spoilers.

1.5 The Siege

One of the hardest things for people to do on television is write a smart kid character. For whatever reason, either kids are insufferable (The Walking Dead's season two Carl) or world-weary (season three Carl) and nowhere in between. However, Joey Matthews (Kyle Catlett) is not one of those kids. For whatever reason, he may be the smartest person on the show, or at least the smartest person of the four people - 3 killers and 1 girl taped up in the basement - in the big white hideout. Joey shows cleverness throughout this week's episode, and that only increases as it goes along, but there's never that little nudge that reminds us some adult wrote the kid's role. Joey is, by turns, brilliant and gullible, defensive and naive. Long story short, he's a kid, and weirdly well-written. 

The noose seems to be tightening around the throats of Jacob, Paul, and Emma. The more the three squabble amongst themselves, the less they pay attention to Joey. That comes back to bite them as they have difficulty keeping track of the kid. After he makes a brief phone call to his mother, trying to get back in touch with her, the caretakers separate him from the phone. However, that call is just long enough to get Ryan, Mike, and the local cops in the right direction. 

At the same time, Joe Carroll has used his lawyer to pass a message to the outside world via press conference. The code is a snippet from Poe's Masque of the Red Death, but it means something to Carroll's followers, and that message puts a lot of complicated plans in motion involving fleeing the farm, picking up Joe's ex-wife Claire, and moving all the bits around on the chess board, since Ryan is getting too close for comfort. This gives Kevin Bacon ample chances to show off how intense he is. 

Director Phil Abraham made great use of the helicopter the show rented this week to ferry Ryan around. There are some great overhead shots of the copter flying through Duchess County (or somewhere in Georgia, since I believe that's where they film the programme). It's a nice touch, and it gives the show the sort of scope it seems to want to have. It's meant to feel a bit like a movie, given the star power attached to the lead role, and it is those sorts of shots that help provide that feel. Abraham also created a great deal of tension this week, making good use of the shaky cam and drawing out the suspense from the clash of disparate elements all coming together at the farmhouse. 

It really turned out well, despite a few dull moments. The episode seemed to build really organically as things went on, tying in some elements I didn't expect to see and keeping things just fluid enough that every unsurprising death (the disposable cop), there's an unexpected death to balance it out. The script from Rebecca Dameron really luxuriates in the show's violence, and it contains a few really good reveals to balance out the continued chase. It also pushed boundaries other than violence with the emerging, intriguing relationship between Paul, Jacob, and Emma. 

This might have been the sharpest episode since the show's debut episode, if only because it seemed to have an idea of where it was going and what it needed to set up for next week's continuation. Given the ending for this week, I'm very interested in seeing how things work next week (and beyond). Perhaps they might redeem the show's very clever premise after all.

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, Mad Love, here

US Correspondent Ron Hogan is a little confused by the triad relationship being shown on network television. Seems a daring move for Fox. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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I don't follow The Following (yes, I saw what I did there too), but it seems that this show has filled the 'character named Emma'-box. Seriously, every show seems to have one.

I actually found this episode really frustrating, the 3 kidnappers becoming so slack, the cops letting the mum Get away when it was so obvious she had a message from the lawyer, they saw bacon go through the same previously yet when suspicions arise they shrug off any urgency or Interest.

I thought this was the worst episode so far. Highly unrealistic (and yes I know its a tv show). Examples - the FBI knew the state where they are hiding and had narrowed it down to a 50 mile area, yet when Ryan calls it in where's the cavalry?? This is a national manhunt yet he's left on his own with one cop?! Secondly, the cop - clearly not a rookie yet displayed as much cop-like skills as a 7 year old. Finally, the FBI losing the mum? Really? Overall, a lazy episode full of plot holes and unbelievable situations. Shame because episode 4 was taut and edge of the seat stuff.

Folks who think this show is "amazing" are on crazy pills (and apparently everyone thinks this show is amazing).This show is a waste of a good premise and far worse than it's ratings suggest.Bacon and Purefoy need to demand better writers instead of wading through the waters of mediocrity each week.I was trying to like it...until episode 4,which I thought was thoroughly awful.

I watch The Following like a comedy...
-Hasn't Bacon been knocked out cold in every episode so far?
-Who gives a crap about lame bizarre tri-sexual wanna-be serial killer love triangles played by terrible actors.Need more Bacon and Purefoy!!!
-That kid being holed up should have escaped long ago.Why? Because his captors are idiots (at least they are written that way).
-The Following takes itself WAY to seriously and is laughable because of that.I was
laughing (well I laugh a lot at The Following) when Bacon was regurgitating his
depressing history to the love interest during pillow talk.The breakdown of that scene...
1) "My father was an ex-cop before being killed while trying to be a hero." Okay that sucks...
2) "My heartbroken mother died a year later." Oh man I've heard stories of widows who can't go on after their spouse dies,so sorry...
3) "Sadder still, I had an older brother, a New York fireman (then the love interest says "Please don't say 9/11!?") who...(TADAA!!!) was killed on 9/11."

Oh puhleeze Kevin Williamson and writers of The Following,just stop already.

If I was Natalie Zea I'd stay the hell away from Bacon as he seems to be a
dark cloud of death everywhere he goes.Oh and a very inept FBI agent too.

Also if they have Purefoy's character say "Oh we've only just started...mwahahah!" one more time, I will come up with an officially licensed drinking game for how bad "The Following" is.
They're a third of the way through the 15 episode season, they are well past "Just starting." More horrible writing at it's best.

And yeah, it's the Purefoy thing that's driving me to distraction. Why cast a
charismatic actor and then saddle him with such a stock bad guy?!
His character is becoming a tedious Hannibal Lecter lite, and he
deserves better.

I have to tell you that this fumbling of a decent premise and two very good lead actors is not giving me much hope for two more upcoming serial killler shows Hannibal and Cult.

Far better shows IMO...watch these and thank me later.

Banshee,Utopia,Misfits,Breaking Bad,American Horror Story,Justified,Continuum,The Americans,Elementary,Sherlock and Fringe.Yup even the weakest re-run episode of the now completed Fringe series trumps any episode of The Following.

I completely agree. For like 20 minutes i was waiting for the reinforcements and they never came. So stupid ruined the whole episode, If the series is just gonna do as it pleases by being unrealistic and stupid they should give up now.

hahah..i 100% agree with you. i was this as a comedy now also. I DIED laughing at this weeks episode. do people really think the Fbi acts like this in real life? if thats how smart you have to be to work at the FBI, where do i sign up? thats the problem, if this was real, this show would be over in 3 episodes... that farm house would of had thousands of cops around it, but they're like "send in swat" and like 5 GUYS GO IN?! hahahhahahhahha......soooo funny

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