The Following: Final Chapter, Review
IT'S OVER! We Survived!! I can't wait 'til I get home and spend some time watching Anything Else...
I feel like Andy Dufresne at the end of Shawshank Redemption overwhelmed with a sense of relief that the experiment that is The Following is over for now. I have been dreading Monday nights for three months and finally, the show is over! People will rate The Following as the new yardstick of TV awfulness (Hopefully!). I honestly feel like I am back in college and I just finished finals for the last time. Sadly like the first twelve episodes, this one just falls like a dead balloon at a sadistic circus. Why Fox, why?
Appearing in front of the FBI’s office is a diminutive Edgar Allan Poe masked individual that just turns out to be a kid that Emma gave $20 and the mask to. Naturally the kid hands over the mask and inside the disguise is Agent Parker’s cell phone number. She is trapped, buried alive in a coffin somewhere in the forest. The Feds are trying to figure out a way to retrieve the Agent and they call her in the coffin and it actually works. I have to hold a leg up with a hangar in my hands to get signal sometimes when I am ABOVE GROUND! She is underground in a grave and is having no trouble with her carrier! I give up.
The Feds fan out to find her and recognize the face of a Follower from last week’s episode when Parker was captured. They realize that the guy behind Parker’s kidnapping they identified is an ex-ARMY sniper. He is a militia type that has turned against his country, disgruntled and angry. Hardy, Weston and the gang are on the tail of trying to find Parker near a giant forest. As they are on the edge of the road waiting to do what exactly they are going to do, shots ring out. The sniper was trying to take out Weston but missed and Hardy is able to get a bead on his location in the woods. He was shooting from maybe a 100 feet away adding the ridiculousness of the show. Unless Hardy is The Flash. So they catch the Follower and Weston and Hardy are ready to interrogate him just like the former was beaten to an inch of his life. But this time they are on a clock to save Parker.
Meanwhile Claire wakes up at a seaside lighthouse and Joe has taken another hostage. Claire is just ready to go at this point and tells Joe how predictable he has become. The only thing missing from this creepy tableaux is wait for it: Ryan Hardy. Back at the Feds, they are keeping tabs on Parker as she runs out of air. As they have the mercenary in the back of the SUV, Weston and Hardy rush with him in tow to the freshly dug ground. In a moment of actual tension, the guys try to dig as best they can to get her out ASAP. (Why there was no backup, I’m not sure) But after finally opening the coffin, Agent Parker is dead. Hardy is pissed as the merc prattles on a “Ha-Ha we got you!! Joe got you!” manner, so he walks up to him and puts a bullet right though his skull. Gonna be a tough report to write up for Hardy.
Inside the coffin they discover notes from a manuscript put there by Joe on purpose. Obviously Hardy was supposed to find it and naturally he is told very specifically what he is to do next. Hardy does not let Weston in the car and at one point shoots at his feet to show his sincerity. It has to be Hardy and no one else can take down Joe. At the lighthouse, Claire is trying to combat Joe with words as he asks when it is she knew that he was a killer. To keep up the grotesque and incessant violence show, Joe butchers a kidnapped sailor in front of her like an animal. To be clear I am not against violence in entertainment if it has a point or moves the story forward. I think that this (for lack of a better word) overkill is just to get more Tweets and other nonsense.
Ryan drives to the set directions in the most detailed novel of all-time and meets Emma who I intensely dislike as a character. Hardy exits the car and gives up his gun and phone before some giant drugs him and he wakes up in the lighthouse with Joe and Claire. OMG I did not see that coming! (kidding) I have to give FOX props for being incredibly consistent with their awfulness and doing so for thirteen straight weeks. As Hardy awakens from his drug-induced shot to the neck he is in the boring seaside house flanking the lighthouse. After Joe awakens him he starts to prattle on his accent and can see why he was not a success as I was bored out of my skull watching. You know that it is just going to turn into a fight between Joe and Ryan. When it starts it is nothing we have not seen before and I was sitting waiting to see if they can at least salvage their season with a little bit of likability. They fail miserably on all fronts.
Joe and Ryan wind up in a cottage by the sea to duke it out and they do so in as best fashion they can. Predictably, the small cottage goes ablaze and soon Joe is in an impossible spot to get away from the flames. Ryan retreats and watches as the structure burns to the ground. Is he dead? Did Joe escape the flames? For right now the answer is yes on a DNA match and dental records of one Joe Carroll. Then they cut seemingly immediately back to Brooklyn where Claire and Hardy are having a night together. Call me crazy but I thought that she would have liked to see her son, but I am not a parent yet so what do I know. As Claire showers and Feds deliver Ryan’s dinner he realizes that the knife he left on the table is now gone. And then out of nowhere, Molly (I know, who?) yes Molly, stabs Ryan and then Claire saying that he was always her chapter. Thankfully the credits roll and I feel paroled. The future I see for this show is bleak as I cannot remember a series I have so intensely disliked on a consistent basis.
But it’s over. Right?