Today at the Boston Marathon, the unthinkable happened. Two explosions near the finish line of the marathon erupted, killing two people and injuring countless others. News coverage of the event has been thorough and relentless. Social media erupted. The tragic and horrific events have been inescapable and surly the terrible images will be in the media for weeks to come. With events like these happening in the world at an alarming rate, why do we need senselessly violent television programs like The Following? Watching this evening’s episode of Fox’s thriller made me quite uncomfortable and uneasy with the day’s events fresh in my mind. I felt guilty viewing the episode, adding a number to their ratings, contributing to a culture of mindless violence. In addition to not being able to stomach The Following’s brand of low brow gore, I also cannot tolerate the subpar writing and characters on this abysmal show. I hope someday this country can avoid heinous acts like the bombing at the Boston Marathon, and tasteless shows like The Following.
Last week in my review, I slighted most of the plot, and I use that word loosely, developments that the program churned out, but I did offer some guarded excitement about the episode’s cliffhanger. In the final moments of last week, Roderick, still posing as the County Sheriff, shakes Hardy’s hand with Hardy being completely oblivious to his involvement, and offers Hardy all the help he can give. I thought this could lead to some interesting insider sabotage with Hardy being shocked that he trusted Roderick and allowed him the ability to gain the upper hand. Of course things could not turn out that way though. Instead, in this episode’s first two minutes, Agent Weston recognizes Roderick in the police station, and before any of the entertaining prospects of last week’s cliffhanger are able to get of the ground, Roderick is wanted and on the run. What was the purpose of setting up the Hardy and Roderick meeting? Oh, just to get your hopes up that this show may do something interesting, but no, we as viewers of this show don’t deserve nice things.
Summarizing the events of this week’s episode is so easy because the plot is so bare. This show has been coasting for weeks, pissing away time and episodes, telling singular stories that don’t push the main plot forward and are content to leave the landscape of the show unchanged. You know things are getting boring when the characters themselves are asking when things are going to liven up. After this week, there are only two more episodes left, which means, hopefully, we’re in for an action packed two hours of television, with resolutions and a conclusion, but with the prospect of a second season on the horizon, it stands to reason that the writers of the Following may be content to just allow this to go on without an ending. Let’s hope that is not the case.
On this week’s episode, after Weston discovers Roderick, he runs back to Carroll Manor to warn Joe that the Feds may be closer to finding them than they once thought. At this news, Joe erupts in anger, nearly choking Roderick to death. After the incident, an angry Roderick storms out on to the grounds and finds Claire and Joey on a stroll. With a flash of evil in his eyes, he lashes out at Claire, sending her to the ground, and he kidnaps Joey. After Roderick tries to evade police checkpoints searching for him and fails, he winds up in Hardy’s custody.
After Roderick makes it known that he has Joey stored in an unknown location, Hardy conducts a plan to make Roderick believe he is breaking him out of FBI custody to lead him to Joey, but in actuality, Hardy has Weston and Parker in on the breakout from the get go. When they arrive at the cabin where Joey is located, Roderick pulls a hidden gun, but Weston arrives just in time to keep Roderick from firing. Then, out of nowhere, a team of followers consisting of Jacob, ordered by Joe to take Roderick down, fires from the window, taking out Roderick. Just like that, the most interesting rouge on the show is taken. Then, the followers proceed to storm the cabin to capture back Joey. Hardy and Weston take out everyone but Jacob, who grabs Joey and flees into the woods. Hardy pursues Jacob closely, and after appealing to him to think about Joey, he disappears, leaving Hardy to rescue Joey.
Back at Carroll Manor, Claire watches the news relieved, and we see the wheels in her head turning. She enters Joe’s room to urge him to not try and get Joey back. She tells Joe that she’ll honestly start trying to love him again if he promises to leave Joey out of everything. Joe pulls Claire close, thrilled by what he is hearing, when the two begin to kiss, Claire sticks a sharp object into Joe’s side. He staggers back and calls for followers to take her away. In the next cut, Joe dials Hardy to alert him that Claire’s time has run out.
The only time I’m waiting for to run out is the rest of the time left in this series. Only two hours to go…
Best of the Rest
- Joe tells Emma that they are done being friends with benefits. He also blames her for the kidnapping of Joey, which makes zero sense, but hey, the guy is a crazy, deranged, serial killer cult leader.
- Hardy holds a press conference urging followers to reveal information about Joe Carroll in exchange for complete exoneration. The FBI isn’t too happy about this, and they may have a reason. When a follower comes in to say she has information, she only does so to get close enough to stab an agent in the eye. It’s not an episode of the Following unless someone gets stabbed, I guess.
- For a writer, Joe really is adept at fighting; especially up against the Special Ops trained Roderick.
- Hardy continues to act like a complete pompous ass in his phone calls with Carroll, despite the fact that he’s losing at every turn.