The Following: “The Curse”, Review

With three episodes left in the season, do we keep the faith?

It is time to rejoice as there are just three episodes left of The Following! The muddled mess that is the Kevin Bacon show continues to reach new heights of grotesqueness and sadism. It has become an offensive Monday night ritual for the last three months to watch this absolute farce that is The Following. I want to reiterate and make sure that I grew up watching Kevin Bacon and think that he is a terrific actor but this is just not the vehicle for him to shine in. Footloose, White Water Summer and A Few Good Men are all terrific movies but overall I just feel like he belongs in film and not a television show. That rule goes both ways as there are many TV actors that cannot make the leap to film and vice versa. Bacon has played some major league bad dudes in some of his films and I respect him greatly as an actor as he has broad range and continually challenges himself to reach deeper in his acting. Unfortunately The Following is just an absolute train wreck weighed down by a laughable supporting cast save for one or two other actors.The episode opens with Claire and her son Joey walking to the front of the crazy compound of Joe Carroll and seeing if they can somehow escape. Of course the gate is locked up tight and followers led by Sheriff Roderick stop them from going anywhere. I keep thinking that there have to be neighbors wondering what the hell is going on in their neighborhood. There’s gotta be some kind of neighborhood watch group that is you know against cults taking over their community. Claire’s attempt at leaving leaves her and Joey back in the house to play board games. If I were there I think I would demand a flat screen TV so that I could at least watch SportsCenter on ESPN. How does everyone just sit there all day scheming? All because they are members of a cult doesn’t mean that they do not have favorite shows being recorded on their home DVR’s.Hardy’s follower Molly takes his blood pressure and is checking to make sure that he is OK to be out catching bad guys. He genuinely has no inkling that Molly is really a bad guy. Again it just bothers me that they do not look at the years of prison logs and visitors that insisted on seeing Joe Carroll; a celebrity criminal that butchered over a dozen women. It is a plot hole that you can throw a Buick through. Because of Claire’s attempted escape she is given an ankle monitor to track her should she decide to make a break for it again. I don’t know why she doesn’t just tell little Joey to make a break for it and squeeze through the gate and book like its Field Day at his elementary school.Agent Mike Weston is finally out of the hospital after a lengthy stretch and he is pretty pissed and wants some street justice on Joe and his followers. Hardy, Parker and Weston are able to procure a sketch of what the mysterious Roderick looks like and it is a pretty dead on drawing. (This will come back later in my review.) The triumvirate checks out the armory and sees some of the disturbing footage of the cult indoctrination for new members. Apparently no one in the cult realizes that they should not leave things behind because it can come back and bite them where the sun don’t shine.Joe is furiously typing away inside the compound but has hit a wall of writer’s block. Rather than discuss the situation with his acolytes, he picks up his satellite phone and calls Hardy to tell him his predicament. He sees Hardy as some kind of muse and lets Ryan know that he is struggling with the hero arc in the follow-up to his far from best-selling debut novel that started this entire thing. Joe pushes Hardy to reveal to the audience that his dad was killed in a convenience store robbery as a teenager. Naturally they show a flashback from ’83 of the inciting incident and to be fair it is upsetting to watch but unnecessary to move the plot forward. It is a tall task to ask for when there really is no plot to speak of as the show is like a Jackson Pollock drip painting in that whatever sticks sticks. Hardy hears in Carroll’s voice that he is unraveling as he sounds a little desperate. Ryan capitalizes on this and tries to retrieve information from the totally off the reservation Joe.Militia raised Vince tells Joe everything that Hardy and company will find at the armory to which Joe blames on Roderick as the breadcrumbs may lead the Feds to their compound. Despite being his number two, Roderick continues to get humiliated in front of others by Joe. The Feds have determined that the armory could lead them to other militia raised guys named Fowler and Daniel Monroe. They are part of a militia group called Freedom 13 and if they are found by Hardy, it would be a coup for the Feds. The executive decision is made by Joe that he will take Jacob and Vince to find Monroe and Fowler; a total slap to Roderick’s face as his designated number two. Upon arriving Hardy and Weston go into the basement leaving Parker upstairs as they look for the two militants. Naturally Parker cannot get a cell signal upstairs because the followers are partially funded by NASA (kidding). When she leaves the kitchen she comes back to find Fowler dead killed by Jacob who since offing his best friend Paul has changed into a stone cold stealthy ninja killing machine.Back at the compound Emma is trying to start a dialogue with Claire as she did invest two years as her nanny for Joey. A catfight breaks out and I immediately wished I had some popcorn as it was the best part of the episode. Cutting back to Hardy and friends, they have caught Monroe and are interrogating him for information when he gives up the word “house” it leads them to believe that the followers are residing in, well, a house. He demands a lawyer but that request is reneged. The lights cut out in the basement and when they are turned back on seconds later the militia trained Vince is shot and killed by Hardy., Weston is tied up in the chair and Joe is threatening to kill the young agent. However we know that nothing is going to happen because he is one of the top-billed actors on the show. Plus he just returned to the show after a two episode absence. The glass is of course bulletproof and Joe begins his boring rhetoric to Hardy but there is no weight to the scene because we know that no one is in any life-threatening danger. Oh and Jacob has tied Parker up in the kitchen but nothing happens. Joe keeps talking and has Ryan admits that like Joe, they are both surrounded by death and it is what drives both of them. Hardy admits that his Dad was the first person he witnessed to die. OK so they agree on something they both have in common—and it is through death that they live. With a three second head start, Joe and Jacob disapparate like Harry Potter and are gone eluding THREE HIGHLY TRAINED FEDERAL AGENTS. How? How did they do that? They give chase but the pair is gone and head back to the suburban headquarters.Upon Joe’s return Claire tells Joe that they really are just not going to work as a couple which gave me a chuckle as it is such a ludicrous statement. Scorned, Joe then beds Emma again as his sloppy second choice. Jacob calls his father from his smartphone (no trace of course) from the compound as Agent Parker’s words while tied up clearly got to him. When the police and EMT’s descend on the house where Hardy and company are, we see that Weston is again hurt. Ryan tries to give him a pep talk but he flashbacks to 1983 as he giving the drug dealer that killed his father a hot dose of heroin at gunpoint. Hardy has killed before! It is not even a twist; it is like making a right turn when the sign clearly says “No Turn on Red.” Parker is chatting up the local P.D. and she introduces Hardy to none other than…Sheriff Roderick! He offers any help that he can give. Here’s an idea guys, take a good long look at the face that the sketch artist drew of Roderick, make the connection and call it a day. The show is officially on life-support at this point and nothing would please me more than to duck out for a smoke giving the network a chance to pull the plug.