After the events that transpired at the Boston Marathon last week, many major networks with especially violent shows or programs containing bomb-oriented content pulled their episodes. NBC decided to pull an episode of their superior serial killer focused show, Hannibal. ABC dropped an episode of Castle and even Fox decided to burn off an episode of Family Guy. If only Fox would have had the good sense to cancel this week’s episode of The Following, a bloody affair that no doubt goes down harshly after the week this country has had. Some might argue that this is the second to last episode, and that do to continuity, they could not afford to drop the episode. To those people I would say, you haven’t watched The Following, have you? If you know anything about this show, you’d know that they don’t really like to shake things up to much, besides killing secondary or random characters. Rarely on this program does the landscape ever change. Maybe I just wanted Fox to pull the episode for selfish reasons, like… so I didn’t have to endure another hour of painfully awful television.
This weeks episode was a typical Following affair, meaning that not much truly happened. Sure, some bodies were stacked, some people were captured, but that happens every week. We expect that. For the episode before the finale, it did little to get me excited about the show’s final hour. In a puzzling mood, Jacob seemed to be at the center of the episode, one of the show’s least interesting characters, with whom the show’s writers struggle to find meaningful business for. This week, he spends his time pacing about with Emma, questioning the plan Joe has set up, a plan which we know nothing about. He throws out vague worrisome sound bites like “It’s not going to work,” “Joe’s plan is crazy,” and “We are all going to die.” If we knew what he was talking about, we might be compelled to agree, but instead we sit around watching as the writers just kill time before the plan unfolds.
Much of this time killing centers on Jacob reconnecting with Emma. The storyline and relationship between these two was completely dead on arrival from the first episode, so at episode fourteen, please excuse me if I groan. Both actors cannot convey the emotions that they are failing to represent. There’s far too much brooding and sulking, like a teenage romantic drama, but this isn’t Twilight folks. Every time one of them confesses their love in their particularly wooden fashion, I roll my eyes in disgust.
The whole thing does not even make sense in the first place. Does anyone remember a few weeks back when Jacob turned all murderous and threatened Emma’s life, warning her to watch her back? If you don’t remember, don’t feel bad, because apparently neither do the writers or Jacob. The character is so inconsistent that it’s maddening. One week he’s ruling over Claire like Mini Hitler, the next he’s just randomly letting Joey go. There’s no rhyme or reason to his actions, no traceable development, the character is completely at the will of the writers. This week Jacob wakes up and decides he doesn’t believe in Joe anymore. The whole episode he tries to persuade Emma to come with him, but we all can see what’s coming from a mile away. When Jacob makes his last plea, we sit and wait for Emma to pull a knife, and when she finally does, slitting Jacob’s throat, it’s met with a shrug. The guy never stood a chance anyway. We didn’t believe for a second that he’d make it out alive.
In Ryan Hardy news, well, Hardy locates the Joe Carroll’s mansion super easily, almost laughably. If only he and the rest on the FBI were this efficient all the time. However, when he arrives at the house, of course all the followers are gone. Later in the day, when he’s pondering his next move, a young female follower spouting off lines from Poe’s The Red Death stabs a newswoman outside of the FBI headquarters. In interrogation, she over-acts and babbles some more Poe nonsense, and within two seconds, Weston figures out that they are planning to attack the Havenport evacuation center. Where was this deductive thinking in the first thirteen episodes?
At the evacuation center, the whole thing breaks out into chaos, right after Hardy and a follower have one of the most awkward stairdowns ever broadcast on television. The follower calls for the lights out, and the whole thing turns into an auditorium blitz. Random followers stab random civilians gruesomely, just so we can be reminded that, hey, this is The Following, and hey, they are EDGY! Everyone in the whole FBI is present at the evacuation center, giving Joe the perfect opportunity to escape with Claire on a boat, of course. Even the elderly black FBI agent who randomly pops up knows this, so why didn’t they leave some of their sources to keep an eye out?
Yes, before the big evacuation center massacre, Joe spends the episode holed up in a random couples home, acting like your whacky drunk uncle. James Purefoy hams up being drunk so much. In an especially ridiculous opening scene, he creepily watches videos of Hardy having sex, then repeats a scene where Hardy says, “You cant kill me, I’m already dead”, playing it over and over, repeating after Hardy in a hilariously over the top slur. At the end of the episode, he and Claire take off on a boat, with Carroll’s master plan still feeling unclear.
In the final moments of another lame episode, Agent Parker is kidnapped (to be fair, it was her turn) and thrown into a coffin, to be buried alive. It’s a terrifying way to face death. The only think I can think of that would be worse is a marathon watch of every episode of The Following in order! The horror!