The Following: Welcome Home, Review

Jarrett Kruse gives his insight on episode eight of The Following.

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It’s that special time of week again where I get to review The Following. I have come to the conclusion that either I am just not a fan of the premise or just grossly dislike what is passing for what is water-cooler TV these days. It used to be people talking about LOST or 24 and now it has gone completely dark into “Hey, did you see that kill last night?” It unnerves me that this is what is passing for mainstream entertainment.

The adventures of disavowed Agent Ryan Hardy continue this week as Joe Carroll has finally found a home in the affluent suburbs of Iamnotsure, State. And wouldn’t you know it that the elusive “Roderick” that has been talked about for weeks on end is the (wait for it)….Sheriff of the town! Don’t you think the neighbors might notice a thing or two like the thirty or so people living in a one-family house? And that the Sheriff is hugging its main tenant Joe, the leader of the cult or whatever it is? More unlikable members of “The Following” are introduced throughout the episode and Joe does not know half of them. I don’t know about you but if I start a Facebook Group, I better know all the members! In fact, I would have a discerning screening process for anyone to join my Facebook Group if I were to ever have one. (Note to self: Self, start a Facebook Group)

As Joe appears to his acolytes after his first good rest in some time, he has a quick father-son talk with his son Joey assuring him that he is a cool Dad. Let’s just hope that they do not put Joe in charge of beverages on “Back to School” night. In the wake of the new day, Joe sees but barely acknowledges new members at all. Would it kill the guy to talk about what the group’s dues are going to be now that they are a member? Emma continually comes on to Joe but he fends her off and reiterates that he is holding a torch for his in Federal protective-custody wife Claire. I marked in my notebook that he would succumb to Emma’s Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby-like charms by episodes end: score one for my notes!

Back at the FBI or in this programs case, the “Foibling Bureau of we haven’t decided yet,” new blood has been brought in with Agent Nick Donovan at the helm. The Feds have egg on their face after Joe Carroll was able to get away with ease via chopper from that breakfast haunt I wish I had gotten the name of. Anyway, the Feds look pretty silly this week and Donovan is a by the book guy that naturally does not want Hardy doing all that much. As we have seen in the first seven episodes, anyone that benches Hardy as to expect some seriously ill shit to go down. Weston and Hardy successfully hack Donovan’s email leaving a caterpillar trail back to Weston that gets sent home for the day. I wonder what is going to happen once the young Agent goes back to his no-name motel. If the predictability police were on duty, there would have already been several arrests in this episode alone. Don’t get me started on the series in its entirety.

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Last week’s dopey Follower “David” that got arrested tells Donovan that he only wants to talk to Hardy (naturally) in the big house. After spewing some serial killer rhetoric, the low-level follower bites his hand that has some kind of cyanide capsule embedded leaving a lot of blood. Again, a lot of blood for the sake of a lot of blood that does nothing but make you say, “Wow, that’s a lot of blood for such a small bite to the skin in between his thumb and forefinger.” It looked like Carrie, for the man up there’s sake.

So Roderick, Louise, Charlie and some unnamed followers have Weston in your very typical empty warehouse where they are going to play an awful and silly game of Fight Club but with weapons. David Fincher, where are you?? He’s busy producing a great show called House of Cards that I am reviewing here. Sorry, shameless plug.

Weston continues to offer up that he has no intel on where Claire Matthews is not privy to that type of information. So, first it’s punching game, then metal batons, and then knives; all before Hardy and Agent Parker have seized the hideout where they were able to procure a partial license plate. Hardy is able to gun down five of the followers and free Weston. Naturally the only three Follower’s we know of get away and Charlie pays for his penance by letting Joe kill him. Thankfully, Louise is there to lay out the plastic on the floor because the rug is far too nice to get any blood on it. Employee benefits are just not the same as the old days. Apparently the Followers have ready to lay plastic sheets at the ready from their Follower introduction kit. Weston is in surgery and his de-facto big bro of an Agent (Hardy) is not leaving the kid’s bedside. It is just about the first real emotion shown this season. Oh and by the way, I think Agent Parker is a Follower because she never happens to be where she should be.

Then there is a big whole to do of sex between Joe and Emma, and then a whole different kind of sex between Roderick and Louise who apparently likes to be choked. The Following manages to find new lows of absolute nonsense every Monday night and it has become a deplorable experiment in mediocrity that passes as “criminal drama.” I would rather watch the “scary” episodes of my favorite non-serial killer dramas because those at least pass muster as far as tension goes.