The Following: Whips And Regret, Review

Another painful episode and waste of good Bacon. (Kevin, that is)

The Following continues to baffle me as I have crowned it the worst show on network TV. Week after week the Kevin Bacon vehicle reaches new lows and I am starting to feel like NCIS reruns on the USA Network are calling my name. The show has become a total farce where you can call what is going to happen next a few minutes ahead of time. And that is pretty much my favorite feature of the show in that I feel like a Jedi telling the future. However the future is one bad TV cliché after another stacked on top of each other forcing me to pull my hair out at the depths of its own ineptitude.The plot jumps all over the place and continues to use the flashback sequence device in attempt to curry favor with its target audience. But it does not; so stop doing it. Please, I beg of you. It is ridiculous already as it seems that everyone that came to visit Joe when he was in the clink was themself a mass murderer yet none of the conversations between inmate and visitor were ever recorded. Any night owl that has watched a Lockup marathon knows that pretty much everything in prison is recorded—even the pay phone calls. Joe Carroll has turned into a cartoon and he looks and acts like a second-rate Hugh Jackman.Agent Parker was one of the few characters that I was digging but she has moved down several notches to be just another bumbling Federal Agent. Ryan Hardy is hitting the sauce again in Brooklyn and who can blame him? He does not have a heck of a lot to live for and killing a few people every episode has to take its toll on his pacemaker regardless of how bad the people he offs are. The good news is that the Feds have been able to crack a recruiting website for the cult that has a limited time offer of joining up. Basically you sign up for their mailing list (do you believe this?) and then you are contacted by a member and you go from there to see if you are worthy. The cult is like Amway with murder as a rite of initiation. Also, apparently when not in the cult most of the members are working for think tanks at MIT or NASA because they all seem to be brilliant. They are able to usurp even the best Federal cyber-crimes division making me wonder where these nut-jobs are getting all of their money. They are able to bankroll a massive operation and there are still many sleeper agents out there waiting to be activated.In this chapter we get to meet Molly, an ex-girlfriend of Ryan’s that is also his neighbor over in Brooklyn. Wouldn’t you know it that Molly just happens to be a devout believer in Joe Carroll’s cause. She is so dedicated that they allude to Ryan and Molly dating for a considerable amount of time. In a jailhouse visit to Joe from 2009, Molly divulges that she is a nurse in a hospital terminal ward and has killed more people than Carroll. That is how shameless and bush league the show has gone; people are actually trying to one-up each other on their number of kills. I just do not get the appeal of this show nor how it has not been pulled from the FOX lineup.Hardy is determined to save Claire Matthews so he takes his ex-gf to a remote location where Ryan’s good friend Tyson from his training days at Quantico is residing after testifying against the mob or something like that. They are fuzzy on little details like that. Thankfully, Dexter’s David Ayers plays the part of Tyson. Ayers is a terrific character actor and I have gotten to know his acting style after reviewing seven seasons of Dexter but why he chose to be on The Following for a single episode I do not know. Naturally when Hardy gets Claire to Tyson’s safe house they find an electronic bug on her clothes sending a signal to the baddies that will help them hone in on her location. Man these cult members are smart. Like Mensa smart. The militia raised Vince, Roderick and another cohort are dispatched to collect Claire from the location. While Tyson and Hardy are trying to hold off the hooded bandits, Claire VOLUNTARILY gets in their car on the promise that they will let her see her son Joey. Really? Is she really getting in the car with these lunatic extremists on their word? The Following has fallen into farcical territory already.The Feds are able to locate the hub of the cult’s electronic network at a fetish club in NYC where there are all sorts of high-tech servers and very expensive equipment. They set up the female owner of the club to wait for Vince to show up and give them a signal should she get herself into any trouble. Vince gets there and retrieves a variety of bomb building toys and although the woman continually says the code word “Red” over and over, Hardy and his team do nothing to save her. They would rather wait for them to bring them a bigger lead. I am starting to think that these Federal Agents took their courses online at the University of Phoenix. Instead of going to the main compound that looks like stately Wayne Manor, Vince and the fetish club girl in tow stop at a remote armory and training ground. When Hardy and Parker seize the location they are able to save the girl but naturally Vince gets away. Inside the armory are cells filled with cult noobies that are dying to get out of their jail. Of course when a disposable cop opens the jail door, they attack as they are potential recruits for Carroll’s cult. Staying in the cell was just a part of the test to become a full member of the group. This cult must have terrific dental coverage.Jacob is still pissed at Emma for abandoning him and the now deceased Paul. Eventually they go to bed together for makeup sex but Jacob is haunted by terrible hallucinations of Paul. Cost of doing business I guess. Claire finally gets to the compound and is reunited with Joey after a very creepy dinner with her ex-husband. Joe assures his ex-wife that she will indeed love him again. Yawn. I still am trying to figure out why she would voluntarily get in the car and go into the lion’s den without protection or at least a GPS tag or Federal tail. Near the end, Joe watches video of Molly having coitus with Hardy and it is just downright creepy to see him enjoying himself. My main gripe with The Following is that there is no semblance to reality in any way. Not everyone picked last in gym turns into a homicidal maniac. The amount of people that visited Joe in jail is staggering. He probably missed out on some solid yard time because he was constantly entertaining visitors that wanted to brag about their kills.At this point in the season I am just praying that it is a swift a succinct end. They are barely keeping their head above water in this freshman debut and putting a Slinky at the top of a big set of stairs is far more appealing than watching this show. This show is just plain sadistic and laughable as we close in on the last few episodes. It may star Kevin Bacon but the program turns out to be a total ham.  

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