By: Paulina Pietras
Let’s start with some honesty: Season 1 of The Following has been a mix of the predictable and surprising. And when this happens, all a viewer can do is hope the finale doesn’t suck. So as I watched, I maintained this ideology. But when it was over, I wasn’t a happy camper. Not done venting, but let’s recap first.
We start by searching for Agent Parker. Since most of Carroll’s actions are based on literary references, how hard can this be, right? Insert creepy Poe mask delivery boy with a phone number to entombed Parker (who apparently only has 3-5 hours of air left…gasp!) The FBI ends up finding the guy who buried her, and handy-dandy Ryan and Weston enjoy some revenge/torture in getting him to talk. As the two now have a personal navigation system, they race to find Parker. As they drive, they get her on the phone to exchange some final words: tell my sister I love her, my parents etc. But they’re too late; she’s not breathing when the find her body. And of course we have the beat up follower snickering from afar. (Why else but to push Ryan over the edge?) And so the “Killed by Ryan Hardy” list keeps growing. Gotta love a complex character.
Once Parker’s body is out of the coffin, Ryan finds Joe’s manuscript entitled “The Curse.” How fitting. The script has a play by play of what just happened, but Weston’s confused. “How did he know what was goin’ to happen?” C’mon Weston, keep up. Joe planed this whole charade. Weston was actually supposed to be dead, but that’s beside the point. “You mean we can rewrite the story?” I seriously wanted to flick him in the head. Anyway, Ryan flips through the manuscript and finds what he’s looking for. But of course, he must go alone! Aw poor Weston; he just wanted to come along and play.
After being taken away on a boat, Claire now finds herself in an unknown, dark room. (Seriously, all the props for this show are black.) Turns out Joe took her to a lighthouse– not so ironic considering his first book– and he wants to discuss their past. Primarily he wants to know when Claire first knew he liked to kill things (young women.) This throws Claire into a sea of tears and guilt—she “should have seen the signs” and “they’re dead because of me.” But Joe doesn’t like this. Frankly he’s insulted that Claire is seemingly taking credit for his murders, and how dare she! Joe takes this a step further by killing the owner of the lighthouse (who’s been tied up in the other room) right in front of Claire. “That’s what it’s like to kill someone,” he says. Geez, for a literary scholar you would think Carroll knew the difference between connotative and denotative phrases.
After an encounter with Emma and a heavy sedative, Ryan finds himself in the same dark room with Joe and Claire. Next is a fairly odd exchange between our hero and villain. For one, Joe is convinced that he and Ryan are very much alike, in love if you will. They are writing the final chapter together, but Ryan isn’t impressed. He disses Carroll’s skills: “those that can’t do, teach,” “I’m so bored with you and Edgar Allan Poe.” Ryan’s apparently not only able to get under Joe’s skin, but he also makes a go for the gun. Joe then runs off to a nearby boathouse with Ryan right behind him. FIGHT! With a few accidental gunshots into the nearby gas tanks, it’s only a matter of time before the place is in flames.
Ah, now you can’t have an episode without a high moral moment. And here’s this week’s: the glimmer in Ryan’s eye as he stares at Joe through the fire. Should he save him? What will his life by like without his arch nemesis? Is there a type of love or is this the curse? Probably not because Ryan escapes from the boathouse right before it explodes (not once but twice…) He’s reunited with Claire; they watch the fire whilst in each other’s arms.
So Joe’s dead? Apparently: the dental records & early DNA tests show a match. (That and his death matches yet another of Poe’s work, The Gothic Sea.) Now the logic here is: either Joe’s somehow not dead or the show will take on a completely different angle. That or he’ll come back from the dead. Oh wait, even better! Season 2 of The Following: Ryan Hardy is driven mad by the heartbeat of the dead and buried Joe Carroll. Sorry, I’m just bitter they didn’t include my favorite Poe story. But realistically, I predict the focus of this show will be Carroll’s following, such as Emma. We actually get another glimpse of her donning a banged up wig and crying about Joe’s death. But who else is left besides her? Well there is one other, but I’m getting to that.
Claire and Ryan are staying at his place until all the legal stuff begins, but for now they can enjoy each other’s company. After some kissing and foreshadowed sex, we’re left in Ryan’s apartment. He answers the door to accept a food delivery and proceeds to open the stubborn bag with a knife (insert dramatic close-up.) Then he hears something suspicious and checks the door again. And would you believe it, the knife is gone. Enter psycho ex-girlfriend! A couple stabs leave Ryan on the ground, and then what? You guessed it, ten points for Gryffindor! The last thing we see is wounded Claire joining Ryan on the ground. So I guess we’re left with a new take on Leona Lewis’s song, “Bleeding Love.”
Now can anyone else see why I’m annoyed? So predictable: death, reunion and surprise attack. I’m sick of this bell curve. I actually expected Agent Parker to be a follower because of her past, and I hoped Weston would become more complicated. Even Carroll became weak towards the end. He had such a drastic 180 from the first episode. This season overall took the easy way out. I’m open-minded for next season, so we shall see what they come up with.
See you next season!
The Following Hires New Show-runner; Replaces Williamson
There is a new leading lady for Fox’s The Following.
Jennifer Johnson has been hired as the new show-runner when the serial killer drama returns for season 3. Johnson is stepping in to take current show creator Kevin Williamson’s spot as he takes on his new CBS show, Stalker, which is set to premiere this fall.
No need to worry though. Deadline reports that Williamson will still “remain very involved in the show.” He’s staying on board as executive producer.
Johnson isn’t new to the world television and FOX. She previously served as show-runner of Alcatraz and a consulting producer on The Touch.
When Williamson left The Vampire Diaries to work on The Following and gave the reigns over to Julie Plec, TVD was never the same. Don’t get me wrong, Julie Plec has done an okay job, but the show didn’t live up to its fullest potential after Williamson left. Hopefully, that isn’t the case for The Following.
The season 2 finale of The Following drew in about 4.8 million viewers. What do you think? Will Johnson be able to save the FOX drama or is it down-the-drain for Bacon and friends? Sound off below.
Photo Credit: The Following/ FOX
The Following: Season 2 Spoilers!
Spoiler Alert! Talks on Season 2!
Hello everyone! It feels good to be back.
Let’s dive into some The Following Season 2 gossip, shall we?
First question: Who actually survives?
Ryan… this is a no brainer, he has to survive (plus we’ve seen him at ComicCon.) But what about Claire?… hmm I could actually see her not making it. Her story is pretty much all played out. And even if they do bring her back for a happy-go-lucky life with Hardy, how long can that really last? (Kevin Bacon has confirmed Claire will be back “in some shape or form.”) And finally, Carroll. Now, the more I think about this, the more I realize the show needs him. Carroll is that little bit of twisted evil that intrigues us viewers into keeping up with the show. And if you don’t have Carroll, you don’t need Ryan and poof, the show is gone.
Second question: FBI or no FBI?
Agent Weston started out season 1 with a lot of potential. Sure his jedi mentor relationship with Ryan was a bit cliché, but I expected something more of him. And then I realized that he was just another FBI puppet that did very little for the show. I mean, what else did the FBI do besides fail and die? Thankfully, according to executive producers, the FBI will play a smaller role in season 2. Which leads me to…
Third question: What’s the show going to be about?
Season 2 is said to start off with a 1-year flash forward. With that we can assume that Carroll has been scheming underwater with Ursula, and Ryan has either joined AA or gone through some serious therapy. The show will continue with a more character-driven plot, which I’m really excited about, and continue to explore various religious/cult practices. Personally, I really want to know how Carroll was raised and how he developed into a literary scholar, murderer and lover of aesthetics. And even with Ryan, I know we saw a bit of his adolescent crisis, but there has to be more dirt there.
I know it’s not much… plus I’d almost rather be surprised. Almost.
The Following- The End is Near
by: Paulina Pietras
“Apparently, in death there is everything”
Hello everyone. Let’s get started, shall we? As we move closer to the finale, it appears that Joe Carroll’s book is approaching its closing chapters as well. We begin this episode with some awkwardness– Carroll watching a hidden-camera recording of Ryan having sex. The viewer has seen this clip before, so we assume that Joe has it on replay. Looking for something, hmm? Apparently he finds it in Ryan’s post-coital quote, “you can’t kill me, I’m already dead.” The significance of this quote isn’t clear, unlike Joe’s disregard for porn, but it probably has something to do with Ryan’s own questionable past.
At the Carroll house, as the members participate in their morning prayer circle, “plans” are apparently in motion. All this time, the exact purpose of these followers hasn’t been clear. Was it just to practice Carrollism? Remember when Roderick mentioned something about moving forward with some plan. Do they all just expect to die for Joe at some point? Evidently now the plan is to leave the house because it’s no longer safe. And now that the FBI has Joey and a clear description of the house, it’s only a matter of time before they bust through the front gate. By then not only has everyone escaped, but the FBI has yet another Carroll martyr– hanging from the ceiling this time– to deal with.
Back at the station, with plenty of reporters are standing by covering this story, a follower makes her way to one of the cameras. She’s creepy. The way she’s staring at the news anchor is a major red flag– that and the fact that she’s quoting Masque of the Red Death. Soon enough she stabs the reporter and is restrained by Ryan Hardy. Once in questioning, she quotes yet another work of Poe, Annabel Lee. Ryan eventually understands the message Joe is trying to send him, ie: Claire must die. Apparently Claire’s death will allow Ryan to be reborn? Since he’s already metaphorically dead? I don’t know, it sounds like a weird version of reincarnation to me. Whatever it is that Joe has planned, it’s not going to be simple.
We then follow Emma and Jacob as they take over a seemingly random house to temporarily hide themselves, Carroll and Claire. The awkwardness continues as Joe cooks and serves dinner to the tied up homeowners, but I’ll give it to him though, for a cold-blooded killer, he’s very polite. A bit heavy on the drinking, but still. He’s obviously in pain from his stab wound, and I’m sure the fact that Claire sticks it to him again doesn’t help.
Backtrack: The whole town is now on lockdown with police going door to door. As they approach Carroll’s new hiding place, Emma opens the door and shoots the cops. With this distraction, Claire has just enough time to hit Joe over the head with a wine bottle, stab him with a fork, untie the homeowners and run away. Four points for Claire. Well, three technically because she gets caught again by Emma and Jacob, but still, go team! Oh wait, no… after her captured, Joe takes her away on a boat. Not lookin’ good.
As for Jacob and Emma, talk about complicated. With Jacob back to his old doubtful ways, he now realizes that he doesn’t want to die (it must have been the paradoxical lifestyle or something.) And then he asks miss pixie cut herself to run away with him. What a truly innocent moment! To think that they could get away, or even that they could fall in love again. Even the music was light and fluffy. But then of course she cuts his throat. Yeah, talk about ruining the moment.
A quick note on the literary references within this episode: Annabel Lee was meant to foreshadow the capture of Claire and what will probably happen to her next week. Masque of the Red Death led the investigation team to predict the cult’s next move: an attack on the evacuation center. To get this, you need a Sparknote version of this short story. A prince and his nobles try to hide from a deadly plaque, but the Red Death kills them all anyway. The end. So, the people at the evacuation center = those in hiding. The plaque/Red Death = the cult. Get it?
As Ryan and his team enter the evacuation center, Carroll’s team is one step ahead. After some theatrical lighting and blood splattering, the FBI secures the situation. Except for one thing: Agent Parker is missing. Gasp. The episode concludes with two men throwing her into what looks to be a wooden casket buried in the ground. They nail it shut and begin to cover it up with dirt as she screams and gasps for air. This final scene alludes to The Premature Burial, Poe’s horror story I haven’t read but plan to before the next episode.
And so we conclude. Can’t wait to dig into next week. Sorry, I had to.
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