Tuesday, January 29, 2013

THE FOLLOWING: "Chapter 2" S1E2 (review)

By Steve Ahlquist
Picking up where last episode left off, we watch as Jordy (Steve Monroe), described as a "disorganized killer with a low IQ" tricks his way into a sorority and murders a bunch of women. Though we don't witness the murders themselves, the aftermath is quickly and viscerally shown."

The Following, Fox, Kevin Williamson, Edgar Allen Poe, James Purfoy, Kevin Bacon
Jordy on the job.
Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) has ordered his loyal band of serial killers to kidnap his own son.

Follower/babysitter Emma Hill (Valorie Curry) convinces the boy that they are going on an adventure, hiding out from the father. When the boy asks why his father is so bad, Emma says, in typical creepy cult-follower fashion, "Maybe your Dad is not so bad, maybe we just need to understand him."

In a series of flashbacks we learn about Emma, a bookish nerd girl with a passion for literature who meets Joe Carroll at a book signing. Later visiting him in prison, Carroll sets her up with another of his followers, Jacob Welles (Nico Tortorella), who was pretending to be gay with fellow follower Paul Torres (Adan Canto) last episode. Emma stabs her domineering MILF-y mother in the back, and seals her up in the walls Poe-style as her new boyfriend looks on in adoration. Their Bonnie and Clyde tightness bothers fellow follower Paul, who would rather be killing their kidnap victim and Emma.

After all, a serial killer's got to kill, right?

The Following, Fox, Kevin Williamson, Edgar Allen Poe, James Purfoy, Kevin Bacon
Homicidal babysitter...works cheap
Because Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) assaulted Joe Carroll while interrogating him last episode, Agent Mason (Annie Parisse) has lost her job, and new Agent Debra Parker (Annie Parisse) has been put in charge of the case.

The Following, Fox, Kevin Williamson, Edgar Allen Poe, James Purfoy, Kevin Bacon
Hardy.  Will not smile this season.
Parker reveals that she's in charge of the FBI's "alternative religion unit" which has got to be the coolest job there outside the X-Files or Fringe Division. However, she's mysterious and possibly a follower, as by episode's end she's slipping Carroll a collection of Poe short stories.

Desperate for a lead that might help the FBI find her son, Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea), Carroll's ex-wife, confronts Carroll in prison. It doesn't take long for her to also assault Carroll. Can any interview with the guy end without someone trying to wipe that smug grin off his face?

The Following, Fox, Kevin Williamson, Edgar Allen Poe, James Purfoy, Kevin Bacon
Cosplay fun
The FBI finds Emma Hill's home, where Ryan Hardy is assaulted by a mysterious man named Rick, wearing a rubber Poe mask. In this episode we don't see Rick's face, but by episode's end we see Rick light a man on fire while he's standing in line at a hotdog vendor.

Carroll has sent Jordy to kill his wife, which Jordy tries to do as best he can. Hardy arrives in time to save the day, which is just what Carroll wanted.


Carroll didn't count on Jordy surviving the event, so maybe his plan is starting to unravel, or maybe not. Serial killers, at least in popular media, are often super geniuses who can make incredible, impossible calculations about the ways in which people live, make decisions and die.

So far, despite being a tad ridiculous at times, The Following has avoided too much of that.

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