The Following Review: All Part of the Plan

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The Following is one intense ride.

Where the pilot set a graphic and dark tone filled with complex characters, "Chapter Two" dug deeper into the twisted world of Joe Carroll and his deranged contingent of acolytes.

Joe vs. Claire

James Purefoy continues to establish his sadistic and smart character well, combining charm, intellect and a persona hell bent on making Ryan take part in his epic masterpiece.

It's crazy to think that most of Joe's scenes include him sitting down, yet his powerful presence is felt with each smile and focused stare. And it's not hard to imagine him as leader of a cult of killers, either.

Joe has clearly induced a sense of god-like mastery for his followers, sweeping up characters like Emma who yearn for that encouragement, that guidance and a feeling of a purpose they can be a part of.

But it's obvious that Joe does, indeed, use some like Jordy as his pawns to simply move forward his master plan. What is it? I have no clue at the moment.

And it does make me a little worried, not really knowing what type of end game there is beyond Joe playing games with Ryan. But at the same time the show proves to be gripping enough that I'm hooked to simply follow the lead.

While Joe's plot of the Poe-focused crimes is intriguing, this episode also began to delve into the surrounding players, making them more than just simple, supporting characters. Honestly, I think this is where the show can shine.

Kevin Bacon is Kevin Bacon, and it's fun to watch him at work. He's perfect as Ryan Hardy and expertly plays off the others, especially with Joe. He's a damaged individual for sure, but hunting Joe has been his life's work, so getting back in the game will be good for him, even if the results around him are bad.

Interestingly enough, Agent Mason has been replaced with a cult expert in Agent Debra Parker. Why the switch?

Not entirely sure, but Parker feels like she fits in seamlessly and the change isn't a jarring one. If anything, Parker has a commanding know-it all attitude that works in allowing Ryan to not be the only smart one on the job.

Of course, Joe is that tip of the iceberg, but Emma, Jacob and Paul are all an interesting facet of the cult.

It's pretty obvious each has a dedication to Joe and his murderous work, but I've got a feeling that their own love triangle is going to create problems that will deviate from the plan. Paul may or may not be gay, but whatever is causing his jealousy towards Emma and Jacob will be an interesting turn when he acts out.

They are all working for a killer, after all, so I wouldn't be surprised if one of them ends up dead.

Once again, the scares were present through, from Jordy brutally killing the girls... to the jump scare of the masked Poe on Ryan (I did jump)... to Jordy dropping from the ceiling to get at Claire.

There's a lot of pieces at work and the relationships between each character is only just heating up. I'm excited to see how it all grows in addition to trying to stop Joe's widespread cult. It's kind of crazy to think that really, anyone can be a part of it.

Thrills, chills and a scary mystery with a great bad guy and super star Kevin Bacon? This is the Fox show you should be following.


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (138 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Agent Parker isn't all she appears to be it would seem.


Last episodes timeline: 2002 - Claire tells Joe she's pregnant
2003 - Claire meets Ryan
2004 - Joe's trial
After Joe's trial - The divorce and Ryan and Claire's "first kiss" I don't see how Joey could be Ryan's son unless there was a miscarriage and a second pregnancy (though according to Claire Ryan and her were together for mere months) and Claire had the weird idea to name her son after her psychopathic ex-husband anyway. Personally I'm tired of whose son is it drama. Let Joey be Joe's son. It's better.
Loved what Claire said to Joe about loving Ryan, it was unlike anything I've seen. New and unexpected.


★★★★☆TV Almost perfect. Still very entertaining. Agent Mason is gone, why? ...


Personally, I think this show is amazing so far! While it does have a good deal of violence, I don't think that's so rare these days. And this has the best "Holy S***!!" moments since ER! I was caught completely off-guard when Emma stabbed her mom! And Jordy dropping down from the ceiling? Super-creepy! Even the music was a great choice - again, evoked the scene in ER when Carter was stabbed... gripping, nerve-wracking, and intense. And played exceedingly well by all parties involved! Always loved KB and JP, so that's not too shocking, but so far the rest of the players are holding their own. But I'm with Claire - Joe's the only one I trust...


Many times there are cast changes from the pilot so I would not read too much into Jeananne Goossen's departure. What I am interestes in however is now that Annie Parisse is a regular, what will happen to her role on Person of Interest?


I think it says something about our "sick" society (and human DNA?) that the types of shows that are about gore, violence, evil/sadistic people are the ones that run the longest and get the most 'enthusiastic' comments. I "get" it, but I don't like it. I'd rather watch intelligent, well-written TV shows (and if there's a villain, fine, but I don't want to watch gore, never have, in movies or TV -- there's enough of it in real life). So many intelligent, complex, articulate, multi-layered shows have been cancelled, so viewers can watch either dumbed-down shows disguised as 'humor' or shows (like The Following, Criminal Minds, etc.) that pour on the gore. I think Kevin Bacon is an outstanding actor (have watched many of his indie films) and he deserves a much better vehicle for his talents. I watched the pilot and was so turned off that I will not watch any more episodes. Please don't send hate mail my way for my opinion. There's enough violence in the world without having to watch it (for what? 'pleasure'? fun? giving people ideas on how to create real violence?) on television and in movies.


Pretty sure Agent Parker is going to turn out to be a member of the cult.


I think Agent Parker is going to be a "follower."


2005 was the year the divorce happened. So working backwards, the kid should be slightly older maybe about 8 or 10. The kid does look younger maybe 5-6 which is strange as 2005, Joe was already in prison.


A new, fantastic show that I'm for the boy being Joes's, doesn't anyone remember the flashback in the pilot where Joe and Claire were first married, she told him as they fell on the bed that she just found out she was pregnant? Joey is his son! Of course, those dreded, but necessary, flashbacks are needed to fill in the storyline, but it was a quick one and I had to go back and make sure it wasn't Ryan. As for Agent Parker and her cult expertise, the look she gave Joe when she handed him the book at the end sort of implies she may be one of his folowers! Wish they would get rid of the agent who keeps complaining about Ryan and wants him gone....he's distracting!

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The Following Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Joey: Why is my dad such a bad man?
Emma: Maybe, he's not so bad. Maybe we just don't understand him.

Joe: Was he good? The sex? Did your body quiver to his every touch?
Claire: Yes. It did.