The Following Review: Catch Me If You Can

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I think we can all definitely agree that Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy give captivating performances week after week on The Following.

When either of these actors appear on screen, you know you're in for something exciting, whether it's Joe Carroll devilishly delivering lines about his master plan or Ryan Hardy giving his steely and determined glare. They are, after all, the major players in the game, the strongest characters on the show, and the ones that keep the entire plot from ever feeling like it could crumble into sheer ridiculousness.

Ryan On The Hunt

The final standoff before Joe's escape had the men nearly at each other's throats. Joe certainly could have killed Ryan right then and there, but there was such a restraint behind his menacing threats and pointing of the gun. To kill him in the parking garage would have ruined everything, as well as been an anti-climactic death.

Joe is hell bent on telling the ultimate story, remember.

There's definitely a fueled passion and desire burning in both men, each set to complete their goals, while potentially leaving only one man standing.

It was no surprise that Joe left Ryan to live another day, but his purpose felt as real as Ryan's determination to bring the killer down and rescue Joey. I think that not only does he know that no other follower can kill him, but that he'd be ready to die if it meant finishing off the leader of the sadistic cult of followers.

And, wow, was that final scene of the mass of followers pouring out of the house laden with chills. There really are so many of them that the whole concept of trusting anyone seems like an idea better placed in the trash.

Even Emma calling out to Joey to join her and Joe was like a creepy welcome to the family. It was such a wild ending that really makes me question whether Ryan even has a chance to win.

But can the followers can be more than just a faceless scary force? I know that one of them comments on that very idea, and it adds to the freighting aspect of them being anyone and everyone. It's just a lot harder to be invested in enemies who can be used as throwaway devices that get in Ryan's way.

Sure, we have at least Emma, Paul, Jacob, and to some extent Charlie. They have a bit of backstory. Yet even they can't hold as much of a candle to Ryan as Joe can.

It's even similar with "good guys" Mike Weston and Debra Parker in the sense that while we have some idea of who they are and what they can do, they can't necessarily compete with Joe like Ryan can.

If anything, I'd like to see some of those minor characters get a chance to become more involved and show what makes them matter in the grander scheme, even though the clash of the titans between Ryan and Joe remains riveting with each moment.

Ultimately, it's having those big characters stand out that made a prison transfer - which was certain to go wrong - not feel so obvious that it detracted from the story. Each time someone says it's going to be okay, or they've got it covered, we all know that's not what's going to happen.

While the whole escaping aspect wasn't necessarily as exciting or pulse-pounding as, say, Ryan infiltrating Emma, Paul and Jacob's home, it was a great set up for something I've been looking forward to seeing.

Joe will have a chance to do something instead of sit in prison. We will really get to see the evil master of followers lead and act and illustrate just how bad of a bad guy he is. He did kill is loyal attorney after all. It's time to watch the ultimate villain at work, while hoping that Ryan can shoot, interrogate and fight his way to stop him.

Or maybe Joey will manage to actually runaway without getting caught and brought back.

"Let Me Go" was a decent setup for things to come, and while a majority of the episode wasn't overly shocking in what took place, Bacon and Purefoy continued to keep things compelling. And hopefully that final moment of Joe with his flock will spin The Following onto an even more intense and suspense filled path between good and evil, even if sometimes the good is colored with certain shades of grey.


Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (95 Votes)

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


I was hoping for something thoughtful and intriguing. This show was written by a group of 6 year olds. Really Joe can get a helicopter but the FBI can't get one? How about a cop car and just follow it to see where it lands? I'm also tired of the twists. Any time it looks like one of the "cult" guys is in a jam they pull the 6 year old kid trick and just say OK all the good guys are now bad guys. Lame


This show had such great potential but as fallen way short. I completely agree with Joe's comment and the question about whether or not this show as any kind of law and/or judicial consulting. The fact that the FBI continues to look like imbeciles each and every episode is ridiculous and completely frustrating. I won't be watching this show anymore. All my friends have stopped watching too.


That were a LOT of people walking out of that castle (great house btw). I think that Joey will runaway eventually, somewhere in the season final. For now he will bond a little with his serial killer father&his cult. I am wondering where Claire will go, and if she would be kidnapped to by the cult.


Douglas.. right on! Mike Weston is Ryan Hardy's "Follower"


I think Joe needs a setback once in a while. It would be nice to see Ryan win a few big ones, and show us how Joe has to shift, from his plan. Almost like a rewrite. While I like the show, the fact that Joe "always wins" and you can't trust one character besides Ryan, there is no such thing as the perfect criminal. These followers are loyal, however a push on a gunshot wound gave up the location of the warden's daughter?


REALLY! How ridiculous. Let me count the ways. 1) he chokes a lady with a broken hand 2) the garage is not childproof, a chain lock that a kid can slip through and the key hanging on the wall 3)prison transfer with no judge to block it 4) no gag order on the lawyer (previous episodes) 5) no judges at all 6) US Marshalls give alone time with their prisoner for a chat, no F-ing way and somehow they allow him to climb into a trunk and escape. US Marshalls are Marshalls for a reason. This show has no Law Enforcement/Judicial consulting?! Seriously, they couldn't get a consultant in there....wait a minute that would ruin the story. This show had potential and has turned into a laugh out loud bonanza!!


I agree: the idea of anyone being trustworthy seems more like a distant fantasy with the show. Don't know about everyone else but I'm second-guessing every single "good guy" in the series - including Harding's sympathetic partner Mike Weston, who I now suspect was set up to be Joe's intimate eyes and ears. I was pretty sure the pretty blonde cop was a Follower right from the get-go. There seems to be a pattern to the Followers (usually): young and fresh-faced.

Sue ann

Joe has a lot of followers, and I still cannot imagine why so many people want to be killers, or find him so charismatic. But I lost any belief in the general intelligence of cult members the day that I watched the news showing the bodies they found at Jim Jones's compound in Guyana. So, when that gang poured out of the house at the end to welcome Joe back, I really began to wonder how the FBI would win this. (Except, the writers will have them win.) But this is a mess. The FBI consistently look like boobs on this show. And Ryan seems to have a death wish. Every week he is begging someone to kill him.


Wow......I think I have a crush on James Purefoy! What a brilliant actor whose smile is so damn contagious!! I'm grateful for anything that makes the sucky suckness of being "laid off" from a job I truly gave my all to every single day...the first time / day I haven't cried my eyes out since that dreadful Wednesday, February 6th, 2013!! Thank God for the most incredible escape/distraction from our own temporary personal hell.....fabulous tv shows!! My goal for wanting to act was to be this very escape for others! Now it is time for a reanalysis of what i want to be "when i grow up," instead of working in the corporate world in a commute from hell...the kind if commute that kills a small portion of your soul every. single. work day. However, no matter how unpalatable the above may feel... having a mortgage makes us take the safer / more stable route of life! I sincerely thank the writers, crew, actors, etc for providing


Does anyone else think that Joe is actually Emma's father? I might be jumping the gun here, but we've only ever heard about her (promiscuous) mother with no mention of a father. Besides, Emma and Joey could pass as siblings, so that is another factor to consider.

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