The Following

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The following

The Following Review: Love and Death

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It's become pretty obvious that Joe Carroll has a lot of followers, some who love to party at the cult mansion and others who are desperate to add their chapter to his twisted story of death.

This week, Amanda joined the ranks of the less-than-developed followers, serving as something of a Terminator in hunting down any women with the name Claire Matthews. It was an obvious effort to hurt Ryan because of his own love for Claire, as  much as it was to lure the real Claire out of hiding.

Avoiding Nick

The ploy itself was intriguing in that it was a unique way to cause more chaos, but Amanda felt like such a stock crazy bad guy that anyone could have fulfilled her role. Although, I have to admit, I'm pretty surprised no one was able to stop the skinny white girl at any point besides Ryan's final standoff.

Certainly, facing off with Amanda was not only instrumental in allowing Ryan to admit his love for Claire (something we've all known), but really open up the wound of emotion because of it. The real hurt he feels is more about the fact that he cares so much, he can't stop caring and he constantly worries that he can't do enough to protect her and even love her. That... and he's in love with a killer's former wife.

It was a ballsy and perhaps ridiculous tactic to stop Amanda from killing the last Claire and I assumed that he would have taken her out with a quick and direct shot. He did after all kill Louise when he said he would, even when she doubted it.

Ryan has a pretty high body count so far, doesn't he?

But the rather quick takedown of Louise (who had her more prominent speaking moments in "Welcome Home") and even Amanda really made me appreciate the followers that are getting more time to become real characters rather than faceless pawns in the struggle of Joe versus Ryan.

Jacob is perhaps the most interesting of the followers, namely for the fact that he never killed anyone before. He's so conflicted and you can even see the emotion in his face with every move he makes or doesn't make.

But what is his motivation for joining Joe and the group? Is it because of Emma and his affections for her that made him hop on board the cult crazy train?

Jacob clearly doesn't have any disdain for his mother, who even helped him out with Paul, so I'm not sure if it's parent issues. There was a sense of contempt towards his father, however, but the implication as to why was never revealed.

Yet, it was a dramatic transition for Jacob in the intense and shocking scene of his first kill. It was a major turn of events for the character.

Paul brought up his debt of hiding Jacob's secret and the assertion that he wanted to mean something. What better way than to have his true love not only put him out of his misery, but be the victim of Jacob's kill? It was a rather disturbing initiation process that Jacob became a part of; watching him suffocate his lover and friend was equally wild.

It was a tough scene to watch for sure and it makes me wonder what committing the act will mean for Jacob's further decisions, especially in regards to Emma.

What a great look Jacob gave his fellow trio member when he said, "Hello, Emma." at the very final scene. Things are not looking like a happy reunion for those two.

And while Emma continues to have that sweet innocent look wrapped around her dark and jealous side, especially where Joe is concerned, I loved the way Roderick confronted her.

Warren Kole has really brought Roderick to life in a way that makes him likable, despite the fact that he's teamed up with a group of crazies. His mimicking of Jacob's texts felt spot on, while at the same time they really established his pleasure in getting under Emma's skin.

Each grin and smirk towards her, even in revealing Jacob was finally home, was great.

Simultaneously,, Roderick feels less like a follower and more like a partner to Joe. He's intelligent enough to figure out Claire's real location, as he is in every move he makes. There's something fascinating about his character and it makes me wonder if at some point there might be a power struggle.

I definitely want to see and know more about Roderick.

That really at this point, aside from some the consistently creepy tone and suspense, is what is going to keep the show interesting. It's got to be less about the wild ways the followers kill in the name of Joe and more about what motivates them, what makes them tick, what makes them characters and not cut-out villains.

"Love Hurts" featured some very interesting interactions and changes for a few of the followers, further establishing that you don't mess with Ryan Hardy, and also that Joe will stop at nothing to get Claire back. The Following is not looking to slow things down anytime soon, as evidenced by the following trailer:

Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (76 Votes)

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

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I thought this ep was less predictable than others. They need to build more suspense tho. The acting is good but the writing and directing are lacking IMO

Daveyfreeman

it's not really about the bad guys winning. it's just that this whole series is redonk to the honkulous. how can anyone actually take this piece o'crap seriously? or find it even remotely entertaining? it's so forced, it hurts.
it was really excited about it, when i read about the premise. but they just blew it. they blew it big time.

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I like the premise of the series, its very interesting. So far its missing something that is very important, at least to me. This show never gives you any victory, even a little one. The last 2 or 3 episodes I almost find myself fast forwarding because I know whats going to happen. This show needs to give me a reason to get exited to watch it. I never finish an episode thinking that the good guys finally made some headway. That's the balance that a good series needs.

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I think most of the criticism about this show are about the uneasiness of "bad guys win every time".
The last scene of the previous episode show Joe and Roderick screwing some women after one creepy (and yet for them exciting) murder/suicide.
Cut to a scene about Ryan waiting patiently at the hospital for a messed up Mike to wake up.
Bad Guy : Sex/ Good Guy : injured and Sad. If you look a little closer you'll see that everything about the show is inverted.
- The good guy kill without so much as a warning (The guys about to kill Mike, Louise, the man he tortured...)
- The bad guys are at home with friend and family, they smiled and care about each other, they try to get back the women one love, try to save the one, one love, try to get the guy she love.
- Blank and inhumane tone for the good guy (white or dark light everywhere, Warm and calm tone for the house)
- No catharsis for the kills of the good guy, a lot of them for the bad guys... If you can figure the thing you dislike, look no further, the director seems to push us to root for the bad guy... And that's an uneasy feeling... Maybe Joe will get a dog after going full circle on the reversed cliché.

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This show is amazing, I can never miss an episode, my only compliant is I wish they would make Kevin Bacons character win a little more, it always seems like they are three steps behind Joe. Ryan was suppose to be this great FBI cop who took down Joe, idk if they are trying to build anticipation and he will emerge toward the end over even the next episode but I would love to see him finally catch up. The ending of this episode was BEAUTIFUL, especially with the song, which I have on non stop repeat. I only kinda bought Ryans love for Claire before but after that I really saw that he was in love with her.

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I love hate this show too--especially when deaths of cult members like louise are so quick and not cathartic--whereas the cults and joe's killings are almost fetishistic and slow! there is no catharsis for the audience! and ive suspended quite a lot of disbelief--with the size and scope of the cult! I just dont see how they can keep the series or at least the joe stuff up--its kind of getting old!

Tvgarth

Let's just talk about what a good actor Warren Kole is, not to mention a face that's made for double-entendre! I'm sure the story line has always been focusing on him, as we first heard all about "this Roderick" before meeting him. I'm not one to jump in fear, but The following manages to produce its fair share of "fright" in each episode. I look for Roderick to smirk his way all the way to the finale, and that's bound to be mind-boggling. Violence on television is alive and well, to be sure!

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i have tried and tried to enjoy this show. i really like purfoy and bacon. but the word is enjoy. i find myself upset with the outlandish goings on(and i don't with for instance Banshee,which you have to allow for some real outlandish stuff,same with many series,any really)so much so that i am more agitated than entertained...i can't put my finger on it except that i am somehow offended by the material. i watch so many shows that require the viewer to just go with it i was surprised,so i will try again,but i have to do it on the dvr so i can ff etc...antone else more agitated than entertained?

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This episode was a better one. The directions is turning a little so we can get some freshness as a viewer. I thought perhaps the FBI would be able to save Jacob and even turned him into a mole since he have not killed anyone and does not seems to have the heart to kill. Alas, the writers decided to make him go the other way and killed the guy that loved him. They say the 1st one is the hardest so now he will be just down on the road of another one of Joe's followers. The FBI seems so incompetent that I guess the only way Joe can be caught is by betrayal and internal conflict. I believe this might happened with Emma when she do not get the love she wants from Joe or with Roderick who wants to be number 1. Its hard to say though as the show basically can go anyone direction they want, there is no need for logic. Still viewers keep coming back and ratings means season 2 !

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Great episode last night. Did you hear the song that was playing during the party at Joe's place. Such a great song! It's called "Big Day" by Puracane. You can check the song out here : http://bit.ly/Whi9tw

The Following Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

I will shoot you dead.

Ryan

Hello, Emma.

Jacob
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