The Following Review: Edge of Darkness

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What fuels you? - Ryan

Well, technically, Joe asked the question first, something that's been bothering him to the point of writer's block. Sure, he claims that death drives him, as it drives Ryan, but I still feel like there's something more pushing him.

We've established that Joe is a killer straight from the pilot. He's also a manipulator and charismatic leader to other sociopaths. Yet, when it comes down to it, even with each menacing glare and slight break into scary from Joe's normally calm demeanor, "all he seems to do is sit and write his book."

Pursuing a Lead

Roderick has a point. It's not that Joe isn't menacing or frightening, but it's hard to see what pushes him beyond his obsession with creating a family with Claire or writing this "novel" starring Ryan Hardy.

A piece of work which Claire seems to think isn't a masterpiece, while filled with a flawed yet mysterious plan we as viewers still know nothing about.

Claire's motives are to get her kid at all costs, whether by stupid decisions like getting caught in the first place or naively thinking she could escape. Really, there's not much more for her to do besides make another failed attempt and possibly get lucky... or wait for her hero to show up and save the day.

As for Ryan, it's clear to see his motivations, especially with his love for Claire and the additional fact that he doesn't want people to die by Joe's insane cult. Yes, he's got zero problem killing followers who think he won't shoot (and he always does), but in the end, he's trying to prevent more deaths.

Which makes it odd that Joe was filled with such consternation about what has been driving Ryan, as if those obvious things we learned weren't the real reason.

Thus, we got a flashback of Ryan's father's murder to facilitate an even darker fuel to his fire. Yet that particular cliche didn't really do anything to make me see anything new in Ryan. What's more, we never really ever got to see a relationship with his dad to determine if it was even good or bad.

Rather, we did see that Ryan's darkness began at an early age by forcing his father's killer to take copious amounts of drugs; in effect, making him overdose. So now we know he's trying to right his wrongs and escape that dark path.

But I'm not so sure the show wants Ryan to be able to escape, much less any character. Really no one, besides perhaps Joey, is a purely good prson. It's as if a struggle to stay on the good side is made more difficult with each move made.

Take Mike, one of my favorites on the series, who suddenly had some major anger issues. He was aggressive and rule-breaking, perhaps a little like Ryan, but pushing the potential for making himself a killer. I wasn't really a fan of something that felt drastic, much like Jacob's change into the dark side.

At least Mike was able to scale it back and recognize him going to far. The same could be said for Jacob calling up father providing a sliver of hope for his character. Still, it's as if there's this darkness inside each individual. Even Claire, who was able to hit Emma, but unfortunately the girl fight felt like a silly excuse to pit the two female charcters against each other.

However, I loved the standoff between Joe and Ryan for the pure fact that James Purefoy and Kevin Bacon can command a scene, even if there's a glass wall in between them. It was a riveting moment (I was worried Mike might die) but the whole concept of Joe spending all his time writing his book and talking about the next chapter is getting a little tiring.

He has to have a bigger plan, right?

I'm along for the ride, recognizing the scary aspects that surround every dark building the FBI want to investigate. I'm down with Ryan's attempts to win and even Roderick's challenges to Joe himself. We got more of that with "The Curse" and yet it still feels like we aren't getting any closer to something new or different.

And I wish the FBI would be a little more competent in its efforts. They seem to forget to clear rooms of possible enemies or get themselves outsmarted and captured.

It's time to shake things up and refuel The Following before it runs out of steam leaving us with just more of the same.


Editor Rating: 3.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (81 Votes)

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


A program that goes nowhere, and includes plenty of stupidity! The police and FBI have zero technology, and the cult are able to tap any phone, and get information not even available to the CIA! One of the biggest time wasters on TV!


This show started off as an obsession for me. But then each episode seemed the same...and the FBI became more inept. I'll finish out this season, but if things don't change, all I can say is 'meh'. Ryan is no Jack Bauer.


Oh why are so many people who hate the show commenting?
Sorry but I dont need 100 comments in here that just say: This sucks - every week
Why do u watch it then? I still love it! Its a show not real live! How logical are all the other shows? relax


I watched the first 6 episodes of this, or so... but I kinda lost interest. I'm hooked on Bates Motel and Hannibal right now. I just felt the "cult" thing kept getting more and more far-fetched until it was just not even remotely believable. I was also hoping this show would be a lot more grittier than it is... but it seems to have slumped into a CSI/Law & Order type drama with an occasional Scream-esque jump scare. If this gets renewed for a second season, I may check it out again...but meh


Omg I HATE Emma! I loved that Claire manage to b***h slap that h**! I hope she hooks up with Roderick, Joe would go crazy and it would make interesting drama..only temporarily of course, as Ryan is her endgame and Roderick may be even more twisted and creepy than Joe! Also, I don't get Jacob at all, I don't buy his transformation and I never understood why he joined that sick cult..hopefully they'll explain! That being said,I think the show is really faltering, it used to be so good! Hopefully it will resume it's former glory..


this show is just too relently negative and bloody to continue watching. no one smiles but joe and somehow there are all these followers who are dedicated to killing, because of some website? come on, this is getting silly, with couple of guys showing up to shoot the specially trained guys surrounding that house? sheesh. not one ray of sunshine and fbi is so incompetent? bye bye. saw a clip where actor playing joe was talking about season 3. not me, out.


Hopefully, Ryan recognized Roderick immediately from his pix (and Mike's description of his accent) but didn't let on.


I agree with everything everyone is saying. And yet there is no way I cannot return for each episode. Bacon and Purefoy are, well, "pure joy." Even tho' the series is, of course, totally unrealistic, it is mesmerizing in individual scenes. Roderick is totally not to be trusted, that scene with him "sharing" with Claire was ridiculous, there's no way he would do that, I think he's setting her up for something. I loved it when she poked fun at Joe's writing, she showed a chink in his armour with his reaction. Anyhoo, looking forward, as ever, to the next episode.

Sarah silva

I never thought I would say it, but I am getting a little tired of this show. I will watch the rest of the season but it has lost a little of the thrill for me.
It is the same old: Ryan shoots someone (no one else in the FBI does). Ryan and Co. are always one step behind, and seriously he really could not have shot Jacob before Jacob would have been able to shoot Deb?
Having Joe and Co. always one step ahead is getting a little old.
However I am hopeful Ryan and the FBI will prevail, but we will see.


This story is so ridiculous, yet I keep watching, because I want to see how the writers keep the brilliant bad guy, continue to allow the "good" guy to live even though there have been numerous opportunities to elimanate him. Ryan has killed as many people as carroll and he does it his way. No discipline although he was called up as a consultant to help catch Joe. Claire is just as bad with her stupidity. If she take advantage of Joe's caring for her there no limit to what she can accomplish. I'll be checking out the "superhero" killing people again next week and also those around him.

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