The Following Review: The Chase is On

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Sometimes I wonder what The Following would be like without Kevin Bacon.

There's such a strong presence whenever he appears on screen, delivers a line, gives a steely stare or shoots a bad guy. Bacon brings that gravitas to the character, helping me believe in every rogue move that Ryan Hardy makes or gritty edge during an interrogation scene.

Sure, sometimes it baffles me that Ryan has such spot-on hunches (seriously, how did he spot the cult mansion on that map?), but I'm more able to go along with it because it's Bacon.

Even now with 14 episodes down, I still enjoy watching Ryan hunt down his enemies, although I do wish we got to see some more of his cocky attitude like when he was all tied up in "The Fall."

Trapped in the Mansion

But if Bacon wasn't commanding the lead character like he does in every episode, I'm not sure that the regular routine of hunting followers every week would be as entertaining.

You'd think that as the penultimate episode, "The End is Near" would get past that repetitive fighting of the random one act followers and really gear up for Joe - master cult leader - and his ultimate plan.

Granted, there were some major moments towards the end of the hour, and I've got some suspicions about "The Final Chapter," but the rest felt like a drawn out way to get rid of Joe's faceless cult, while doing a lot of running around amidst killers and trying to let the FBI not be that step behind.

Of course, even with Ryan's intuition and skill, Joe and his massive group were able to disappear just in the nick of time. Well, at least the FBI found that one guy who I don't know.

And even with the creepy blonde spouting out book quotes while Ryan took a page out of the Batman interrogation manual - practically manhandling her across the room - she was still just another random follower to get in the way.

Much like the many that led the violently bloody attack. It was creepy and graphic, but if it's not one of the main characters, I've got a feeling somebody is going to shoot and kill them.

We've seen for the most part all this before, although it was Parker that managed to get captured this go around. Will Ryan have to make a hero's choice: Debra or Claire?

As for Joe, Jacob, Emma and Claire, they joined in on a random feast with a random couple (what is it with serial killers and food?) to discuss the power of love. Or perhaps as it has become for Joe, a sense of hate.

I'm not exactly surprised his marriage to Claire didn't last.

I was surprised that Claire was able to knock Joe over the head with the wine and then stab him again... but, alas, she was captured. Funny how the couple got away and Jacob and Emma didn't really care. Probably because they weren't important to the story.

Yet, through all the running, Joe was able to use that diversion of his followers attacking (that's clearly not his big plan even if they feel that's their chapter) to escape with Claire. It's not going to end happily ever after, but I think the idea is to bring it back to Ryan and Joe facing off. Just the two. The yin and the yang. Nothing else in between.

I wonder if Joe will die by season's end, leaving either another character to take his place; or some new cult to spring up to go after Ryan.

When it comes down to it, Joe really has been practically driven mad to write this story. It's all he's cared about and I've come to think that everything, at least for him, was all about that novel and, of course, Ryan. Maybe there really wasn't a bigger plan.

While Joe escaping by boat with Claire and the disturbing shouts for help from Debra buried alive took me aback, the big shocker was Emma slitting Jacob's throat.

Jacob continued to juggle the possibility with getting out of the killing game and running away with Emma. Sure, she betrayed him, but for him, forgiveness and love seemed to be where it was at.

Yet, the psycho chick still had a thing for Joe, and that choice seemed to come pretty easy to her. So long, Jacob.

I was shocked but disappointed. Once again, another interesting character got killed off. And maybe we'd exhausted Jacob's possibilities, but it was far more intriguing to watch him amidst all the crazies, trying to find his place, trying to fit in, all the while contemplating the other side of the coin.

Really, I still think we barely scratched the surface of who Jacob was and even his motivations for joining or his hinted relationship with his father.

So now, all we really have left is Joe and Emma - and I'm not sure both will make it past the season finale.

Overall, the scary and dark tone was consistent as it has been all season, as was the fighting of followers. I'm hoping it really just comes down to Joe and Ryan for the finale and that the series gets away from what's become a tedious battle with those random cult members. I still want to know how it all ends, so I'm looking forward to seeing it really focus in and close out the final chapter on a high note.


Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (125 Votes)

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


Can't believe an actor of Mr. Bacon's caliber would be involved with this project. Probably the only thing that saves this show is the lack of any competition. I see 5 minutes on either end of the show and that's more than enough for me. There is enough random violence and hate in this world already. Unbelievably that there is talk of another year. Worse than trash. No wonder the sickos of the world act out this junk


I will continue to watch this show for Bacon and Purefoy and because each episode is dark and engrossing. And frankly, and I mean no offence to anyone, but in light of the fact that, despite the biggest lockdown in US history, it was not the FBI who found the Boston bomber but a civilian out having a smoke who saw something odd about the tarp covering his boat, I now find the inability of the FBI in this show to find and shut down the cult much more believable. Jus' sayin'.


lol do FBI agents really get captured this much. i think this is like her 3rd or 4th time being captured.


lost interest a month ago. just follow it here and not sad i stopped watching, same ole same o all the time. random follower attacks or kills someone they get shot, ryan only one who can see obvious, blah, blah blah. saw joe on a show talking about season 2 AND 3? who will watch this silliness? problem with most producers, they assume watchers are idiots.


Really think this series has run its course--"hannibal"is just so much better! and why kill off parker in such a manner! how does this enhance storyline? ridiculous and over the top like so much of this series


I know that everyone here says that this show makes the FBI look like idiots, but hey, news flash, the FBI are idiots!!


dont you really think that if they are going to put people in a secure area, someone would have had the brains to frisk them!... just saying!


WTF!!!!!!!!!!!! jacob dies in the hands of that BITCH for wanting to leave?
she has to go and i hope clarie or agent parker *if they save in time KILLS
HER! i've been waiting for him *jacob to get rid of her since he got to the mansion. this season has been UP AND DOWN and i don't know if i want in for season 2...........just beyond WEIRD!

Sarah silva

Soapjunk: there is actually a possibility that Joe dies. Kevin Williamson said so himself. Next season may be a whole new serial killer Ryan has to look for!

Sarah silva

Without Ryan Hardy the FBI would have accomplished nothing! It is pretty sad how they make the FBI appear so incompetent!
While they managed to kill 9 followers, Joe was still 2 steps ahead.
I like horror movies, but for tv there were some pretty brutal scenes, the lady hit in the back of her head and all the blood running down and then Emma killing Jacob.
I was happy with what Claire did to Joe, however she should have made sure the car driving by was not the couples car. She still should be able to find something on that boat to cut the rope and then hit Joe over the head again and toss him in the water.
I think Ryan will have to choose between Deb and Claire as both will not die.

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