I’m glad the finale is near because at least then (hopefully) some solid and focused closure will get us off these episodes that seem to have lost the spark that was reignited when The Following Season 2 began.
And with The Following renewed for a third season, I’m going to be wondering again, how they can manage to create a story that feels fresh and varied and not just a rehash of familiar beats?
Unfortunately, that's what The Following Season 2 Episode 12 felt like. Pretty much everything seemed predictable on a side quest because of Joe’s dislike for religion and the convenient televangelist talking trash about the serial killer. At least it led Ryan to Joe.
Really, it’s those two squaring off that I’ve wanted to see. Sure, it’s necessary to keep them apart all season, but how many times can we watch Ryan face off against random foes that ultimately mean nothing to him and nothing to us.
I’ve grown tired of Joe’s followers, especially his ones that just feel overdone in their killings; you know, the one’s that don’t wear red.
Clearly, they’ve watched The Dark Knight and copied the Joker’s trick of putting masks on the good people. But it would probably work a lot better if all the killers actually wore their masks to confuse everyone. At least we didn’t have to watch a slaughter of all those college kids, but man, glueing all those masks on must have taken forever.
It just seems funny that Joe would set his sights on the televangelist kid, or even the televangelist at all. Is he bored? Does he really hate religion that much?
It makes me wonder what his next theme will be for The Following Season 3. If he survives. But should he survive? As much as I like James Purefoy, wouldn’t it be a bit ridiculous if Joe Carroll managed to escape again?
I’m not really surprised that Mandy met her untimely death, although she would have been way safer to go to Ryan. I get that she was “finding her place” and wanted that family that Lily offered. But did she really think she could just say “no” and everything would be OK? Silly, Mandy.
That said, it was great to see Joe angrily converse with Emma. That fury when he got in her face was frightening, and I wish we got to see more of that and less theatrical religious teachings. He did have some care for Mandy and he showed that with his phone call. It was good to see that emotional side before he went back to cult leader of the crazies.
I am glad Ryan ditched Claire instead of her stupidly thinking she should go on a mission with him. She’s not a secret agent. I would have rolled my eyes if that was the case, but I fear that she may still end up doing something like that.
And that’s the thing, this hour had some decent moments but plenty left me disinterested. How many times have we seen Claire say it’s time to kill Joe? How many times has Ryan rolled up on the bad guys at the last second? And how many times has Ryan wanted to go it alone when backup makes more sense?
I want to give the benefit of the doubt, especially with three episodes left. Things should ramp up for something exciting, but there's still that worry that The Following Season 2 will waste that and by the end, we might just not care to do the whole thing all over again next fall.
Will Claire survive The Following Season 2?
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.