What happened to The Following Season 2?
A fresh and intriguing concept formed from a story that had seemingly nowhere to go was a great way to kick things off after The Following Season 1 Episode 15. And yet... these past few weeks have continued to grow my own frustration at the absurdity of the story being told and the characters involved.
It’s left the “it’s so over-the-top, it’s fun” escapades and devolved into disappointing hours focused more on trying to be clever with its twists and graphic kills clearly meant for shock value.
Where’s the story to care about? Where’s the characters to care about? And by the time we all reach the finale, why should we care to do it again for The Following Season 3?
A big problem lies in the transition from Lily and her family to Joe taking over Korban. There was plenty of promise with the shift, but it’s ultimately been uninteresting with follower #1, #2 or #54 lighting themselves on fire or shooting themselves just because, you know, in the name of Joe. Or something.
Then there’s the odd desire to battle with the televangelist and prove that God doesn’t exist. Why? Because Joe has a big ego and he just has to. Or something.
It even makes a scene like the televangelist killing himself (which should be a major sacrifice to save his son) just feel like the show is trying to be shocking and edgy and impactful.
And the series is quick to move on from it, much like Lily Grey’s death was wrapped up at the start of the hour.
Sure, we’ve got a very visual set for the characters to play in the church, but Ryan will be one step behind, with no real options to face off against Joe. Should we really be surprised when things keep not going his way?
Don’t even get me started on the shot playing out over blackness at the very end. That should be such a great tease, but it just feels like another thing thrown in in an attempt to be twisty and exciting. And even if a character "dies," do they really? Both Joe and Claire seemingly came back from the dead...
But on top of the religious hostage situation for Joe’s infamy, there’s Claire and her obvious attempts to get herself killed. It would have been a real shock if she listened to Ryan instead of stupidly running off by herself to face Joe.
Not to worry though, the bad guys, who you would think might be a bit more competent (and they had Claire captured at one point!) had to go and mess that up. Robert is killed, a fight that’s probably supposed to be really climactic just really isn’t, and Emma dies.
But at this point, it just feels like all these deaths are happening without the emotional impact to make them matter to us. It’s tough to really care.
And I want to. Or maybe I want to be more forgiving because I like Kevin Bacon, or I enjoyed the start of the season, or this should be a fantastically dark show that delves into a clever cat and mouse game between two interesting characters rather than a lot of gruesome deaths and meaningless chases.
I guess you could say I was surprised that the twins showed up, but how else were they going to tie back into the story, right?
It’s just unfortunate that The Following Season 2 Episode 14 wasn't that riveting lead-in episode to the finale. Emma may have claimed that "there will not be a repeat of last year," but I'm not so sure The Following will be able to pull itself out of the mess it has made.
Was Mike killed?
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.