‘The Following’ episode 2 review: Captivation and frustration

The FollowingIt may sound strange, but there is a certain part of “The Following” the reminds us of both “The Killing” mixed in with “The Thirteen Ghosts of Scooby-Doo.” You have a horrible man who has unleashed all of these monstrous people out into the world, and it is up to really one very flawed man to try and stop them from happening. Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Hardy is as close to a superhero as a former federal agent is going to be, and thus far John Carroll is making it clear first of all that he is just playing games with the man.

There are some parts of this second episode that w quite frankly loved. The Hardy character is supremely fascinating, mostly because he is a man who seems so averse to his own heroism that he has instead devolved himself into a man worthy of nothing other than pity. He’s a sad-sack who cannot be fully trusted with dangerous criminals, mostly because he has no willingness anymore to follow the rules.

The new partner in Debra Parker (who will now be around the rest of the season in what is a traditional post-pilot change-up), is fascinating in her own way … mostly because we have no idea what was up with her giving Carooll Edgar Allan Poe’s completed works at the end of the episode. Is she opening herself up to be indoctrinated by him? If so, it’s a fantastic twist to see this “tough female cop” role become something other than just a love interest. Plus, that role at the moment still seems to be occupied by Caroll’s ex-wife, who nearly fell victim to the same “guy hiding in the house” that we saw during the pilot.

Now, we turn to what makes us want to pull out our hair when it comes to this show: the “followers” right now are pretty terrible, and we could care less especially about the two guys. While giving us some details of Emma’s backstory and history with Carroll were a nice touch, the scenes of this “team” in the present with Joey were simply tiresome and felt like less-interesting versions of some of the characters in another Kevin Williamson work in “Scream.” When you have a villain as captivating as Carroll, having his minions be relatively lifeless zombies is not particularly fulfilling, even if it may be somewhat realistic.

As Jordy was captured this week, we are hoping that this just does not become a weekly journey of Hardy finding a new killer and taking him down. Not only would that become tiring, but it would deprive the show of some of the depth it could otherwise have. What Fox needs now is a great serialized show in the absence of “Fringe,” and this has all the makings to be it. Now, it just needs the attitude and the bravery to tell a continuous story over 15 episodes.

Compared to the pilot, did you find “The Following” better or worse this week? Be sure to share your thoughts below! Meanwhile, you can also take a look at some of the episodes ahead by heading on over to the link here.

Photo: Fox

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