FYI, this show clearly went downhill when they killed off Warren Kole’s character but whatever, let me get into the post. Apologies in advance for any spelling issues, types etc. It’s all Kevin Bacon’s fault. Also this is kind of LONG.
The Following’s first season centers on former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and his attempts to re-capture serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), following the latter’s escape from prison. Hardy soon discovers that Carroll has surrounded himself with a group of like-minded individuals, whom he met while teaching and while in prison, and turned them into a cult of fanatical killers, including his right-hand, Emma Hill (Valorie Curry). When Carroll’s son, Joey Matthews (Kyle Catlett), is abducted by his father’s followers, Agents Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore), Debra Parker (Annie Parisse), and the rest of the FBI team discover that it is the first step in Carroll’s wider plan to escape custody, humiliate Hardy, and be reunited with his ex-wife Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea).
The first season of The Following at least had shock value. Crazy serial killer (Joe Carroll) breaks out of jail and kills more people. Crazy Serial Killer is obsessed with his own high-school level analysis of Edgar Allen Poe. YAY. TELL-TALE HEART, WHEE!!! His nemesis Kevin Bacon puts him back in jail. He breaks out again due to the cult he’s managed to build up of those weird (yeah, I said it) people who write to prisoners they have no prior affiliation with. Oh, and Crazy Serial Killer has his son kidnapped because he wants to reunite with his wife. The same wife who shacked up with Kevin Bacon. Who put him in jail. Twice. Anyway, yeah…
Season 1 was okay. At the end, Crazy Serial Killer fakes his own death by switching his DNA with his dead half-brother. Oh, and they didn’t know about the dead half-brother. Or they did? I don’t know. It wasn’t very clear.
In the middle of this there’s some bullshit love triangle. Jacob and Paul have been pretending to be gay for X number of years so they could get close to Crazy Serial Killer’s unfinished/business last victim (who was saved by Kevin Bacon). Yeah, Crazy Serial Killer is all about the long con because, you know. Poe. Anyway, somewhere along the line Jacob and Paul started smashing but like, Jacob’s not gay. And he immediately gets back with Emma (they met in prison – classic love story) when they kidnap Crazy Serial Killer’s son. Paul is jealous, Emma is annoying, Jacob spends much of the first half of the season looking as if he’s been continuously stubbing his toe for a month.
Paul is really, really, really jealous so he kidnaps a girl as retaliation…? Jacob tries to help her escape because TWIST! He hasn’t killed anyone yet, he just…didn’t want to be a doctor like his Dad wanted him to be. I suppose joining a murderous cult was better than getting a job or something. Anyway, Emma basically abandons them after a run in with Kevin Bacon and Paul gets an infection that’s deadly so Jacob smothers with him a pillow – but not until after they confess their love blah, blah. Oh, and that’s the first person he’s killed, so. Yay for him. It added zero to the plot. Emma kills Jacob after he asks her to run away with him. If only he knew that Emma basically wants to be Mrs Crazy Serial Killer.
This show is a blatant abuser of the bad guy monologue. In between Crazy Serial Killer’s long rambling monologues and Kevin Bacon running after people
and not collapsing every five minutes due to his alcoholism/pacemaker combo, there were at least four episodes worth of irrelevant conversation. I honestly exercised my yelling STFU/EYE ROLL combo many, many times. All you need to know is that Crazy Serial Killer is obsessed with Kevin Bacon. And Kevin Bacon is obsessed with him. Yawn.
There was also someone called Roderick, who was Crazy Serial Killer’s wingman and sent up a nice mansion for all of Crazy Serial Killer’s fan club. He was a sheriff who made the stupid mistake of beating up Weston, an agent working with Kevin Bacon, and apparently not realising that someone could…recognise his voice. For someone who was supposed to be so smart, it was pretty stupid. He dies.
Anyway. After a completely ridiculous series finale, they think Crazy Serial Killer is dead and then….
The second season centers on a new cult, led by Lily Gray (Connie Nielsen) and her twin sons Mark and Luke Gray (both played by Sam Underwood), as they begin to make public statements to lure Carroll out of hiding while the rest of the world believes him to be dead. Weston is re-recruited by Special Agent Mendez (Valerie Cruz) and the FBI in order to find the new cult; however, Hardy and his niece Max Hardy (Jessica Stroup) have plans of their own to track them down and find Carroll, provided he is in fact alive.
Yes, season 2 has crazy twins, who have an adoptive mother who’s a crazy billionaire (but of course). Oh, and said billionaire and twins want to lure out Crazy Serial Killer from season 1 because…well, the reason wasn’t entirely clear past the crazy billionaire wanting to bone him. Clearly this show is too deep for me to understand. I need to connect with my inner crazy.
Anyway, before I could go any further, I have to say that season 2 of this show is one of the worst seasons of television I have ever seen. The absolute worst.
There wasn’t even any comedic value to it. It was just bad. And thanks to Amazon Prime and its ability to just play all episodes until I wake up in the middle of a scene of people chanting ‘KORBAN IS POWER, KORBAN IS LOVE’ or whatever the fuck it was, I experienced it even during my resting hours. I can’t even begin to break down the clusterfuck the plot was. It was just so bad that I couldn’t physically stop watching it. I kept thinking that it couldn’t get any worse and then dry sobbed into a pillow when it did.
Kevin Bacon’s niece shows up because I guess they needed to make Ryan less miserable. Oh, yeah, his girlfriend/ex wife of Crazy Serial Killer was stabbed in his apartment by his neighbor/ex-FWB/Crazy Serial Killer follower and is now in WitSec, but he was told that she died. Sigh.
Basically, there’s the crazy billionaire and twins subplot. And there’s the crazy cult in the woods plot. Crazy Serial Killer bangs Crazy Billionaire, who then drugs him to make sure that he doesn’t get away. CSK’s Annoying Accomplice, Annoying Emma (the worst character ever) manages to grab him and they escape, along with Crazy #3, who killed her mother because she saw CSK as a father figure. They all join another cult. YAY!
This is a cult called Korban, whose leader is an overgrown man-child, who literally has some kind of man cave while making his flock wear triangular pieces of cloth and yell all of that nonsense about Korban. And after presumably watching Crazy Serial Killer unleash an army of crazed followers, he has no qualms letting him into Korban, hell, he even kills his wife when she tries to tell him that trusting a Crazy Serial Killer might not be a good idea. But, no he wants to be famous or whatever. It made no sense. He died. Which is a shame because I liked him as Patricia Arquette’s husband on Medium. Anyway, CSK (who no longer cares about Poe, after killing scores of people in the name of Poe. Are you fucking kidding me?) takes over the cult and made it into some kind of messed up pseudo-religion, and this plot culminated with his rabid followers killing people IN CHURCH! Oh, and we had a Pastor kill himself as well. Someone set herself on fire. There were scores of deaths. The body count for this season was ridiculous. Yeah, it’s the point of the show, but it added nothing to it but irritation and annoyance.
In addition to all of that, Crazy Billionaire killed the father of an agent working with Kevin Bacon, called Weston. So Weston murdered her. One of her sons died somehow, I don’t know. I was probably crying into a pillow somewhere, wondering why I was still watching.
An aside here is that they turned Weston into a Kevin Bacon mini-me. He was so sweet during season 1 and then bam, season 2 happened and he was all FUBAR. Thanks for nothing, Kevin Williamson.
Speaking of Kevin Bacon, or Ryan Hardy, I just call him Kevin Bacon because all characters he plays should just be called Kevin Bacon. Except for Hollow Man, because. Well, because. Anyway, yes. Kevin Bacon is the hero of the show. The guy who magically figures everything out before everyone else. The guy who, you know, on occasion, gets scores of people killed but even so, some FBI Agent literally spends most of the season authorising Kevin Bacon to do whatever the fuck he wants. Kevin Bacon probably would have gotten clearance to kill Crazy Serial Killer with a poisonous bouncy castle if he hadn’t spent most of the season BEGGING PEOPLE TO KILL HIS CHARACTER.
Seriously. It went like this. KB encounters one of CSK’s crazies, usually while they were holding someone else hostage. He would then utter the words, ‘KILL ME INSTEAD!’ All while knowing fully well that he’s the lead on this show. And that Crazy Serial Killer has authorised all of his crazies to leave him unharmed. But The Following’s talented group of writers had no qualms with writing in KILL ME INSTEAD, TAKE ME INSTEAD, KILL ME!!!! Repeatedly. My working theory is that Kevin Bacon was ad-libbing and just wanted to be removed from bad writing at any opportunity possible.
Oh, and they spend a lot of time talking about Kevin Bacon’s character’s pacemaker…yet….he spent 75% of the season running long distances with no problem whatsoever. I’m pretty sure he was shot at one point. Possibly two points. No problems whatsoever. Fine, the pacemaker gives him super strength. Oh, and he also manages to have some kind of weird relationship with his terrible reporter who got him drunk and put everything he told her in a book. Totally necessary.
Somewhere along the line, the ex-wife demanded to be released from WitSec after Crazy Serial Killer started killing people with the same name as her. Apparently she knew how to stop him? Well, she failed, so. However, she did kill Annoying Accomplice Emma!! YAY!
Thankfully CSK was arrested and everybody else (apart from the good guys and one of the evil twins) died, THE END! But wait…
The third season follows Hardy’s life after Carroll’s arrest and shows Hardy’s in a better place. He is close with his niece and has a girlfriend. Weston, however, follows a different path and chooses to hunt down Mark Gray, and he doesn’t blame Hardy for his choice. Carroll is now on death row, waiting to be executed, but he plays an important role in the season. However, there is a new player in the game, another serial killer who proves to be just as dangerous and capable as Joe Carroll.
Oh, his life is so much better as evidenced by the very awkward wedding this season opens with. Gina Mendez, former wife of a former FBI Agent who went rogue during season 2 and used her security clearance to help Crazy Serial Killer evade the cops, gets married.
That’s another thing. Much like the last season of The Mentalist, the excitement with this show is that ANYONE COULD BE INVOLVED! Even law enforcement!! Yay. Can someone tell the next show runner that does this that they didn’t come up with this idea? And that it’s been done. Over and over and over again. Thanks. Corrupt cop Ex Machina needs to be retired forever. Or approached with some realistic plot.
Anyway, the wedding doesn’t end well. And the not-dead evil twin pops up, demanding that they tell the truth about what happened to Crazy Billionaire. Not-dead evil twin now has DID and is both twins. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY. Still don’t give two shits about him, his character or his storyline. Good acting though.
Oh, and Crazy Serial Killer’s mentor manages to get out of prison only to be killed by his best student, Michael Ealy. I don’t even know.
Anyway, Kevin Bacon has a girlfriend now, so he’s totally okay whenever she’s around. Oh, but, he keeps trying to shut her out. #FORESHADOWING
Kevin Bacon’s niece has a boyfriend, but is also still in love with Weston and there’s unresolved tension and….her boyfriend gets a little creepy and starts spying on her with some cameras originally set up by Crazy Lone Twin. I mean to be fair, he did kind of manage to rewind the video back and see that she cheated on him with Weston, but still, totally unnecessary. He ends up stealing the laptop and then killing another agent when she realises that something wasn’t quite right. And then he’s blackmailed over that and ends up having acid thrown on his face before being killed.
I don’t even know. I don’t care. Why am I here? WHY IS MICHAEL EALY HERE? WHY DID THIS GET A THIRD SEASON WHILE ALMOST HUMAN WAS CANCELLED? Yes, I am still salty over Almost Human.
Crazy Serial Killer is on death row and randomly kills a bunch of people just to get Ryan Hardy to show up at his execution. Before that, he kills a different bunch of people for reasons unknown. And he was able to do this, all while in prison…thankfully he dies, but not before torturing Kevin Bacon, and then saving his life. ??? Poe, I guess.
Halfway through season 3 we’re introduced to this Eliza woman, who works for a group of millionaire serial killers or whatever. I don’t know or care about this. Oh and Kevin Bacon is also battling Michael Ealy/Theo Noble, who is out for revenge because KB killed his sister (who was also a murderer who helped him kill the rest of their family). Sigh. That drags on for a while and also Eliza is in and out of the plot adding an unnecessary layer of confusion.
In the end, Kevin Bacon fakes Ryan Hardy’s death, even though his girlfriend is pregnant. Apparently, he’s going to dedicate his life to taking on the millionaire serial killers with his super-strength pacemaker and wiry frame – all by himself. Ain’t nothing but a G thang, or whatever. I wish they had just killed the character off. Michael Ealy’s character drowns – maybe. I don’t know. I don’t care. Nobody else seemed to care.
This show was and is exhausting. The only thing more depressing than this show is an alternative world where the only song available is ‘Hurt’ by Nine Inch Nails. It was a promising show…but one that unfortunately ended with a horrible outcome due to extremely poor writing. So. DEUCES.