Dee Discusses: The Following 1.2

Posted: February 7, 2013 by Dee in Dee, General Media, Recaps, Television
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I got a little behind on this one since I focused on X-Files, and now I’m behind on X-Files so I could catch up on TV. Go figure. I saw the pilot and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to this episode. And I think I enjoyed it overall. I have a few things I wish they’d do better, and I’ll get into that after the summary. Just to catch you up, it’s about serial killer Joe Carroll who managed to break out of jail to kill his last victim and taunt the FBI agent who caught him, Ryan Hardy. The important part is that Caroll has a cult who will be helping him murder people while he’s still in jail, and he’s done this so he can write a new book using Ryan as his protagonist and himself as the antagonist. Carroll’s son was kidnapped from his wife Claire by his followers, and Claire did have an affair with Ryan. I’m not sure how I feel about it being called an affair since they seem to say that the two of them hooked up only after she was divorced. And certainly after he was caught as the killer. Does that still count as an affair? I kind of feel like it doesn’t.

There’s a new member of the team Debra Parker who I guess replaced the woman who was on the team last week? Hm. Interchangeable female characters, I love that (sarcasm). Anyway she’s a behavioral specialist in cult behavior, and she borderlines on creepy at times with how much she relates/understands the mentality. The prison guard who released Joe last week murders a group of sorority girls in his name, so he’s the current case of the week, although they’re still looking for nanny Emma and “gay” couple Jacob and Paul who have Joe Jr. They manage to find Emma’s old house where her mother lived and then was stabbed to death by her daughter, buried in the walls. The house turned into some kind of creepy cult frat house with all his followers writing on the walls and talking about their plans. Emma is the ringleader of the operation, and we see the flashbacks from when she first met Joe and then was set up by him with Jacob. Emma and Jacob are shacking up in their hideout, and Paul seems very jealous about their relationship. Could he have real feelings for Jacob after acting like a couple for so long? He also doesn’t like kids, so this is going to be awkward.

Eventually they find the plans for a few houses and realize that dumb security guard Jordan knows how to get into Claire’s house. He attacks her and waits for Ryan to get there, saying he has to kill Claire or be killed by Ryan, as Joe requested. Ryan manages to distract him long enough for Claire to duck out of the way and Jordan’s shot in the arm. It’s important here that Jordan survives. This is after Claire agrees to see Joe in person and begs him to tell her where Joey is. They have a really uncomfortable and strange conversation about how he still loves her and about her relationship with Ryan. He almost strangles her after she attacks, but the guards manage to break them up. We see flashbacks of her and Ryan getting together, but again, it seems like it’s post-divorce so I don’t see how this is an affair. Joe is not happy that Jordan survived, and there’s this weird scene where Debra gives him the extra Poe book he demanded. Is she going to get sucked into the cult? I’m not sure but there’s some weird sparks going off there.

What I like about this show is the attention it’s paying to the cult members and their mentality, because I find that part interesting and I wanted to hear more from Debra about how this happens. I feel like the problem is the show is sort of giving the Cliff Notes version of cults. Maybe I’m expecting too much of a show with only an hour, but on the other hand I’ve seen Criminal Minds which goes into real depth about the psyche of the killers and their driving forces. I feel like they showed Emma and how badgered she was by her mother and how her low self esteem was preyed on by Joe. I bought her movement to crazy town and I like her as the intense leader of the crew. Jacob and Paul I’m interested in next, I’m not sure where they’re coming from here. I want to hear more about their stories and motivations, because most of the time all the focus is on the one bad guy, and I find his followers more interesting. So I’m glad they’re a major part of the show. I just feel like they’re not going deep enough.

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