Try as you might, “The Following”, you shan’t resist the charms of the ‘procedural’ for long!
No! I won’t! I’ll never join you!
You will. It’s in your script, your writing, your direction. You can’t fight your producers.
It’s too late. The transformation has been creeping up on you little by little. The rebellions are adorable. Watching a Fox network show stumble through sexuality and gender issues is a little hilarious and a little sad. Remember the murder threesome from last week?
Shockingly, the least committed of the group second-guesses the decision to sleep with his girlfriend and his not-gay-lover at the same time with the young Joey in the same house. I think 7 year olds have gotten more independent since I was a kid. Now Jacob (Brendan?) is confused. He wants to kill, but he can’t. He wants Emma, but apparently she’s not super exclusive. And his gay lover is straight/gay! I think there is a halfhearted attempt at gender/sexuality fluidity, but there’s this bizarre role-reversed conversation between Jacob and Paul that was all like, “I can’t just CHOOSE to be gay for you!”
This week was like most other weeks, where sometimes I felt that they were being super clever, and other times it fell flat. I thought that the lawyer angle was really interesting – the actor really nailed the personality change between past and present. It might have been a little dramatic, but then they do the finger thing and I was like WHOA.
In related news, I think it’s nice of the writers to include a little of like, How does Joe do things? He uses people! He has other Followers! So many shows let their villains get away with anything and don’t bother explaining any of the ‘how’ (/coughSKYFALLcough) Also, as per my wishes, there are other Followers. And they are expendable! That means there are much more, I wager. This is good. We are moving back to the controlled chaos I found so appealing in the first episode.
There is a heavy presence of people doing sane, real life things and reacting in realistic ways and then having completely ludicrous things happen. The old FBI guy that gets to look after Joe’s wife acts super smart and agent-like until the moment he follows her to the bathroom. At this point, we hear the exit door slam, and then the bathroom door close. He sees only the bathroom, sure, but…Two doors slamming? I know, I know, plot development.
Joey gets character development this week! Excitement! He’s a neat little kid, isn’t he? Smart when he needs to be, 7 years old when the plot requires it. Hiding under a kitchen table to make a phone call, not the brightest move. Escaping during lunchtime, busting the door open? Genius.
Also featured this week – murder! Straight up, no holds barred, garden tool murder. This is what happens if you are a good samaritan. Pay attention. I felt kinda bad. That’s a rough way to go. They also acted like sane people, to an extent. I’m not sure if I would have let Joey go or not. I think, either outcome = dead.
So, how about that cliffhanger, eh? It’s the ballsiest one they’ve done yet, I think, and if this episode was the quiet increase to an explosive second act (this is an opera, with three acts. I base this on heavy musical parallels), then the audience is in for a good ride. Fingers crossed.
Sidenote: I’m pretty sure you can’t pop some grainy security footage into some phantom FBI software through a ‘server’ and pull resolution out of your butt. You just can’t. Procedurals – stahp.