Well here we are. Episode 15. Little did I know when I wrote the first recap of the premiere that I was making such a huge commitment. This episode is called “The Final Chapter”, because, y’know. There’s a book metaphor. I think it goes without saying, but, SPOILERS.
So, we ended last week with Parker in serious danger of suffocating. Quick, everyone make halfhearted attempts to find her. Also, wait, she…she’s had a cellphone this whole time? Her OWN cellphone? I’m no expert on suffocating, but I’m pretty sure they shouldn’t encourage her to talk.
Let’s have a quick chat about Parker’s character. They introduce her as this hard-as-nails cult expert, but she quickly dissolves into the Ryan Hardy fanclub, and OH she has a rape backstory. Did you know that’s how women are made in Hollywood? So, obviously, family is her only regret, even though she underwent such a tragic thing. Besides this, she attempted to re-connect with her parents on the show in a flashback, and it didn’t go so well. It was super nice of the killers to leave shovels. No one knows how to do their jobs. So they killed Parker, and it was honestly pretty lackluster. Have you seen the C.S.I. episode where Nick gets buried alive? 40 harrowing minutes. This? 10 minutes of, “Ehhhh?”
Annabel Lee is Claire. Good golly gosh FBI. Oh yeah, and his BOOK. In a plot wrought with Poe references and the fact that Joe’s book takes place at a lighthouse and he keeps doing things in real life to mimic this stuff, I just don’t understand the lack of logic leaps.
Speaking of which, Joe undergoes quite a shift in character throughout the series, but it doesn’t make much sense. He still has little notes of creepy, but all in all it’s such a strange method of portrayal. He’s a terrible writer, by the way.
“So we can still change the story, right?” asks Westie, because he also dissolved into the Hardy fanclub despite being a young upstart in the FBI with real character potential. Obviously it can change. This is LIFE. Joe’s like a deranged high school English teacher trying desperately to make a group project work. In the end, Ryan even attempts to bully him into killing himself? Yup, sounds like high school.
“That love was a lie, Joe.” No, it wasn’t. If you love someone, you love them. Loving a lie is not the same as the love being a lie. Claire really had no idea that he was a killer the whole time? Love is blind, I guess…? Is this really all about loving Claire? BORING. Joe, if you’ll remember back to the first episode, was a serial killing maniac who cut girls’ eyes out before murdering them, heavily rooted in Poe’s eye imagery. That was good, where did that all go?
I’m going to touch on something at the risk of starting something bigger, but, let’s chat about the interrogation techniques, or lack thereof. It…torture, America, I just…ugh. I just…is this supposed to equate the sides? For anyone that doesn’t know about the differentiation, there are classifications of torture: “light,” or “enhanced” which includes waterboarding, sleep deprivation, etc. There are obviously a lot of debates going on regarding the classification of torture when used to get information, and I think The Following makes a pretty clear argument for ‘any means necessary’. I don’t know if it was the intention to do so, or if it was encouraged, or if they’re even aware, but for me, it does.
So there was some great useless dialogue this episode, too, huh. From Emma, of all people.
Foley artists…I hate you. Shells clatter to the ground. Soft, foresty dirt. Clink, clink. Also, Joe looks rather unconcerned while he burns to death, sooooo good job throwing the screams on top there like no one would notice.
And the episode ends with stabbing. Well, sortof. Emma, rocking a beautiful wig, runs crying out of a restaurant because Joe is dead. SO I guess it’s Emma and Molly against the world maybe? That…that should be interesting. They’ve now completely destroyed the original premise and are left with ‘revenge plot’ if Ryan and Claire live.
So where are we at, after 15 weeks?
– Plot: Deranged literarily influenced serial killer takes a personal vendetta against the man who originally caught him. Uses a book as a lens to do so, occasionally does cool things but in the end dies unimportantly.
Here are my (not-so) humble suggestions:
– Procedurals and mysteries are great when everything isn’t explained all the time.
– Chaos is interesting. Ryan and Claire get stabbed, but as an audience we’re literally just expecting them to get stabbed by anyone at any given point. The spontaneity lost it’s magic.
– Characters are allowed to have multi-dimensional backstories, and they don’t have to cliched. If they start cliched, they can change.
– Do a tiny bit of research into how technology and science works. Read Drew’s new column.
So there we have it. Season 1 of “The Following”. Had some promise, continued to flicker with glimmers of hope before sputtering and ultimately fading. Unless I get lots of fanmail, probs not going to Recap Season 2.
In case you want to, here is a quick guide to all 15 Recaps.
Itching for some more Rooster Recap? James is reviewing “Hannibal” and it’s awesome.