The Following – Season Premiere

‘The Following’s’ cast includes (from l.) Shawn Ashmore, Jeananne Goossen, Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Natalie Zea and Kyle Cattlet.

‘The Following’s’ cast  Shawn Ashmore, Jeananne Goossen, Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Natalie Zea and Kyle Cattlet.

Gritty doesn’t really describe the nature of “The Following”.   It’s a psychological thriller and it’s very violent.  But it’s about a serial killer, well, a network of serial killers, and there’s no way to make this new Fox program anything but violent and gory.   It’s also a game of cat and mouse, where a brilliant, but murderous  former Literature professor plays the antagonist to a damaged former FBI agent.

The professor, Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), has been serving time in prison and is awaiting his execution for having killed 14 of his female students.   He’s fond of the great Romance authors, but his true love is the works of Edgar Allan Poe – his favorite being “The Raven”.    He told his students that Poe knew what death was about, a work of art and that art is beauty.  Eyes, he says, are the essence of one’s identity and that there is nothing more beautiful, according to his interpretation of Poe, than to watch a beautiful woman die.

FBI Agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) spent 18 months tracking Carroll down, and captured him while he was in the middle of killing two more women.   Carroll stabbed Hardy, resulting in Hardy living with a pacemaker, and Hardy shot and wounded Carroll.   One of the women survived, was a witness against Carroll and went on to become a doctor.

Carroll escaped from prison, killing five guards in the process.   While in prison, he became the mentor, a teacher again, to a group of accomplices.  Through his blogs and websites, he developed a network of trained killers who respond to his every command.  The following has spent years of their lives honing their craft and doing Carroll’s bidding.   A text message from Carroll ,”Do it now”, was all it took for a young woman to take off her clothes, revealing the words of Poe written all over her body,  and stab herself in the eye, right in middle of the police command center.

The prison guard, Jordi Raines, who helped Carroll escape, has been practicing his killings and is ready to move up to human victims.  The neighbors of the lone Carroll survivor, Sarah Fuller, are not what they appear to be.   They help their leader by killing the police officers who were guarding her and then abducting her to deliver her to Carroll.    Hardy, on his own, figures out where she is by the picture from Carroll’s book cover – a lighthouse.  He arrives too late to save Sarah, but backup arrives and Carroll surrenders.

Carroll wants things from Hardy.  He would like Hardy to write a sequel to the book the agent wrote about his work on the serial killer’s case.   Carroll also wants Hardy to experience the pain that lovers in the classic romantic novels do.  You see, Hardy and Carroll’s ex-wife, Claire Matthews,  were lovers, and Carroll thinks that their story would be perfect for  the sequel.    To ensure that Hardy goes along with the plan,  Carroll had placed a nanny in his ex-wife’s house and she has now taken their son, Joey.

The two main characters are flawed men.  One is a demented and evil murderer, a genius who can control the minds of his followers to carry on his unfinished work.  The other is broken, psychologically and physically, by everything that he went through during the 10-year-old investigation.   They understand each other, though, a phenomenon that often occurs between an investigator and a criminal.   What will be the problems for Hardy now is that he’s not in charge, anymore – Carroll is.  The cult members, or “friends” as Carroll refers to them as, are unknowns.   They’re everywhere, in all walks of life and are both men and women.   They’re a heightened version of the type of people who write to and even marry imprisoned killers.  They think they’re doing something beautiful, in the name of art and romance.

I won’t gloss over how dark this program is, but, if you can get beyond that, there’s some promise to “The Following”.  It’s not like anything else on television and I think it might be worth taking a look at.    Fox will be airing the premiere again this Friday night.  The network announced that there would be 14 episodes, in a row, no breaks, no hiatus.  And, of course, in case I wasn’t clear, there’s Kevin Bacon.

Empress

This blog from The Farm is a year old now.  Thank you to Mel the Hound for all the work you’ve put into this, and a big thanks to all of you, who stuck around with us to read and comment.   🙂

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17 Responses to The Following – Season Premiere

  1. melthehound says:

    Oooh It’s on Fox 😀 That means I can watch it without needing one of those premiums I don’t care to pay money for.

    Happy Birthday to the Blog! The pleasure is really all mine and it is I who thanks you for letting me use this outlet you call The Farm, even when I want to vent. There have been a couple bumps especially when I ‘beat my chest’ and ‘run my mouth’ but for the most part, it’s been a great ride so far 😀

  2. HAPPY BIRTH DAY to the blog…
    LOVED THIS SHOW…was glued to the set for the whole hour….it was weird though..as soon as the neighbor BOYcame in and hugged Sarah…a chill went thru me..I just knew he was EVIL.. I screamed at mr ford and said ..he’s part of THE FOLLOWING.. of course mr ford said no way you can know this…and then lo and behold…. same with the girl at police command…she had that LOOK about her…killers always do… it’s a weird feeling I get sometimes when I walk by someone and I get the chills….oooooo….. you just know….
    SO YEA… this is a keeper show for me…I need something new to watch on FOX..I miss my JACK BAUER …..

    Story about people giving you chills…now I am not a day time tv viewer…unless I am sick in bed…so one day walking thru the living room back to the “office”, mr ford and PITA were watching People’s Court…. I stopped and gazed at this girl talking and for some reason said to the boys… she has death eyes about her… mr ford says what ??? I said, she has that look of death about her..the hair went up on my arms and I had the worse case of goose bumps…. I didnt think anymore of it and went back to the computer….
    Well, that girl was Michele Parker from Orlando who then went missing right after that segment showed on TV… I freaked when I saw it on the news…even mr ford and PITA were freaked about it… she has never been found and I just know her ex and the father of the kids had something to do with her being missing…. a few months ago I had a vivid dream of seeing her buried in an old refrigerator in a large field somewhere…. I HATE WHEN I HAVE THESE KINDS OF VISIONS….
    while at times my visions can be a gift…like seeing someone having an accident before it happens and calling them to forewarn them about it…it can also be a curse…. hhmm

    well off to read the paper…
    hugs and peace
    GO RAVENS….
    diva

  3. BB says:

    Happy Birthday to the Blog! I didn’t get a chance to watch The Following yet but I plan to. Speaking of the Ravens (or Patriots’ wives) I saw this this morning:
    http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/_/id/8867098/anna-burns-welker-wes-welker-wife-apologizes-ray-lewis-comments

  4. Buttercream says:

    Based on the wonderful re-cap you wrote Empress, I will DVR the Friday Night Show as I did miss the first episode – (was driving in the 4.5 hours coming home from a 3 day vb tournament Conn on the NJTP one lane open in the snow blizzard … ) THIS New SHOW sounds awesome!
    Do you think that Kara (his wife from the TBS Show The Closer) and hubby Kevin Bacon traded places acting on tv while raising their children so that one parent can working full time? Also, didn’t they lose a boat load of $$ from Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme?

    • Buttercream, I don’t know what kind of parental/professional arrangements Bacon and Sedgwick have but I do admire the fact that they keep their private lives private. They’re going to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this year – no small feat for actors and actresses. Maybe the fact that they don’t live in or near Hollywood helps. And, yes, they did lose a serious amount of money with Madoff.
      BTW, I added The Following to the blog’s categories which means I’ll be back for more. I hope you’ll stop back after you watch it on Friday and let me know what you think.

  5. windycitywondering1 says:

    Congratulations on your One Year Anniversary – Your writing style is wonderful and your topics are thought provoking. Thank you for sharing with us!

  6. trudie says:

    Happyz birthday to the blog. I may not always comment, but I always read.

    Based on your recap, I just watched this On Demand. It is one of those shows that creeps me out but I love!

  7. Donna says:

    Happy 1 year blog Birthday!!!!!

    I watched the following. I’ll probably have to record it. I have a hard time staying up til 10 pm.

  8. Boobah says:

    Happy Birthday to blog!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for giving us a place to gather and have fun, thoughtful conversations! You have created a really great place that is an excellent mix of the latest news, TV shows, educational, and pop culture topics.

    And MelTH – Thank you also – very much! Both of you do such great work in putting out the blogs. I cannot be easy! But it sure is appreciated!

    oxoxox

    • melthehound says:

      😀 You’re welcome but the thanks all goes to Empress. I would probably be writing somewhere but since she invited me here, you all get to read it. Anywhere else, on my own, it would likely be ignored.

  9. melthehound says:

    Now that I’ve watched it, online, I have to say I’ll be following along. It’ll be interesting to see how this ‘book’ plays out. I didn’t care too much for the prison guard’s practice subjects though. I think this program suggestively goes to show what a sicko genius type in prison will do with internet access. I don’t know if they really get it or not but how does one convince a woman he’s never met to strip almost naked with stuff written all over her and stab herself in the eye? I didn’t trust those ‘neighbors’ the second I laid eyes on them. They were in too much of a hurry to see the police go from the start.

    I’ll just say, thanks a lot Empress (and Diva and others) for hooking me to another show. My DVR runneth over.. I’m going to have to start deleting some movies to make room. Let’s see. Coneheads, or Dazed and Confused?

    Anyone misses an episode and wants to watch online,

    http://streamallthis.com/watch/the-following/

    😀

    • Glad to hear that you watched it and liked it. I wasn’t crazy about the scenes with the “practice subjects”, so I kind of avoided the details in the post, but that’s the usual progression for serial killers. Some parts of the storyline mean that we’ll have to suspend disbelief a bit regarding the followers and their leader, but we’ve been doing that with Bravo for years, so it shouldn’t be a huge hurdle to overcome.
      As for your comment upthread, those were speed bumps Jeff, just a few, very minor speed bumps. 😉
      “Coneheads, or Dazed and Confused?” LOL! Decisions, decisions.

      • melthehound says:

        I imagine with your past employment, you’ve seen a few gruesome things. As long as I know it’s ‘fake’ I can deal with it. I can’t bounce either one of those movies. Both are nostalgic for me for different reasons.

  10. Kaereste says:

    Happy Birthday to The Farm! Happy Birthday to The Farm … nevermind you do NOT want to hear me sing. Just know you have my heartfelt devotion & appreciation for your fine blog.

    I do not think I have the ability to watch The Following. I can’t watch Dexter and I just adore the actor who was on Six Feet Under. I can watch all the real life murder shows but for some reason do not care for the fictional ones. Maybe I will give it go … at some point.

    I did finally start Game of Thrones. It took about 6 episodes for me to enjoy it. I’m still in season one … I’ll catch up eventually.

    Here is to another year of wonderful blog by our Empress.

  11. BB says:

    I finally watched The Following today and it’s definitely one I’ll keep watching. Thanks for the recap.

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