It seemed like The Following left very little room for a following season last year, when it killed off 98% of its cast, including (seemingly) its main villain. Yet here we another, another year and another stab (literally) at Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and the Cult of Joe Carroll; (James Purefoy) or as Weston called them, “Carrollers.” There are a lot of new characters to replace the carnage of the first season’s finale, but the dead weigh heavily on Hardy’s shoulders, and their numbers are added to almost immediately at the start of the new season. Hit the jump for how the Carrollers are wrecking havoc now.
There was a possibility, however slim, that Joe Carroll actually didn’t survive the season. The Following might have, in that case, turned more into a Blacklist kind of procedural, rooting out his remaining followers and their current crimes. But indeed, Joe survived the explosion via a hatch that went into the water, where he was quickly picked up and ferried to safety (ultimately growing a beard and putting on some weight).
The obsession Ryan and Joe have with each other looks to live on, though the rivalry aspect was been extinguished when Claire was killed by that rogue follower, Molly. With that out of the way, the show skipped forward a year, where Mike Weston, one of the few survivors of the first season, has been suspended and — worse — his best buddy Ryan is totally ignoring him!
The Poe masks have been replaced by Joe masks, leaving us to hopefully never have to characters say, “nevermore … that’s from ‘The Raven.’ By Edgar … Allen … Poe!!” every week. Instead, the new author de jour is Carrie Cook, who has written a book on Joe’s cult. But Joe’s novel is still looked upon fondly by his followers, who use it to stage with a murdered girl that at least one half a creepy twin set enjoyed playing with like Weekend at Bernie’s.
So that’s gross. Show creator, Kevin Williamson, told critics at this year’s TCAs though that the show would not be as gory this year (…save for the premiere…), and that it would have a new “texture” to it. So far it seems like a lot of the same — Ryan is still obsessed with Joe, Joe with Ryan, and Ryan is acting like a rogue investigator. Instead of working with the FBI this time (because we know how well that went), he’s gone the vigilante route, keeping Weston out of his business.
“Resurrection” was a decent reorientation into The Following‘s world, and reminded us of who lived or died as of the first season. It also changed the game a little by eliminating Claire, resurrecting the followers in the image of Joe and not Poe, and putting Ryan on the outskirts of the investigation. That could prove promising moving forward. Then again …
Episode Rating: B-
Musings and Miscellanea:
– Just a thought, if you walk back into a room and see a friend/lover stabbed, assume the stabber is still around, probably about to stab you. Check yo’self!
– So new characters include Ryan’s niece, Max, who helps him with is “hobby,” and Keith Caradine, who I may only refer to as Keith Caradine, because Keith Caradine. Carlos Perez was played by J.D. Williams, who also played Bodie on The Wire, as well as Dexter on The Good Wife. Hopefully he sticks around! The creepy twins and the French girl … je ne sais pas.
– Only Ryan Hardy could get hit by a cab going full speed and be ok.
– I’m glad the show addressed Joey, by basically writing him out. “He’s in witpo …”
– Did anyone else notice that crying Pacman ghost in Perez’s apartment building?