‘The Following’ Season 1, Episode 3 Review – Who is A Follower?

Published 1 year ago by

the following season 1 episode 3 poe The Following Season 1, Episode 3 Review   Who is A Follower?

Like the masked man in the beginning of this week’s episode, “The Poet’s Diary”, The Following sets fire to doubts from any viewer that this series will simply fall into familiar television tropes of many series still on the air. Now three episodes in, Fox’s new midseason experiment shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it’s only getting better.

With one of Carroll’s followers in custody, Hardy and the rest of the FBI attempt to find out the location of Claire’s kidnapped son. But when a new follower makes his presence known through fire, Hardy puts the questioning on hold and seeks help from the follower’s ex-wife. As Hardy sees more of how Carroll’s teachings have left his followers emotionally broken, he begins to look back at his first meeting with his future nemesis. Meanwhile, Emma makes sure Paul knows who is in charge of Carroll’s plans, which results in Paul bringing home an unwelcome houseguest.

Outside of a familiar, yet unique serial killer storyline, it may have taken audiences a few weeks to specifically pinpoint what makes The Following a continuous must-watch. Fortunately, this week’s episode makes it absolutely clear why Kevin Williamson’s new series is too good for any DVR or delayed viewing.

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In most series, where the actual seasonal story often appears as bookends to a typically unrelated tale, viewers are required to earn the satisfaction of a progressing story-arc through multiple viewings across many seasons, typically having to push through whatever episodic format the series has chosen to hide its compelling tale within. The Following, however, has stepped out of such familiarities to present a suspenseful, complex tale that’s driven by its own substantial narrative. In simpler terms: The Following provides more actual story in each episode than many shows do in a single season.

In this week’s episode, Hardy’s current investigation of Carroll was juxtaposed with glimpses of his initial interactions with Carroll all those years ago. Although brief, each flashback ends by making a point to show how, through all of this, Hardy has changed, both mentally and physically. Bacon’s performance, which was already exemplary, is strengthened even more by allowing the viewers to see for themselves what many other series would typically spell out through non-descript repetitive dialogue. (“Remember what happened last time?” is a common favorite.)

Carroll’s followers, too, receive the same masterful approach that Bacon, the series star, receives in the show’s storytelling. Each flashback reveals more and more about the true nature of those who have joined Carroll’s cause, often surprising viewers by continuously revealing the true depths of their dark ideals. Emma, Carroll’s perfect student, is much more terrifying than anyone – even those who have watched the show’s first two episodes – could have imagined.

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The story, a tale of a fire-hungry follower and his compliant wife, is not merely an episodic tale but one of many chapters that continuously reveal itself, not taking away from the core story but adding it. In a sense, everything that happens on The Following conveys to audiences that this show, although a midseason replacement, is working with a well-laid, detailed plan. When other shows are discussing in the writer’s room what to do next – which could translate into many stagnate episodes – like when Lost’s Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof put the survivors in cages until ABC committed to ending the show – The Following undoubtedly knows where this complicated tale is going. Of course, we’ll need to wait until season 2 (or 3) to know for sure.

As The Following continues on its dark journey into the mind of Carroll and his followers, viewers will be able to see more of the long-term plans the series may have for itself and for its cast. But if the first three episodes is any sign of what’s to come – and it typically is – Kevin Bacon should warm up to the fact that, like Kiefer Sutherland, television has stolen him away from film – and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

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The Following airs Mondays @9pm on Fox

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16 Comments

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  1. I’m actually at the point where I’m going to record the rest of this season and then watch it in a couple of marathon settings.
    I enjoy the story and as always I prefer a serialized format rather than the one and done stories that we normally see on network tv but overall it’s not grabbing me like I thought and hoped it would.
    I’ve been a big fan of Williamson since Scream so I’m willing to stick with the show but if I’m being 100% honest I have to say that it’s a bit of a letdown.

  2. I’ve been DVRing this so that I can watch them back to back as well as fast forwarding thru commercials.

    So far, I’m really digging this show and I’m glad they got rid of the that first female Marshal and brought in Annie Parisse. The first woman was creepy to look at and Parisse is a terrific actress, I foresee her and Bacon having some great interaction!

    • Reading above comments ,I guess this show will be canceled soon !
      The Ratings will be bad,and another good show is gone !

      • The ratings are actually pretty good. The show is great. Maybe base your statements on something other than internet comments

        • its not the comments,its that any good show gets canceled !

      • Unless someone is part of the Nielsen focus group it absolutely doesn’t matter if someone watches the show, DVRs it or doesn’t watch it at all. It won’t affect the ratings either way and the network will never know. ;)

  3. The twist was way too obvious and already made true what Kofi worried about on the podcast.

  4. I don’t see how anyone with higher than a 5th grade education can find this episode good. With so many glaring problems, this show is quickly becoming a test of patience. Apparently the FBI is full of idiots who have no common sense.

    • Totally agree.
      Every episode so far has multiple murders with the FBI simply tottering around like idiots. The Poe references are so pathetically childish that I just tune out when I hear ‘Poe’. The writers should atleast take the second result when googling ‘Poe Blood’ before using it in the script.
      And we’re all waiting for the stunning twist when the FBI lady or Shawn Ashmore turns out to be in the cult as well.

  5. The ratings are actually pretty good. The show is great. Maybe base your statements on something other than internet comments

  6. This show is atrocious. Spoiler alert for every episode: 1)Someone for the FBI does something stupid, stupid act canceled out by shady explanation and justified by a teacher’s level of genius and influence on people. Awful. Also, let’s go ahead and put the homicidal maniac’s ex-wife just within strangle range but keep his followers away from him with glass.

  7. The problem with this show, is that its trying to hard to be something its not.Its like a fat girl trying to fit into a pretty dress thats 5 sizes to small,a fat CBS girl trying to fit in to an HBO size dress. Even if she manages to squeeze her self in to it, all the flabby bits are gonna hang out,and thats exactly whats wrong with this show, i can see the pretty dress, but theres to many flabby bits. But as a side note,its nice to see her trying on some new cloths. You never know someday she might go on a diet and actualy fit in it.

  8. The hook’s been set, the last proposed, not-so-common-sensical instant of an agent going “somewhere alone” (one of the few nitpicks we’ve had with the program), tiny bits of connective-tissue writing that shine and the intertwining of “who is a follower” and how grand the plan is are in place. We’re ready for some huge bounds for sure. I’m truly liking the insertion of Agent Parker and the potential spaghetti we’re going to see with relationships, turmoil and more. Bring it on! By the way, I like meat, especially on my new shows.

  9. Eh, this episode didn’t really do much for me. Episode 4 was much better though, and so was 5. I think it may be getting better. But I could be wrong…

  10. Love Kevin Bacon. That said I am frustrated with this show, no one is keeping away visitors from a serial killer? At least cameras, or listening devices during visitations. The FBI isn’t seriously questioning the lawyer? Having her followed? The mom is stupid couldn’t believe she went off with a stranger without alerting the FBI, idiot. Why would the little boy run to his babysitter when help arrived to take him to his mother? A child would go to an authority figure not run through the woods with the nanny who has lied to him and locked him up! Lastly, so EVERYBODY is a follower? Too many followers, nanny, gay neighbors , one cop, but snipers? Two more cops? Ridiculous! I want to like this show I hope the writers will reign this sh** in and re-think where they go from here.

  11. The review of this most recent episode was hard core. There are glaring problems that are provided in tandem with some really great seed moments that could grow into something REALLY special. The most frustrating part not only for common-sensical viewers, but also for those in the law enforcement profession, is the fact that we just had 4 people that couldn’t possibly escape a no-win scenario – free and clear. There’s also the first instance of sly “follower” appearing inside this episode, because it was needed, who is then gunned down instantly and shoveled away. It’s TERRIBLY frustrating for sure.

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