‘The Following’ Season 1, Episode 2 Review – Nevermore

Published 2 years ago by , Updated January 30th, 2013 at 5:28 am,

the following season 1 episode 2 The Following Season 1, Episode 2 Review   Nevermore

Joe Carroll’s (James Purefoy) murderous web continues to reveal itself in the second episode of The Following, “Chapter Two”, where the origins of Carroll’s most important followers are revealed, and Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) uses deadly force to protect the next intended target from being killed.

After Carroll had his son Joey (Kyle Catlett) kidnapped from his mother, the FBI brings on new agent Debra Paker, an expert on alternative religions. But when Carroll’s prison guard Jordy, now one of his followers, begins killing people, Hardy takes it upon himself to investigate the case, which leads to him being attacked by a mysterious masked man. Meanwhile, the followers who took Joey must deal with love and jealously, and Carroll attempts to put an end to his material “problem.”

If The Following series premiere showed viewers just how far Fox is willing to go to bring a bit of cable television to the network, “Chapter Two” is continued proof that Kevin Williamson’s new series is much more than just an intriguing plot with a notable star. With twists and turns planned throughout, as well as a single underlying narrative directly connecting the two episodes, The Following manages to use miniseries logic of a truly continuing story to build a single narrative strong enough to best many of its competitors, both on network and cable.

As Hardy continues to delve further in to the bloody plan that Carroll has created, tales of the serial killer’s past are seamlessly woven into the present story, helping audiences understand more about the game of cat and mouse the two are playing. For a new television series driven by an over-arching mysterious end game, this can be dangerous. Fortunately, The Following came prepared.

Although television mysteries and thrillers have taken quite a hit following Lost, choosing to use the unknown to fuel audiences need to watch, The Following refreshingly replaces the familiar lack of story with an abundance of it. Instead of audiences having to accept “not knowing” as the actual theme of the series, stories from the past and present – as well as foreshadowing of future events – serve as a proverbial warning for audiences to not look away. This series, unlike many, is one you must pay attention to.

the following season 1 episode 2 hardy The Following Season 1, Episode 2 Review   Nevermore

The Following, as a series, should be applauded for bringing its new take on a familiar genre to television. Even so, such a strong story presence so early on can be dangerous. In this episode, for example, the abundance of storytelling does contain a few weak elements which, up until now, had yet to reveal themselves. The cold, brutal backstory to Emma Hill (Valorie Curry) – one of Carroll’s early followers – was more than anyone could have expected from such a seemingly innocent(ish) character; however, the jealous love story foreshadowing that followed served to slightly undermine what the series had painstakingly created.

For all intents and purposes, Joe Carroll is an extremely intelligent man with an extremely well-laid plan. In the premiere, he bested the hero and killed his prize. Without warning, a follower of his flock apologetically shot themselves just because Carroll instructed them to. A day later, where “Chapter Two” picks up, Carroll’s well-laid plain is already beginning to fall apart at the hands of those he “trusts” most? This early on?

In its defense, The Following has had Carroll besting Hardy time after time in its short time on the air. So it’s understandable, on some level, to create a weak point for audiences to focus on for hope, and for Hardy to hopefully use to his advantage. But with Carroll continuously finding ways to place his followers in Hardy’s path, it still would have been more rewarding to see a nail-biting, earnest battle between the two unfold, rather than allowing audiences to see unnecessary weakness in what’s been a perfect plan so far.

At this point, The Following is essentially a miniseries – one that requires no qualifications from its viewers to watch, unlike some fan-favorite series. Each chapter (read: episode) of this story is a standalone thrill-ride in its own right, with a terrifying tale of obsession gone awry lingering over it all. Let’s just hope they’ll be able to maintain such admirable storytelling in to season 2, which it will almost certainly receive.

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The Following returns next Monday with “The Poet’s Fire” @9pm on Fox. You can check out a preview of the episode below:

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  1. 5th paragraph first line typo, quiet instead of quite.

    Anyways as far as the episode is concerned, i loved it so far, and i do share i guess you’re concerns that they’re burning through story so fast, but I think they set up a scenario that can go in so many different ways that they simply have so much material to keep us interested. What I’m hoping is they continue to, no matter how great the ratings continue to be, keep the seasons relatively short 14 or 15 episodes closer to cable style format, i think doing that will help preserve the quality.

    • Assuming the show continues it’ll only be in the 13-15 episode range per season, because Bacon wants time to do movies as well.

  2. I love this show so far, but I think its story is very limited. I can’t see this surviving after one season. It would have run out of gas. It doesn’t have much breathing room. Unlike shows like 24, and The killing, which had the opportunity to tell different stories every season, this show only has this one guy and his little band of followers. I don’t see how they can stretch that out past one season. But maybe they’ll surprise me. I mean, Lost did.

    • I would not be surprised if Annie Parisse’s Debra Parker character is the real cult leader and future seasons will be about her other cults. Interesting show but still too many cliche’s that nag me.

      • Lol that wouldn’t surprise me either to be honest. Which is why this show is slightly disappointing for me so far. All of the twists and surprises aren’t really all that surprising. I really do believe it’ll run out of gas really fast, but we’ll see. It has kept me intrigued until now, so hopefully it will get better as it goes on.

  3. They could easily expand the scope of the show and either show another killer in some sort of revelation, or simply show that Joe Carroll isn’t the mastermind simply another follower.

    • Yeah, but wouldn’t that get old? I mean an endless pit of followers and masterminds controlling them? I personally would get tired of this show if that’s where they are going to be taking it. But that’s just me.

  4. What is the music that’s playing as Emma murders her mother??

    • The band performing that song is DEFTONES, although I don’t know the track name.

      • Thank you so much xx

        • Change in the House of Flies is the title.

  5. While I’m not at the point where I’d say I love the show I am willing to keep watching to see how this will play out…
    I think this episode was the best I’ve seen of Natalie Zea in any series and most of the cast is well placed and strong in their roles.
    But one can’t help but wonder how this show can last more than 2 seasons without stretching the story thin?
    I should also say that at first I thought all the Edgar Allen Poe stuff was a bit corny, especially when Bacon’s character says stuff like “Classic Poe.” but the masks are pretty darn creepy.

  6. I thought it was an outstanding ante up for the second episode and a notch over the initial episode. I am also as an artist, enamored with the level of detail they’re putting into the “evidence chest” sets they’re making. They’re incredibly elaborate and add to the “meat” that I love so far taking a bite of while watching “Bacon.” I’m going to have two police officers that are going to run though the “typical” protocol for some of the extraordinary scenes we’ve seen in the first and second episode. We’ll be focusing on the written-all-over-lady with a GIGANTIC ICE PICK scene, and then the hostage-taking scene from this most recent episode. I’m loving the “end of episode” flavor they leave with us at the end, but also agree about the “burning through story faster than it can sustain itself.” I’m curious to see what they do with it for sure!

  7. What is the song at the end, when police woman slides a book to the killer in prison