Matt Smith reviews the latest episode of The Following…
So, I missed last week’s episode of The Following. My apologies. I was very busy, sitting round watching movies for two days, for charity. I’m sure all three of you are disappointed, but remember. It’s for the kids. I’d do anything for them, even sit around all day (and night) watching some of my favourite films (I know. I give too much). And trust me, I did all forty eight hours. Well, most of it anyway. Go on. Just trust me.
As someone who’ll do anything for his kid, Joe Carroll was in a predicament last time I saw him. Little Joey wasn’t clambering to get to know his dad, and it didn’t help his ex-wife wanted nothing to do with him. The ones he loved were the ones least interested in knowing him, and it was the same for Ryan Hardy. Why would you want to be reminded of all the bad things in life by a guy so depressed he has a self proclaimed ‘death curse’? What these two people needed was someone willing to connect, willing to open up to them.
So while last week’s episode was about love hurting, this week it’s about trust. Which might seem a tad strange, considering this fictional world is possibly the most dangerous time to live in America. Home grown terrorists. Serial killer cultists living in your own home. And some of them have military equipment and training. What the show’s given us this week is a great juxtaposition in that Ryan Hardy must learn to trust those around him, when he can’t possibly trust those around him.
So gone are the days of the Kevin Bacon ads greeting me from the ether after he’s just interrogated Joe Carroll. Now he means business. He’ll shoot a cultist down like it ain’t no thang, this week with a little help from his best friend Tyson. The show’s leaning towards taking new minor characters and making me question whether they’re going to be there next week is a definite plus. I haven’t seen Shawn Ashmore in two weeks.
I realised how little trust there was when I found myself wanting to believe Tyson was a good guy, but not completely buying into it. At this rate I’ll be wondering whether Kevin Bacon was in on it the whole time.
This can lead to negatives, however. Amanda Porter, the blonde serial killer from last week (y’know, the one with the spear gun. ‘What’s that in your hands?’ ‘Oh, just something I picked up at Foot Locker.’) seemed like she could be an interesting character. Taking to the murdering like a duck to water (if the duck had a spear gun), there seemed to be more to her that could be developed. And then she got taken away to the dreaded place known as ‘Off Screen’. Hopefully she’s bought back.
Another recurring theme of the show is the sometimes problematic matter of tension. If Carroll doesn’t want Hardy or his ex-wife Claire Matthews hurt, where’s the threat we’re supposed to feel when someone points a gun at them? I’ve been taking the build up to Claire’s reuniting with Joe and Joey as a tension fuelling exercise, but now it’s getting a bit stupid as Claire’s taken from one place to another in order to try to keep interest levels high. But maybe they can finally get around to doing what they’ve been teasing since the beginning.
But that’s not even the main point of interest for this week. This week, Jacob’s back and he’s pissed off. A lot of spoiler-type stuff happening, but suffice to say Jacob’s the one who changes most, learns lessons and effects that which lays around him. He’s not trusting anyone, and no one should trust him. Ah, the typical problems of the love triangle between serial killers who stab each other in the back. The age-old tale.
So, I’ve trusted the show this far and it’s not betrayed my faith too much yet. This week’s instalment promised more of the same, in that nothing will be the same next week. What I’d really like to see, though, is someone betraying Joe Carroll’s trust. The guy’s had it easy up to this point. Just have Roderick arrest him or something. Stopping the group of serial killers from ruining Joey’s life anymore, he can send Claire and Joey on their way and be the hero of the day. Y’know. For the kid.