Progressing right along from last week’s much-better-than-average pilot episode of THE FOLLOWING, we continue the second episode right where the pilot left off with Joey being kidnapped, Joe in prison, and Jordy honing his serial killer skills on the residents of a sorority house.
So how does this week’s episode fare? Find out inside!
Jordy, one of Joe Carroll’s killers-in-training goes for a copycat murder at a local sorority and ends up butchering several of the sorority sisters. With Jordy on the loose, he makes his way to Claire’s house to attack her and try to kill her as Hardy watched. Hardy is able to distract Jordy for a moment and shoot him in the arm. Joe is not pleased at the news, as his plan was for Jordy to be killed. Although it did not go as expected, Joe assures Hardy that he has many more games waiting for him.
Joe Carroll’s son Joey was kidnapped from the end of last episode and taken to a remote home by his nanny and the supposed gay couple next door. Joey doesn’t realize he has been taken and thinks he’s out playing with the nanny. Hardy and the FBI trace the kidnappers and find out their real names are Emma, Paul and Jacob. Jacob and Paul are not really gay and Emma and Jacob are together as a couple.
This is where the whole relationship among the three gets a bit confusing because Paul seems jealous of the two and is seemingly attracted to Jacob. So there we have it. We also get treated to some flashback of Emma when she originally met Carroll, got together with Jacob on Carroll’s recommendation and then the murder of Emma’s mother by Emma herself.
The FBI tracks Emma to an old address of hers in Petersburg, VA. Inside, the walls are covered with passages from Edgar Allan Poe’s works and crazy-person pictures. Somebody dressed up as Poe attacks Hardy and knocks him out with a pistol whip. As far as plot-holes go, there is zero explanation of how some guy in a Edgar Allan Poe mask can get past a police barricade outside the house, but he must have because he comes back later and lights a random guy on fire. The agents discover some dead bodies in the attic killed in the same way as Edgar Allan Poe’s writings.
Debra Parker (one of the FBI agents) slips Joe a book in his prison cell. Possibly she is one of his followers too?
So does THE FOLLOWING live up to the hype? I would say yes and no. When it focuses on Hardy, Carroll and Claire it gets pretty good. Especially as they investigate the individual killers, it becomes downright creepy and the murders themselves are gruesome and gory in the same vein of SEVEN.
But when we flash to Emma (VALORIE CURRY), Jacob (NICO TORTORELLA), Paul (ADAN CANTO) and Joey it goes downhill fast primarily because the actors playing the three kidnappers are simply dreadful. JAMES PUREFOY injects a bit too much HANNIBAL LECTER into his character and KEVIN BACON hasn’t quite found the comfortable middle ground between intensity and overacting. I hate to be picky about the latter two because they are casted very well… I just expect a little more from them given the subject matter.
I would give the second episode a “B-” slipping a little bit with its expanded focus on the three characters that can’t act. There is truly a lot to love here though, so I am hopeful for some great things as the season matures.