The Following S1 Ep07 "Let Me Go" Directed By Nick Gomez Written By Seamus Kevin Fahey
So, remember last week when I kinda gushed about The Following hitting “THE 24 BUTTON!!!!” (anything Jack Bauer related should be in caps)? That 24 comparison got me thinking about 24 more and then this weeks episode “Let Me Go” happened. The Following has clearly hit “THE 24 BUTTON!!!” but it was a button from one of the bad seasons (read not 1,5 or 6). 24 was an insane show from a plot perspective, but it still managed to be grounded through Kiefer Sutherland (surprisingly).
Jack Bauer manages to rescue his family. The FBI hasn’t been able to rescue anyone. It isn’t even that the FBI are made to look like incompetent fools. This incompetence would only draw reaction from me if I was even tangentially invested in the FBI succeeding in anyway. Over 7 episodes The Following still hasn’t given a reason to root for the good guys. It isn’t saying root for Carroll, at least he is made out to be a competent planner. The tortured soul that is Ryan Hardy has been used more as marketing tool to give the pretense of seriousness. All his ills only being acknowledge when it proves to be convenient for the plot that he be just that second too slow to save Joey, or anyone. The rest of the team, Iceman Mike and Debra, are characterized in superficial and meaningless ways. They don’t really ever seem to be working together. They just use each other. With nothing to hold on to The Following’s episodes just devolve into increasingly brazen set pieces, with no emotional backing.
Now this show is about the FBI’s attempts to root out and stop a killer cult led by serial murder Joe Carroll, who has spent a decade hatching his master plan. All of which is based on his obsession with Edgar Allan Poe. That is a pretty crazy, outlandish, kinda stupid premise for a show. But that is what The Following is, so when Joe Carroll pulls a Houdini and escapes from prison, again, I’m not left gobsmacked at the unrealistic nature of it all. It isn’t much justification but there is a surprisingly amount of mileage found within “I have been planning this for 9 years.”
It is about time that the show introduced a better class of follower. Some white collar killers help Joe escape custody again. Louise gets the ridiculous but kind of badass line of "I’m Louise, sir.”, right after slicing some poor guard open. Helping out Louise, is David, who really isn’t all that helpful but that’s all part of Joe’s plan right?
After Joe gets away again Hardy, clearly frustrated or just drunk, decides that they need to change things up. Meaning use torture to get David to talk, even though it’s pretty clear the FBI should realize that the followers are part cult part cell network. David doesn't know shit and Kevin Bacon doesn't even get to be angry and yell.
At the end of all this it’s clear: The Following is still The Following of episode 1-5 and isn’t going to change. I’ve remarked as much in prior reviews. I don’t think I’ll be writing about it weekly anymore. It just isn’t fun to do and writing straight plot recaps is even less interesting. I’ll keep watching it, Monday nights are pretty dead. I will write some sorta season review. This isn’t some exercise in “hate watching”. I wish I hated it. Instead I’m left with ambivalence. I want the networks to do more stuff like The Following: shorter run prestige-esque shows that can garner big name talent, with that talent would most likely come quality content. FOX has the framework it just needs to get that content part working.
Non-Copyright Infringing Bacon Bits
- That bit from "The Fall" about being shot and spine breaking, is probably the best thing the show has done.
- If Kevin Bacon did a Jack Bauer impression what would he yell?
- So now that Joe has (what appears to be) a majority of his cult in one place is he going to be lecturing about Poe all the damn time? Seriously the Poe imagery has dropped off a cliff in this show. Not that it was good or necessary but lines like "classic Poe" are funny.
- Did you enjoy reading these? If for some reason you do tell me, it'll stroke my ego.
Because It's kinda funny this song has a 10 minute disco version.