The Following "Havenport" Review: 'Cause You Had a Bad Day

By Nick Campbell

Apr 16, 2013

The Following S01E13: "Havenport"

Does this mean Nick Donovan is going to be the new Governor?

What an episode full of twists and turns. And by "twists and turns" I mean, "where a lot of blood was spilled." It feels like "Havenport" was dedicated to making sure the viewers (and maybe the actors) are fully aware that The Following is not afraid to kill or maim anyone who's not named Hardy or Carroll. I mean, you knew those Redshirts going on the adventure with Jacob were going to die (I don't even know why the writers bother giving those people names), but Roderick was an interesting, and somewhat disappointing, surprise.

I'm not sure I even liked Roderick until "Havenport," since he's been such a sniveling lieutenant the whole series. Not incorrect or anything (there's definitely a whiff of "sitting duck" in Carroll's patience), but still whiny. Giving him the episode to demonstrate that he was able to take care of himself for a little bit showed why he was put in charge, if not why he was Carroll's first apprentice.

That was the disappointing part about Roderick's end. This was a guy who was supposedly Carroll's first "student," so why basically spurn him with such a lack of theatricality? He didn't show himself to be any better than any of the other doomed minions of the house (they've all shown a blood lust either in practice or theory). The series of unfortunate circumstances arising from Carroll's holding pattern that put Roderick in the doghouse were basically very telling of how much Roderick was not so much into doing the business of mass orchestrated murder, so what was the point? He never had the chance to be the second-in-command you expected, the one that led Emma from the house, who puppeteered the charge on the farmhouse, the Roderick breathed on the relieved sighs of Carrollists in danger.

Possibly the most disappointing part about Roderick passing is the schism we thought was coming is basically squashed unless Jacob the Yellow decides to team up with Scorned Lover Emma to overthrow Joe to save themselves. There are no other identifiable faces left in the cult. Everyone else is dead. On the bright side, I guess the fewer people in the house, the more it opens up the kitchen for cheek-to-counter rendezvous.

Not that Emma will care about that sort of thing. I don't necessarily understand that exchange between Carroll and Emma in dealing with sex and why a simple, curt "keep it in your pants, you ginger giraffe" couldn't be enough to ward Emma's advances but he whips her with his limp hand anyway. I understand blaming others irrationally for your misfortunes but that was too silly.

But Carroll for the entire episode was like a silly sit-com character. Or maybe Ziggy. He's just having a bad day and constantly reminded everyone. "You need to calm down because I'm having a really bad day." "I'm having a bad day, Ryan." "I'm trying to get this out using the therapy of words." The effort to humanize the monster backfired a little here as he seemed to inherit all of Roderick's whining while the bad lieutenant shot up suburban Maryland. He was laughable.

But, to be fair, he really was having a bad day. When your kid gets nabbed, your oldest student betrays you, and your ex-wife stabs you in the gut because, with Joey safe, she doesn't feel like she has anything to lose, that's a rough 8-12 hours. Not to mention that your "book" has to be "rewritten" now that Claire has proven herself to be -- unaccomodating. And you wish you could get some action to blow off some steam but, oh wait, you whipped your concubine with your dead fish hand.

My point is that Carroll has very little momentum and he needs to do something to demonstrate that he's the monster he was at the beginning of this season. Remember when you disappointed that Maggie Grace wasn't going to be in this series because Joe hung her character from a lighthouse? What happened to that guy? He says he has a monomaniacal urge to kill but where has that been? He had Weston dead to rights but let him survive. He done nothing but cower in his lavish bunker and make threatening phone calls. Letting Ryan pick off your devoted one by one is fun and all, but something needs to happen. What happened to the "chapter" thing? Where are we with this grand plan? Hopefully being stabbed in the gut will take us into the end of the season with a little more umph. Because, right now, Carrollism is a pretty meh murder cult.

Except for the harpy Carroll sent to warn the FBI. No, not Claire. But that's a good guess. But the red shirt that posed as a possible informant (a kill I'm giving to Weston because I think he shot first) definitely reminded me of a bird-like harbinger in action if not by reputation. I like the kamikaze telegrams Carroll sends to Hardy every once in a while but I'm puzzled by how someone that inspires so much wariness that she has to be held at gunpoint is searched and not relieved of the sharp objects she's carrying. Yeah, it's been a bad day for Carroll but what about that gomer that gets stripped of his fancy hat and jacket and then ends up being the reason his boss probably loses an eye. If there is any sort of force looking out for us, Donovan'll be in an eyepatch by season's end.

Forget the Governor. Is this how S.H.I.E.L.D. started?

"Havenport" is a twisty episode for the series thus far but still feels like it's a table-setter in a season of table-setters. With only a couple episodes left, you get the feeling it's about to jump off, which only means there's some hijinks and hilarity in store for us in the next couple of weeks.


NOTES

– Did Joey suddenly adopt a Southern accent? Has he been hanging around Roderick? When he was talking about Jacob with his mom, his pronunciation of "favorite" had about twenty vowels in it.

– How did Weston recover so quickly from such serious injuries? Obviously, he psyched himself up for physical therapy with Chumbawumba on a loop. "Knock me down, I get up again."

– My initial reaction to no one knowing that Ryan was holding a press conference was, "How do you not know something like that?" I mean, I think Nick should've realized, as soon as he said "media blackout" and Ryan got his "I've got a completely opposite idea" face on, that he needed to shut it down. But then I had to remind myself that there's no way the FBI can keep track of Ryan Hardy. There are too many noses to pick and heads to shove in the sand.

– Hardy's really starting to catch up in the count, you guys. I think he and Carroll will be about level by season's end (I'm not counting the junkie from last week since I think we have plenty of fodder with just the kills in the past few months).

– Why did Roderick kidnap the girl again? Couldn't he have just boosted a car?

– What are the chances that Claire is actually going to die? I know we just discussed how Roderick was a pawn in the content-creator vs. audience game of stakes to make us think anyone can die, but how lucky could we possibly be? She made some strides this week by knifing Carroll. I'm just hoping that Joey staying safe will make her more interesting. There's, like, zero chance that he'll actually kill Claire before the last few moments of the season, right?


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  • GirishKrishna1 Jun 22, 2013

    How could they not have her in handcuffs as soon as she came to surrender! You can see what's coming from a mile away! Dumb things happened again like always, but it was entertaining this time.

    I swear the casting directors are casting similar women. That jumping girl looked like a younger Annie Parisse!

  • GirishKrishna1 Jun 22, 2013

    Also, why wouldn't they press the issue of Carroll's house of dumbos with Roderick! Was the most glaring of all the mistakes they did!

  • dobegrama May 06, 2013

    Dear Nick, The superlative form of stupid is most stupid, as in 'I made the most stupid mistake,' not stupidest. Stupidest can be heard and seen everywhere, but it's wrong. Stupidest is not acceptable English but you probably don't really care, as your sarcasm laden attempt at journalism reveals that:
    a) You chronically use poor sentence structure,
    b) You do not use spell check which would help with the previously mentioned problem and
    3) You find the show less than an intelligent offering to the viewing public - namely YOU!
    So you know what you need to do, don't you? Roll over on the sofa cushion, grab that remote covered with mayo or pizza sauce or some other sticky substances, and CHANGE THE CHANNEL! Then hurry to the nearest school book store, or in your case Amazon.com, and purchase the most current copy of Standard English if you intend to continue as a believable blogger, here or anywhere. In my class you'd barely get a C for this effort.

  • WhoIsTrixieLa Apr 23, 2013

    each week everyone dies, there's no shock value to these horrific acts or main characters dying, because that is the show. i'm waiting for the big twist, the trick, the turn i didn't see coming to explain everything. i don't think that big reveal is coming. if half the season had been a bit more "martha marcy may marlene" or any "manson" movie, where it shows you the brainwashing, the power of his the charismatic leaders control over these people, it would be so much creepier, or chilling. instead it's just slaughter house high every episode.

  • bleumystique Apr 21, 2013

    Wait so we weren't supposed to laugh at Carroll and his bad day? Because I was laughing so hard I nearly choked on my beverage. "I'm having a really bad day". Still laughing. Poor Carroll. He reminded me of the book I used to read to my younger brother. Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. (He thought he'd move to Australia ;) ) LOL!
    -Emma is like the worst, like on my list of people I'd have rather seen die before Roderick it would have been Emma and Claire...together. At the hands of one another. Whatever. Those two. I've been rolling my eyes at the stereotypical aspect of them playing up the hypersexuality of her particularly brand of cray-cray because she's a woman. Once again she's trying to have sexytimes when his kid has gone missing. I don't know who was worse in that, her for being so callous (but she is out of her mind) or Joe for being pissed about it. Dude, you have house full of psychos and sociopaths and then you expect them to do logical and rational things based on emotions and a sense of decency that most of them don't actually possess. What gives?! It's a say day when my being an advocate for stopping violence against women didn't even blink an eye at him backhanding her. This show will ruin society yet Yet I still watch. Ugh.
    -The best thing about this episode was the greatness that was Warren "Hollywood" Kole as Roderick. I had my usual indifference towards him initially and over the episodes it grew to mild interest, and then naturally in his final episode he was heart of the show's entertainment and yet ended up dead by the end of it. Why? His death was pointless. They really could have used, dare I say, needed his character to be around until the season's end. He was one of the best ones they had. There was more story to be told. There was a great opportunity for a revolt against Joe by some of his own peeps, lead by his second in command. So much story. So much opportunity. All wasted. Given the ridiculousness of this show, I reserve the right to hold on to the slight chance that he may not really be dead.
    -Claire is so pitiful it isn't even funny. No really, it isn't even funny on a show that I find utterly hilarious, she's just irritating to watch. When the camera lands on her face I sigh. I still feel like she's been handling this being held captive thing all wrong. All wrong. If she had two braincells to rub together and been half the character that she should have been, she could have unleashed a hellfire of epic proportions and rocked the hell out of that house. I think that is what frustrates me about her character. I can envision what this show could have been like if she was a fiercer character. It could of been amazing. There is something always intriguing and compelling about the art in which females can manipulate. I'm not talking about using sex or their looks either. Claire lacks all of that.Instead we have a woman who is almost as impulsive as her ex,stabbing him once in the gut and merely inconveniencing him. I just can't find myself to root for, care about, or anything else when it comes to Claire.

  • dobegrama May 05, 2013

    "Emma is *LIKE* the worst..." Emma is ‘LIKE’ the worst what? "...LIKE on my list of people..." What?!?! Perhaps a reread of the basics of the English language or a good grammar book would help you here. The overuse of the work *LIKE* by adolescent minded individuals who can’t think fast enough and need to search for words while they're speaking or writing is like (correctly used here) the sound of screeching chalk on a chalk board by those of us who actually try to speak intelligently. The author of this train wreck of a 'review' needs help as well, so when you find the book on the use of Standard English, please pass it on to him.

  • bleumystique May 06, 2013

    Clearly, my friend, Carroll wasn't the only individual having a "very bad day". It's quite alright dear. We've all had them. :) Contrary to, well, YOUR belief, I'm no stranger to Standard English. In fact, the odds that my English and writing when done on a more professional level are relatively decent, are, well, dare I say astronomical? I don't profess to be a Lady of lexicon. I'm human, I very well make mistakes. You give me a casual enough setting where I can indulge in my inner teenybopper and use the vernacular as I see fit, and I'll jump on it. I'll jump in with both feet. Why the hell not? I'm not a grammar snob. I could be, and while I've been known to correct grammar on occasion when I deem it necessary, I choose to do it in a kinder way. I'm not pretentious or pompous. I don't feel the need to be. I'm secure enough in my knowledge of the English language. ALL of the English language. I can engage in an intellectual debate with the best of them. I can edit case briefs with my eyes closed. I can hold entire conversations in Spanglish with some of the lovely individuals I've been fortunate enough to meet. Yes, I can also converse with the teenagers, although to be fair, if you're really trying to make a point about the adolescents of today, the use of "LIKE" was LIKE fifteen years ago. ;) I'm a linguistic chameleon. If you ever take the time to notice, you'll discover that most people are. You never even considered that in this posting, and many of my others, that maybe, just maybe, my exaggerated grammar that you find so cringeworthy was intentional? It was.You never stopped to consider that I very well could have just been having a good time? I was. I'm under the impression that the sardonic tone of some of these reviews and the intentionally informal bordering on satirical responses to these reviews are lost on you. That's okay. Not everyone understands it. If you found this particular posting so offensive, however, you probably may not want to read...anything. Not anything here.

    Language, whether you approve of it or not, is forever changing and evolving. So while, yes, the adolescent riddled drivel that may irritate the stick out of your ass is probably every bit as grating as nails on a chalkboard, well, there is nothing you can really do about that now can you? It's the way of the world. I mean, wouldn't it be positively lovely if we spoke with a modicum of finesse? Or perhaps if we all wrote and spoke with the delicacy and charm of William Shakespeare? Did you by chance know that Shakespeare was innovative with his use of slang? As in, he did not abide by the standard use of his language at that time. It drove the masses nuts. I always found that ridiculously amusing given the high regard we have for Shakespearean. Hmmm. Surely this wasn't your intention, because you were totally being a complete and utter ass about it, but I actually found your rude, condescending, and supremely snobbish post entertaining. So for that, I thank you. I hope you have a beautiful day. I sincerely do. Happy Cinco de Mayo! ( Apologies for bring a wee bit of Spanish in here...yikes!) Have a margarita on me. ;)

  • cute2thebeut Apr 21, 2013

    Didn't weston say he searched the girl for weapons? I'm still iffy about Weston, I mean last week Carroll didn't even kill him....

  • TrixieLabel Apr 19, 2013

    What The Following has taught me thus far:

    - When mild mannered Jacob Wells pops his collar, watch out he becomes a ruthless killer! The minute it goes down again though, not so much.

    - Kevin Bacon would have made this show more believable (and watchable) if he had been given the part of the cult leader.

    - Roderick and Charlie should have lived!!! LIVE!!! Come back and live again!!

    - Claire actually surprised me when she stabbed her ex-hubby, well done. I didn't see that coming.

    - I hate Emma more than ever! Please someone, anyone, kill her, I have now begun to sympathise with her murdered mother.

    - Carroll, who would follow this assmuch? He's neither charismatic nor creepy, he's verging on camp! I dislike him more for his complete narcissism then the innocent women he slaughtered.

    - Next week's episode looks BEYOND ridiculous, just an excuse for a blood bath as all the followers come out of the woodwork (guns & hatchet saws at the ready), and go all Branch Davidian on us. As the small town becomes a backdrop to their battle with the FBI.

    - I'm waiting for the Grand Finale to have a big reveal that it was all a dream, or that Hardy got has been in a coma and none of this has happened. Or he's reading this, as we are watching it, via Carrol's book ala The Never Ending Story. It hasn't happened yet, but it will and now he knows 'what' is about to happen because he has found Carroll's Murder 101 novel.

    Otherwise I have no idea how they can drag out another season of this, I'm amazed I've checked into this show as much as I have. Let's be honest, if not for Kevin Bacon I wouldn't have watched the 5 episodes I managed.

  • Ankh49 Apr 19, 2013

    I get why Roderick kidnapped the girl. The police were on the lookout for a single male NOT a couple so he thought it would improve his chances for escape. What I don't understand is why he went anywhere near the FBI agents in the first place. He KNEW that Weston was still alive. Even though Weston was supposed to be recuperating in hospital wouldn't the first thing that the FBI do is get a description of the attackers from Weston? It's one thing to be cocky and take risks but that was insane. How could the man that masterminded Emma & Jacob's escape from a house surrounded by FBI agents be so dumb?

  • thisismetoo Apr 18, 2013

    I don't think Claire is going to die. I don't think Carroll is getting a chance to do that. I think he is getting interrupted when the FBI arrives at the house with lots of noisy cars and helicopters. I think Carroll will manage to escape the FBI together with Emma and maybe one or two others. Claire will be reunited with her son again and then we will probably get a few episodes where Carroll is trying to find and kill her or have her killed.

  • eric357 Apr 18, 2013

    Two things one: Weston saying it could not have been our guys cause I haven't called for back up. Probably should have made the call already? Two: and this goes with not searching the stabby girl, but everyone turns their backs on her as they take her back into the building. From holding guns on her to "hey just follow us back" Crazy!!

  • mcepin3 Apr 18, 2013

    I thought this was one of better episodes. No Poe talk,no stoney smile from Carroll. And again,ok it failed,but it did surprise me,that writers were willing to make Claire smart. I thought to myself,if he causes her so much trouble,why not attempt to kill him and then she did it. It came across as stupid,because she didn't aim for heart. Shame for Roderick,but once he was made,there is no way he could still be around for long run.

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