The Following "Let Me Go" Review: The Nitwittery Continues

The Following S01E07: "Let Me Go"

When did The Following turn into an episode of 24?

It's not like Bacon's turn as Ryan Hardy wasn't bound to draw comparisons to Keifer Sutherland's ethical-gray-area, super-awake antihero. I mean just on gravelly voice alone they could both at least compete for a trophy at the Jack Donaghy "Talking Like This Contest" invitational. And while the thing I most admire about this show is that Ryan is quick to pull the trigger on any fool in his way, I wasn't so sure that he was quick to torture.

In fact, there were a lot of times in "Let Me Go" where law enforcement seemed more like a band of vigilantes rather than well-trained and organized professionals. Parker pulled a gun on a dude who was just driving the truck. Isn't that the unspoken bond of those charged with carrying weapons for their jobs? That they don't just pull them on each other to get their way? Otherwise I feel like cops would be pulling guns on each other for the last jelly donut. Stereotypes!

Anyway, it seems like someone watched Zero Dark Thirty during one of their breaks from the writer's room because the episode was bookended by scenes of torture and how it could affect a case. You might argue that the Ryan's recklessness is what provided Carroll the means to get out of prison, but I would counter that (a) what provided Carroll the means to escape was holding the warden's daughter hostage and (b) our country's view of torture and what constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment" for a criminal who's killed fifteen people and trained an unassuming army of brainwashed idiots to feel free to get stabby didn't hurt. Is it cruel and unusual to jab your finger into the bullet hole of someone who knows the next step of a sweeping plan of widespread murder and intrigue? Maybe not if you're backed up by law enforcement agencies who aren't the worst at their jobs.

So when did this turn into an episode of 24? About the time Ryan couldn't trust anyone on his team to do anything. Now, I know that not everyone can graduate at the top of their class. Someone has to have a doctor who graduated somewhere near the middle. But it seems like, at every turn, Carroll gets away with this "grand scheme," the one he's been planning for years based on what everyone would do in certain situations, because the FBI stupids their way through everything.

And to be fair to the FBI, in this episode they didn't seem as dopey as usual, but I assume that's because they were operating in the shadow of last week's colossal failure. Any operation that didn't end in a 3:1 law enforcement casualty rate and letting every bad guy escape after having the upperest of upper hands must look like a success worthy of cake. But they still let their nitwit flag fly.

The show made it dicey to call everyone out-and-out nitwits, though. I was more or less impressed by how reasonable (if not logical) the empty truck scam was. The progression and follow-through of that storyline made sense and created drastic-enough stakes that, yes, it was believable that the warden of a penitentiary would open the channels to allow such a thing to happen with a daughter on the line. What's most important is that neither the warden nor the prisoner Dana were cult members. In fact, after last week's deus ex machina, there were no surprise cult member crutches to be found. Had we learned that any of these people were turned in order to facilitate Carroll's release, The Following would seem like a show that has absolutely no respect for its audience. But it wasn't that way and I was relieved.

But then there were so many other things that undercut that minor success. The fact that Parker is still around after what should've been a career-ending failure (three men shot, two dead, only half of the hostages released, and every single bad guy getting away) is completely ridiculous. I get that they can't shift her around since we're supposed to be invested after her flashback-in-a-flashback nonsense last week (don't go to sleep on a plane watching this show—you'll get incepted) and she's a major character (either as the only person who believes in Ryan or who could be Roderick) but it's hard to believe that she didn't suffer any consequences after that botched operation. Add to that her losing track of Carroll's mouthpiece throughout this thing (really? No one's going to keep tabs on the lawyer?) and then losing track of a helicopter (oh, come on!) and you have a pretty below-average performance by law enforcement. What's less than a gold star? Silver seems too bright. Copper? Rusted aluminum? They get a rusted star for effort.

But all told, what bothers me the most about this show is something Carroll hit hard this week. The backlash to a lot of criticism about The Following, in multiple forums (the comments on these reviews included), is that critics are thinking too hard about the show. If people would just accept it for "what it is" and try not to nitpick the details, they would find that The Following is exciting and enjoyable. At the risk of sounding conversationally anal-retentive, my issue with that is twofold.

The overall issue is that anything that has to be prefaced with "accept it for what it is" means that it's not doing its job at establishing what it is. Poor execution of this concept can be blamed on marketing, but I lay fault mostly at the foot of the series itself. There are plenty of shows on television that have impossible, even ridiculous, premises. Pretty Little Liars, for example. involves a group of small-town teenagers apparently being bullied by an endlessly funded growing syndicate of bitchy thugs, and yet its execution of premise doesn't bother me. Dallas is back on the air doing the same routine it did twenty-five years ago—only cheesier and soapier—and its execution of premise doesn't bother me. It's because The Following is forever ridiculous but takes itself so seriously that it's so painful to watch. Not painful to everyone, since the ratings are strong and it just got renewed for a second season, but it's not something I've been able to reconcile.

But what's most maddening about asking an audience member to not think about this show in order to enjoy it is that the show begs us to believe that its characters are pensive and scheming. According to Carroll's own frequent admissions, everything that's happened during the series is the product of nine years of plotting. So far, however, most of the plot advancements have been due to lots of bumbling on the FBI's part. They don't investigate, or they improperly surround a house, or they lose track of a helicopter. While, for the sake of argument, I can be willing to concede that the trained assassins who spirited Paul and Jacob out of the house and provided Emma a lane for escape were part of a go-to emergency plan in Carroll's grand scheme, most everything else that's happened has not been a part of Carroll's advancement so much as it's been the FBI eating itself.

If the main villain claims that everything in the storyworld is orchestrated, how are we not invited to follow the throughlines of those plans? How can you have a scheme and pray the audience doesn't try to figure it out? How do you establish a world of consequences and near-reality, only for everything that happens in it to occur according to dumb luck and happenstance? It's troublesome and violates our contract as audience members to suspend our disbelief.

I'm always open-minded and willing to learn and I'm not saying this show isn't always without a ray of promise. But we're seven episodes in and it's hard to keep having the promise float further and further down a tunnel of poor chemistry, deus ex machina, and a shaky premise. If there's a turn ahead where the intrigue really begins, I'm ready for it.


NOTES

– Joey maintains his title as the smartest person on the show. "Tell me what's really going on." And the look on his face when Carroll bent down next to him just screamed, "Get. Me. Out of. Here." I can't wait for him to crack this case for Hardy while the FBI continues to pick its nose.

– When Louise walked by that security guard and sliced open his belly without so much as a stutterstep, that was so smooth, wasn't it? Must have cost a fortune to find that adamantium razor blade tipped with diamonds and lasers. How did she no-look-sneak past his jacket and cut through his shirt and deep enough into his skin that he would bleed out in seconds? Han Solo had more trouble cutting into a tauntaun with a lightsaber.

– This show turns me into that annoying person who accuses everyone of being a killer. I was 65 percent sure that Dana was a prisoner because she was getting out of hand with her murdering.

– At the very least, now The Following will live forever on in the next installment of someone's montage of times that people in movies and television ask ask to enhance that.

– With all the wan songs of grumbling and distortion, it was only a matter of time before If I Had a Heart" by Fever Ray turned up on the soundtrack.

– Performance of the episode: Deidre rolling her eyes when Weston offered the obvious cell-phone tracking tip. Thanks, buddy, but we've all watched Law and Order, too.


Comments (119)
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Am I the only one who noticed that Carrol escaped from jail just to kill the nurse girl, then surrendered just to plan this whole escape again? Why not just not surrender at all? He really planned for 9 years to escape twice? And the two gay guys at the nurse's house. Didn't they know that Carroll was going to escape? Why not take the nurse away BEFORE the FBI arrive? I can go on. Watching for the comedy at this point.
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When they said 'we were traking the Helicopter on radar but we lost it' I totally lost it. I mean come on it's either on the radar or not depending on how far it sweeps. Also the amount of Followers Carrol has, yes he had access to a computer we had that explained but it's more like he put an ad on Craigslist 'Hi I'm a mad serial killer, do you like Edgar Allen Poe? Are you either totally stupid or have a unique set of skills like prison breaking or weapons etc and/or are totally disposable? Well have i got the job for you'. When he pulled up to that house and there was what 50-60 people there. they obviously had short email chats before they signed on. I'd actually like to see the math on that. Right i'm off home to watch episode 8 and yell at my laptop. Damn, such a shame because I do lover me some Bacon.....
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Well said. This show is such garbage, it even offends a 10 year old's intelligence. Those who can ignore the absurdity in this show are the ones responsible for the popularization of crap on TV.
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I stopped watching this show after the pilot because I couldn't get over the fact that everything that was about to happen was eminently avoidable if someone, ANYONE, would just have the common decency to put a bullet or two in Carroll's brain-pan.

I mean, the dude started a killer cult from his prison cell. All putting him in another cell is going to do is force him to redecorate. (Hmmm ... this is starting to sound familiar ... "American Me" anyone?)
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Read all the comments about this last episode and was surprised that no-one mentioned the most obvious FBI blunder of all (perhaps second most after yelling FBI in the mall). As if Hardy wouldn't have insisted on having a gps ankle bracelet put on Carroll for the transfer.

While Carroll still would have had to get if off at least he would have taken a personal cost in doing so (his foot).
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I don't think that's the most obvious blunder. I'm not sure it's even a blunder. He doesn't have to cut off his foot. The only reason to do that is to ensure that the people monitoring the bracelet won't notice that anything is wrong. If you are OK with an alarm going off, then you can just cut the bracelet.
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I agree so wholeheartedly with your review.. I dont understand why it's gotten such an audience while Deception might not be renewed! (A much better show...) For instance i made some comment on a Utube clip about how predictable The Following was.. Basically the bad guys win all the time here. And somebody wrote back about how brilliantly unpredictable that was and how I was an idiot. Um.. Not really so unpredictable- Not if it's all that happens... Just because the cult ppl win (almost by default, it feels!) does not make the thing suspenseful or clever or surprising in any way. I really liked your point here: "The overall issue is that anything that has to be prefaced with "accept it for what it is" means that it's not doing its job at establishing what it is. Poor execution.." when people snap and say "dont watch it if you dont like it" it's really obnoxious. I can't watch things I don't wholeheartedly approve of to see what bad execution is like, or whatever reason I choose? I shouldn't read a book I think is bad writing to compare it to good writing? Anyway, thanks for the review.
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And I'm saying it again... When I first heard about Kevin Bacon, serial killer and Edgar Allan Poe... This was definitely NOT what I expected. I keep watching but I've got the same thing where I just cannot see a show taking itself seriously with such a script! When you put the aforementioned actor and points of the show you expect it to be AT LEAST half as good as... let's say Homeland and, especially due to my favourite Poe, you need it to be more film noir, strong and smart plot etc etc... It just doesn't deliver. Whichever way you look at it. I *will* continue watching in the hope of it becoming better but I won't hold my breath...
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It's not going to get better. Just abandon all hope, and then decide if you want to abandon the show or enjoy it as a comedy.
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Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. :-p
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I should stop reading your reviews. On one side you are a very talented writer, but on the other side you take the whole "critic" part of criticizing way too seriously. How about trying to be unbiased once in a while, because from what i am seeing you have a certain "taste" and if it is not satisfied then the bashing begins. Unfortunately when that happens, the review stops being a review and is just... whining.

The thing is that the series is not half bad with the only negative part being that the bad guys seem to "win" constantly and that might backfire since people are not used to that type of narrative, but i am hoping that by the end of season 1 the good guys will have a win or two under their belt as well.
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Are we watching the same show? Yes, there have been oversights (e.g., not keeping tabs on the lawyer), but do you really expect the FBI to keep tabs on every single person connected to Carroll and make every single split-second decision correctly? They're not omniscient or omnipotent. On a Criminal Minds DVD, they did a special with the actual BAU, and one of the guys they interviewed said he "wished" they had the resources Criminal Minds made it look like they had. The more they showed of the actual BAU, the more I found myself hoping they're never tasked with finding me alive, because they seemed woefully understaffed and underfunded. If anything, The Following seems like a more realistic portrayal of them. After all, the real BAU famously got the profile for the BTK killer wrong. I for one am glad they haven't given into unrealistic cop drama tropes like getting only one phone call, the bad guy confessing immediately when he's caught, no one invoking their right to an attorney, dropping little puns when they find a body, etc. Feel free to criticize the BAU team on the show as being incompetent, because their record's shaky in real life, but as for me, I'll continue to praise The Following for trying a lot of things I haven't seen on network television before and leaving out the crap that's getting old. I also love how some commenters are acting like one comments section on one article on one website is indicative of how the world at large feels. The show's averaging 10-15 million viewers a week and got picked up for a second season before the first was halfway over (freakishly rare for Fox)...clearly something's working.
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The most "boneheaded" move this week was shouting "FBI" when they spotted Carroll and his man in the lobby of the whatever it was. STUPID!!!!!!
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This show is duuuumb and I doubt I'll be back for season 2 short of something miraculous happening. Why is Joey still allowed to run free, rhetorical question cause the writers can't manage real drama. Top notch acting by our leads but I just can't justify supporting this show any longer. I will finish this season but it's unlikely I'll be back for season 2 way too many good shows I could be spending my time with.
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I realized 5 minutes into the pilot episode that this show was going to be a joke. When Hardy goes to see Carroll in prison and he jerks forward at the table, while he's cuffed to the table, in an effort to show us how scary he is, I just rolled my eyes and tuned out. Oh that was so scary and I've never seen that done before....heavy sarcasm intended. Although there's a lot of talented actors here, their talent is squandered by this corny, childish fodder.
For those of you who like this show, read the comments below. All of us can't be wrong. 2 good comments out of 97. OK...ya...let's renew it.
How does this drama deserve a renewal when so many watching it think it's a comedy?
I just had a laugh thinking about how stupid network execs are. They cancel the great shows that win awards and leave on the worst shows. Or maybe they're smart because they know that the stupid shows have the greater audiences because there's more and more stupid people around. Keep watching though so that you can become a greater idiot than you already are. I feel bad for Kevin and for Natalie Zea. She left Justified for this? Poor lady.
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Bad reviews. Majority already have spoken. The show needs a turn around or audiences will
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I'm a fan of Kevin Bacon, so I'm trying really, really hard to like this show, but his character of Ryan Hardy leaves him falling short of what I consider one of his best performances as "Walter" in "The Woodsman". In fact Ryan doesn't need to be hobbled by a bad heart and recurring scenes where he has to run and can't catch his breath, at least not when the entire FBI makes the Keystone Cops look like a professional law enforcement organization in comparison. My favorite "really? REALLY?" moment was the the bad guy gets away in a helicopter and the excuse is "They had him o radar for a while, then he disappeared". Really?!
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What started out as a decent show has become laughable...if this episode is any indication of what is to come, I am regretting that second season renewal.
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Wondering why Hardy's often the only one chasing after the bad guys -- and he's supposedly wearing a pacemaker. I want to shout at the TV. He's such a sad sack.
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Not reading through the rest of comments, and to be honest I only skimmed the review, but somebody made mention of the number 1 Bonehead of all - the 8-fingered lawyer!!!

What did she think was going to happen?!! And the look of shock on her face!? She is fully aware that the man killed a baker's dozen of women +1,; she knows that he's responsible for the amputation of her two fingers, yet with little to no blackmail leverage on her - Carrol convinced her to be his getaway driver?! The grown woman, who is not a bartender or a housewife but a criminal lawyer??!!! WTF was going on in her head?!

WTF?!?!

Just because I belong to an actual Purefoy cult, that don't mean I have to watch this. (Well, yes, technically I have to watch it... But I am displeased. Strongly displeased with this.)
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The Following is just pure comedy too unrealistic and unbelievable....I started laughing at the security guard slashed with a razor blade, stunned silence and dead withing seconds hahaha I dont want to watch the show anymore but will just too see how far fetched and cockups the writers will try to get away with...what started as a good show is now an Epic Fail
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Its like this show is hinged on the stupidity of its characters (FBI mostly) Carrol must feel like a boss now that he doesn't just have followers but also nutjobs who'll happily just lend a hand
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The TV show The Following is the most exasperating cliffhanger/TV series ever made. It has made the FBI, the Police and Profilers look ludicrous and every effort made ill-advised. Viewers will start to loose interest in the series; it was good at the beginning, but since the characters have been depicted brainless/dim-witted time after time, it makes the story tiresome. I do not think the TV series will last longer.
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i think Purefoy deserves better. As for the writing, you could say that if the idea is to be "realistic" as to how the FBI would act, you could explain away with some of the "dumbness" ie following guidelines or the law, but there's just too much of it. on a sidenote, i tried to watch Banshee but the guy annoyed me and too many short cuts on that too, ie t n a, needless violence. so that lasted two episodes with me! I. think ill give this one more try next week.
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I completely agree with you on Purefoy. I know "The States and Hollywood" are many actors' dream but I would much prefer to see him in a little show where his talent is better used.
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agreed. also, changed my mind about Banshee, the tail end of first season was pretty good!
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Really ? I thought Banshee was, as you described, needless violence (that's also what I've heard in tv show's podcasts). But if there is a good story, maybe I'll give it an eye !
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like The Following, i think its the kind of show you definitely have to take with a pinch of salt. I call it bubblegum tv, you chew it once then you spit it out!
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Firstly Carrol knew the FBI had figured out his escape, yet he wanders to the closests building causally out in the open and is surprised when the FBI show up, but worse than that, why yell FBI and suddnely start shoving people out of the way alerting carrol to their presence, they could have sneaked up on him and show over, this why people get frustrate by the show, like the review says, the FBI just keep making mistakes and that's why the story line continues, Fans want an intelligent show, not just hey it's not real so dumb things happen.
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I was quite suprised aboutt that too it just did not make any sense
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Facepalm-Moment of the episode: Weston yelling "FBI" while trying to capture Carroll! How stupid was that!!?? The writer had a bad day writing the episode, or it indicates that Weston is one of the followers and he getting shot was just a distraction.
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When I watch 24, I knew Jack Bauer wasn't the smartest person on the planet : the only way he had to get answers from anyone was to torture him. I accepted that : stupid people torture others to get what they want because thay can't use their brain. That's why I liked 24 : because I knew Jack Bauer wasn't smart.
Now, Ryan Hardy is supposed to be smart : he captured a very very smart serial killer who reads Poe and everything. How can someone be so smart and revert to such inhuman methods ? And more, he knew he was being filmed while he was doing this ! The situation where he breaks Caroll's fingers could only backfire ! If you can't keep your cool while facing a serial killer, find an other job ! And be carefull of your heart !
Hardy is the stupidest FBI agent who's ever been portrayed in a TV show ! You want to see smart ones ? Go see Mulder and Scully from The X Files ; go watch Twin Peaks !
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Great comparison between Bauer and Hardy!
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The show ends when Ryan confesses he's a follower... lol
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Very funny
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What a laugh that would be ! I may write a fanfic about that one !
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So bad. So...so bad. I don't feel like making fun of this show anymore. So bad.
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Fox you are unreal. You cancelled TSCC and you renew The Following.. I stopped watching this awful show after the 2nd episode. I just couldn't stand the ignorance of this show. Kevin you deserve a better show than this...This show is just pure tripe....
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Just to point out another couple of stupid things the characters did, how about the lawyer not having any means of self defense. What did she think the serial killer was going to do once she fulfilled her purpose? When they were tracking down the car with the lawyer and Carroll, is there any reason they didn't call local police? Apparently, only FBI agents can arrest murderers. Then again if two local police had showed up in a car one would inevitably be a follower and kill the other.

Each passing episode seems to take insulting the audience's intelligence to a new level. It'll probably last eight seasons.
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This is the stupidest the FBI has been portrait in the history of TV! "Was there a more boneheaded move? Share it in the comments!" Yeah, the fact that they could've capture Carrol if they had moved quietly without making the fuzz they did. Bonehead is a light term for those imbeciles. I can't believe this show is been renewed for another season by FOX!! Seriously? You cancel jewels like Arrested Development and Firefly but you renew crap like this? Bunch of idiots!.
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How much longer can agent Parker realistically keep her job? If you stick 30 serial killers in a mansion how long would it take before they begin killing each other?
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I see this show as more of a mini-series, similar to Harper's Island, which was 13 episodes, and had to end because there were only 2 or 3 people on the island left alive. I could see The Following perhaps working in that format. With all that has happened, whether plausible or not, I don't see how the story line will be able to be sustained through a second season.
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In France they said there was no audience for Harper's Island.
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I keep watching, hoping that at some point all of this tomfoolery will come together into something a bit more coherent.

At least with this episode Carroll's transfer/escape seemed believable. Not only believable, but dare I say actually cunning and something he plotted before hand?
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I find it daft that they had a Helicopter in the air that could have tracked the lawyer and they went chasing the lawyer in one vehicle with just 2 agents, among other daft things.
I so wanted to like this Kevin Bacon series but its stretching credulity to the limit
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It got renewed for a second season because it's a good watchable show. No not, great, but an alright show worth 'following'.
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Har har!!
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Please don't use Jack Bauer's name in vain. Don't get me wrong, I like Ryan Hardy but he is about as "Jack Bauer" as my gold retriever. Jack Bauer half comatose infected with prion disease killed a ton of people in that room where they were doing the "spinal tap". I could go on and on about Bauer but I just beg people not to use his name in vain:-)

Ryan pushed on a guys wound to get information---legally wrong but I have absolutely no problem with it. Yes, I've read that torture rarely yields actionable or correct information. Please emphasize the word "rarely" because sometimes it do. No, I'm not advocating torture unless it's the only option. I do not claim to know when it would be the only option.

I'm kind of joking about taking Bauer's name in vain~~but not really. Jack Bauer is probably one of my favorite characters ever (or even favorite). I'm still watching The Following but am offended (lol) that one is even drawing a comparison to 24 or Jack Bauer. Maybe if Jack overdosed on xanax but was still semi-conscious but even then he would of already killed Carol and been on to the next story (be at the end of the tv show Cult and taking out the bad guy there).

Ryan successfully implemented a G-rated version of a Jack Bauer maneuver. That's it. Kudos to Ryan but you have a long way to go....

If I could change my username it would probably be something like JackBauerfanatic (lol, respect to fringefanatic and to my favorite tv character~Jack Bauer). I'll stop now before going into a dissertation on why I worship (lol) Jack Bauer and 24!
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Oh for crying out loud!

This is the FBI and Law Enforcement from the government that was in Idiocracy right? Is that the secret? Because that is the only way that makes sense that any of these people have jobs.

I can't go on. Fox must not have anything in the pipeline. This may be worse that Alcatraz and Alcatraz got canned pretty quickly.
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Idiocracy!
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I really feel sorry for Kevin's image. I am fan and I wanted this serious to be good for his image. And boy The Following is really growing on your nerves, Nick. But it is true what you said about it.

Ignoring obvious weak links for an episode or two is find for sake of just entertainment or passing time but that is happening in every next episode, which is bad. I hope writers of The Following read these reviews here and munch on some mouse-brains to get their act together before Sally go all Zombie on them.
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If the end of this episode had been the end of the series I would have been cool with it. I honestly forgot which side I was supposed to be rooting for.
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Is the cult mansion the same one as the the one Parker's parents are in?
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No.
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C'mon, Nick!! Not even a single mention of that ridiculous ending!!! Was I the only one to think "Oh shit!! It's in fact a prequel for X-Men and Caroll will get bold and end up in a wheel chair"
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Staff
I was hoping people would bring it up in the comments since I didn't have room for it. How weird was that? Misfits streaming out of the house like Little Annie or Dickensian orphans? That was ridiculous. The problem is that Carroll may be Hardy's Magneto but only because they world they live in is basically Idiocracy without licensing for Gatorade. Don't worry, I have plenty of jokes for next week.
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Kevin Bacon seems to have the same look on his face in all of the pictures.
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Honest, why disant gurli bodyguard man just screen and alert the police Wien hardy questionened him
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Tied with "Go On" for Best New Comedy. I'm going to keep on watching and laughing.
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I'm assuming you must have (understandably) already forgotten about NBC's other great comedy of the season, Revolution. ;-)

As bad as this is, it has a long way to go to achieve Revolution's level of hilarity. (I really and truly did laugh out loud at once in every episode.)
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The Following and Revolution ; the best comedies of the year ! What a fine idea !
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Because the level of idiocy that permeates Revolution and how fast it got renewed is not funny in the least.
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The most boneheaded thing the FBI did? After visually confirming a suspect on the 2nd floor terrace of a crowded shopping mall, you draw your guns and shout out at them "FREEZE" from the 1st floor. Expecting... what?
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The average citizen bystander isn't too bright, either, considering no one recognized that a serial killer was in the same building as them.
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An excellent point. How does a serial killer, whose face has been plastered across the news for the last few months since his escape and recapture, walk amongst the people?
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The scary thing is how that was actually one of the more believable aspects of the show. Seriously, people my age (young '20s) hardly ever watch the news, and they know almost nothing about current events/national affairs.
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The payoff will be seeing these cult members blasted, especially that pixie-haired witch.
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I watched for as long as possible. The ridiculous things that happen in this show were just too much to bear. Why would people in good jobs and people with families need to follow a cult leader? It's absurd the people who keep showing up to rescue the bad guys. Not to mention the sheer number of people who are apparently sociopaths! The good guys are just too dumb and the privelages afforded to a mass murderer are outrageous. I initially enjoyed the show but when one guy sets another guy on fire and strolls slowly away with a crowd of people watching him go - I just can't handle it. If I scream "Seriously?" more than once in an episode - I am done.
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No repercussions for Parker after what happened last week is ridiculous
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Just remember, whomever they'd replace her with would probably be even more incompetent.
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I definitely agree with your "accept it for what it is" point of view on this show. There are a lot of things about this show that need further explanation or require the audience to suspend belief, but they are worth putting up with to see what happens next. For me this episode rated just the upper side of "meh." But the last scene with Joey, Carroll, and the whole mansion full of cult members standing on the front lawn was quite a powerful scene. It hints at some of what Carroll's motive for breaking out of prison was, to reunite his family whether they want to or not. All the pieces haven't quite come together yet, but judging by the previews from next week's episode having a mass of Followers living in the same house with your and watching everything you do might take some getting used to for Carroll.
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I have to say that I'm surprised how well they handled Carroll's prison escape. First of all, they didn't have Hardy beat him up in this episode just so that he'd have an excuse to be transferred, but rather had that happen episodes ago. Second of all, they didn't have your usual interception of the transport, where there's a roadblock or a semi crashes into them or something, and instead they pulled a fairly believable (especially for this show) sleight of hand. It was a little hard for me to buy the idea of the warden's men going along with the escape plan, since you'd think at least one of them wouldn't want to be complicit in letting an admitted serial killer go loose, especially since none of their family members were kidnapped, but this was actually fairly reasonable for this show, so I went along with it. And while it was a strange move of Carroll's part to have his lawyer drive to a large building just so that he could leave in a helicopter, when surely switching cars at various random points would have been a much better choice, I personally think that it was thematically worth it. Carroll entering a crowded building and making his way through all those people was a much better image than switching cars in alleys and forests would have been.

Still, I do agree with Nick that show show is pretty darn uneven in terms of characters being clever one moment and stupid the next. And while the real stupid award of this episode goes to Olivia, who helped a serial killer escape supposedly out of self interest even though she created the perfect opportunity for him to kill her, pretty much all law enforcement (except Ryan Hardy oddly enough) on the show really were incompetent, to the extent that they had to resort to torture just to stay two steps behind Carroll and his cult. And while at some point in the near future it will be the cult's turn to do something stupid, crazy, or just plain confusing, this strange balance of brilliance versus idiocy is a lot to swallow. For the most part though, I'm able to overlook this since this show does continue to be more and more enjoyable. If only it would stop taking itself seriously.

The most important thing that happened in this episode, in my opinion, was the very closing show where we got to see a large group of Carroll's following. The thing I noticed is that this was a very mixed bunch, with a wide range of ages. I'm pretty sure I saw a woman who must have been at least sixty, which makes her the oldest hard-core follower we've seen so far. What this scene pretty much said to me is that literally any character is fair game. Who knows, soon we might see grandmas in wheelchairs and on life support going on killing sprees. Pretty much anything is possible at this point.
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My eyes rolled out of my head when all of those cult members walked out of the mansion. Just when you think there's enough, there's more.
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Obama voters.
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