The Following "Love Hurts" Review: Congratulations on Your Graduation to Chapter Books, Show!

The Following S01E09: "Love Hurts"


Be forewarned: I'm about to say some things about The Following that could generally be construed as "nice."

For instance, I like this suggestion that we might have a case-of-the-week thing happening. "Love Hurts" returns us to our theory that the cult is nothing more than Carroll's graduate program. He's like the Old School frat that accepts all comers (I can't wait until they force Blue to garrotte someone) as long as you submit to the only requirement: Adore the Godfather. Carroll is that Godfather.

My analogy ends there, however, because Carroll actually does treat this endeavor like his followers are his students and they all have their own assignments. He delivers painfully uncharismatic lectures (I'm assuming everyone is supposed to be enraptured by his words because they're already pretty invested in the guy being right) and then demands homework and, most importantly, theses.

Their doctorates in murder come in the form of "chapters" and, from what we know about how Amanda (our new student) talks about "her chapter," everyone has one (Rick and the threesome also talked about theirs back when Rick was alive enough to have flashbacks). They seem to literally pitch Carroll the idea as if presenting to a faculty adviser and, while Joe accepted this one fairly easily, I would imagine that with others he might give notes, tell them to go back to their rooms, work on it over a nice bowl of ramen noodles. I mean, how else could they be living here? Who has time to both earn an income and stay on the run because they're wanted for their myriad collective murders?

Anyway, back to why I like this development: I like the idea of people pitching Carroll ideas and then Carroll helping them carry out those ideas as long as they fit within his plan. Have Carroll call up Hardy to foreshadow the coming crimes and then let them play out, only for everyone to have underestimated Ryan's power of persuasion, whether that be his sincere demeanor or his itchy trigger finger. Let the endgame be thwarted, and each camp regroup. That might be a show I'd watch and not dread every week.


"Love Hurts" even allowed for some incremental story movement in order to keep the narrative going while we got set up for cases of the week. Not surprisingly, it was a bit juvenile but, to be fair, a lot of the people on this show suffer from some arrested development. The Carroll/Emma/Jacob/Paul quadrangle smacks of high-school-level drama where television amps up the hormones to 1,000 percent and sets teenagers free under Romeo and Juliet state laws. These are grown adults, but Emma's unmitigated desire for Carroll—despite loving another, simpler boy—is still just another incarnation of a girl who has the chance to date the varsity quarterback and ditches the beta male. The only difference here is that Jacob has a thirst for blood and might just take revenge using some newfound confidence.

Well, maybe that's a bit of a leap. The fact that Jacob finally killed someone (and spared Ryan an addition to his body count), which was complicated by that person being Paul, should hopefully spark a difference in him. If there was some latent psychopathy scratching beneath Jacob's surface but that was smothered by his murder hymen, that's a cherry I'm glad to see popped. His aversion to murder while in a murder cult was slightly interesting in the beginning, but it'd run its course and I'm glad that he can't whine about it anymore. Paul wasn't a bad character (after he and Emma made the beast with two backs), and I'm a little sad to see him go but I'm happy to see Jacob joining the ranks. I'm only sad that Paul went out with such a whimper.

This running theme of wanting a life to mean something is the only thing right now that honestly elevates Carroll from the rest of these redshirts. It's the only believable part of this cult that I could see indoctrinating anyone. Carroll's not messianic enough to attract a following, not even this hodgepodge of housewives, ex-military men, and college co-eds. The "literary themes found in the works of Gothic Romanticism" have fallen away quickly (since they were stupid) and are present in name only (mostly because Parker keeps bringing them up). There's no visionary leadership here. The only reason these yokels find themselves in the company of a serial killer is that they haven't heard Tyler Durden's speech about being Rock Stars in Fight Club and, therefore, aren't already desensitized to the tenets of a Project Mayhem. Man, remember when Meat Loaf was awesome?

Where was I going with this? Oh, right.


The sides seem much more evenly matched, particularly now that there might be some rumblings of schism happening in the House of Carroll. Obviously, there's nothing certain yet. But Roderick's "it's not the same" concerns from last week combined with an Emma scorned and a Jacob much more deeply scorned could amount to some sort of rebuff of Carroll's authority or to people taking sides, even while still worshipping the serial killer. There's already a sense of cliquishness in the house and a bit of subterfuge, underhandedness, and, perhaps most notably, pettiness underlying everything. With imperfect minions, Hardy always has a shot (literally) to thwart their plans and for things to tilt back toward even. The we'll-get-'em-next-time conversation between Carroll and Roderick sure sounded like this might be a trend but, knowing my luck, it can't possibly be. Because Kevin Williamson hates me for not watching Teaching Mrs. Tingle.

How I want to end is by going back to the mention of pettiness. There are a lot of dumb things that happen on this show (some of them this week, even!) and I've talked a lot about the creator/consumer contract for suspension of disbelief, but chief of all the things that list as being ridiculous about this show is how seriously it takes itself. It tries so hard to make us feel the chemistry between characters and feel bad for lost loved ones, lost lives, being lost in general, that it comes off funny. But it's that sad kind of funny that's annoying whenever the writers try to convince us of its reality.

This episode was interesting in that there were a few more comic beats. Roderick's half-creepy/half-baiting recounting of Jacob's messages was the kind of moment I expect from a Williamson production and that's where the show needs to go. That might be problematic with the gravity Kevin Bacon likes to bring to a dramatic project, especially with how he's been playing Hardy thus far, but there needs to be an almost camaraderie between all the characters, even when they're at each other's throats. There just needs to be more humor in general. Louise's death: perfect. That's the self-awareness I'm looking for.

Stop trying so hard to be larger than you are and own what you have: a fairly implausible plot with characters who are supposed to be quick and smart. Let us laugh with you instead of at you. Or, at you is fine if you're okay with backhanded compliments and a published litany of ridiculous plot points.



NOTES

– "I was. I'm not anymore." Did you get the feeling that Jacob's mom has a sordid nurse past?

– I liked Amanda. She seemed to have fun with her chapter. "I'm going to try it out." And then HARPOON! You're toast, Claire. Amanda stabbed a dude in the gut for getting in the way. She was a woman on a mission. And then, sadly, she found the third Claire Matthews, put a nailgun to her head, and didn't pull the trigger. Why not? I mean, if she has to die anyway, whether Amanda kills her or not, why not just plug her and run? It's not like the FBI had the place surrounded or anything. They never do. So why give Ryan the opportunity to seduce your damage?

– Louise's death really was amazing. I like that they gave her three episodes to make an impression on us and then cut her down. I'm not exactly sure why she wouldn't think that Ryan would shoot? She was there when he opened fire, unannounced, on a group of them. Why would he hesitate? Although, she's not exactly the brightest crayon in the box. She did pick up a stranger's mask from the dirty ground at a rave and put it on her face. That's how you get gonorrhea in your eye.

– I was saddened to see "New Noise" by Refused to be so misused, both because it was part of this show and because nobody even got stabby after the crescendo. If you're going to use something that bombastic with definite breaks, at least time it with the scene. It might as well have been a Ryan Adams song.

– I noticed a few comments last week touching on the violence of the show, how the gore is gratuitous and the depictions of criminal acts—not just with regard to our laws, but to man's laws—are given a sense of theater. I've never been one to believe that art has a responsibility to censor itself except in extreme circumstances, but I can see where those people are coming from. One of the major points of this show is to leave the audience torn between empathizing with these characters and watching them commit brutal violations of prime directives. It's depicting the viewpoint that people who do these things aren't monsters, but people who do monstrous things and the struggle within them for humanity. Maybe that's pinning too much on the show, but that's how it seems to me and it's a valid, potentially interesting thread if The Following can get its act together. I just want to point out that, particularly in a time when we're seeing a rise in grand-scale, theatrical violence, the people commenting about this show being too violent at 9pm may have a valid argument. What we see as an interesting perspective may be taken as validation for humans to do bad things. Discuss.

– Parker: "I feel like a failure." Hardy: "You're not." Campbell: "No, you are."

– Stop trying to sell me this relationship between Ryan and Claire. I don't buy it. I don't want it. Stop.

– We're having some technical difficulties with polls at the moment, but this wouldn't be a proper review of The Following without a discussion of the dumbest things to happen in the episode. Record your answer in the comments!

POLL: What do you think was the stupidest thing to happen in "Love Hurts?"

  • * The cult's phone encryption is better than the FBI's

    * "Five minutes until Dad arrives. Time to fit in a quick, 20-second asphyxiation."

    * The episode trying to sell us on the gravity of the phrase "love hurts" despite the fact that we all had that stupid song in our head

    * Louise thinking Ryan wouldn't pull the trigger

    * Amanda NOT pulling the trigger

    * Did I miss one? Add it in the comments!



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There might be something wrong with me, but I think the violence in this show is funny, kind of like the gore in "Drag Me to Hell". Man that was a funny film. I laughed so much at the harpoon in the gut. In a diner! And all those people just let Amanda and Louise just walk out, like it was no big deal, while some extra in the background whipped out his mobile phone to video some woman's dying moments and her friend screeching hysterically.

Thats some funny stuff!
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"If there was some latent psychopathy scratching beneath Jacob's surface but that was smothered by his murder hymen, that's a cherry I'm glad to see popped." Bahahhahahahhahah this is the best and most rotten metaphor ever!! I laughed so hard! Parker is a gobshite, seriously, she is terrible. Yes, you are a failure, idiot!!
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I think I'm watching this full season in the hope that when the Doctrine of Joe is finally revealed, it's so compelling, that it explains why by simply doing his bidding, brings purpose to this (easily led) bunch's lives lol. Not sure that's going to happen mind you. What I've learned so far on The Following

1. Only the slender and truly good looking can rank highly in Joe's cult, the average, plain and middle aged, are destined only to be foot soldiers or animal torturers .

2. Jacob Wells' father might be someone of significance, that's why we couldn't meet him.

3. There effort to 'humanize the monster' doesn't really work because I don't know any of their motivations, which then has the adverse effect. I don't care about anyone in the show except Ryan Hardy, Joey Matthews and Jacob Wells (for now). Whether victim or murderer, I'm not attached enough. I have basic sympathy for the endless co-eds that are killed, but usually I'm just left feeling angry that no one survives to wreak vengeance on these Handsome Boy Modeling School Killers.

When the pan-sexual, polyamorous, ethnically ambiguous Paul Torres finally had the life snuffed out of him, I was glad. I felt more pity for Jacob, because all I could remember is Paul's his at slaughtering young women and senior citizens. Just cause. When Hannibal comes out I feel that show will do a better job. Simply because between the profiler Will Graham and Dr. Lecture, there will be some insight and reasoning. Even The Joker in The Dark Knight had some method to his madness, I need a cult leader that's convincing in that way. Someone who makes a really crazy ideology almost make sense. Not some narcissist English professor that ok's each week's murder spree, to fill pages in his book.
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The portrayal of FBI agents is downright insulting, and is, James Purefoy‘s Joe Carroll really all that chasmatic? I mean come on, he quotes Poe, who was more about darkness, then inspiration. http://satinthenewsavior.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/kevin-bacon-sizzles-even-when-the-following-does-not/
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To be perfectly honnest, it is not the violence of the show that bothers me ; I've watched 24, The Wire, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones ; I consider those shows more violent that The Following.
The thing that bothers me is that, again and for the second time, Ryan Hardy who is supposed to be an FBI agent, kills Louise because she "thought he couldn't pull the trigger". It's like at school : "I bet you can't kiss the ugliest boy on the mouth". Except here, they're not kids and they're "playing" with guns. Couldn't Hardy have cuffed Louise ? Restrain her without killing her ?
I'm more scared of Hardy than Purefoy now ! And I find this show completely ridiculous, violent or not. At least, 24 had a plot that kept you on edge.
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First off, Ryan is a deputized consultant, not an agent. (In fact, the dumbest thing about the episode for me was the consultant with a heart condition, along with the two heads of the investigation, physically going down to the rave to look for Claire. Isn't that what field agents are for?) Second, Louise didn't comply with his order to drop the gun, so he was justified in shooting her, especially when she was delaying pursuit of Amanda, who was in the process of chasing someone.
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the last 2 episodes have been acceptable but there are still a lot of pot holes. i think the reason the last two ep havent been that bad its because they dont deal with characters escencial for the main plot wich makes them "catchable" for the otherwise inept police
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thinking theres gonna be a big twist at the conclusion of this story,,cant wait,,hope for a season 2..lovin the show lovin kevin bacon!!!
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"I liked Amanda. She seemed to have fun with her chapter. "I'm going to try it out." And then HARPOON! You're toast, Claire. Amanda stabbed a dude in the gut for getting in the way. She was a woman on a mission. And then, sadly, she found the third Claire Matthews, put a nailgun to her head, and didn't pull the trigger. Why not? I mean, if she has to die anyway, whether Amanda kills her or not, why not just plug her and run? It's not like the FBI had the place surrounded or anything. They never do. So why give Ryan the opportunity to seduce your damage?"

-That's what I said! Better yet, why did it take so long for anyone to cap her? I mean you KNOW she's going to kill the woman, because that's what they do. The other alternative would have been to kill herself but we all know she was getting out of that alive. It reminded me of in most films when the bad guy goes into an exposition on morals and their evil plan just long enough for the backup (haha as if there is a such thing as backup on this show) to come in and put the kibosh on everything.

This show is gratuitous with the violence. I don't like the violence just for the sake of violence or to be overly edgy. It's annoying and unnecessary and for me the amount of time they spend filling up fake blood packs to splatter all over the place, they could be spending tightening and cleaning up the writing and the plot. There are more important things they can focus on. But for reasons unbeknownst to myself I still watch this show. And I like watching it for all the batshizz crazy that it is. And I don't even know. The FBI comes off as incompetent at best. Thank the good heavens Kevin Bacon's character is trigger happy, otherwise they all would have been dead a thousand times over by now. The fact that he gets beat up, shot at, tortured, mauled by rabid dogs, and abducted by aliens or whatever every single week has gotten so ridiculous that it's practically laughable. Joe Caroll isn't really convincing enough as the leader of a cult. He lacks a message and a real purpose, and I can't even attempt to wrap my head around just why all these lost souls who are categorically insane on a borderline cartoonish level, follow him. It's a funhouse for stereotypical sociopaths and psychopaths. Oh The Following.
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Well Nick, you missed the "800-killer" hot line. I mean it was pretty ridiculous how people arrived to his booth to confess murders and request advices on how to dispose of the body and improve their murdering skills... And all that IN PRISON!! C'mon!
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It is not literature that made them killers, but if you read Poe's "the tell-tale heart" you might just understand these followers slightly better. To me, they're all scared and intrigued and haunted by that "evil eye" that keeps them awake at night and they just HAVE to kill the old man to break free from his veiled eye looking upon them, making them mad.
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I feel sorry for Kevin Bacon. This show sounded intriguing at first, but the writers repeatedly fail to deliver compelling, or even believable stories. I'm done with it.
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Why try so hard to give your villians sympathetic backstories that compel the audience to find empathy? That is just lazy. This show doesn't deal with the victims at all. They had a young woman taped up in a trunk and then stabbed to death and they never showed her face or her terror (got to desensitize the audience) - they just use it as a formative scene for what they are presenting in this episode as a "tragic" love story. Really really gross and manufactured. This writing is just lazy and heartily assumes it has a stupid audience. This is where network television is headed. As the collective intelligence of society continues to sink to the lowest rung on the pole, refuse like this packs in the viewers.
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That is a good point regarding highlighting the stories of the perpetrators at the expense of portraying the realities of their victims. I had not looked at it from that angle and I am inclined to agree with your perspective. It is a rather simplistic approach to audience engagement.
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Way to convince someone to your point of view--insult the intelligence of viewers who are entertained by a show you don't like. Maybe you're "just" a lazy viewer. Considering what happened to the doctor in the pilot, it seems like anybody who wasn't killed by one of Joe's followers (e.g., the store clerk Paul brought to the farmhouse) might have to be looking over their shoulder for the rest of their life. I don't need Ryan or any other character to make a speech about it for me to draw that conclusion. Giving the cultists personalities raises the show from being a series of gory set pieces for the edification of sadists.
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i did actually pretty much like this ep, not sure why Louise didnt wear a flack jacket?... and baffling as to why Amanda didnt kill the final Claire? i suppose if you have a belief then you are open to it being questioned as a logical, though not neccessarily rational, human being. Amanda was awesome, so much fun. as for new noise being used, at least it was used and it wasnt dubstep :p . the nurse definitely has something to hide..or so i thought. maybe next time! Purefoy was great in this episode, tremors wasnt so good, again. the romance angle isnt working for me, and i dont think hes convincing enough. look at Quaid on Vegas to see how good the older gen can act. better this week, im gunna keep watching a little while longer, im interested to see what they do with Jacob.
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The episode was better than the last one, so i keep watching
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"What we see as an interesting perspective may be taken as validation for humans to do bad things. Discuss."
Huh? Are you suggesting violence on tv validates (advocates?) bad things we do in real life?
I think I have having a dense moment but I'm not sure what the comment means.
I love horror flicks and violence on tv but hate it in real life. I work all day helping people and have never been in a physical altercation. Maybe if I didn't watch violence on tv I would express it in real life (I highly doubt that but am playing devil's advocate).
I really think I am misreading the sentence in your review...somehow I am reminded of Tipper Gore and heavy metal music...she was an idiot imo (my opinion was formed when I was a rebellious teenager and haven't kept up with her)
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The idea I was trying to express might've been vague, I admit. We as an audience might be compelled to watch this show because it presents a different side of our modern boogeyman: the rapacious or irrational killer. The one that hides underneath cars waiting for a person to be alone in a dark parking garage, sneaks into your house through a basement window, or pretends to be a desperate hitchhiker. The ones that prey on our trust and distraction.

This show attempts to flesh out these villains of our imagination by giving them families, love interests, and things to care about. Carroll has his wife and child, Parker almost got Emma to break down about her mother, and we've seen how Jacob and Paul have struggled with their complicated relationship.

That's the "interesting perspective" I'm talking about, how our monsters are being humanized. The flip side of that, an extreme fringe case, might be someone that sees this human side, identifies with the conflicted feelings of murder and humanity, and sees it as a validation for him or her to do bad things. That feeling of "wanting [my] life to mean something" is endemic in our media-soaked culture.

I'm not immediately saying one way is faulty logic and one way isn't. But it makes for an interesting discussion. Hopefully that clears things up.
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super long rambling response--this will make theopratt's post look short---lol ((theoprat)), hugs:-)

That clears it up--thanks. If someone is going to be violent I don't see a show causing them to act on it. That will be their rationalization or defense when on trial. That same person could just as easily start killing if someone cuts them off it traffic---that brings out my inner sociopath more then a fictional show. This show doesn't create any empathy for the killers. Dexter would be more like to do this then The Following but if someone is so easily influenced by tv/songs/movies then anything can influence them and the problem is with the person and not the show.

Millions of people watch violence (horror flicks, tv shows like Dexter, act...) and are wonderful people in real life. Rooting for a bad person on a show doesn't make one a bad person and a bad person will likely act on their bad desires regardless of a show. I don't see a fictional show as having that much power over a person.

I think it is an excuse/rationalization but is not the true cause. On the other hand if someone was brutalized in real life then sought justice through violence, then I can understand how an external factor would cause violence (a'la I spit on your grave).

I think (it's to late and I'm to tired/lazy to google) but I think some people maybe born with sociopathic tendencies (sociopathic predisposition) and then their total environment (not just tv/media) shapes them to be the people they become (good or bad). Others have a traumatic event occur that causes them become violent. I seriously doubt a fictional tv show/book/song/movie would cause then to act on their desires to do harm. Even if it plays a tiny role in < 1 % (I'm making this up as I go) of people who do sociopathic behaviors (i.e., cause intentional harm) I still don't think there should be censorship of shows that are shown from a bad persons POV and makes them relatable. The rest of the world who watches the shows don't react the same (don't start killing people).

Look at the old cartoons--even the new ones---full of violence...that is all the roadrunner cartoon had....should those be banned. I felt sorry for Walter White on Breaking Bad and could identify with him in the earlier seasons (I empathized). I've had some difficult live experiences at times, yet never made drugs to sell or hurt anyone physically or anyway intentionally. I like the character Dexter (in previous seasons) and rooted for him. I often root for vigilantes on fictional shows but I would never do what he/they do. Reese on POI shots bad people--is it wrong to root for him (and he is the good guy but takes the law into his own hands).

I read about criminals getting off due to loop holes in the law or some other stupid reason and wish they were punished but I would never do it myself even though I have access to weapons and would not hesitate to kill to protect myself or my family. However, I would not seek out violence.

Someone who is looking for an excuse to act on their impulses can find an excuse in anything. I do not think fictional tv shows that have sympathetic bad people is a single variable causal factor (not the best wording).

Killers often say they were abused as children but look at all the abused children who grow up to be productive members of society (not killers). Excuses, excuses and more excuses. We are partly to blame for the excuses because we (normal people) want to know why someone does something so heinous. I don't think there is usually a single answer. I understand how bullying may cause someone to snap but if they snap at anyone other then the bully that that is wrong. Also snapping by killing is wrong but to learn how to defend and fight and then stand up to the bully (if they can't be avoided) and kick the bully's ass then fine. You just have to have self control and have boundaries/morals/ethics that you adhere to and I don't thinks glamorizing fictional bad people would affect my or other sane peoples boundaries/morals/ethics/actions.

Justifying bad actions based on fiction is lazy attempt at coming up with an excuse/rationalization. It would be better to say demons made me do it....lol

I empathized with Dexter and Walter White and many other "bad guys"...I can also get angry at society for being stupid (have you seen some news stories) but I have never and will never act violently on an innocent when not in danger.

People who act on violent fantasies are unstable to begin with and I doubt they have the ability to empathize with a fictional character. I don't think sociopaths have empathy. Anyone would kills a bunch of children in a school is a sociopath. To blame a fictional show's portrayal of a bad person or blame the new is pathetic imo. Maybe a weak minded person would be influenced but that is some serious "weak-mindedness" (I can't relate).

That whole concept of wanting ones life to have meaning is usually interpreted as wanting to do good and leave behind a good legacy (there's probably a better way to say that). If they just want their 15 minutes of fame by killing random innocent people then you have to blame the news more then fictional shows (the new is kind of fictional--when they put a spin on it or emphasize a story for an agenda they have).... So should we have no news? No. I don't think the media glamorized the Sandy Hook shooter. He is just an pathetic sociopathic loser. I don't care what his upbringing was--nothing justifies his actions. I don't think tv (shows or news) should be blamed for someones bad actions. If so then do you suggest having no drama/violence/new/cartoons on tv?

I don't think Dexter (and especially not The Following) caused anyone to do anything they wouldn't already do...just my opinion. If they didn't see those shows then I bet something else would of triggered their bad actions imo.

Monsters are human and while they may be entertaining on tv, I would not hesitate to administer the lethal injection to any of the characters (if they were real and it was 100% known they committed the murders). Hannibal Lector--fascinating, intelligent, charismatic character---I'd have no problem shooting him if he was real and I was in fear for my life. I'd also have no problem administering the lethal injection (I don't consider that violent in a sociopathic way). After giving the injection I would probably feel weird and maybe bad but if no one else would do it then I would step up. I actually not really pro-death penalty but only because the law isn't applied equally (better lawyers vs overworked public defendants; racial aspects; police/law corruptions--rare but exists). If 100% accurate (no innocents killed) if if applied equally then I may be pro-death penalty. I'm wishy washy on this topic.

The only way I can relate to media influence personally is when I watched the live coverage of 9/11 and it's aftermath. I cried a lot and then become very angry--pro-troops being sent to kill terrorist (kill terrorist was the only agenda for me..not oil or any other stuff people bring up). I wasn't alive for Pearl Harbor but I bet I would of felt the same way then. I think seeing the twin towers fall was the most influential event (thing the media did) in my life brought on by the media. Reading about it was horrible but actually watching it live was devastating. That is the only time I actually wanted to go Jack Bauer on someone (actually on a group--terrorist who killed innocent people just to make a statement...if we were officially at war it would of been different--still horrible but just different---in real declared war you expect some collateral damage but I wouldn't intentionally seek it out).

Sh*t, I went back on my promise to myself to never discuss politics or religion...

I think mob mentality is more influential then fictional tv shows or media. Just look at the nazis, gangs, soccer hooligans, etc....

FYI: I would be thrilled if Hardy killed all the followers--some are more interesting then others but they all deserve to die imo

enough rambling...half asleep but to wired/manic from Justified to actually sleep;-)
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forgot to say I don't empathize with the killers and don't root for them...I don't mind watching them kill unknown characters and sometimes it is funny. I do enjoy it when Hardy shots the killers dead:-)
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stupidest "thing": "The cult's phone encryption is better than the FBI's"
most annoying "thing": stupid Love Hurts song stuck in head
best "thing": Ryan Hardy---loved the they are dead comment on the phone and absolutely loved his shooting of Louise. I doubt anyone would get info out of her in DC (or anywhere)...she gets off on choking.

I'm glad I stuck with the show--best episode yet. It's not the greatest show on tv but it is fun. Yes, it has stupid moment but it is getting better

spearguns---awesome:-)

This show is considered violent/gory...seriously? Wow, I have become desensitized to violence on tv and in movies. Maybe it's violent for a network show but I think Criminal Minds is scarier and AHS season 2 (awesome) was more violent, even TWD which has been kind of boring the past couple episodes is more violent.
The speargun scene while awesome didn't show much gore. Woman pushed out window is horrible in thought but not very gory in the show (head wasn't smashed)

violence in real life--horrible
violence on tv--excellent outlet for frustrations/stress of work; interesting (not something I see in real life thankfully)

Great review imo:-)

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"Although, she's not exactly the brightest crayon in the box. She did pick up a stranger's mask from the dirty ground at a rave and put it on her face. That's how you get gonorrhea in your eye." LMAO... and the movement for sex education and the prevention of STDs is set back a decade. I think you meant Herpes. (now I will probably Google "gonorrhea in the eye" as if my search history wasn't already weird enough.)

* The cult's phone encryption is better than the FBI's:
Their encryption and decryption beats the FBI's. The FBI needs to hit up the NSA for serious tech upgrade because a bunch of doofus malcontents with no exemplary skills nor training is one step ahead of the nation's finest law enforcement agency. That truly is scary.

Stupidest thing to happen: Amanda is killing "Claire Matthews" in order to draw out the Claire Matthews, who is currently safe and incommunicado, yet Hardy insists that she be moved to ensure her safety. Donovan initially and correctly shuts him down yet then proceeds to act on Hardy's ill conceived and panic motivated rashness, thereby giving Carroll's people exactly what they want: Claire's location and the identity of her WitSec agent. SERIOUSLY?! This plot contrivance was epically stupid as it effectively undermined any respect or believability (low as it may have been) we, the audience, had in Hardy, Donovan or the FBI. Hardy as the tortured man in love, possibly plausible gaffe, but Donovan and further the security failures of the FBI and the US Marshals Service, no freakin' way. DUMB.
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You can get gonorrhea in your eye. At the least the Mayo Clinic thinks so. And gonorrhea is a way funnier word than herpes. Oh, I forgot about chlamydia! "That's how you get The Clap in your eye." Oh well. Maybe someone else will put something disease-ridden on his/her face in a future episode.
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It is very funny that even thought Parker and Hardy have a big meeting with NSA, CIA, ATF + more ?? about the situation. Then even after that they can´t track down Carroll but the Happy Cult is able to track down Claire. So my question is what was the point of showing of the different big agencies and then not use them at all in the search.
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* "Five minutes until Dad arrives. Time to fit in a quick, 20-second asphyxiation." That was easily the dumbest thing in this episode. I thought he'd just leave him there and let dad call the cops on the stabbed up dude that's been on the news. No, let me kill you first then leave.

Oh and yes Parker you are a failure. I don't know that she would be fit to be a cop in a small town where they just hand out parking tickets. She'd probably F that up too.
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I was pleasantly surprised by the scene with Paul and Jacob because I was expecting Jacob to kill his own parents (although there's no reason to believe he didn't kill his parents after killing Paul). And Paul's line about wanting his life to matter mirrored what Charlie said before offering himself up to Joe. Yay! A theme carried from one episode to another. I'd say that's a little more significant than the show mocking itself because some blogger who's probably never run a show thinks that how it should be done.
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I don't know about the season-long storyline, but the week to week storyline are getting better as the season goes on. This episode was one of the best so far. I like all of the dynamics at the "cult house," there are so many possibilities for tension, conflict, backstories, and current stories.
The Jacob-Paul storyline was very interesting. It was sad because I think they actually did love each other even if it was kind-of one sided. I liked their backstory about kidnapping the girl and Jacob not being able to even stab her one time while Paul went crazy on her and then Jacob totally freaked out about it later. I feel like Paul gave up too soon though. I assume that there would be some type of a medical person at the cult house since it is widely know that Carroll recruited people from all walks of life so why not take a chance and go for it? I mean he made it this far and was still alive. The scene where Jacob kills Paul to settle an IOU was sad. It was a sad irony that Paul was the first person that Jacob had ever killed. I think because Jacob really cared about Paul it makes this event all the worse and will probably scar Jacob for life even more than killing someone normally would (I hope, but look who we're talking about). But since he looked very angry and sad and shocked when he arrived at the cult house, I'm guessing he'll find a way to blame Emma for Paul's death.
The other interesting storyline from last night's episode was the Roderick-Emma encounter with Roderick poking fun at Emma for being Jacob's girlfriend and then sleeping with Carroll and Jacob's voicemails to Emma. I can't tell if he likes her or thinks she's a threat to the whole operation. They've both been connected with Carroll for longer than most of everyone else, or so it seems to me, but I think Roderick is resenting someone else coming in and being at the same level of respect and attention from Carroll as he is. He's used to being the top person and now that is being challenged by Emma, or at least Roderick feels like it is. That aspect alone would be worth a fist fight because I can totally see that happening in the near future since Emma already looked ready to punch him in the face after listening to his imitation of Jacob's voicemails. It's almost like Emma is ashamed of being Jacob's girlfriend, like he's not as much of a badass as she is. But maybe she isn't really either.
Oh yeah, some stuff happened with Ryan Hardy and the rest of the law enforcement gang too...
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agree!
Maybe if Emma answered her frickin phone Paul would be alive (she could of arranged for them to be picked up and either kidnapped someone to help him or maybe there is someone at the cult house who has medical training and access to meds/equipment...or a forger for a new identity to get medical help under....or use the helicopter to fly him to Mexico for treatment--I guess he doesn't matter)
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A nail-gun won't shoot unless its pressed against something. I can't believe they messed that up on a show with such a high budget.
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That's exactly what i was thinking. She would have had to hold the end safety contact down with one hand in order to fire the nails.
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The killer used a nail-gun similarly in Color of Night. The show being a Kevin Williamson production, it wouldn't surprise if that's where the writers got the idea as opposed to practical experience using a nail-gun as a weapon.
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Amanda NOT pulling the trigger. They prepare themselves for their chapter and at the end she just forgot about it !!!
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The cult's phone encryption is better than the FBI's - definitely. Rolled my eyes at that one.
Honestly, I'm about to stop watching this show....the character development is lame, there's no good mystery or thriller aspect to it, and the violence is really disturbing. I'm giving it one more episode, but if it doesn't drastically improve then I'm done.
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So does that mean I should look at this episode? I've already chucked it away after the 'gay' boys next door calmly meandered away from the crimescene with Mrs Cult leader (the notion of the feds not tying that joint, and every human within a half mile radius, down for a coupla days was ludicrous) and I came back in time to see the farcical country HQ surrounded except for the back way where once again the bad eggs meander off stage left -c'mon really? the bad eggs are wanted for kidnapping, murder, killing feds etc - that time the cordon sanitaire would have been about two counties wide with every cockroach going in & out gettin searched n scanned.
If I start watching again will that cause some disruption like a butterfly flapping their wings that will result in an even stupider plot device to keep the bad eggs going for another episode?

To think I was upset that Clay hadn't been taken out in SoA, that boundless stretch of credulity pales into a molehill in comparison to the weekly unrealities on 'The Following'.
I don't live in amerika, I live in a place where scriptwriters work for shows that can't afford the production qualities of the cheesiest US network show, yet they do push leading roles under a bus when neccessary, so I just don't understand why show runners won't kill off roles in Hollywood. The gormless trio of wanna-be Joes shoulda died weeks ago. Finally one gets it but even that sounds incredible (in the original sense of that term).

Is it the unions who won't allow it? Do these B grade actors (and that includes Bacon - his efforts have been pretty wooden for at least a decade) really have agents with sufficient power to prevent their client getting aced onscreen even if it means the show drops a few hunnerd thousand viewers cause they can't stand the bulldust any more? Or is it true that Hollywood is a giant pseudo-socialist monopoly whose primary aim is to ensure everyone who belongs to the 'co-op' gets to dip their snout in the trough for as long as they like, no matter what?

I just don't get it surely viewers in the US are smart enough to comprehend that they are watching a fictional drama so the death of a favourite character simply means the show
can go on to newer & better things & the actor will get the opportunity to strut his/her stuff in a newer more challenging and entertaining role.

I've been really enjoying the 'golden age of amerikan TV' showing on pay TV for the last decade. There are too many great shows to list, but even some of the really great ones such as 'The Sopranos' would occasionally suffer from this basic flaw. The ending of the Sopranos was one of the biggest cop-outs on TV ever, jkust because the producers were unable to tgo take a stand one way or the other. I don't wanna rehash that old debate & would have been happy with either ending but that 'dual' ending was writers' cowardice at its worst.

If even a great show like 'The Sopranos' compromises its finale outta timidity & we wear it, I guess we shouldn't be suprised that 'The Following' turns out to be such a P.O.S. even though it spends up large on 'movie-stars' and celebrity script writers.
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I thought Spooks (MI5) the BBC show killed off main characters because the actors contract was up....?
The end of season 1 of 24 had a main character die.
Most of us get attached to certain characters and there is a fear that if they aren't on the show people will stop watching. Everyone was mad when Opie died on SOA (sons of anarchy) and when Bobby died on Supernatural and they were not primary characters. What about Boardwalk Empire and the guy in the box--secondary character but upsetting

The main actor from Spartacus (rip andy) died and was replaced. Many people aren't watching the most recent season because of this (I don't have a problem with people doing it but I still watch and love the show)

Don't get me started on The Sopranos....

This show has improved and I don't think it represents all American shows...we have tons of excellent shows...I can't think of any other plac with so many good shows but there are a lot of BBC and some Canadian and Australian shows I watch. I am probably missing out on other countries great shows due to lack of dubbing/knowledge/availability.

I don't know if you watch Criminal Minds but fans when nuts when to main female characters were written out of the show. Eventually the characters where written back in but only one stayed permanently. The fans missed the characters and there was a sexist vibe to the entire event that pissed people off. Anyway, I think we often "love" certain characters and make a lot of noise if they die or leave show.
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I had not realized this trend for serial killers with followers until I realized the other day watching The Mentalist that this is exactly what Red John is. In Red John's case, it seems so far that his followers are actually doing the job assigned to them;until they catch up with the truth about him and are dispatched to the other life. In The Cult, the true believers are obviously an old concept much predating the TV show which looks more like the fruition of The Plan, whatever it may be, and actually recruitment seem s a lot more serious than in this present show. I am mentioning this because it has become clear to me that what we have here is a lesson of why such a concept is truly impossible to sustain; no matter how elaborate the Plan is. Human beings form communities out of a rational ,to its members at least, desire to sustain a similar vision of the finality of life. They form around common references, common ideals, and common social regulations. You have it, the operating word is "common". Murder is by its definition and its morphology a gesture that goes against anything that is common, even if the FBI's Behavioral Sciences division wants us to believe otherwise. Even in common profiles, similarity has its limits; variables defines the murder and not the norms.
The Following is about the failure of serial murderers. While some may survive undetected for decades and even be very smart in their M.O., they fail because intrinsically they will never have what they want. If they did get it, they would have to stop killing and surrender. The followers of Carroll will ultimately fail because they are incapable of success; they will remain failures in their own eyes and this is the worst failure of all. So they will put blame on others and the whole scheme cannot but annihilate.
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Drop The Gun!
What if I don't want to?
Then I'll shoot you dead.
You don't have the (BLAM)


Awesome scene.
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I agree,but they ruined it later,when crazy killer lady(forgot her name) wanted to kill fake Claire and then for no good reason stoping. I think this was the best episode and has also shown that show has evolved from and if crazy killer lady would off fake Claire would be even better.

by the way,what did you think of latest episode of Walking Dead? I read you thoughts on it(but I don't think you have posted on latest episode),because you don't call season 3 right away biggest failure:D
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Good review, thanks! I happen to be enjoying the show more these last few episodes. I acknowledge how implausible it is, yet as with many forms of entertainment, it's escapist by design. I'm not watching for analysis, I'm watching for enjoyment. The first few episodes really were not entertaining, but I see some developments that could be promising. What's more, I like the actors in general as well as the depiction of their characters.

I'm actually surprised that James Purefoy is so passive - this is a weakness in the show. The actor has massive amounts of charisma and I've seen him play truly charismatic characters before. Could it be they're holding him back? Having him really be a leader would strengthen a lot of loose plot and character concerns.
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this show gets dumber and meaner week by week.every one involved for making the show should be ashamed.they are the reason why america has fallen.i honestly get sick t r y i n g t to continue watching it.i thought it would be a kind of dark police-thriller suspense story , maybe like seven.but seven was a great movie ,dark but witty.this one is sick and stupid .can they get a decent screenwriter to better it maybe save it a little bit? the whole police and cia and fbi and whatever are searching for the girls with the same name and a few lunatic stupid a...oles , are always one step ahead.one sheriff managed to found the girl in protective custody, but our guy who s in the hospital never thought about mentioning kendrick ,and they are now waiting with a sketchbook!!!.... for him to regain his senses so they can ask him.propably by the time everyone in the house will move to somewhere better and continue having a party and kill a lot of people.i am telling you , you guys have lost it.maybe you should follow a leader get this out of your system ,and let other people work,healthier and more talented. YOU STINK!!!!!!!!!!
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* The cult's phone encryption is better than the FBI's

Exactly what I said to my wife when we were watching while rolling my eyes ! I might have given up on the show if not for the fast pacing and I loved Kevin Bacon and he is finally doing TV.
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One of the funniest things about this episode was that scene in the diner near the beginning. Not only do Amanda and Louise walk out of there like Amanda hasn't just spear-gunned someone in the stomach, and no one even tries to stop them (guy in a Poe mask setting someone on fire and then walking away, anyone?), but you can clearly see one dude filming the poor woman bleeding out with his cell phone. Is that really what we have become? Does the average person take every opportunity to get a few likes on Youtube, instead of trying to save someone's life by actually using their phone to call an ambulance, or even asking if there's something they can do? But even if that's the case, I'm surprised no one, at least that I could see in that scene, had the forethought to film Amanda calmly strolling out of the diner. I mean, that's a money shot right there, and it's better to be the only person who got the killer on film, as opposed to one of a handful of people who have footage of a woman dying and will later have to explain why they weren't trying to help her at all.

In terms of stupid things that happened in the episode, I'd say that my personal favorite was when the third Claire Matthews gave away her position by yelling out that someone was trying to kill her. She's on her own, running through an abandoned area with a lot of scaffolding, all the time being chased by someone who she knows is a serial killer who wants to kill her. She also knows that there is another person out there, with a gun, who just killed a police officer that was standing right next to her. Which means that there are more of them than there are of her. And even though she probably heard the second gunshot, she has no way of knowing that it was Ryan killing Louise, as opposed to Louise killing someone else. So she's yelling out that someone is trying to kill her, even though they happen to be right next to a party with a lot of loud music gong on. So her chances of being heard aren't that good.

Even though Ryan Hardy happened to be near her when she screamed, she was still giving away her position to the serial killer that was right on her tail. And while I realize that in that kind of terrifying situation people can, have, and will do crazy/stupid things, there was a good minute or two of silence before she decided to loudly broadcast her location. Which means there was a nice chunk of time in which she was running terrified through an obstacle course of hanging, thankfully mostly opaque, plastic, and she was perfectly silent. Basically, she should have stuck with her gut, and maybe then she wouldn't have had to endure having a nail-gun pointed to her head while two people engaged in a verbal crazy dance to determine if she was actually going to survive or not. But hey, at least she survived.

Anyway, this was by far the best episode of the Following, which admittedly isn't saying too much. Still, I actually enjoyed this episode a lot. It was really fun, and good. Seriously, if this show can maintain what it just showed us, while hopefully making it better of course, then this could actually be a really good and enjoyable show.
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I don't care if you put Harrison Ford making out with Tom Cruise in this piece of shit, it's 2013's Alcatraz. Who is it that's blackmailing Kevin Bacon into going from X-Men First Class to this with pictures of him blowing Louie Anderson? Someone at the network needs to scrape this off the bottom of my TV shoe. Oofa.
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I'm not sure what the dumbest moment was, but what irritated me the most was that Ryan dropped the gun instead of just taking the shot.
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That's what happens when you've already written an emotional monologue where Hardy publicly admits his feelings for Claire and sacrifices himself to save an innocent woman, and you'd rather see that appear on screen than have the scene be more realistic. We both know that the real Hardy, who is a surprisingly good shot even though it seems like he'd be constantly shaking with all of his emotional and traumatic baggage, would have taken the shot almost as soon as he saw her.
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is he thinking they need to interview more of the followers to try to pin down the location of the Lair? so he hesitated to just cap her stupid ass?
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I guess that's possible. However, this was a situation where an innocent life was on the line, and the more he dallied about talking to Amanda the more likely it was that that woman was going to get a nail in head. I think Louise would have been a much better person to wound, since from their run-in where he stopped her and her friends from beating up Weston he should know that she's somewhat high up on the leadership ladder. Besides, she wasn't in a position to hurt anyone, much less him, so he could have shot to wound instead of shot to kill.
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I think it's pretty impressive the goodwill people have towards Kevin Bacon that we still tune into this show regardless of how dumb it often is. Any other actors and I think most of us would have jumped ship by now.
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I do like Kevin Bacon very much but enough is enough. I didn't watch this ep... am just visiting... #bored...
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I strongly agree. I just loved Kevin Bacon.
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For me it has absolutely nothing to do with Kevin Bacon. It's that the show is mildly entertaining in spite of, and to some extent *because of* its stupidity.
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Louise thinking Hardy wouldn't pull the trigger when he took out five Red Shirts just one episode earlier was truly worthy of a great laugh. Also sad to see her go so quickly, but alas, another "dumb blonde" bites the dust.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the scene where Agent Parker's eyes were shown darting from right to left in a suspicious manner during the debriefing. When Hardy mentioned that a sketch artist would speak to Weston once he was conscious, it's as if the writers/directors were deliberately focusing on Parker, perhaps to throw off the viewers (which is hard to believe when this show can be so insipid).
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I think this episode was a lot less stupid than the previous ones. It was probably done by the smartest writer they have. He's probably getting fired.
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It was done by Adam Armus and Kay Foster, who have a long history with halfway decent programs (Heroes, Night Stalker, Kevin Hill, Hercules, Xena). Then again, they're co-executive producers on Following, too.
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Fortunately I missed most of this episode. Normally I'm drawn to it like a train wreck wondering how could this possibly be happening and wondering if the plot can top last week's for absurdity. I did see enough, however, to nominate another scene for WTF status ... Roderick's snarky accusation of Emma for hiding the phone calls escalating to a full blown, high volume diatribe in a roomful of people who noticed it not at all.

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What makes you think they didn't notice? Of course they noticed. They just didn't see the point of joining the conversation.
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P.S. The creepiest thing about this show is trying to imagine all these white bread wannabes actually killing someone. If this is a realistic portrayal of the darkness lurking in the average human psyche, we're headed for extinction.
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They're not even getting the properties of *pillows* right, so I wouldn't trust them on the human psyche.
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Random thoughts -

Jacob was acting like a petulant child with his mother

After the harpooning, there is one guy in the background who is trying to get everything on his camera phone - nice little detail

"i dont think you|"BANG!!!!! - no time to talk, got to save a Claire

The cults base seems to be quite happy go lucky

Amanda is awsome - really hope she doesnt kill herself

Looks like Roderick doesnt like how the group dynamic is changing with Joe and Emma turning up. Emma for being so close to Joe and Joe for the way the rest of the cult is fawning over him
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I'll add one - or rather two (the first being a consequence of the latter): 1) all those people letting the crazy Amanda and Louise get out of the diner after killing the first Claire Matthews with a harpoon. 2) In the same scene: Her friend screamed like crazy but never says HELP, SHE KILLED MY FRIEND??
I kinda loved the way Ryan killed Louise in the middle of her phrase. Deliciously hilarious.
I also loved when Ryan said over the phone to Carroll: "They're kind of dead.
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"Her friend screamed like crazy but never says HELP, SHE KILLED MY FRIEND??"

She did scream things like "she's bleeding", which was probably more accurate at the time.
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But "she's bleeding" could just be a medical emergency (to which no one reacted, either). I mean, nobody reacted to her screaming in any manner. That's why they left the restaurant so undisturbed. There is enough action and material to work on in this series, but it is so badly scripted. They could do better. I'll keep watching the whole season, anyway.
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I liked that for the first time it seems in ever, that there was actual back-up, as in more than Hardy and some random bumbling agent with selective hearing (seriously, last time around, Hardy blasted like 3 people and Parker just shows up back in time to take pot shots at a vehicle, where was she, the lunch room? Unscheduled rest break? Her trailer?). I say it again because I can't still believe it, they had actual BACK UP, almost too late, but they were there.

Also, is Hardy supposed to be Jack Bauer with a pacemaker (and not all the yelling, even if he's just going out for a coffee and bagel)?

Louise:"You won't shoot me.."
Ryan: (mumbling) STFU already! -bang-

Forget last words, unless you got a hostage, in which case you get to be a Bond villain for a day. (Spill out ALL the plans, get killed, (captured if lucky, die horribly next episode (or one after that if they forgot about you)).

Amanda had potential, and the speargun was ingenious, but she suffered from not knowing when to shut up and shoot, maybe Ryan should run the cult, Joe's getting too soft.
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If Claire would give herself up because they are brutally murdering people with her same name they need to throw her ass in a jail cell for the duration. I've never heard of something like this outside of a Superman or Batman story.
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I think it makes sense in this case, since she knows that Carroll doesn't want her dead, and that it could be a way to get to see her son.
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"One of the major points of this show is to leave the audience torn between empathizing with these characters and watching them commit brutal violations of prime directives." Are you kidding me? Who would empathize with these people? I can't imagine anyone who would. And this show is one of the most violent (gratuitously) shows on network tv.
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Seriously! I, for one, do not turn on a show about a cult of serial killers and expect to see violence. Oh wait....yes...that's exactly what I expect.
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Oh, I'm not complaining about the violence. I've just not seen it so gratuitous on network tv before. Cable, yes, network tv, no. But I'm wondering why anyone would empathize with these cult members?
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Well, Paul can always come back in more flashbacks.
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Hurry up and you can be second too!
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Ew. Really?
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I couldn't resist.
Wasn't worth it though.
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Lol you live and you learn.
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