The Following "Welcome Home" Review: Oh, Right. Consequences.

The Following S01E08: "Welcome Home"

Has anyone been keeping up with Ryan Hardy's body count? Who's the real serial killer here?

I kid because one constant of the show that I absolutely applaud, one thing that seems to be a Kevin Williamson trademark as far as genre-busting is concerned, is Ryan's quickness to pull the trigger on everyone. No announcement to freeze, no dramatic moment between him, the victims, or the captors. Just turn the corner and open fire with precision and no mercy. Eight people set out to rough up one dude, three come back. Ryan may not romanticize any of his casualties, but he sure does know what it sounds like when the bodies hit the floor.

I was prepared to bore everyone this week with some literary theory about the reliability of a storyworld and how it factors into the storyteller's ability to bend the rules with irony and fantasy (to paraphrase a paraphrase of Christopher Hicks), so feel some relief that the quality of this episode staved that particularly pedantic elitism for another week.

"Quality" is, of course, relative for a show that has demonstrated a laughable lack of it. But "Welcome Home" showed what The Following has hinted at in momentary glimpses throughout the first seven episodes: It knew that what was happening was silly. Thus far, the consequences for the FBI's bungling of everything having to do with Carroll have been nil. Parker led a task force comprised of anyone the agency could find within a fifty-mile radius and still let every single person in that farmhouse slip into the night—including a guy bleeding to death from his gut—and no one said boo. So when you heard Nick Donovan hit the word "helicopter" (as in "he flew away in a helicopter"), it was sweet relief that someone had to take some responsibility.

Consequences are an important thing for this show to consider. So far we haven't seen a whole lot of them. We've seen Ryan take too much responsibility for anything that happens, but it's the FBI's fault for royally screwing up everything they get involved with, like some kind of reverse King Midas whose touch turns everything to doo-doo. Paul basically threatened the entire operation by kidnapping someone but not only did she go free, so did he.  Presumably every person in Dr Carroll's School for Gifted Psychopaths is a murderer who got away with it, and it seemed like there were more people in that that foyer than there are at St Peter's to listen to the Pope talk about Easter.  

So seeing things like Weston getting the crap kicked out of him, Charlie getting the ol' seppuku treatment, Parker essentially being demoted, and Roderick struggling to deal with How Things Are—it was actually a little refreshing, gave the show a little bit of reliability, assured us that we're not just watching human game pieces fly around the tiles willy nilly. Knights can't always just magically pop up and off enough of your pawns so that the queen can slip through. The chess board has rules, reason, and consequences for making terrible mistakes.

Was the episode perfect? Oh, my heavens, no. We did watch a dude gnaw a cyanide pill out of his hand, Parker run down a car while firing shots like she'd just taken a three-hour nap on her arm (and just after we watched Ryan pick out murderers like he was breezing through the first level of Duck Hunt), and, of course, witnessed the search for the least stealthy band of kidnappers ever assembled (you remember, the ones standing in broad daylight just before the hooded kidnappee was shoved into the back of their overly suspicious car). Possibly the worst was how the car was spotted: Police saw a suspicious vehicle in a dark, abandoned corner of the docks and they were just like, "Huh. That's weird. Oh well." You're patrolling the docks. Docks are a breeding ground for no-goodniks. That's like security for an abandoned warehouse watching a child-molester van pull up and saying to himself, "Nah, that's probably legit."

Consequences are how we understand the world, and for a story to go so long without having any messes with the alchemy of its reality makes it difficult to follow—unless we project our own values and rationalizations onto it, even if they clash with the show itself. Worse, we could just turn off our brains and try to "enjoy" the show, a common defense of The Following that boggles the mind since it amounts to saying we are passive participants in television, brainless consumers of whatever's emitted from the box in our living rooms. No one passively views art. It would be wrong of us to do so. This isn't zen. We aren't trying to religiously commune with the show about serial killers and police authority like some sort of Taoist sand garden being raked and assembled for us. Watching The Following shouldn't evoke the same terminology as meditating. But I digress.

As "Welcome Home" introduced some consequences, we also got a look at a new political system. Now that Great Leader is out of prison, the House of Carroll has to deal with its guiding light evolving from a disembodied voice in an echo chamber to a physical presence that commands submission and demands moving forward with his Master Plan. It seems like Roderick has done the equivalent of moving Carroll's forces to the purple parts of the Risk board so he can build up his infinite army, but the recruiting and trap-setting phase of the plan is over. It's time to move forward and Roderick is no longer the big man on campus. The First Student was the only accessible Master for a while, so reverting to being the Student again shouldn't be an easy thing to swallow. I'm hoping his melancholy (and subsequent pre-coital choking) in front of the fire is a harbinger for his challenging Carroll's dominance.

This episode was by no means perfect, but its display of consequences, small bit of humor, and setting of the table for a schism at least provide a faint glimmer of hope at the end of this terrible, squalid, dark tunnel we keep trudging through. Is it me or is that dim light, no matter how much we slosh through the muck, the same size as it always is?



NOTES

– You know how you don't win over the kid who's frightened to be in the same room with you? Sit in his room and be the first thing he sees when he wakes up.

– Is it me or are you not afraid of any one of those people we saw in the Carroll Mansion foyer? Here they are again, have another look:

You get the feeling that, even if they all attacked as a group, you could probably take them.

– This episode in flashbacks: a surprisingly low number. The first one was completely unnecessary (the one where Roderick admitted to killing two of the girls assigned to Carroll's career), but the other one was fine. It showed Carroll practicing what he preaches better than anyone else we've seen commit a murder this season. It wasn't quick or spontaneous or even advantageous. Killing people is far creepier if you do it slow enough that you can whisper. Um, I mean that it's creepy all the time. I'm don't condone murder, no matter the speed.

– "Hold close your fear. It is all that you know when you take your last breath." The entire scene with David was almost a parody of the show. Misquotes, jokey repartee, and over-the-top everything while Ryan smiled it off. Ryan pointed out the poor paraphrasing of Ted Bundy and we watched an absurd amount of blood pour out of David as he chewed out the pill. It's almost like Hardy was doing my job. 

– Don't think it's lost on me that the only episode I've seen that hasn't made me wretch also had zero Claire in it.

– Forced Fight Club was ridiculous. Is it still weird that, even after seeing him get the crap beat out of him right up to the brink of death, I still think Weston could be a deep Carroll operative? That Charlie didn't drive the knife all the way through is somehow evidence to me that he wasn't supposed to actually kill Weston? No? Just me? Okay.

– Well, for anyone who's still attracted to James Purefoy after this show (sickos), at least you got to see some good examples of his O face while he was sticking Charlie.

– And did anyone think for a second that Carroll would not meet Emma at that hollow vale by the end of the episode?


Comments (95)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
The fact they didn't let the air out of the tires when they pulled up to the docks.
3
Reply
Flag
this show is disturbing because of its violence.also it wants us to believe that every lunatic is 10 times smarter than the smartest fed or cup.ryan always arrives just a little late to discover something significant.and because he is not officially a fed anymore,although for this case the leader has officially declared that he is playing a game involving him in it.i think that makes him crucial for the investigation.this script is silly and mean.in this episode ,the dumbest thing of all, the smartest guy gets stupidly caught and when gasping for air he does not remember to tell ryan that kendrick is running the show.MAYBE they will think"hey,why dont we go to the town where he is sheriff?"but instead we hear that he tells over and over that "he didnt say anything" but he never mentions to whom.this show is for the lunatics .unfortynately it is a very poor period seasonlike for me to watch.i watch the walking dead and arrow.so i still watch this one.but if they dont catch (and kill,so that he wont get away again..) the bad guy in the end of the season that s it for me.and kevin has a bad heart..which genius thought of that?and he never has back up.only the dumb woman boss.stop making the bad guys all heros.what s the matter with you???
More+
4
Reply
Flag
"also it wants us to believe that every lunatic is 10 times smarter than the smartest fed or cup" Except that the lunatics have been planning this for years and the feds have no idea what's going on. And lunatic doesn't mean stupid. "the smartest guy gets stupidly caught and when gasping for air he does not remember to tell ryan that kendrick is running the show" Do you mean Roderick? and they already know he's second in command and that Roderick is an alias. And giving a description to a sketch artist doesn't work well while bleeding to death.
Reply
Flag
I've decided if you watch this show with the understanding that it is a comedy rather than a drama you'll enjoy it a lot more.
16
Reply
Flag
When David starting eating his hand I was in tears.
1
Reply
Flag
What shocked me more in this episode is that Ryan commits murder : when Weston is about to be killed, Ryan shoots the bad guy in the back, without announcing himself as an FBI agent. I'm not an expert but shouldn't FBI agents announce themselves before killing somebody ?
It also would be nice to see Hardy use his brain more than his fist/firearm ; he is supposed to be the clever one. How could he have caught Purefoy in the first place, I wonder.
Also, I'm kinda glad Charlie is dead ; I didn't like him much since he played the baddie in Suits.
1
Reply
Flag
No one says "freeze" in real life, unless they are a civilian, whom will never shoot. In a life/death situation, if you hesitate you die. Obviously Weston was about to be killed.
1
Reply
Flag
I'would like you to cite the sources that say "An FBI agent doesn't need to announce themselves before opening fire". I mean ; in the show, Hardy didn't say who he was, the other FBI agents didn't either ... Whether in a life or death situation, isn't that a bit strange ?
Reply
Flag
There is actually a law that states that in life or death situations you can use deadly force without warning. No I'm not going to go look the exact wording up for you, you'll just have to take my criminal justice graduate degree's word for it. And Ryan ISN'T FBI, which they have stated repeatedly. Hence, if anything they could press murder charges which wouldn't stick because it's an obvious "defense of others" situation.
Reply
Flag
Stupid...not AT LEAST flattening their tires at the shipyard...what WAS she doing???????
5
Reply
Flag
Is anyone asking how convenient that the new man in charge of the fbi team sent weston home just in time for Carrolls followers to grab him, how did they know when he was going to be there, knowing how intense the search for Carroll would be it would be unlikely Weston would have went home any time soon, so ye very convenient to be sent home just at the right time
5
Reply
Flag
I thought the same thing!
1
Reply
Flag
I was more concerned with the fact that Ryan ID's the car, but neither he or Parker think let's call for backup. Even after Ryan sees the sentry, no need to call in support...
7
Reply
Flag
Meh, back up always shows up 10 minutes too late anyways.
Reply
Flag
You're not the only one to think Weston might be one of "the followers" - the very nature of this show leads us to question everyone presented to us, right from episode one. It seems that the writer wants his audience to feel the same confusion as the FBI about how big this cult actually extends. And the majority of those involved don't seem like lunatics when you first see them on screen (there do seem to be a couple of exceptions to this, ie David and the guy dressed as Poe earlier on in the series). I've got my suspicions about Parker as well, and don't even get me started on the new guy...

I'm interested that the show has been given a second season, I wonder if it will or won't be about Carroll. While I love the show, I can't see where it's going and that frustrates me :-)
1
Reply
Flag
Joe and Roderick are both psycho. They enjoying killing so much it almost bring them to an orgasm. That is why after killing, they feel so high then the next logical thing is to make love. Kind of like people have drugs and then sex.

The show is not the worse on TV. It does have a great cast. It is obviously inferior to Walking Dead, Dexter, Homeland and even the new "The Americans". I actually blame Kevin Williamson, the brains behind the show. He made good SCREAM movies which is more style than substance. I guess a really good TV show with a good plot that is more than 2 hours could prove difficult for him.
1
Reply
Flag
The behavioral analysis unit from ""Criminal Minds" should be called in to figure what is motivating the writers of the ""the Following" to write this stuff. They should show us a scene of Carroll and Roderick sitting at the desk in the 18th century mansion they live in working on the utility bills and paying for the helicopter rental fees. Then the BAU can tell me why I watch this show. Despite the flaws others have pointed out the only other option would be to turn the tv off. The production values are good, they have some good actors and acting, but the premise just doesn't hold water.

Oh I think Carroll realizes that Joey is not evil and already sees through his BS.
1
Reply
Flag
The stupidest thing that happened in "Welcome Home" was everything from 00:00 to 44:00.

The best thing? Roderick's nod to the six degrees of Kevin Bacon on the chalkboard in Carroll's study (although obviously he fucked this up too). Great chalk portraits, though...
5
Reply
Flag
The Following gives me a suspense and excitement on a weekly basis which I haven't experienced since Lost and Prison Break. Though the show isn't as well plotted as either of those two, it doesn't very much seem to mind it's not a brain-buster. It's basically pop corn fun and it's good at it. Lots of gore, action and shocking twists. That's all we need sometimes.
Reply
Flag
Lost and Prison Break were much better show!
Reply
Flag
Poor Weston's the punchingball of the show. First he got shot, now beaten AND stapped. What's next? ;o) The episode was ok. The actor who played Roderick is pretty good.
Reply
Flag
My brain dies a little more each week when I watch it, but I'm not ashamed! This crap still entertains me. I can't really put my finger on why, but that's probably just due to the absence of cells that I allowed to be stolen by the show.
7
Reply
Flag
Well, I enjoyed the episode. Wasn't quite as good as the last, but I'm still enjoying the series. I'm not afraid to say it either, despite the fact that I'm sure someone will feel the need to tell me my opinion is stupid.

Personally, I find the portrayal of people who make mistakes far more interesting than the usual Perfect Law Enforcement Team tv show that we've seen a billion times over. Regardless, I think there's something to be said for accepting the reality the show presents and then moving the !@#$ on. If the show is set in a world in which the FBI makes mistakes, just accept that and move on. It's not the Real World. Frankly, if you think most of what happens on any prime time tv show is accurate to real life, then you've got some problems.
1
Reply
Flag
I am actually very surprised to be the only one pointing this out, but I found the biggest blunder to be: sending an FBI agent that has a lot of knowledge of the mission and turns out to be the only person that knows where Claire is alone to a Motel in a show where people have a tendency to be kidnapped and disappear and there are apparently a limitless amount of Followers.

So far they infiltrated a Sheriff's office (blonde that helped Joey leave the house), they killed and posed as SWAT, they had an helicopter and made it disappear... They seem to have endless resources and you let the FBI agent with the MOST information go to a Motel on his own!!!! Id be in charge and all the agents working this case would be forced to sleep in the office and their families would get shipped to a forced vacation until its done! After all the tricks witnessed, there is no way they would leave such an important agent who has more skills with a computer than his bare hands on top of that be alone in the world! And only Hardy thought to check up on him!.....

My second goes to the cops seeing an abandoned car, calling it in and not checking it out. If you wont check it out, you dont call it in! "I wont do my job but Ill put on record that I didnt!"
More+
9
Reply
Flag
Based on the near-unanimous opinion that Agent Parker was a completely useless moron during this episode, I hope to God that she and Nick Donovan (the new FBI head-honcho) are revealed to be secret "Followers," because I would really hate to think that ANYONE can be this painstakingly stupid.

I mean, we're talking dumb to the point where one of my friends watching the episode alongside myself was openly shouting at the television upon witnessing the cult members flee in their vehicle, because Ms. Perimeter was too busy staring into space and actually thought that shouting "FBI, stop!" would cause the cultists to halt.

I swear, if it wasn't for Kevin Bacon, I would've dropped this long ago. It's not even worth watching for laughs, anymore; it's just incredibly cringe-worthy to see every other action made by the FBI full of incompetence while the crippled "consultant" is left saving the day.
5
Reply
Flag
This show is horrible! It's so predictable, and Carroll's "followers" are a bunch of morons!! They constantly let themselves get tracked by the FBI, and Carroll himself is just a carbon copy of all the other baddies out there. There's no originality in this show at all!!! Hope it doesn't get picked up.
4
Reply
Flag
What do you mean by, "Hope it doesn't get picked up"?

The Following has already been renewed by Fox for a second season, and if their overall lineup doesn't improve, it'll probably receive a third season, as well.
1
Reply
Flag
The best part of the Parker shooting was that she made sure to yell "Stop, FBI" before she started firing. Just to make sure they knew that was in fact an FBI agent and not, say, a lost girl scout or a wandering minstrel. And did she think they were going to just stop and give up now that she politely explained who she was?
6
Reply
Flag
actually an fbi agent should identify himself before shooting so it made sense .. an fbi cnt shoot unless they give a chance for them to surrender even though its well known tht they rarely do ... the hilarious part however was agent parker gazing up the sky even she should hav been the one entering since shes the working fbi agent and doesnt have a pacer to help her heart pump blood .. just sayin...
4
Reply
Flag
I never saw a gun in my life, and I think I can shoot better than Parker! I know she was running, but the way she moved her arm with the gun it was like patetic. It makes me so angry when somebody is shooting at a car and they never shoot at the tire!! It's the first thing you shoot IF YOU WANT TO STOP THE CAR!!!!
3
Reply
Flag
I doubt the dress shoes helped. If I were an agent in the FBI, I don't care how crappy it looked, I'd being wearing running sneakers constantly.
1
Reply
Flag
Stupid is as stupid does, and boy does THE FOLLOWING do stupid! The FBI has got to be the most inept FBI in history. You talk about consequences... nothing bad ever happens to the bad guys... except for ex-Military man Charilie getting cut open over that giant plastic bag. Blood makes such a mess! What a clean and tidy cult! That blond woman is an ex-Black Op who never remotely acts like one, whether it's at the Fight Club scene or when almost strangled. It's bad enough that ANYONE can be a cult member -- all subject to the writers' whims, who seem to be scripting out every plot progression on a dare -- but who the hell is gonna follow one guy just so he can be together with his wife and kid... and then what? Everyone just kills people for the rest of their days? Kevin Bacon's badassness is the only thing that saves the show from being unwatchable. Oh, and the musical score. It's damn good. Way better than the material.
5
Reply
Flag
Staff
Seconded on the score and the soundtrack. So often am I more intrigued by what song is playing underneath than I am by the Keystone-Kopping by the FBI or the getting-closer-to-a-coven house of murderers.
1
Reply
Flag
Isn't it such a pity how Kevin Bacon's, James Purefoy's and pretty much everyone else's acting talents are completely wasted on this aggravatingly idiotic writing? I don't even understand why all these actors have agreed to partake in this utter shite.
9
Reply
Flag
I am afraid this is the last ep I watch... what else can I say?
2
Reply
Flag
it was nice to see more of the Followers instead of just the FBI trailing after them all the time.
Reply
Flag
This show has now morphed into something I will no longer watch! The constant violence and celebrity given to very sick criminals is too much to stomach. This show was interesting until last night, when a woman was strangled and then wanted to have sex with her attacker, a follower was stabbed by the "celebrity serial killer" as an offering for not effectively clubbing a member of the law to divulge information or to death! A follower also chewed into his hand to ingest a drug that kills him was especially bloody and gruesome! There is a child involved in this show, and this is especially disturbing. There are too many "sick, loose cannons" in our society that I fear some will decide it would help them to become "someone important" if they started behaving like these lunatics! There is enough violence and senseless killing in this country already. We just don't need to keep making violent criminals look sexy and glamorous when there are more important stories that could be told that could inspire others to do good!
7
Reply
Flag
Umm, since the show was obviously about a serial killer when it started, why did you watch it in the first place? Did you think it would be neat and tidy killing?
Reply
Flag
Staff
I got the same feeling after Roderick choked Louise and then, in one sweeping motion, mounted him. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say the show was aiming for that dichotomy to (a) allow for gender role reversal where he takes her violently but she dominates him anyway and (b) to demonstrate just how much these people have conflated the rushes from violence and from arousal.

We haven't talked much about the gender politics of this show but it seems like there are a lot of women in positions of false power. Emma was definitely in charge in the farmhouse but is a puddle now that Carroll is around. Louise showed some Seinfeld-esque moves ("That. Is one magic razor.") but is basically Roderick's wanton sexy sidekick. Parker has only had the power to say yes to Ryan's ideas and now even that power has been ripped from her. We can't even talk about Claire and how she's been nothing short of a thankless harpie and a liability. If anyone can show me a different perspective, I'm open to it but women definitely don't get painted very well on The Following.
3
Reply
Flag
I genuinely understand your point, but perhaps the women are in such positions of "false power" because of how idiotic they are?

Claire - If you can buy that she cared for Joey (her son) so much as to hop in a car with a total stranger with nothing but the word of her serial-killer-ex-husband's attorney, that is one thing. However, once she felt frightened of Charlie, she didn't think for a second to grab a gun, and when she finally decided to run, she does it half-assed and gets recaptured.

Olivia - Says nothing to the authorities about Carroll sending one of his followers to cut off a couple of her fingers (for leverage), then naively decides to help out said serial killer-mastermind while apparently believing she'd get to live after he experienced freedom.

Louise - Supposedly a former Blackwater operative, yet needs two grown men to hold a badly-beaten and stabbed victim because evidently, she couldn't manage on her own. Also appeared completely helpless/powerless while Roderick was choking the life out of her, despite the aforementioned Blackwater experience. Oy, vey.

Parker - God help this poor woman's soul. She is perhaps the most idiotic character in this entire series, and that's saying a whole lot considering this show is littered with brainless imbeciles. I don't even want to repeat her blockhead antics in this episode because I'll wind up with another headache.

So, there you go. I'm not saying the men are any smarter compared to the women (whereas you have foolish dudes like Donovan and more-savvy ladies like Emma), but most of the female characters don't deserve anything but false power.
More +
2
Reply
Flag
not to mention close the door when she left with the keys it wld atleast delay him and she wld hav ran away ... but she leaves the door open for him to follow her ...
Reply
Flag
So, Ryan killed off 5 of the followers and Carroll killed one himself. If they keep this up, there won't be enough followers left at the end of the season.

I wonder how long it will take until they identify Roderick as a small town sheriff now Weston has seen him?

Apparently getting hit against the head with an iron tube and stabbed in the middle of the chest is less lethal than being stabbed in the spleen? How long must Charlie have needed to bleed out completely?
8
Reply
Flag
Actually, it depends on what organs are touched during the stabbing. That Charlie dies quickly doesn't bother me (except for the fact that the plastic blanket on the floor was not large enough to receive 6 liters of blood) : he may have been stabbed in an artery. What astounded me is that after being beaten with an iron tube, Weston can still stand up. Let's put that on the adrenaline (or on the stupidity of the scenario).
Reply
Flag
this one redeemed the show for me - and good job Nick on the recap - for Mike to take that kind of a beating/stabbing to protect the Case shows what a real Hero he is. And such a contrast between Kevin Bacon coming in and shooting the baddies down one-two-three-four-five, and Annie Parisse couldn't even get close to stopping the car because she's too busy yelling STOP (yeah, that'll work) and, she doesn't have a pacemaker..... well that is not a good sign.
Reply
Flag
In fairness, she was a cult researcher for the FBI. No doubt she had the training, but she's basically a behind-the-desk FBI grunt.
Reply
Flag
Well this was definitely the best episode of the Following yet. It definitely felt very Kevin Williamsy, and a lot more self-aware overall. Hardy's responses to the cultist who killed himself in interrogation are really what we need more of on this show. If cult members are going to quote random passages from Poe, or say cryptically creepy things that have nothing to do with anything, then they should be called on it. The only way that this show will pull itself up to where it needs to be to be considered a "good show" is if it makes fun of itself for what it is.

On the plot front of the Following, two major things happened. We met Roderick and Weston became the only FBI agent who can't be a cult member (though there's a very small asterisk at the end of that). So as it turns out, Roderick is someone that we've never seen before, and wasn't Weston or Parker or anything like that. Just a dude who positioned himself to become Sheriff of a small town, so that he could set up a little community in the middle of nowhere for Carroll and all his followers. Just a dude who visited Carroll in jail and was seen by Weston, and who realistically could be tracked to the town where everyone is in, if the FBI are actually smart enough to do this kind of investigative work, which they aren't. I really do hope that at some point we'll meet a follower that didn't visit Carroll in jail, because so far it looks like the FBI should have been able to track down and investigate Carroll's entire network at the very beginning of this whole investigation.

Still though, I admire the show for giving us such a nice juxtaposition between Carroll's cult and the FBI. It's no longer all of law enforcement against eleven former college students who all have the homework assignment of killing people in interesting and Poe-etic ways (see what I did there?) We've got a very organized, skilled, well-funded community/army of killers who are now being directly led by their charismatic leader. They've morphed themselves into a super version of your average cult living in a commune somewhere, except the FBI can't just storm their compound at some point because they have no idea where it is. I could definitely get used to the show turning into a "Here at the cult compound, Roderick is starting to feel like he should be the real leader, while back at the taskforce headquarters, Ryan has actually managed to sit still for forty seconds without exploding in anyone's face" kind of show.

And they also made the move of taking away suspicion from Weston, which was very smart of them. I said above that there's a little asterisk around the statement that he's innocent, because there's the very slight possibility that he is a follower. I say very slight, because it's so small it's invisible to the naked eye. It could be that he's a follower that only Carroll knows about, and that neither Roderick nor any of the other cult members are aware of him. And Carroll was fine with him being treated like that because he wanted him to be tested. But this is still more unlikely than you'd think, and you'd think it would be extremely unlikely, because if this were the case Weston should have told them where Claire is. Being tortured like that would have been a great excuse for him to tell them the information that they could only get from him, which is why he didn't tell them it before he was kidnapped. And yet he told them nothing, which, though it serves to make him more trusted than ever, still deprives Carroll of the one thing he's missing. So again, there's only a quark-sized chance that he's in on it.

So, assuming that that possibility is too small and unlikely to ever present itself on screen, Weston is not a cult member. Which is really the best thing that the show could have done. Based on his age and his initial interest in Hardy, Weston has been the prime suspect for a mole in the FBI since the pilot episode. Which meant that it would be more a twist if he wasn't a mole than if he was. And sure, he served his purpose for the last several episodes by taking upon himself the bulk of suspicion, which allowed other suspects to skip around without being scrutinized as much. But he is much better served as the one person that Hardy, and we the viewers, can really trust. Because now we're no longer carefully tracking everything he does to see how many opportunities to text or email information to other cult members, or remembering exactly what information he was trusted with, or wondering if he failed at completing a certain task intentionally. Now we can actually stand before Hardy as being smart when he goes off alone with just Weston as backup. Because while in the past that was a deplorable misuse of resources that would inevitably lead to cult members being able to escape or get away with stuff, now it is a team that we can actually trust to try and stop Carroll and his minions, and not secretly try and bungle the operation. So well done, The Following, you actually morphed so much of your stupidity into something I can stand behind, in only one episode. I only hope that this trend continues.

P.S. So Roderick has set up a large chalk board at the house with pictures of all the big FBI agents and the one Marshal involved in the taskforce. But they've only got five people on there, and all the information they have on the board is their names, if they're FBI or U.S. Marshall, and a few lines connecting people. First of all, there are several other agents who should be on the list, including the new guy in charge, which they should know about if they're tuned in enough to know that Claire is in protective custody. And second of all, the only lines on the board are one line each going from everyone to Hardy. In other words, that board is pretty much useless. I realize that these people are trained killers and aren't actually a law enforcement agency, but Roderick is a Sheriff and should know a thing or two about setting up a good board with pictures of people, names, multiple lines of different colors (preferably made of string), and descriptions or bullet points of information under all the pictures. They also need to have things written on the board with question marks at the end, like "Outrageously incompetent?" Seriously, they need to watch the Wire, Homeland, or even a show like Castle to get this right. Because otherwise that was a waste of buying the chalkboard and chalk, and printing out those pictures, which I'm guessing took more than an hour, since they probably don't sell chalk boards that big in such a small town. And that's an hour that could be spent doing so many other things that are a great use of time. Like, for instance, watching an episode of the Wire, Homeland, or even a show like Castle.
More+
1
Reply
Flag
Am I the only person kind of disappointed that Roderick turned out NOT to be a mole undercover in the FBI?
Reply
Flag
No, you're certainly not the only person, considering the fact that I'm one of them. I'm really disappointed that not only did Roderick turn out to be someone random (there wasn't even an episode-long reveal establishing his identity), but not a single member of the FBI turned out to be a mole. Or at least, if there was a mole in the FBI, then they did a very bad job of supporting the cult, considering the fact that they had to remotely hijack communications within the FBI, and they never got valuable intelligence at times when even the most lowly agent would have known about things. Now, I get the fact that since all of us had Parker--and especially Weston--high up in our list of suspected moles, any surprise reveal that one of these characters was a mole wouldn't actually be that much of a surprise. However, you would have at least figured that Marshall Turner (the older black marshal guy), Agent Mitchell (the female FBI computer tech), or at least some guest character in the FBI would be a cult follower. But no, the closest we got was that one lady cop, and she was only around for two episodes.

And while technically not having a mole in the FBI altogether is arguably the most unexpected thing the show could have done, and therefore is a great twist in of itself, the only reason you wouldn't expect this is because not having a mole is simply a waist of resources. And what with the building up of this mysterious Roderick, the fact that Carroll and his following were able to escape the FBI so many times, and the fact that Carroll and/or Roderick planted two moles in the form of a cop and Ryan's former girlfriend, the show seemed to be building up to there being a mole in the FBI, or at least he Marshals. We can only hope that this happens to some capacity next season. Who knows, maybe Weston could end up being a cult member, and it would turn out that it's not Weston but his twin, which would make sense because, you know, Shawn Ashmore actually has a twin.
More +
Reply
Flag
I think the show could be improved by fleshing out some of the characters besides Hardy and Carroll. The Emma/Jacob/James dynamic was actually kind of interesting, as was Charlie most of the time, and the flashbacks to the first five or six cultists we met in the earlier episodes where they seemed almost likeable, and Parker's backstory a couple of episodes back was interesting if not smoothly executed, but it doesn't even have to be full storylines.

I liked the bit where the one FBI agent commented "Tell Boy Wonder I'm already doing that." Something as simple as a quick scene where Parker or somebody pulls Weston aside and warns against getting too caught up in Hardy's methods because "there's a reason he's not still an agent" or something would add some depth to the proceedings. Just because you bring up things from prior episodes doesn't mean the show can't still be episodic. Every time Joe brings up his and Ryan's "story," it takes me a minute or two to remember that Carroll mentioned he's writing a sequel because it doesn't really seem to be an impetus for where the story is going outside of an excuse not to kill Hardy. For example, it's been 8 episodes and I'm still not clear what Hardy did to make the older Black sheriff think Hardy would get people killed.
More +
Reply
Flag
What's Ryan's body count of lunatics? And how many do all others got?
Reply
Flag
Well, Hardy gunned-down 5 fodder cultists (like a boss) in this episode, alone. Hardy also shot Rick, shot David, shot Jordy, stabbed Paul multiple times, shot and killed Hank in the barn at the farmhouse, and he shot and (presumably) killed the deputy (the one who shot Weston). If you count Jordy and David's suicides as kills for Hardy, that brings his total (from my estimation) up to 10, possibly 11 if Paul dies.
Reply
Flag
Oh yeah, I forgot. Roderick is a *cop* who has visited Carroll in prison. The FBI has a list of all the people who have visited him, so he's on it. One of the stupidest moves every week is to not investigate the people on that list. I predict that the stupidest move *next* week is going to be to not try to find out if the guy that Weston got a good look at and guessed was Roderick is on that list.

The evil headquarters are apparently within police radio range of the police headquarters in the town where Roderick works. And he's on that list...
7
Reply
Flag
Who wants to bet there's no follow-up by the FBI in the next episode on how the cult managed to pick the one member of the investigating team who knew where Claire is hidden? At least Claire wasn't in this episode demanding that Ryan find her son. "Protective custody"? How about holding her as a material witness and charging her with impeding a federal investigation?

There wasn't a date stamp on Roderick's flashbacks, so we don't know how long ago they were or if the name he was using is the same name he goes by now.
1
Reply
Flag
Staff
There was a year stamp. 2003 for the "lesson" and 2004 for the meeting in prison. I believe in the first couple of episodes, once they pulled the list the first time, Weston mentioned that many of the names could be fake/aliases. The list should be essentially useless for IDing cult members unless the visitors were dumb enough to use names that people know them by. And that would just be silly, right?

But, no, we don't know when Roderick visited Carroll or if he even used that name to sign in. Being Student #1, he's probably smart enough not to sign in with a name that could be traced to him.
Reply
Flag
Emma met Carroll for the first time in 2003, taking his class. She visited him in prison 2006, using her real name, and killed her mother shortly thereafter. Carroll was caught and convicted sometime in early 2004, since later in the year Carroll met with Roderick, or whatever his real name is. (The dispatcher calls him "Nelson," but not clear if that's a first name or a last.)
Reply
Flag
I agree that if anyone of these people should be smart enough and have the proper motivation to use a fake ID that early, it would be Roderick. So the list may not help, but they should at least try.
1
Reply
Flag
LOL, yeah, maybe the list looks like this:

Ferris Bueller
Donald Duck
Galactus
...

I'm assuming that they at least had to show their ID to get in there. If not, why even bother to have them sign in? At their current level of organization, we can probably assume that they all have fake IDs and stuff, but some of these people started visiting him before this all got organized, so they probably didn't see the need to get fake IDs.

What I'm thinking is that by now they should have determined which names on the list belong to actual people, and they should have photos of all of them.
1
Reply
Flag
just random thoughts-
i like the way ryan talks to the cultists, this episode and the one where he was taken hostage.

there sure are a lot of ex military in the cult - whats up with that

Carroll may be a serial killer but he is no deadbeat dad - everyone has good points

how come in the fight scene there was not one drop of blood on charlies white t shirt

ryan is the worst shot- he had the element of surprise and only got 5 of them

charlies death was kind of 80's softcore porn, bad 80's softcore porn, bad

"i love my wife","she's not here" - it took joe all of 10 seconds to decide
2
Reply
Flag
Staff
Yeah, there's no way Carroll wasn't going to steal that opportunity.
Reply
Flag
I think the dumbest thing was probably Charlie thinking that getting killed by Carroll would make him important. I know the dude is supposed to be irrational, but come on.
4
Reply
Flag
Ya I did not understand that either, at first I thought they need some one to die for their master plan, but then they were just like we will bury him later... so his death seemed to have little importance.
1
Reply
Flag
I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed how ridiculous Parker's aim was. She was just pulling the trigger every now and then while running and holding the gun with two straight arms. What was she even doing there? It was like she was just waiting outside while Ryan searched the place alone.

It's absolutely impossible that Jimmy Olsen's twin is a cult member, at least if we apply some sort of real-world logic. For example, he's the one who found Claire's location when she was with Charlie. And if he's a cult member, then why did Carroll approve of his kidnapping in the first place? If he turns out to be a cult member, it would change the show from "so stupid that it's funny" to "incredibly stupid and irritating". It would make it unwatchable.

I don't think I will ever understand why FCC rules allow TV networks to show a tied up woman being tortured to death, but not a woman taking her bra off when she goes to bed with someone.

I think I laughed for about ten seconds when Carroll killed Charlie. It doesn't make a lot of sense that Charlie offered, or that Carroll accepted. Then when it actually happened...their tender embrace, that little kiss, their O-faces...it was too much. It was so incredibly ridiculous that I started laughing. Then when I realized that I was laughing at a man being murdered with a knife, I started laughing at *that*. (Now before you call the cops to tell them to keep an eye on me, I just want to say that I wouldn't have been able to laugh at it if it had felt real at all).

More+
5
Reply
Flag
stabbing bromance scene .. made me laugh so hard !
and Parker's aim .. its just like call of duty with aim assist turned off ..
10
Reply
Flag
Another stupid moment was when Hardy and Parker found the vehicle, but didn't do anything with it: they didn't slash out the tires, they didn't try and pick the lock, they just left it there, and went in without backup (well, Hardy did, at least). If it wasn't bad enough for Parker to have uselessly been "checking the perimeter," she should have at least been waiting around the SUV just in case the cultists tried to get away (which, they did).
9
Reply
Flag
There are only two ways I can describe what is going on with Joe and his followers. One, when I saw them come out of the house in last week's episode, it was like a "hive." It's like welcome to the "hive mind." And two, Joe infects his followers like a disease. It continues to spread like an unstoppable plague, infecting anyone it comes in contact with. And little Joey is smack in the middle of it. Poor kid.
1
Reply
Flag
This show is just dumb. It's entire plotline is predicated on the fact that the FBI are bumbling buffoons and every single plot twist involves them fucking up some operation so badly that any reasonable person would assume they would be fired for being so incompetent. Stupid.
8
Reply
Flag
Actually, they DO have a pretty bad track record in the real world for screwing up their operations...
Reply
Flag
How do they not send a whole SWAT team,fleet of FBI agents or at least local police backup to every single lead? Really only two agents to see where a kidnapped FBI agent could possibly be held? This is becoming laughable. I still can't help but watch though.
10
Reply
Flag
I thought the dumbest thing was Weston getting caught. You spot your kidnappers in the parking lot, you then spot another in the hallway, then see her again on your floor. By all means go in your room, because that is safe. He is supposed to be one of the smart ones.

But at this point of the show. It is reaching a 4th episode of Alcatraz moment for me. Where I start to question why I am still watching this. It has become unbelievably predictable. Who is Carroll going to pick? Go home Weston, you hacked my email. Really?

It seems as higher you go up the chain of the FBI the more useless and idiotic the person is. Whenever we get to the head of the FBI, he is probably going to be wearing a helmet and a card with his name on it.

The good parts are. I am not sure Roderick is pissed that Carroll is back. He might actually just be upset with himself that he failed Carroll. If he is the original student, to kind of show that he is incompetent as the rest of them is a huge thing that he is going to get over.

The only good part of the show was Carroll and Emma. Because Emma isn't going to just let Clare come in and take her big crazy man. That is going to form a huge rift and someone is going to have to die.

More+
1
Reply
Flag
What the heck kind of "hotel" was that? It looked more like a college dorm of off-campus housing.
1
Reply
Flag
And how can the FBI let an agent that knows so much and the only one to know where Claire is, even if the bad guys arent suppose to know that, dont take a chance, how can they let him go to a Motel alone! No one to check the area, no phone call to make sure he's OK... The only one who thinks about calling is the one that isnt FBI lol
Reply
Flag
First of all, for the very very first time I felt KEVIN is in the show, maybe it is because he was more cleaned up, he was fresh and he was smiling and making jokes`ish and he was quick with this move like his usual self (I am talking about regular Kevin) so that was enjoyable moments for me personally.

A geek did amazing job against well decorated fighter, I am with you about Weston's involvement with the kill-club but I am beginning to develop another theory toward the end, he was part of it and he decided to skip out. Maybe that's the reason both parties knew who they were dealing with.

The worst part! Besides that you letting go of one of the most key member of team alone while you do know the wolfs are out for blood-hunt - Charlie emptied full round, drop how many? 5 or 8 guys down, took some responding fires before 3 of the bad guys ran out and outside Ms. Parker was standing like a she didn't hear a clue what was going down.
Reply
Flag
I don't know the grey haired lady and the kid in the first row to the left of the picture look pretty scary....
Reply
Flag
The stupidest thing - seeing the car at the docks and not calling in back-up IMMEDIATELY. Actually, they could've asked to have SWAT on stand-by just in case before they even got to the docks. Also, that cop lady not even going into the building, they should've circled the cult members from both sides so as to not let them escape, but no, she just stands outside gazing at the stars. Was she supposed to be waiting for back-up? And if she was, her boss made it clear Ryan's just a consultant, so who lets a consultant get into a dangerous situation like that alone?
11
Reply
Flag
I agree how could that not have been the car. Any time there is a black SVU in these kind of shows and if it shows up at the docks or any type of abandoned place, that is the car you are looking for. But these FBI people seem to need fireworks and maybe a big flashing sign that says: HERE WE ARE!
4
Reply
Flag
Staff
Good grief, Nicholas. I only come here for the pedantic elitism. Whatever.
2
Reply
Flag
It wasn't just Parkers aiming, but also the fact that it almost looked like she was just waiting outside for Ryan to finish the job. Parker's been on my 'suspicious' list ever since she went to Carroll in prison and handed him that book. Something about her is just off.

Also I agree with the unnecesairity of Charlie commiting seppuku. So far he seems to be one of the most useful members of the gang with his skillset. Eventhough he botched up taking Claire to the mansion it wasn't really his fault that Weston didn't die if that's what he was sorry about this time. Louise took waaay too long in slicing his throat. Why the heck did she need two guys holding Weston down while he was almost unconcious from the beating/stabbing? Could've just grabbed his head from behind and sliced it already.

For a former Blackwater operative Louise also seemed to fall too easily in the 'damsel in distress' trope when Roderick choked her. I figured she'd atleast put up a little fight, kick him in the groin, just SOMETHING!

Still overal a decent episode. Liked how they set up Roderick for a power struggle/split up with Joe in the future.
More+
4
Reply
Flag
I don't know what would be worse:
Louise as "damsel in distress" or her liking choking as sexual foreplay. The later only works on the show ARCHER (Cheryl/Carol)
2
Reply
Flag
So these criminals are holed up in a mansion with neighbors - not a house on a hill somewhere but an actual neighborhood - and no one know where they are? They are using A MANSION as a hide out. Did Carroll's students ride the little yellow bus to class?

If the dude is stabbing himself for not killing the Ashmore character, how can we still think that Shawn Ashmore is a "Follower" - this show isn't that smart. It made Ryan Hardy the only smart person in the room as a device and now the entire show suffers weekly because of it. The writers forgot to give a brain to anyone else and its funny but this show wasn't suppose to be comedy. The scene with the followers in the doorway was hilarious.



Weekly coverage for this garbage excuse of a show and still nothing for "Banshee". That is just wrong. We only need one fake sheriff and it certainly isn't Roderick.

5
Reply
Flag
BANSHEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While I enjoyed this episode of The Following more then it's predecessors, it still is only a C- (grading on a curve) show compared to Banshee!

I no longer think Weston is a follower and it was stupid to have Charlie killed. Charlie was at least an interesting character and he had skills that could of benefitted the group of followers. Carroll came off as a drunk and his killing of Charlie makes him seem like even a bigger fool. Hopefully the house full of serial killers will take themselves out!

I liked Ryan Hardy's "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" scene. He's a good shot and I am guessing he is no longer a drunk

For some truly excellent tv entertainment, watch Banshee! Banshee is the best new show on TV.
4
Reply
Flag
I'd be kind of interested in finding out why Roderick was upset at Charlie's sacrifice while Louise wasn't. I don't hold much hope for that though since (at least so far) flashbacks haven't incorporated characters who we've already seen killed. I thought the first half of the episode was interesting (albeit very 24-esque), but once Weston's interrogation began, there weren't really any plot twists like there have been in the better episodes (the two episodes on the farm, the pilot, the episode with the killer in the Poe mask).
1
Reply
Flag
You know you're preaching to the choir about "Banshee". Lets compare Rabbit to Joe Carroll....(sorry can't stop laughing...)
2
Reply
Flag
there is no comparison...not even a comparison to Proctor.

The acting and writing on Banshee totally outclasses The Following.

I think James Purefoy just doesn't have the script that the actors on Banshee have. I think (hope) James Purefoy is just doing the best he can with the script he is given.

I still can't believe some of the shows that are reviewed here and that Banshee isn't reviewed. I admit to watching The Cult and The Following (both shows need work and I'm giving them another 1-2 episodes before deciding to drop them or not) but would gladly give up those reviews to have someone other then Tim* review Banshee.

*Tim, you are great but this doesn't seem to be the show for you. Daglas does great with Spartacus which is also complex (characters are shades of grey) so I vote for him. I think Corey (can't remember...maybe Ryan) said he was going to watch Banshee. I don't know all the reviewers but I follow (lol) the POI and Spartacus reviews weekly.
1
Reply
Flag
Don't they teach "Shoot at the tires 101" at Quantico? Come on!
9
Reply
Flag
Yeah, but when you're running with both arms straight and just pulling the trigger every now and then, you're lucky if the bullets even end up in the vicinity of the car.
Reply
Flag
Yes, they should. When they see a get away car, disable it first.
3
Reply
Flag
I liked the episode accept for the part where Charlie gets killed by Caroll. I mean, that was just stupid. As Nick Campbell said, the people in the hallway don't look scary at all, and certainly not like psychopaths.

There are only a few who look like they could be dangerous and then just kill one of the most capable people on your crew seems not like a move a true genius would make. I mean for example his computer skills and military training, just thrown to waste now. If it was just to relieve the tension just kill 10 of the "losers" in the hallway
1
Reply
Flag
Plus Charlie didn't do anything wrong. Well, anything new: he lost Claire, but he already apologized for that, and it was more because someone else gave away Charlie's location to the FBI. All Charlie did was carry out Roderick's kinda dopey plan to... let Mike fight back against being tortured? Huh?
1
Reply
Flag
Charlie also let the warden's daughter live. Plus Joe was drunk and Charlie handed him the knife. He's got the knife in his hand, what else is a guy going to do?
Reply
Flag
Although that is a bit more logical its still not smart. Also, in that case Roderick is the one who screws up, time after time. For example how stupid is it to let Charlie fight. And also, why hand over a pipe and later a knife to your opponent. I mean, Charlie had training, but someone always can do something unexpected or even be lucky. For example, he could have thrown the knife and killed Charlie. This wouldn't mean he escaped but it is a unnecessary risk that could lead to the dead of a valuable member. So in my opinion, Roderick also is a screw up.
Reply
Flag
Yes, but not that drunk not to ask, would you do that for me. His yes should be enough for Caroll, I mean, in that case you can always kill him later. This is not the move of a smart man.
Reply
Flag
Emma didn't really have anything to do with kidnapping the warden's daughter. That was Roderick's area of responsibility, which he presumably delegated to Charlie since he was sent to pick Emma and Joey up. One thing about this cult is that different parts of the plan seem to compartmentalized on a need-to-know basis.
Flag
Oh and indeed he let the warden's daughter live. But the girl (I forget her name) was there too. Also, if the kid somehow found out he did kill the girl he would not trust him and therefor not trust his dad, because Charlie worked for him
Flag
Imagine that, back in my head I know I am missing something but till now I was completely failed to recall. With this review it hits that I miss today's episode. Now I will have to hunt for it. Will read the review after watching it.
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook