My Obsession With “The Following”

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HOLLYWOOD—I must admit there are not many television shows that I’m hooked on.  Right now, there is only three “Pretty Little Liars,” Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” and “The Following.” While I love the other two, “The Following” has me literally pulling out my hair each week waiting to see what will transpire the following week. This series has literally amped up the suspense 10 times what it was in season one.

I thought the first season had an excellent premise: a serial killer who gets his cult of followers to do all of his bidding. I mean Kevin Williamson is a genius. Not to mention the fact of how scary the idea is in real life, because there are some cults out there that go to such extremes. This is a series that prides itself on having a villain and hero who are equal adversaries. Its like Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) wouldn’t know what to do with himself without Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) and vice versa.  They need each other to have purpose in life.  I mean it’s the stuff that makes this show so compelling to watch.

Yes, there are plenty of people who are not fans of the series, so be it; stop watching as I say. I hate seeing people’s comments on blogs. If you’re not a fan of the series, why are you commenting on a blog or site that is geared towards the fans? Find something better to do. Anyway, this season has been one hell of a thrill ride, with a cult within a cult going after one another.

Carroll is a powerful being who has literally had people doing all that is possible to bring him out of hiding, not to mention his #1 Emma (Valorie Curry). Emma is so dedicated to Joe it’s frightening; I think she’d give her life for him, but I’m not certain he’d do the same for her. She’s that character that you love to hate, she’s so evil, yet she’s so loyal to a fault. Curry brings the perfect balance.

The first season had Joe pulling all the strings, this season not so much. The majority of the strings have been pulled by another cult leader Lily Gray (Connie Nielsen). I mean this woman is twisted. Not only did she allow herself to be brutally attacked in an effort to draw Joe out of hiding, she did so by allowing her creepy twin sons, Matt and Luke (Sam Underwood) to attack her. If you thought Norman Bates had a creepy relationship with his mother, these twins take the cake.

What has made season two a ton more riveting than its predecessor are the surprises that come out of left field. Trying to predict what will happen in “The Following” is not as easy as let’s say “Pretty Little Liars.” You might have an idea on “PLL,” with “The Following” not so much.  I mean Mike (Shawn Ashmore) has been put through the ringer. Not only was he drawn out of hiding, but found himself seeking revenge for the death of his father, at the hands of Lily Gray.  That scene was devastating to watch, but not as pleasing as it was to see Mike lunge several bullets into Lily at the end of last week’s episode placing herself in a watery grave. Yep, the cult leader is dead, which leaves her twins on their own. I can only imagine what they will do. Let’s just say Mike, Ryan, Joe and even Max (Jessica Stroup) should be very worried. Speaking of Max, she has some amazing chemistry with Mike that has yet to manifest, here’s hoping we see more of that in season three, that’s granted neither of them bite the dust. That’s the fun part about “The Following,” characters you love or hate, can die at any point.

The biggest surprise of season two was the revelation that Claire (Natalie Zea) is not DEAD! Yes, the woman who was stabbed in the back by one of Carroll’s followers and flat-lined in the hospital is very much alive and about to put a major ripple in Joe’s plan. His reaction to learning of her survival literally left Joe speechless; the mastermind has been outsmarted, so what will he do in retaliation? Let’s just say he might finish the job once and for all.

This week’s episode presented a twist unlike any other with the reveal that Emma was dead and another life hung in the balance. Yes, Claire took out Joe’s #1, but not before being held captive by nefarious twins Luke and Sam. Perhaps, the gut-wrenching finale was enough to send fans into a frenzy. Joe threatened FBI Agent Weston’s life, before firing a shot, just before the screen went black. Oh my God, did the series just kill two main characters in one night? Emma met her fate, but has Weston?

With only one episode left, I am literally dying to see how season two will wrap. Looks like Joe and Ryan will have to work together to save the life of the one woman who has both of them wrapped around her finger: Claire. Let me say this one thing: I’m always a fan of a great suspense thriller, but when the thriller has the ability to put even the cleverest minds into a frenzy you know you’re doing something right. The season finale of “The Following” airs Monday, April 28 at 9 p.m. on Fox.

By LaDale Anderson