TV Review - The Following: Season 2

Kevin Bacon (left) and Connie Nielsen
in "The Following"
Season 2 is basically Season 1. It's a continuation that doesn't really change the dynamics or advance things. I suppose this is true of most TV series, but unlike Dexter, which is the closest comparison because it too is a series about an obsessed, socially cut-off investigator who is chasing serial killers and who isn't above killing himself, The Following keeps following the same guy. It would have been better if this series had let Joe Carroll, played by James Purefoy, be dead and not bring him back. Instead, there is no change for Ryan Hardy, played by Kevin Bacon.

The problem is that the series brings into being a group of serial killers not unlike the serial killers in the last season that all seem to be chasing after Joe, even as the FBI does. That's boring. It remains boring until Episode 7 when the series all of a sudden becomes a kind of satire of religious cults. Joe and the two remaining women in his group find themselves in a new cult called Corbin, run by a man named Micah, played by Jake Weber.

What is great is that this cult at first wasn't about Joe Carroll and it did its own thing. It was even willing to kill one of Joe's girls, Emma, played by Valorie Curry. If the show were braver, it would have actually killed Emma, but it didn't. Yet, watching this cult in action makes for a good and funny satire of cults.

It even did something interesting with knocking down Joe and making him seem like he's no longer this omnipotent and omniscient presence. By the next episode, this idea is undermined and the show goes back to seeing Joe as the ultimate bad guy and the preferred bad guy. The series could have passed the torch to someone like Lily Gray, played by Connie Nielsen, but it doesn't want to let go of Joe.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-14-DLSV.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Mondays at 9PM on FOX.


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