luke kalamar turns the page…
Plot: After several years of planning, one of Joe Carroll’s (James Purefoy) followers named Emma (Valorie Curry) successfully abducts his son Joey (Kyle Catlett). It is up Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) to find out where Joey is and return him to his grieving mother Claire (Natalie Zea). Meanwhile, Officer Jordy (Steve Monroe) is on the loose trying to fulfill the task given to him by Carroll.
The second episode of The Following, aptly named “Chapter Two,” picks right up where the Pilot left off. Joey was taken by Carroll’s followers and Claire can only turn to Ryan to find out where her son is. This episode carries the tension and strengths brought up last week in many ways, leading to another engaging installment in this budding series, but also like last week there were some negatives here and there.
This episode was primarily broken into two distinct sections. On one hand, you have Emma and her cohorts Jacob Wells (Nico Tortorella) and Paul Torres (Adan Canto) holding Joey captive. There is a definitive rift amongst the trio however, stemming from Paul’s disapproval of Emma. On the other side, you have the FBI trying to find where Joey might be while also trying to keep an eye on Jordy who murdered several women in a sorority house.
In regards to the plot revolving around Carroll’s trio of Emma, Jacob, and Paul, I really enjoyed how we learned more about Emma’s character. These three are obviously vital to the plot, so discovering more about each of them is absolutely necessary. We learn what drew Emma to Carroll, the first time she met her boyfriend, and who her first kill was. I hope that Jacob and Paul get this same amount of focus in future episodes.
What I didn’t like about that plot was the obvious rift between the three. For the record, I have nothing against creating some internal issues to increase the group dynamic and keeping the story interesting. My issue is with how soon it appeared. Here we have these three individuals who spent the past several years living a lie to both kill Sarah Fuller (Maggie Grace) and capture Joey. With this in mind, I naturally expected them to be very close knit and unbreakable. Instead, the first image we get is how flawed and fragile the trio is. I already get the sense that they won’t last, or Paul’s disapproval of Emma will lead to them dividing, which disappoints me. Plus, how am I supposed to view Carroll as some master controller when a very glaring issue has already appeared?
The FBI searching for Jordy and Joey was where almost all the action lied in this episode, and those moments were easily the best. Hardy discovering the house where all of Carroll’s followers met was chilling and the imagery made me uneasy, which I’m sure is exactly what the set designers were going for. Quite frankly, there is nothing creepier than several latex Poe masks sitting on a shelf in room with a giant painting of a woman with bleeding eye holes. All of the writing on the walls too and the constant repetition of “nevermore” equally freaked me out as well.
I also really enjoyed how it becomes apparent that Hardy has technically not been reinstated or deputized into the FBI. Far too often a character comes out of retirement and is suddenly back on the force without any issue. Plus, it gives a legitimate reason for why Hardy can do things outside FBI regulation, such as breaking into a house without a warrant. He’s like a renegade agent that is still somewhat backed by the agency. I hope he never gets reinstated so we can see more of this.
Lastly, the ending was pretty incredible for a couple reasons. One reason is that the possibility of Carroll’s influence reaching the upper echelons of law enforcement becomes apparent. This is something that I was waiting for following the series premiere, and I really hope my theory is correct. It could lead to some amazing moments for the show. The second reason is that the final scene was both jaw dropping and shows that there are even more of Carroll’s followers out in the world that the FBI has no idea about. It also directly connects to the next episode, which is always good.
“Chapter” Two is a very strong episode and shows that the premiere wasn’t just a well-written fluke. If you haven’t checked out this show yet, you definitely should. It doesn’t disappoint.