Rabu, 01 Mei 2013

The Following Season 1 Finale Review The Final Chapter Eh

The Following S01E15 The Final Chapter

So how many of you thought Carroll was going to climb out of the rubble like the Shredder at the end of Secret of the Ooze

It's because everything about Carroll's demise seemed to be too impossible too unlikely and too wrong way theatrical in order to make sense. It why I'm going to leave demise in quotes until we get more evidence than dental records from charred remains and the early results of a DNA test. I mean if a vindictive girl from Rosewood can dupe those things anything is possible with Carroll and his sleeper cell followers. And there are days when I think the high school girls on Pretty LIttle Liars are a collective Sherlock Holmes compared to the FBI on this show.

Before we dive into what Carroll's exit means to the series let's discuss another important and much more conclusive end When Parker ended up in that box at the end of the penultimate episode I think we assumed with 85 percent certainty that Ryan Hardy was going to save the day and Parker would be all Oh my hero wrapping her frail arms around his neck. Imagine my surprise.

In a QA with the cast and creators Kevin Williamson said Annie Parisse wanted to go out with a bang and but while she did go out with a bit of theater her death was more of a whimper. While she's mostly been a straight faced jester for most of the series the show tried to build her up a little sneaking the book in at the beginning to throw you dedicating an entire episode to her flashbacks and building a history and motivations only to have her die whispering and for no greater purpose than to serve as a stepping stone along the way to Carroll's hideaway.

Yes we had a lot of fun poking at her inability to point and control a weapon and her special brand of spineless leadership. But this was supposed to be a character who meant something to Ryan (remember their bonding moment in the apartment after Claire got herself kidnapped ) and she basically died in complete contribution to Carroll's plan. She had a little fight in the beginning but disappointingly she was little else than a ticking time bomb for the remainder of her life. Obviously that's the nature of being trapped in a box but even in death Parker had nothing to offer but a reason to add to Hardy's body count. And that generally is not a difficult thing to do.

However Hardy did honor her passing by doing what she was so good at identifying the right thing to do and then doing the complete opposite. Finding out that Hardy and Weston had somehow thwarted a part of Carroll's carefully constructed plan (I'm using a lot of sarcastic quotes today) should've been a boon. Ryan had an extra agent who could hold a gun (already a step ahead of his previous backup) and was willing to shoot with as much abandon as Ryan and Ryan decided that was the moment to start playing by Carroll's rules. Nope he said. I have to do this alone.

Why would Hardy not use the advantage Nothing could be clearer Because he was afraid that if the story didn't go as planned Claire would die If that's actually the case that's something I rationalized later and not at all how I felt during the episode. I was perplexed almost as stunned as Weston seemed to be himself when Ryan discharged his weapon at an agent just so he could do the stupidest of all possible things for that situation.

Though I suppose you can't argue with results. Ryan Hardy did end up putting Carroll in a very awkward if not fatal position. I wasn't impressed with the death and that's what I meant earlier by wrong way theatrics. We made fun of the fire death when it came around during Episodes 2 and 3 because it lacked that Romantic era emotional connection. Setting someone on fire is very dramatic but it lacks a certain personal touch. Emma's murders were all close range and heartfelt accompanied by that gentle shushing. Carroll's murders were also hands on and close range. Pushing Carroll into the fire and then letting explosions incinerate him lacked a certain symmetrical quality. Carroll was supposed to be Hardy's rival the face of his life as a shambles. the being that defined him. And all Hardy did was uneventfully push him into the nearest deathtrap. I'm not saying Ryan should've stabbed him in the gut while they talked about their feelings but there may have been room for a little nod to their being two sides of the purported coin they tend to discuss so much. Besides no one dies from being stabbed in the gut on this show.

So what does Carroll's exit do For starters The Following has eliminated its big bad without establishing a new one. Basically it means there's a cult of followers that has no leader. What those cult members will do without someone to remind them that death is pretty presents three options disabuse them of their worship beg for them to shift their obsessive devotion to a new leader or inspire the orphaned followers to continue with his work in the name of their fallen martyr. So far with Molly getting all stabby on Hardy and Claire in the last scene it looks like it might be the latter. Another gut stabbing to a character that really can't die. Seriously no one can die from a gut wound on this show can they

The finale presents an interesting challenge for a show that's sold itself as a cat and mouse game between a couple of animals that are really mediocre at toying with each other. The cliffhanger was unique in not addressing that problem but simply showing that violence will still happen whether Joe orders it or not. There was no newly annointed villain or torch passing. Molly's presence just reminds everyone that the cult members still being at large is a danger to them all especially since if Emma's reaction to in Mobile and Molly's continuance are any indication they all seem to be real mad.

So that's season 1 of The Following. Thanks for sticking it out for the first fifteen episodes with me despite the show's attempts to turn us away. You've made this a lot of fun.


You can tell when Williamson writes a script because all of a sudden everyone on the show is preempting any criticism about the story by making the characters announce it first. Claire calling Joe predictable and Ryan saying the ending is overwrought give yet another indication that the writers on this show know what they have. Williamson is a grade A thunder stealer.

When will people on this show stop trying Ryan He's given them every reason to believe that he will shoot maim and torture anyone he thinks will hinder him yet the sniper was like You won't hurt me. Yes. Yes he will. This show is almost more of an advocate for enhanced interrogation than anything 24 did.

So Claire is apparently noble Did you catch that about her at all during this series How she was always thinking of others when she got kidnapped so she could see her son Or how she was always taking care of people when she was yelling at Ryan They really tried to drill noble into us but I keep remembering harpy.

Joe Carroll the serial killer trying to shrink Claire's head while he held her captive trying to tell her how powerful denial can be and how everything is not her fault felt like a cuckold being reassured by an adulterer. I understand the impulse but it's so wrong.

That said probably the best line of the season was Carroll demanding that Claire not shoulder any responsibility for the deaths of those he killed because that steals from how special they are to him. I earned them. I own them. They are mine. It was the one time since the pilot where you felt like this guy really was a killer and not just a bookish boss of the world's most eclectic and ineffectual mob.

The Curse is a really dumb title for Carroll's book. What a hack.

Until I was told I had no idea that the girl in Mobile was Emma. This show really tests my facial recognition.

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