Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Following 2.2: Rediscovering Oneself

The thing about The Following is that when it works best, Hardy gets a least a few victories.   Joe and his Following still get most of them, but for the story to work, Hardy has to at least save a life, rescue a victim, once in a while.  Tonight's episode 2.2 gives us that.  Although the Following in New York City - that is, the evil identical twins - kill a couple and then have dinner with their dead bodies at a well set table (killing and then pseudo-living with the victims is the twins' motif), they don't manage to dispatch Lily Grey (good to see Connie Nielsen back on the screen last week and this after Boss).   Lily is clearly Ryan's new love interest, and the question with The Following always is whether, when the intended victim survives, if that was the intention of the killers all along?  My wife even thinks it's possible that Lily may be part of the Following, and while I wouldn't rule that out, my sense at this is point is that she's who she seems to be. Still ...

Meanwhile, it's worth noting how fractured the Following itself seems to be. Most of them including Emma are out of touch with Joe - Emma apparently thought he was dead - and they're in constant low-key war with one another, or in groups versus groups.  In a way, this mirrors what we're seeing in law enforcement on The Following, where Hardy's at odds with the FBI, especially Mike, and with the NYPD, too.  Presumably this won't last as long - certainly not between Hardy and Mike - as the battles among Joe's adherents.

Meanwhile, Joe's story is, unsurprisingly, the most chilling tonight.  He rediscovers his killer instinct - obsession is the better word - when he kills the Reverend who is sleeping with his woman, herself a part of the Following who had been corresponding with Joe when he was in prison.  But Joe's reasons for the killing are rational, as they usually are - the Rev has realized that the Southern cracker with a beard and a half-baked accent is actually Joe Carroll.  So what did choice did Joe have?

Before the killing, we're treated to a dueling Socrates debate between Joe and Rev, which Joe - again, unsurprisingly - gets better, when he quotes Socrates about the benefits of death.   The Following is off to a very good - that is to say, disconcerting emotionally and philosophically - start.

See also The Following Is Back for Its Second Season

And see also The Following Begins ... The Following 1.2: Joe, Poe, and the Plan ... The Following 1.3: Bug in the Sun ... The Following 1.4: Off the Leash ... The Following 1.5:  The Lawyer and the Swap ... The Following 1.7: At Large ... The Following 1.9: All in a Name, Or, Metaphor in the Service of Murder ... The Following 1.13: At Last Something of a Day for the Good Guys ... The Following Season 1 Finale: Doing Dead

 

Like Socrates woven into modern conflict?  Try The Plot to Save Socrates

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