Michael Ealy as Theo was a great sociopathic brilliant villain, in many ways better than Joe, though James Purefoy's performance as Ryan Hardy's signature nemesis was unassailable. Max really came into her own in the end, with her radiant smile and love for Mike, and it would have good to see them finally together for a while next season. Kevin Bacon as Hardy was outstanding throughout.
So where did The Following go wrong this final season? Too little Joe, too late in the story. Too much Mark, who should either have been killed last season or very early in this. And too many heads of the unit or whatever they're called in the FBI - just one or two would made for a more appealing character.
The ending of The Following was excellent. Ryan himself now living in the shadows - to protect his new family - and, for all we know, Theo alive, too. This seems like more than enough for a new season, and maybe there'll be one, if Netflix or Amazon or some other streaming service come to the rescue.
But with the death of Joe Carroll, the story won't quite be about a following any more. Theo is brilliant - but, as far we've seen, has inspired nothing like the following that worked so well under Joe's leadership in the first season. Still, the Ryan, Max, and Mike characters are different from what we usually see on television, and compelling. And Theo is clearly one of the most ruthless, ingenious villains we've yet seen on TV, running rings around the psychos of Criminal Minds and even The Blacklist.
Hey, I'll be back here for sure with more reviews if The Following's back somewhere, sometime.
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 a Neanderthal serial killer in the current world? Try The Silk Code