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Monday, January 20, 2014

The Following Is Back for Its Second Season

Season 2 of The Following premiered tonight.   It's been advertised as even more graphic and brutal than the first season - a little hard to imagine, especially for a series shown on the still suppressed networks in comparison to cable - but in some ways it was.  Not just because of the slash killing of five on the NYC subway by two guys wearing Joe Carroll masks, but even more because of the slow dancing by one of the Following with an actress he recently killed, clad now in a black bikini.  Scenes like this indeed put The Following in a class of its own, going further than, say, Dexter in being psychologically unnerving.

Speaking of Dexter, the actor who played Dexter's apprentice Zach Hamilton in its final season - Sam Underwood - plays a killer who has become Ryan Hardy's problem in duplicate on The Following.   One of the twins does the dance with the limp bikini, and together they promise a wave on horror in the weeks ahead. Emma, one of the most intelligent and disconcerting psychos from the first season, is back, too.  And by the end of the premiere, it's established that Joe is, too.

On the side of the angels aka law enforcement most of the time, Mike is back, and Ryan's niece is introduced as an NYPD intel expert.  James McDaniel - who played one of my favorite characters on NYPD Blue - is back with the police, and it's good to see him in a more commanding role than he had in the short-lived Detroit 1-8-7.

The gist of the plot so far is that Ryan is resisting requests to help the formal police investigation of the subway and bikini killings, because - as we shortly learn - he and his niece are secretly investigating Joe on their own.   I at first thought Ryan was doing this to protect Mike from further harm - feeling guilty about the death of Debra last season - but if that's what's motivating him, why would he let his niece get involved?  And the meaning of Ryan putting on the Joe Carroll mask at the end is, what, not that Ryan is willing to kill an innocent to get Joe, but that he's certainly up for infiltrating the Following to get at Joe.

Otherwise, it's worthy noting that Claire presumably died of the injuries she sustained in the season one finale - but, as I always say, it's "presumably" because unless you see a head point blank blown to bits on television, there's always a chance that the person you think was killed, or have told was killed, is still alive.  After all, this is exactly what happened with Joe ...

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


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