MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW…
I don’t know if it’s the “Following” that’s changed, or if it’s me. This season may be fundamentally the same but I just don’t think I can stomach the show for much longer. I mean this episode was slightly more entertaining than some of the season’s other episodes I’ve seen in terms of hate watching credibility, but I think the effect the show’s stupidity once had on me is fading, and now it’s just pure eye rolling insanity. Let’s break this shit down quick, before I pull a Poe and drift into insanity.
So I’ve missed some episodes but Joe, Emma, and some other dude(did Mandy die? Who else will explain basic plot points to us now?) have sought the help of some cult leader guy. No offense to the actor himself, because god knows he may very well be a talented actor if in another show, but his acting absolutely horrific(he’s the cult leader guy that looks like Rhys Ifans). It was terrible. It did however lead to one of my favorite scene of the episode when Joe diagnoses him as having a group of psychological issues that at no point in the episode he actually exhibits habits of(DID among other things). It just felt like the writers heard someone listing off psychological illnesses and were like “let’s put that into the script, it’ll make us sound smarter!”, kind of like when as a kid you would learn a new word and would just throw it out there all the time just to impress people(as you incorrectly pronounced it, and used it cases where it wasn’t necessary). So yeah I thought that bit of dialogue was cute. Classic Poe.
The writers are definitely building up a ‘ship between Max and Mike. She walks in on him, post shower, and it’s really awkwardly written. I really like Max though, she’s probably the only character on this show I actually genuinely like(meaning she’ll be dead by the end of the season am I right?). So Ryan, Mike, and Max think that Mendez(or whatever) is the traitor and decide to follow her, Mike also learns she’s a lesbian which is far more important(“Oh really?”). Oh “Following” writers you silly gooses.
For those of you who love seeing women get their throats slashed open, and get the shit torn out of them this is the episode for you. So much brutal misogyny is on display here, I wonder if in the writer’s room they have a contest to see who can gut the most women(on screen of course) throughout the season(Congrats you win the “Cheesecake Factory” gift card for most mutilated women in one episode!). Because really I see no other excuse for the violence against women(specifically) in this show.
Leslie Bibb, the psycho lesbian wife of Mendez(“The Following’s” TV Tropes page has to be the longest one in the history of television), dies this weeks by blowing her brains out and also slashes Mendez’s stomach and leaves her to bleed out. I really like Leslie Bibb so it’s a relief that she can now go onto the place people go after “The Following”. I’m really surprised Valerie Cruz isn’t a regular on this show given her character’s been in most of the episodes so far and still hasn’t died.
Ryan’s dating the girl who wrote the “Havenport Tragedy”(sort of), then BAM Claire is alive(just when Natalie Zea thought she got out). I’ll admit I liked the Claire reveal, I like that they waited a bit down the rode to reveal it as well(often shows will reveal this sort of thing in the same episode and all consequence feels lost). So how long till Claire and Ryan reunite and Ryan gives Mike a stern talking to about lying to him? Most likely, next episode.
Overall, there was some good(Claire reveal, Max, and….?) which is more than most “Following” episodes can say, but the gratuitous violence is really getting to me. I’m not sure I’ll watch the third season. Since this is the “Following” I’ll grade it on my hate-watch curve.
GRADE: B- 80%
+ Claire reveal while not shocking was well done
+ Joe’s psychological evaluations
+ General silliness
– Poor Natalie Zea
– Dead Fake Rhys Ifans Clone’s acting
– General “Following” stupidity