After the failure of The Mob Doctor, Fox Network had to come up with something — and The Following from creator and excutive producer Kevin Williamson has finally arrived. To state this show as a thriller may be understating it. This show has elements of The Mentalist with its version of Red John in Joe Carroll and the forgotten Alcatraz with its criminal elements running about.
Kevin Bacon hits prime time after his last showing in X-Men: First Class, as former FBI agent and now-FBI consultant Ryan Hardy, and he joins fellow former X-Men, Shawn Ashmore, as Mike Weston. Kevin Bacon plays his role nearly-perfectly as a washed-up FBI agent. However, Shawn Ashmore is a bit extraneous, and his character, his role is very weak in this episode. He simply lacks charisma and punch. James Purefoy as Joe Carroll, the lead serial killer, is nearly perfect. He has elements of Hannibal from Silence of the Lambs and the Joker from The Dark Knight. With the age of the internet, not only does Carroll have access to his followers, he had access to resources beyond his reach. Natalie Zea stars as Claire Matthews, Ryan Hardy’s ex-wife, and her son, Joey Matthews, is played by Kyle Catlett. Joe Carroll’s followers include Adan Canto as Billy Thomas and Nico Tortorella as Will Wilson.
The show begins with Joe Carroll breaking out of prison, killing several guards in the process. Carroll is ruthlessly efficient as he pursues his two prizes, Ryan Hardy and Claire Matthews — and more importantly, their son Joey Matthews. After baiting Ryan Hardy and his fellow FBI agents, Joe Carroll eventually gives himself up to Ryan Hardy after yet another death — but not without letting what he’s going to do out of the bag. He tells Ryan of the following he has and what they could potentially do. With Joey Matthews in Carroll’s followers’ hands, Ryan Hardy has to not only rescue his son but stop Carroll’s madness from rampaging forward.
Overall, this show has demonstrated great potential, and I hope it develops into a second season at least.
- First Impression: The Following Takes ‘Killer Drama’ to a (Too?) Dark New Extreme (tvline.com)
- New Cast Photo for The Following; Go Behind the Scenes of the Photo Shoot (dreadcentral.com)
- The Following: Meet Joe Carroll and Claire Matthews (dreadcentral.com)
- ‘My Serial Killer Based On Real People,’ Reveals The Following’s James Purefoy (huffingtonpost.co.uk)