Finale Review: The Following

Episode Title: The Final Chapter

Renewal Status: Renewed for season two

Pre-finale Thoughts: I think this show has been my biggest disappointment of this television season. The pilot for this show was one of the best of the season and then it went horribly downhill. Starting out with a smaller complaint, we have not seen nearly enough of Mike Weston, particularly him not being beaten up. I thought he had so much potential as a character, with his excitement about working with Ryan and desire to befriend him but pretty much all he’s done for several episodes is get beaten up by someone from Joe’s cult.

Which brings me to my larger complaint – the discrepancy between the abilities of Joe’s cult and the FBI are ridiculous. For pretty much the entire season, the cult has been manipulating or injuring the FBI with very few injuries or arrests of the cult members. It’s would be almost humorous how incompetent the FBI has been portrayed to be if it weren’t so infuriating. When the FBI does get close to achieving a goal, they just unveil another Follower that thwarts their plan. They seem to have run out of plot to fill the required 15 episodes so everything was in a holding pattern, which was not entertaining to watch as a viewer.

Finally, the show just didn’t end up being what I wanted it to be. I had hoped for something more psychological that looked at the cult members’ motivations for being there and more insight into Carroll’s mind but I didn’t get that at all. That doesn’t necessarily make the show bad, it just wasn’t what I had thought it was going to be, based on the pilot.

Finale Thoughts: A lot happened in this episode and it mostly made me confused about what they plan to do for season 2. I was sad that they killed off Agent Parker though not because the show had made me attached to her at all. Her last phone call with Ryan and Mike was heartbreaking and it made me feel for a character that had been relatively undeveloped up until that point.

Joe and Ryan’s conversation at the end was entertaining. The actors have great chemistry with each other but also it was such a meta conversation that it made me laugh at a completely inappropriate moment.

What are they going to do for season two without Joe? Is he actually secretly alive and is going to pop out at some random moment? Is Emma gonna take over? Is the FBI gonna chase down a new cult leader? I really have no idea at this point especially since Claire and Ryan may or may not be dead.

Hopes for Season Two: It’s not possible, but a shorter season with a higher overall quality would be nice. I’d be fine with 6-10 episodes, even if it isn’t at all financially feasible for a broadcast network.  

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