Monday, January 28, 2013

NEW SHOW: The Following - Pilot

by Jonathan Bredemeyer

TheTalkingBox has decided to cover The Following.  In future reviews, the review part will be in the form of a mind map while commentary will follow.  I'm also going to do a map of Edgar Allen Poe's works, which the show has mentioned, and which ones I think might come up next.


Starting in the Virginia State Penitentiary, straight with the creepy music and everything, we watch Joe Carroll walk out the door dressed as a prison guard. Jump to Brooklyn and Kevin Bacon (as Ryan Hardy) in a spacious studio apartment. Ryan gets a call from the FBI as he sees the prison escape on TV.  Apparently, he caught the escapee, Joe Carroll, years earlier after the felon killed 14 girls. The FBI wants him to come in and help.
Ryan choppers into the prison and puts on the obligatory FBI straight black tie. Also, Ryan wrote a book called Poetry of a Killer about capturing Joe, so his reputation is at stake.  In Joe's cell, Ryan discovers a note from Joe asking about a sequel... Back around 2002, Joe had a child with Claire Mathews.  Joe was also obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe and based his murders on "The Tell Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat."

Ryan meets a female agent named Mason, who's 'read his file,' and a Mike Weston [Fox is just screwing with Burn Notice at this point...] who has a bit of hero worship for Ryan.  [Read his book and everything... Ryan now has a pacemaker from his last encounter with Joe.] The FBI staging area gets surprised by a premeditated suicide of a women who visited Joe in prison.  She strips down to her underwear, exposing a body covered in writing, then stabs herself in the eye.  The writing turns out to be from "The Raven."

Ryan drinks vodka from a water bottle at the now-crime-scene as he gets a call from Sara Fuller, Joe's last attempted victim.  Ryan and the FBI determine a prison guard is the one who helped Joe escape and find loads of dead dogs in the guard's basement.  Apparently, Joe was teaching him how to be serial killer. 

Ryan finally visits Claire, who knows he's been drinking which is worsening his heart condition.  She also reveals that Joe found out something in prison that he shouldn't have, but Ryan thinks he's guessing...  This is the first time Ryan's spoken to her in 8 years after the FBI found out they were involved.

Joe had tried to finish Poe's last unfinished work, The Lighthouse, with a novel called The Gothic Sea.  Ryan withholds all Claire's information from Agent Mason.

Ryan and Mason head to talk to Sara, as that's whom he predicts Joe is after.  They find one of the two cops assigned to guard her dead, and a secret hole in her closet that leads to the apartment next door.  Following a trail of blood, they find the second cop's body and 'NEVERMORE' written in blood on the wall in the garage.

Ryan's theory is that Sara's gay neighbors are part of a cult following Joe, and that they kidnapped Sara for him.  Ryan flips out for a bit and has a flashback, then steals an SUV and drives on a hunch to a lighthouse nearby where the gay couple have a property.  He breaks in and chases screams with his bad heart slowing him down the whole time.  Turns out the screams were a recording and Joe clubs him in the face.  Joe shows Ryan Sara's hanging dead body and then surrenders.  Ryan tries to choke him as agent Mason and FBI friends storm in and stop him [phew... the series was almost over there...].

Meanwhile, Mike Weston has uncovered Joe's secret online world consisting of over one thousand websites.  Joe will only talk to Ryan, and reveals that he's been planning a twisted, character-filled plot for Ryan's next book.  Ryan flips out and breaks a few of Joe's fingers.  Turns out, Claire's babysitter has stolen Joey and turned him over to... someone...
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