THE FBI estimates there are currently up to 300 active serial killers in the United States. What would happen if these killers had a way of communicating and connecting with each other? What if they were able to work together and form alliances as they left a trail of blood across the country? What if one brilliant and charismatic, yet psychotic serial killer was able to bring them all together and activate a cult of believers following his every command?
I finally had a chance to sit down and take in the first two episodes of FOX’s “The Following”. They hyped it up as being the best drama to come out this year and they have not disappointed in the first 120 minutes of the series!
Joe Carroll (James Purefoy), a brilliant college professor, who idolizes Edgar Allan Poe, goes on a killing spree as homage to his favorite writer by mimicking Poe’s stories. FBI Agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) is finally able to capture him and put him in jail. Bacon’s character is booted from the FBI soon after and he writes a book about the ordeal with Joe Carroll (the professor).
Skip ahead eight years, Carroll escapes from prison and Bacon is called back as a consultant. They are able to capture Carroll by the end of the first episode, but not before the woman Bacon saved eight years ago is killed. Carroll explains to Hardy that they are going to write a sequel to Hardy’s book together.
Hardy: So what’s my sequel about, Joe? Everyone outside is anxious to know.
Carroll: Umm. Well, it’s going to be a collaboration. We’re going to write this together, Ryan. You know, my first book was… clearly too avant garde. Lost in literati pretense. Now my new story… will play to a much wider audience. Even Poe whored himself out eventually.
So this leads into the revelation that Carroll has enlisted a group of followers that will continue his work and keep Hardy busy. So far, we’ve learned about a prison guard who allowed Carroll private Internet time so he could organize his team., a fan of Carroll’s first book who was then hired (unknowingly) by Carroll’s Ex-Wife as a nanny for their son, two guys who pretended to be gay to lure Sarah (the woman Hardy saved eight years ago) into a sense of security, kidnap her, and lead her to Carroll where she is murdered, and a lady who stripped down to her panties in the police station, with Poe’s writings all over her and stabs herself in the eye with an ice pick (now THAT’S a way to line jump at the DMV!). I am sure there are more followers to come, but what a start we have!! Just check out the final lines of episode one:
Carroll: I thought I might go more traditional this time, you know, villain, good versus evil. I need a strong protagonist so that the reader can truly invest, a flawed, broken man searching for redemption, and that’s you. You are my flawed hero. Yes, I ensured that by killing Sarah. She was the inciting incident, the hero’s call to action. This is merely the prologue, this is just the beginning. That was the entire point of Sarah’s death. It was for you.
Hardy: If this books ends with anything other than your death, you better plan on a rewrite. (Breaks three fingers in Carroll’s right hand)