Fox’s new thriller, The Following, is a must see. However, it isn’t for everyone. It is gory and intense but very well acted and keeps you interested. This is not surprising considering its hero is played by Kevin Bacon, who is famous for his movies and six degrees of separation from everyone. Bacon plays a former FBI agent named Ryan Hardy who was successful in capturing serial killer, Joe Carroll. Carroll is played by James Purefoy, who I will always think of as Mark Antony of HBO’s Rome. Purefoy does an amazing job playing a charismatic literary professor turned serial killer. His killings are inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s works and he believes he is creating art.
(spoiler alert)In the premiere, Joe Carroll escapes prison and thus the FBI calls Ryan Hardy back as a consultant. We learn that Hardy was stabbed by Carroll during the original capture and now he has a pacemaker and is not suited for field service. Hardy’s passion for recapturing Carroll, however, has not diminished. Carroll eventually allows himself to be captured again but only after we realize that he has gathered a cult following who are willing to take lives or give their own at his command. The plot also thickens as we realize Hardy was involved with Carroll’s ex-wife, played by Natalie Zea. Carroll seems to enjoy the competition against Hardy and will only speak to him at the FBI. This agent/killer connection is reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs. In fact Purefoy’s character is so evil yet his charisma takes you in and makes him a more complex and interesting character. Though, I’m still cheering for Bacon as the good guy even if he is a broken man at this point in the story.
I encourage you to check this show out but only if you like crime stories and getting in the head of psychopaths. If so then I think this show, created by Kevin Williamson is a must see. It is not a show that encourages violence or glorifies it but you do have to have a strong stomach to watch it.