Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Following S03E09 "Kill The Messenger" Review

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Review number 2 today (Gosh, Mondays are gonna be really busy for me, aren't they?). But I think I have a lot more good to say about "The Following" than I did about "Gotham". This episode saw a few things come into play that I'm actually pretty excited about, but we'll see as this curious season progresses. So let's get to it, shall we?

For starters, let's address Theo, Dr. Strassus' star pupil, his best student, the Bret Hart of serial killers...yeah, I'm not seeing it. This guy is just really lucky and good with computers, that's about it. And that's not to say that isn't a lethal combo but I'm noticing a few rookie mistakes he's making in his killings and the fact that he's developed a pattern in his kill style. I shouldn't be surprised though, they say one of the main issues criminals have is that they think they're smarter than the police and that always ends up being their undoing. The mafia's been able to avoid arrest for a long time, you wanna know how? No bodies were ever found, Theo seems to be dropping bodies left and right, but let's not go there.

Another curious thing about Theo is his many identities and places of residence. My question, how is he able to afford all of that? Did he use his computer wizardry to provide himself with a large bank account? Who's bank rolling his homes and apartments? Who's paying for all his cameras and and what not? Something I'd like to know. These aren't things that are taking me out of the story, just things I wish were addressed. After all the FBI knows his Sam Louis persona and his Theo Noble persona, perhaps tracking down the financial records of both personas might give them a lead? Maybe I'm reaching but that's what I'd do after seeing his house and realizing this guy has the resources to buy surveillance equipment and what not.

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My career in porn didn't pan out, so it's back to killing people.

That being said, his passive aggressive nonsense with almost having Ryan Hardy arrested and screwing with his girlfriend's career isn't all that impressive. If he means to kill him anyway, why go through the motions of showing Ryan that he can get to him anywhere? Why not just kill him completely off the grid and make it look like a freak accident, after all, isn't that what Theo has been doing for awhile now? Isn't that his whole M.O.? Isn't a shark supposed to stay below the water? I get that the cat's pretty much out of the bag now and everyone knows who Theo is, but Ryan Hardy dying in a car accident can hardly be attributed to anyone without ample evidence...which Theo has shown to not have a solid grasp of considering he needed to cover his ass and didn't already think to do that.

Either way, Theo seems to have some kind of master plan in mind as he called on the big guns, our man Joe Carroll for assistance in dealing with his arch-nemesis and best friend, Ryan Hardy. I have to give the writers credit for this one in using one of the trademark flashbacks to establish that Joe & Theo have crossed paths at one point with Theo dropping Joe a hint that he was a serial killer by quoting Dr. Strassus. These two have an interesting relationship, that while Theo is Strassus' best, Joe is Strassus' favorite and they're somewhat at an impasse. Theo being the good son and Joe being the favored son and now they both have a mutual enemy in Ryan Hardy, and while Joe wants Ryan to suffer, Theo wants Ryan dead. Only one problem, Ryan is for Joe to kill.

It'll be interesting to see how these characters interact with one another as the season continues on because clearly there is some mild animosity between the two of them as well as some mutual respect for their accomplishments. Now that Joe has fashioned himself a shank, it'll be interesting to see what he does. I knew the writers weren't willing to give Joe up just yet. He makes this show! But will he last to next Season? Somehow they gotta make it believable if he does manage to escape or live. I have a feeling Dr. Strassus' other students might come into play since Theo is looking for them, but we'll see. All in all, I love it when two serial killers are going head to head and I can't wait to see who comes out on top.

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My money's on this guy.

Speaking of coming out on top, Mark is back now in the form of his Luke persona, and it's interesting that Mark managed to track Daisy all the way the hell to Florida at some strip club. I get that Mark has money, but c'mon. Either way this gets us to the 2nd bit of business in addressing the laptop situation. I have to say, I like the fact that Mark isn't interfering too much in the large narrative. Mark doesn't really have much of a beef with Ryan Hardy, his main focus is Mike Weston, and I like that Ryan & Mike have their own arch enemies. I also like the fact that Mark is fragmented. Luke was always the more interesting of the two and was the sexual deviant (see his comments to Max in Season 2) hence his request for Daisy to strip at knife point. But it's good to see that he isn't so far gone that he doesn't realize, "Wait, I actually am Mark, not Luke!". And I love his panic at this revelation. This reminds me of when their mother was killed Mark was fed up with the charade of Luke talking to a dead woman and said "Tricia's dead too! They're both dead!".

Hopefully, Daisy sticks around. It's unfortunate that Kyle couldn't stay as I really liked their dynamic of being what Jacob and Emma could have been, but I liked that she's managed to find her way on her feet and avoid being killed by Mark by offering Mike Weston as a sacrifice. Seeing as how she's female and attractive, I'm pretty sure she'll be around for a bit, after all she had no personal stake in Mark and was merely using him because she was blackmailed by Strassus. Maybe Luke'll keep her around. It'll be interesting to see what Mark does with this new information about the laptop and how it relates to Max. Are he days numbered? Maybe, I hope not, but you never know. Someone's gotta die in the finale. If I were writing this, I'd had the play back the video feed to find Mike actually confessing to having murdered Lily in cold blood, how damning would that have been?

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The coolness of this scene aside, I have a feeling it was written for fangirl service, chicks really dig Sam Underwood.

That aside, I find it hilarious that Max's Non-Boyfriend Tom is being used somewhat. After all, he's the one who didn't inform The FBI about the laptop aimed at Max's apartment and because of that, Daisy & Mark still have eyes on her. Tom done screwed up big time! But it's hard for me to care because as I've stated before, Tom & Max have no chemistry, in fact they have anti-chemistry. This is made no more solid than in the scene when Max invites Mike to find out what she found on Mark, despite the fact that she previously admonished Mike for going after him. These two character have a solid history and sure it was just one season of history but their chemistry was made clear. Max and Tom haven't had a SINGLE intimate scene AT ALL. Not even a scene where Tom says "Hey, be safe." or "I love you." or something along those lines. When Mike & Max get back together (and trust me, they will) I doubt anyone will remember who Tom is or was.

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That Face You Make When You Realize Your Character Doesn't Have Any

But since he's a factor now, we can point out the fact that his little delve voyeurism is advancing the plot, and his destroying evidence to cover his own ass is also making him look pretty bad. How he manages to come back from this and redeem himself is anyone's guess. This guy needs some personality to him because playing jealous boyfriend to a relationship that is pretty much non-existent is pretty lame. Hopefully, he gets blackmailed and is forced to do something he doesn't want to. He didn't confront Max about what he knows about Mike or anything of that nature, he knows Max cheated on him, so why is he still sticking around with her? She's a liar and a cheat, he should be done with her. Just hard for me to care for this guy when he doesn't have any sort of interesting relationship with any of the characters.

And finally, the stinger of the episode, Gwen is pregnant with Ryan's baby. I had a feeling this sort of thing would happen. After all, how else are they going to shake up the dynamics of this show? The question now is, with Ryan struggling to maintain his alcoholic cravings (he's been sober for awhile) will Gwen and the baby be killed by season's end? Theo did threaten to take Ryan's life apart, that'd be one way for Theo to solidify himself as the ultimate badass and this show needs to pull a gutsy move like that, after all, you can only bury Parker alive once. Also, if Gwen has the baby, it will be hilarious and fitting if Ryan names him (and I'm calling it, it's a boy) Joe. It'll be interesting to see how this develops and what comes out of all of this. But so far this season is pretty fun.

In conclusion, a lot of good ground was covered. We have a solid B story with Daisy & Mark back on the trail of Mike Weston & Max Hardy, the A story is putting Ryan against Theo with Joe Carroll preparing to insert himself as The Wild Card in the bunch and a side C story that features Max's Non-Boyfriend coming into play. Not to mention the dream sequences, which are getting more and more fun and obvious as they go along. Every character has a bit of business to address and something to do so it won't be a dull moment. Everything is leading up to the finale and I can honestly say I have no clue who's going to survive and who isn't. Ryan for sure, but will Theo live to see another season? Will Mark? And if so, who will come into play next season? This show is constantly pulling out ways to survive and I'm pretty sure we haven't seen the last of Strassus' students. Until next time, kiddos!

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