Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Following S03E14&15 "Dead or Alive" & "The Reckoning" Review

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Here we are, kiddos, that's all she wrote! The series finale of "The Following"! Who knew this run would end so early? I had my suspicions, but I thought it'd at least survive for a 4th Season. But as I've said before, it's better for a series to get canceled while it's still good than for it to stick around long enough to become "Dexter". And given the serialized nature of "The Following" and the fact that each season is more or less a self-contained story, and Joe Carroll is no longer with us, it's not like "The Following" is ending with MAJOR plot points left unfinished. If the series had ended in Season Two, that'd be awesome. But here we are at Season Three and The Series Finale, time to take us home.

First off let me apologize for being tardy, the internet is NOT my friend today and my Facebook account may have been deleted (let's hope it's not, shall we?) Anyways, just a quick tally of the event of last episode, Penny is dead, Mark is dead after stabbing Mike, Daisy is stuck with Theo who is out for revenge, Ryan started going back to A.A. after Gwen informed him that she was pregnant and still no one gives 2/3rds of a damn about Tom...who's now dead after having acid thrown in his face. Just so we're clear, let's dive into to series finale...

Not sure how to go about reviewing this so let's just work our way through everything. For starters Mike is alive, that's wonderful and while I was hoping for something a little more ballsy, I can imagine that the writers didn't want to end the series on such a gloomy note, especially for a character like Max who has been the mostly hopeful one throughout the series. That being said, the finale confrontation between Mark & Mike wasn't a super climatic duel between two hated enemies, which I think is good. Mark isn't Joe Carroll and he isn't Theo, he's a lunatic and he lashed out at Mike the second he got the chance and paid for it. I'm glad his character got resolved the way he did. Good to see everything with that story coming to a logical conclusion.

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Speaking of logic, let's address Eliza and I'm still having a hard time understanding why she agreed to have Theo deliver him. I may have missed something but prior to Theo appearing, Eliza had no interest in Ryan Hardy, so why is she intrested in him now? Or rather why is her employer interested in him. Not that it matters considering the series is over but it'd have been nice ground to explore had there been a Season Four. That being Eliza, despite being incredibly beautiful is INCREDIBLY stupid. For once when a character is questioned they genuinely don't know anything and that was perfect. And to be perfectly honest, Eliza had NOTHING to fear, she had an FBI contact, even if Ryan looked into her, Agent Campbell could have easily overrode Ryan and I'm 100% sure Eliza's employer has considerable power to the point where Eliza would rather go to jail than talk. I'm sure they have sway to get Eliza a reduced sentence, that is of course, if Ryan had anything on her. And as far as Ryan knew she was just some chick working for her boss.

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Cute but stupid.

With that outta the way, I like how this season went back thematically to Mendez and her partner (because that's where the season began). Theo ruthlessly attacking them was perfect. I haven't been all that impressed with Theo but these episodes really showcased how ruthless he really is. Michael Ealy played Theo with the same joviality he had in his first appearance when he was all smiles. Still, I was under the assumption that Theo was planning to vanish to come back later to kill Ryan & Gwen so that Ryan's child ends up in the system, that's kinda of what Theo said, isn't it? Or was Theo planning to kidnap Gwen and raise Ryan's son himself? More than likely it's the latter. If that's the case then yeah, Theo's a psychopath. But as Ryan said, Theo's not the guy to do it, that guy was Joe and Joe is dead. Sadly, we didn't get one last Ryan & Joe moment.

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I'd like to address some stuff that was very well done in this episode, the scene between Ryan & Agent Barton was really good, telling her to hold on, asking her about her boyfriend and their engagement, it's a great way to feel sympathy for a character almost immediately without much effort. It made her death all the more tragic and Ryan's pain over her death all the more real. The twist at the end, although under developed and out of nowhere really did change the flow of the episode. It could have been a nice set up for Season 4 to find that Eliza's organization has people inside The FBI, with Ryan, Max & Mike going rouge to find out who these people are. But that's a season we'll never get. In the end however, Ryan Hardy has decided to become The Punisher and went directly after Agent Campbell.

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As Ryan said, he doesn't get to be happy, but this is better for him, he can live with his demons knowing he's not effecting anyone but himself and the lives of those whom he plans to kill. Essentially, Ryan has become the reverse Joe Carroll. Ryan doesn't have a NEED to kill but he does have a desire to kill, especially if innocent lives are going to be lost in the process. In terms of series finales, this wasn't bad on such short notice, not bad at all. Everything got resolved, the questions are left hanging in the air and while there is a sense of "What will happen next?", everything that NEEDED to happen has happened and we can put this one to bed. Overall, "The Following" Season 1 was AMAZING! Season Two was alright and while this was better than Season Three, the lack of Joe Carroll really killed this series, but Kevin Williamson is good at this sort of thing and hopefully we'll have something like it in the future and speaking of future, "Hannibal" is coming back! So we'll be able to have our serial killer fun yet! Until then, take it easy!

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