The Following Season 2 Review “Resurrection”

The Following Season 2 Episode 1 Resurrection (2)

On the season opener of “The Following,” we picked up right where we left off, in an episode appropriately-titled “Resurrection.” When we last saw Ryan and Claire, they were attempting to enjoy being free from the clutches of Joe Carroll in the former’s apartment, so they thought- or at least, hoped. Instead, Carroll had one last trick in store for them, courtesy of next-door neighbor and ex-GF of Ryan, Molly, who attacked and stabbed both.

When this episode opened, we discovered everyone’s fate. Claire, it turns out, did not survive, which is too bad, as I’m a big fan of that actress, Natalie Zea. She didn’t fare well on the summer smash “Under the Dome” either, though it was a fun role while it lasted. So, she’s gone from three shows on the air to merely one, which is also too bad. That said, she lives on in the excellent “Justified” (albeit in a diminished capacity than in past seasons thus far), so Zea fans unite!

Ryan (Kevin Bacon) himself survived, having killed the murderous Molly (Jennifer Ferrin) after she stabbed them both. We then pick up a year later: Ryan is clean and sober and attending a help group, while teaching classes at a criminal justice college in New York on serial killers or something of that nature. He has a sponsor, Barry (Keith Carradine) and a cute girl in the meeting he has his eye on named Melissa (the intriguingly-named Tehmina Sunny, a TV regular on stuff like “NCIS” and “Mistresses”).

He’s also in touch with family, specifically niece and cop Max (Jessica Stroup, a long way from “90210”), who he’s been working with on the side privately to keep tabs on any known followers of Carroll. Nor is he 100% sure Carroll (James Purefoy) is even dead, which turns out to be right on the money, as expected. After all, you couldn’t really have a show without him. Or you could, but it wouldn’t be nearly as good.

The two figure out that a suspect is in the area, so Ryan confronts the man, Carlos (Jason Alan Carvell), who confesses that Carroll is alive, but he hasn’t seen him since the night of the explosion. He turns out to be living incognito as the heavily-bearded Darryl, in a trailer park with what appears to be a prostitute and a little girl. Not sure what that was all about, but he’s clearly off the grid for now- but probably not for long.

Carlos is part of a group of followers who attack some people on the subway, leaving only one survivor, Lily (a blonde Connie Nielsen, of “Gladiator” fame). They do it in masks of Carroll’s face- those super-creepy ones that look eerily lifelike, much like the one Brian Cranston wore to Comic-Con of Walter White, as seen here. They also name check Ryan, and say the episode title and “Joe Carroll lives!” It’s all pretty freaky and disturbing, and they kill everyone brutally, without much hesitation. In short, it’s business as usual, and just in time for Carroll’s “anniversary.”

Writer/producer Kevin Williamson, best known for the “Scream” franchise, brings his patented cryptic and well-plotted writing skills to the episode, which, like the franchise that made his name, is equal parts mystery and horror, with a healthy dose of crime procedural thrown in for good measure. He definitely does an A+ job for getting viewers right back into the thick of it all in short measure.

Clearly, there’s a new group of followers, which is partially being overseen by last season’s ringleader Emma (Valorie Curry, formerly of “Veronica Mars”- might she be in the upcoming movie?). Emma is also incognito, and is all punked-out, with freaky piercings and colorful spiky hair. She’s apparently living with Hanna (Ashleigh Murray), who has a friend that knows the aforementioned Carlos and lets her know his address in time to see Ryan on the scene- but not get caught.

There’s also two freaky twins, Luke and Mark, at least one of which has necrophilic tendencies, though they don’t quite go there. Either way, the scenes with one of those two doing weird things like dancing with a half-nude dead girl (Haley Higgins) were extremely disturbing and rattled me way more than the subway bit. I’m guessing it was Luke (Sam Underwood, who plays both twins, BTW), as he’s the one that flew off the handle on Carlos later on in the episode. One of them takes the dead girl, Heather, and poses her provocatively on a public park bench in another eerie scene.

All in all, a fairly solid opener, with lots of action and set-up to get you hooked all over again. It will definitely be interesting to see where all of this is going. Ryan has a lot less to lose now, though if Carroll gets wind of his niece- and you just know he will- that would be at least one effective thing to use against him. Mike (Shawn Ashmore) is also brought in to assist on the case, so there’s at least one familiar face from Ryan’s team from last season. The rest are new, so we’ll get to them in future reviews.

On a side note, I don’t know about you, but I had a near-miss experience in watching the show. Though I set it to record, it actually ended up starting a good 10-15 minutes before the assigned time, as the football game ended early, I assume. Thankfully, I had it on the right channel, and I have Direct TV, so I was able to rewind it far enough to see it all, but I imagine there’s going to be some ticked off people who set their DVRs to record, only to find they missed the entire opening sequence. I can’t imagine that will go over well in the Twitterverse!

I found myself reminded of the great “Lost” snafu back in the heyday of that show, where the show would run long by a minute or two and people would lose it because some crazy crap always happened at the end of the show and their DVRs shut off before the show ended. They’ve since rectified that on most DVRs, but the whole stuff running at odd times can still be annoying, what with it causing one not to be able to record something else until one of the shows is done, which is typically anywhere from a minute or two to fifteen or twenty in the case of shows like “Sons of Anarchy” or “Mad Men.”

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the extra show, but damn is that annoying as all get out. I know, I know: #FirstWorldProblems, but trust me, I’m not exactly rolling in cash. I’m doing good to have Direct TV, believe me. Anyway, expect the “S” to hit the fan, if it hasn’t already about “The Following” being on earlier than it should have, at least from those who didn’t watch it live. The worst thing is, I’m pretty sure, last I checked, that FOX doesn’t air stuff online until a week after something airs, so those who did are SOL. If I were in the know, I’d advise FOX to make an exception this one time, or face the full wrath of the internet’s mass hysteria that will surely ensue among those cheated out of their fifteen minutes!

Okay, off the soapbox. Let me know what you thought of “The Following” below, and any crazy theories you have about where this is all going! I’ll probably do less recapping and more reviewing as we move forward, so let’s have fun with it, and try and figure out what’s going on together. See you a week from Monday!